Coquito - Puerto Rican Eggnog - served in glass mugs with a cinnamon stick

Coquito – Puerto Rican Coconut ‘Eggnog’

In Recipes by Sean5 Comments

Coquito (Puerto Rican coconut eggnog) in glass mugs with a cinnamon stick
Coquito (Puerto Rican coconut eggnog) in glass mugs with a cinnamon stick

Coquito

Puerto Rican Coconut "Eggnog"

Share this Recipe

This recipe for coquito (Puerto Rican coconut 'eggnog') is brought to you in collaboration with BC Egg, who have financially compensated me to develop it. 
All opinions are my own.

Coquito is a classic Puerto Rican holiday drink, made here with eggs (yes, I embrace the controversy - much, much more on this to come), coconut, rum, & a high-speed blender. It's easy to make, easy to love, and easy to customize to your own tastes.

Keep reading to explore the history of coquito, the complexity behind the ingredients, and to learn how best to use substitutes and modifications that work for you. Or just jump to that recipe and fire up the blender.

"I'll make something simple for Christmas! Like coquito! It's so good!" I thought.

"It shouldn't be too complicated to develop a recipe!" I thought.

Yeah, no.

Oh coquito. So delicious. So creamy. So... controversial. Normally I like to take this space to explore semi-tangential things like food-related culture and science, but today - today we're going to jump to the recipe pretty quickly, because WOW is there a lot to say. But first, a little coquito primer for the uninitiated.

Coquito (literally "little coconut" in Spanish) is a sweet holiday drink from Puerto Rico made with coconut, dairy, rum, and SOMETIMES eggs. That sometimes is a big deal, as we'll discuss in a bit. It's often compared to eggnog, which is a relatively useful comparison. That being said, many people who dislike eggnog find coquito to be quite delightful, as its coconut-y brightness tends to help diminish some of the cloying richness that can put people off of eggnog. The generous helping of rum helps too.

Now, let's get down to brass tacks. This is MY coquito recipe. It is not the same as anyone else's. In fact, nobody's coquito recipe seems to be the same as anyone else's. Coquito is one of the single most variable recipes I've ever researched. I directly compared over 20 different recipes, ranging from the earliest historical ones to the most popular English- AND Spanish-language ones on the web (as of late 2021), and I was genuinely shocked by the variability. The general liquid ingredients are fairly consistent in type (though not without some additional complexity that I'll address in the Recipe Notes) - but the ratios are wildly variable. And then there's the eggs. Ohhh, the eggs. If you're reading this and thinking "what's the big deal about eggs?" then you're in for a surprise. And if you're reading this and thinking "coquito doesn't have eggs!" then... well, you're also in for a surprise.

If you're a fan of skipping the drama and jumping right to the recipe, feel free - but I will mention that it's worth at least skimming the Recipe Notes headings to see if anything jumps out at you, as this is definitely the type of recipe that you want to be able to tweak to your own tastes. And if you're worried that you're getting yourself into something difficult, rest assured that the making of coquito is actually incredibly simple (doubly so if you have a high-speed blender like a Vitamix). In fact, the whole thing comes together in mere minutes.  But if I don't explain the complexity behind coquito itself, I'm going to be fending off some rather vocal commenters for many Christmases to come.  So here we go.

Coquito with cinnamon in a small glass tumbler

Recipe Notes pt. 1

Egg Controversy

Alright, time to start off with the biggest issue. Eggs.

Here's the controversy in a nutshell. Some people make coquito with eggs. Some do not. Seems simple enough, right? Well the thing is, the anti-egg community seems to have gotten extremely vocal online.  Now, I'm used to people arguing about what goes in recipes (see: carbonara), but I'm at a bit of a loss to explain how exactly the eggs-in-coquito debate became so heated (insert obligatory 'tempered' joke).  Egg-based coquito posts online are almost always accompanied by comments questioning the authenticity of the recipe, the sanity of the writer, or both.  Egg-free recipes almost always mention eggs, sometimes by simply acknowledging the variations, but often with more of the same 'eggs are just wrong' comments.

Now, I do of course need to acknowledge that I developed this recipe for BC Egg. Of course I used eggs. It would be weird if they paid me to develop recipes without eggs.  But the thing is, I'm not at all concerned with whether or not you want to put eggs in your coquito; you do you.  I personally prefer coquito with egg yolks; I find it's smoother, and it tastes richer and more full-bodied.  It also emulsifies much better, which means it isn't separating out in the fridge.  But this section isn't about preference - it's about the historicity of coquito, and whether or not the use of eggs is inauthentic.

Long story short: history is on the egg's side.

Coquito with cinnamon in a small glass tumbler

The argument against eggs usually goes something like this:

1. It's not coquito if it uses eggs.
2. If you add eggs, it's now a different drink called ponche.

The thing is, this isn't really backed up historically.  Caribbean and Central American ponche recipes (e.g. ponche de creme) are generally thick, egg-based beverages, superficially quite similar to coquito.  But the coquito/ponche dichotomy seems to be pretty artificial.  The two earliest published recipes for coquito seem to be from the Puerto Rican culinary classics Cocine a Gusto1 (1950) and Cocina Criolla2 (1954). Both recipes call for four egg yolks.  If we look at a couple of more recent cookbooks, we also find coquito made with eggs; A Taste of Puerto Rico (1994) and Daisy Cooks (2006) also contain four-yolk coquito recipes. Various ponche recipes can also be found in many Puerto Rican cookbooks, generally right alongside those for coquito.  The earliest Puerto Rican cookbook, El Cocinero Puerto-riqueño3 (1859) does not contain a recipe for coquito, but it does include several egg-based ponche recipes, as well as several other egg-free ponche recipes.  This is particularly interesting, as it indicates that the inclusion of eggs has never been a prerequisite for something to be considered a ponche.

I strongly suspect (but cannot prove) that coquito was first thought of as a type of egg-based ponche, but that various factors have led to something of a culture shift.  What factors exactly? Well, I'll get to that below, as they're surprisingly pertinent to modern cooks with modern ingredients.

Now, I should clarify, I do not think that coquito MUST be made with eggs.  I'm completely uninterested in starting a one-true-coquito war, and it's clear that there are plenty of beloved eggless family recipes for coquito.  I am not Puerto Rican, and I'm not going to dictate how people must prepare their own food and drink.  But it seems clear that the burden of evidence supports "no eggs" as a culinary opinion, not a culinary law.

  1. by Berta Cabanillas, Carmen Ginorio, and Carmen Q Mercado.  Most of the book can be found online here, in Spanish.
  2. by Carmen Aboy Valdejulli.  Sadly, I can't link to an online copy of this book, but a picture of a copy of the coquito recipe can be found here on Twitter.
  3. Author(s) unknown.  A scanned copy of the entire book can be found online here, in Spanish.
Two mugs of coquito, dusted with cinnamon, and separated by a cinnamon stick

So Where Did The Eggs Go?

If all the old recipes (and many of the modern ones) call for eggs, why do we have so many recipes without them, and why do these egg-free recipes seem so culturally entrenched?  I can really only speculate at this stage, but I suspect it has to do with two key factors: blenders, and canned foods.

Coquito is pretty simple to make, but a blender makes it absolutely fool proof.  Combine everything and blend. Done. The idea has been popular for a long time - even Cocine a Gusto called for one over 70 years ago. But what about the eggs? Raw egg yolks do appear in a number of coquito recipes (both of the earliest published recipes, for example), but many home cooks have become wary of using them due to the increased risk of Salmonella food poisoning.  Some coquito and ponche recipes temper the eggs with low heat, thereby removing any concern, and helping to further thicken the finished product.  Egg tempering is an essential step in countless dishes, but the added cooking step necessitates the use of more than just the simple blender (or it did, until high-speed blenders were invented - more on that in a moment).  Coquito is still plenty tasty without eggs, and I suspect that the no-fuss blender methods led many cooks to remove eggs for simplicity's sake.

The egg-free coquito may also be connected to the rise in popularity of commercially available canned products.  Early Puerto Rican ponches (like those in El Cocinero Puerto-riqueño) were made with typically 19th century, unprocessed ingredients (milk, eggs, rum, sugar, fruits, etc.).  The first published coquito recipes foregoes fresh milk in favour of shelf-stable evaporated milk.  Sweetened condensed milk, canned coconut milk/cream, and Coco López (the the ultra-popular Puerto Rican cream of coconut product) rose to prominence following WWII, and soon became mainstays in most coquito recipes.  I am once again speculating, but I believe that these products made it easier to produce a thick, creamy coquito recipe without the emulsifying and enriching addition of eggs.  Both evaporated and sweetened condensed milk eliminate large quantities of water that would be found in unprocessed dairy products.  Canned coconut cream/milk does include added water (as does homemade), but at a consistent volume that's difficult to replicate consistently with DIY versions.  Coco López is thick, rich, and sweet, with plenty of dense coconut fat, and added emulsifiers that help to maintain the luxurious texture.  Throw all of these things in a blender and you get a pretty dense, creamy drink - even without any eggs.

Coquito with cinnamon in a small glass mug

Should You Use Eggs?

Long story short, it's really up to you (no matter what anyone else says).  I like my coquito better with eggs in it.  I tried my own coquito recipe with and without eggs and I definitely think it gains a lot from their inclusion.  But I also have a high-speed blender, which means that the eggs can be cooked by the friction of the blades.  If you have a low-speed blender and you don't trust raw egg yolks, you'll have either use pasteurized egg yolks, or temper the eggs on the stovetop.  Either way, it does add an extra element to the recipe.

If you're on the fence, or you've got an egg-less coquito recipe of your own, you could try adding one or two yolks to see if you like the effect it has on your recipe.  I should note that there is a slightly 'eggy' smell from the just-cooked coquito (i.e. right out of the blender), but I find that it disappears entirely when the drink is chilled.

Visually speaking, eggs don't make a gigantic difference, but they do make your coquito a little brighter coloured and a bit thicker (see the comparison photos below).  Coquito with eggs will also stay at this consistency, which is a nice added benefit.  I have coquito that's been in the fridge for a week and hasn't separated at all.

Ultimately, the egg decision is yours to make - but I hope you're convinced that it's a legitimate option, and not some sort of culinary affront.  And if your abuela thinks that eggs are sacrilege... I mean, you probably shouldn't confront her about that.  I'm not crazy.  But if she has a copy of that culinary cornerstone Cocine a Gusto kicking around... you could casually flip it open to page 307.

A vertical diptych showing the consistency of coquito made without eggs (top) and with eggs (bottom).  The egg-based coquito is slightly thicker.

Recipe Notes pt. 2

(Everything But Eggs)

Alright, let's move beyond the eggs, shall we? This section is important for two key reasons:

  1. This is where you're going to be able to make decisions about how to adjust your coquito to your own tastes.
  2. Substitutions (especially for cream of coconut/Coco López).

I'll also go into some detail about the cooking methods, and what you can do if you don't have a high-speed blender.  You don't need to read this section in a linear fashion, so feel free to jump around based on the sub-headings below.

Blenders

The simplest version of this recipe requires a high speed blender (e.g a Vitamix, Blendtec, Ninja, or similar).  These blenders can operate at such high speeds that the friction produced by the blades produces enough heat to temper the eggs while simultaneously mixing and emulsifying the coquito.  It's foolproof and wonderfully easy.  This method also works wonderfully for custards, curds, and other traditionally-tempered egg recipes.  If you don't have a high speed blender, you can still make my recipe, but you'll have to make one of three choices:

  1. Temper the eggs separately
  2. Use raw or pre-pasteurized egg yolks
  3. Omit the eggs entirely

Let's tackle tempering first.  The actual instructions for this are included in a note in the recipe card itself (below), so I won't repeat myself here.  The basic idea is to gently heat the egg yolks with sugar and liquid (in this case the coconut milk) while whisking gently but constantly.  This heats the yolks to the point where any bacteria are killed, but prevents the eggs from clumping together and scrambling.  Tempering isn't all that difficult once you get the hang of it, but it requires your full attention.  If you end up getting scrambled egg bits, you'll have to strain them out (if there aren't too many), or start over.

Plenty of traditional coquito recipes call for raw egg yolks.  This is a complicated subject.  The overall risk of Salmonella food poisoning from eggs is generally quite low, and most people with healthy immune systems don't have much to fear.  I have personally eaten raw eggs in a number of settings, but that is by no means a wholesale endorsement.  You could be reading this from anywhere in the world, and I have no way of knowing the quality and sanitation of your eggs, or your own personal health risks.  If you have any doubts, don't use raw yolks.  If you're serving your coquito to other people, please take them into account as well.  I should also note that raw egg yolks don't work the exact same way that cooked ones do, as they don't emulsify and thicken coquito quite the same way.  The results are similar, but not identical.

Pre-pasteurized eggs can be used, if you can find them.  Availability is going to vary regionally, but these are generally sold as a liquid product in a carton.  As best as I can tell, you can really only buy either pasteurized whites or whole eggs, so you'll have to substitute whole eggs for yolks in this recipe.  It will still work fine, though it might be a little foamier after blending.  You'll find plenty of guides to pasteurizing your own eggs online, but I'm personally going to pass on linking to any of these for two reasons: 1) many of them are straight-up bad, and 2) even the good ones (like sous-vide cooking) are both tricky to get right and inaccessible to many home cooks.

Finally, if this is all a bit too much, you've always got the no-egg version.  Still good, but a little less rich and creamy.

Coquito in a glass and a bottle with Christmas decorations

Ingredient Ratios & Can Sizes

At the risk of being stereotypically Canadian, I have to start out with an apology.  Sorry for our weird cans.

One of the little-know oddities of Canadian food is that a bunch of our can sizes don't line up with those used by our neighbours south of the border.  I can't stand when a recipe calls for "one can" without telling you how big that can is, and this is absolutely one of those times where it matters.  I don't develop a lot of recipes with canned goods, but this is one of those times where that comes into play.

Here in Canada, sweetened condensed milk generally comes in 300 ml (~10 fl. oz) cans.  US cans tend to be 414 ml (14 fl. oz).  Evaporated milk is generally the same between the two countries though (414 ml/14 oz).  I also used UHT coconut milk with a moderately high fat content that comes in 750 ml (~25 fl. oz) cartons, which aren't necessarily the most common size around.4  All of this means that the quantities work out very nicely if you use the same products that I do, but for my American readers, you might find that the quantities you can buy don't match up exactly to my recipe.  The good news is that you have two options to deal with this.  First, you can measure out volumes (which are given in the recipe card) and refrigerate your leftovers, though I understand that many people want to avoid having a small amount of sweetened condensed milk kicking around in the fridge.  This brings us to the second option: just try to get relatively close.

It might sound a bit odd for me to suggest just changing my recipe right out of the gate, but this is one of those cases where you really do have a ton of leeway.  As I mentioned above, I directly compared 20 different coquito recipes, and the ratios of coconut, dairy, sugar, and rum all vary wildly.  Want more coconut flavour? Cool, use more coconut milk.  Want it sweeter? Use more sweetened condensed milk, or coconut cream (or the sugar-based DIY approach here), or both. Want it creamier, but not sweeter? More evaporated milk.  And then there's the rum! We haven't even gotten to the rum yet!  So don't worry too much if your can sizes don't line up with mine - if you're in the same ballpark as me, your recipe will turn out quite a lot like mine.

Of course, I understand that you might not want to make a big batch of this stuff without knowing what you're going to get.  If you're still unsure about quantities and you want (or need) to change the recipe, keep reading the notes below in order to understand what effect the various changes will have.

4. We do have the more common 414 ml/14 fl. oz cans here, but I prefer the quality of UHT (ultra high-temperature) full-fat coconut milk, which comes in a variety of sizes.  For more on coconut milk/cream, see below.

Coquito in a glass and bottle with a cinnamon stick

Coconut Confusion

Coconut products are a point of considerable linguistic confusion.  Here's the basic rundown:

Coconut milk is a class of products made by combining the extracted pulp of a coconut with water.  Coconut milk can be further broken down based on fat content:

- Coconut cream (aka thick/full-fat coconut milk) has a high quantity of coconut fat in it, and is therefore thicker and richer.
- Light coconut milk (aka thin/low-fat coconut milk) is the same product, but with a portion of the fat removed, making it leaner, and giving it a thinner consistency.

Cream of coconut is NOT the same thing as coconut cream, but is instead a product made by mixing full-fat coconut milk/cream with sugar.  Cream of coconut is frequently used to make coquito, where you'll often see it referred to simply by the brand name Coco López.  First developed in Puerto Rico in 1949 (and commercialized shortly thereafter), Coco López Cream of Coconut (generally just referred to as Coco López) combines coconut cream and sugar, along with various stabilizers and preservatives.  It became incredibly popular in Puerto Rico and abroad, thanks in large part to the meteoric rise of the piña colada in the mid-20th century.

Finally, we've got the various milk-substitutes made from coconut and intended for drinking, rather than cooking.  These products are generally sold alongside other milk substitutes (e.g. soy and almond) and are not at all the same as the thicker products mentioned above.

Now, this whole categorization is pretty imperfect (but 'cream of coconut' is NEVER the same as coconut cream, so remember that one).  Formalized professional/agricultural standards categorize coconut cream and milk much more rigorously, but this isn't generally well reflected on North American packaging. The labeling and terminology around coconut milk is often a real mess in English, with coconut milk and cream being used somewhat haphazardly.  Check out the fat content on the labels when you're shopping.  I used a unsweetened coconut milk in this recipe that sits somewhere in the middle on the fat content spectrum.  A very high fat coconut cream will make your coquito extremely, even decadently creamy - but it will also make it incredibly thick, and insanely high in calories.  That being said, you can always thin a dense coquito with water or a low-fat coconut milk (or more rum).

You might be wondering why I didn't use cream of coconut.  The answer is quite  simple: it's insanely hard to find in Canada.  Coco López is fairly easy to find in Puerto Rico and the USA, but it's very hit and miss elsewhere.  But there is an advantage to using a DIY mixture of coconut milk/cream and sugar, in that you can adjust the sweetness and the fat content to your own personal tastes much more easily.  If you want to approximate Coco López at home, this recipe from Art of Drink is great.  Try it in a piña colada.

4. We do have the more common 414 ml/14 fl. oz cans here, but I prefer the quality of UHT (ultra high-temperature) full-fat coconut milk, which comes in a variety of sizes.  For more on coconut milk/cream, see below.

Sugar & Sweetness

Coquito is generally pretty sweet stuff - but you can adapt it to your own personal tastes by taking into account two main factors: where the sugar is coming from, and the rum.

This recipe calls for sugar, which many coquito recipes do not.  This is because where I live, cream of coconut (Coco López especially) is extremely hard to find.  Cream of coconut is, as mentioned above, sort of like a coconut cream simple syrup.  This makes it one of two primary sources of sweetness, with the other being sweetened condensed milk.  If you use cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk, you can only adjust the sweetness by reducing the quantities of these ingredients, which of course alters the balance of other flavours too.  The advantage of a DIY approach to cream of coconut is that you can much more readily adjust the sweetness to your taste by adjusting the added sugar.  Reducing the sweetened condensed milk is an option too (some recipes omit it entirely), but I personally like the caramel-y profile that it brings to the table.

The rum plays a big role too (more on this below).  It physically dilutes the sugar of course, but it also adds a strong alcoholic bite that balances the sweetness (which is in turn mellowed by the sugar).  How much rum you add is a matter of personal taste however, so if you're trying to find that sweetness balance, you might want to starting with smaller quantities of sugar and rum, then working your way up with taste tests.  The virgin version will taste sweeter than the rum version regardless, so keep this in mind if you're adjusting quantities.  If you're not using rum at all, you may find the coquito very sweet.  If that suits you, great! If you're worried it will be too much though, start with half the added sugar and work your way up.

If I'm being perfectly honest and making coquito just for me, I'd probably cut the added sugar in this recipe by about 1/4 to 1/3 for the rum version, and by about 1/2 for the virgin version.  But I published the recipe this way because it's a little more in line with the level of sweetness you generally run into with modern coquito recipes.  My own personal tastes are definitely on the dryer end of the booze spectrum, and I wanted to give people a more middle-of-the-road baseline to work with.

Spices

Cinnamon is the classic spice of choice in coquito, but it's by no means the only option.  Most of what we call cinnamon in North America is actually cassia (Cinnamomum cassia) , which is closely related, but not the same as 'true' cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum).  I use true cinnamon (known as canela in Spanish), which is less powerful tasting than cassia, but has a more spice-forward flavour.  You can see the end texture of a true cinnamon stick in the photo below: note the feathery/layered texture, which differs from cassia's much more solid, sheet-like appearance.  Cassia tends to deliver big on the taste many of us now think of as 'cinnamon,' while true cinnamon has some added notes of clove, nutmeg, and vanilla.  Both are excellent choices, but do remember that cassia is stronger tasting (and generally much easier to find in stores).  I recommend using the quantity given in the recipe, as you can always add more to taste and/or dust some extra cinnamon over individual servings.

Some recipes call for whole cinnamon sticks, simmered in water (or rum).  You can use this approach if you like, but I personally like the little flecks of powdered cinnamon in my coquito.  It's also a lot easier to throw together.

There was substantial spice variation in the recipes I explored while researching this recipe.  Cloves (used sparingly), nutmeg, and powdered ginger all made appearances.  Vanilla is not used universally, but it is popular, and I think it works very nicely.  If you feel like your coquito is missing something, try playing around with the spices in small batches.

Coquito in glass mugs with a true cinnamon stick

Rum & Virgin Options

First things first, you've got a decision to make: rum, or no rum.  Rum is absolutely traditional, but if you're making coquito for kids, or for non-drinkers, there are a couple of factors to take into account.  I'll cover the rum stuff first, then get to the alcohol-free/virgin notes.

Rum Quantities & Types

There's no right answer on the quantity of rum to use.  The alcohol content of the recipes I researched varied enormously, but most of them explicitly specify that you should adjust levels to your own tastes.  I think that this recipe is fairly middle-of-the-road when it comes to the rum content.  The flavour, heat, and alcoholic 'kick' of the rum are all definitely present, but not overwhelming.  If you're looking for a milder flavour, start with less rum and work your way up.

When it comes to the type of rum, it's once again a matter of personal tastes.  Many people will, unsurprisingly, insist on Puerto Rican rums.  Palo Viejo seems to be the go-to rum of choice for many Puerto Ricans, but it's not easy to find off the island.  Don Q is a more accessible Puerto Rican rum that's also a popular choice (though here in Canada, it too is hard to find).  This video from How to Drink compared a suite of rum choices for coquito, and the Don Q Gold was his personal standout choice for a Puerto Rican rum.

Regardless of where it's from, you want to pick a rum that suits your personal tastes and meshes nicely with the coquito flavour.  I think most dark spiced rums are going to be too overpowering in coquito, and might really push the spice nose/profile too far in one direction or another.  White rum is a popular, albeit relatively neutral choice.  I personally like coquito with an aged gold rum (e.g. the Don Q Gold mentioned above, or something like Mount Gay from Barbados).  If you wanted to ramp up the coconut flavour, a good quality coconut rum wouldn't be out of place, either alone, or in concert with another rum.  Note that coconut rum isn't the same as Malibu, which is actually a coconut rum liqueur (i.e. it has lots of added sugar and a lower alcohol content).

Virgin Coquito

If you want to make an alcohol free coquito, you can simply omit the rum - though you might find that a bit of recipe tweaking can help you to make a better drink.  Alcohol-free coquito is going to taste sweeter, as it's not diluted by the rum.  As mentioned above, you may want to adjust the sugar content somewhat to compensate for this, or consider adding some more coconut milk to balance things out.

Rum is, of course, more than just added alcohol - it has a distinctive flavour that you're going to miss out on in a virgin coquito.  If you like the flavour of rum but don't want to add alcohol, consider adding about 1 teaspoon of rum extract, which can generally be found in the baking section at your grocery store.  Do note that rum extract (like vanilla and other baking extracts) is generally made with at least some ethyl alcohol.  The quantity of alcohol that you end up using will be negligible and incapable of intoxicating anyone (even a child).  Still, it's worth keeping in mind if you're preparing coquito for anyone who abstains completely from any quantity of alcohol.

Dairy-Free Options

Need to go dairy-free? Fret not my friends, it's actually become fairly easy to do. You can now find sweetened condensed coconut milk AND evaporated coconut milk.  They're not always common at the average grocery store, but you will often find them at organic and high-end grocery chains (e.g. Whole Foods).  They're also fairly easily found online.

If you want to reduce the dairy content somewhat but not eliminate it entirely, you can also consider increasing the quantity of coconut milk, and decreasing the canned dairy goods.  Swapping out the evaporated milk is fairly easy, as it's roughly comparable to a thick coconut milk in terms of consistency - but removing the sweetened condensed milk is going to be trickier in terms of flavour and sweetness.

If you want to go full-on plant-based, you can eliminate the eggs too.  That being said, if you find that your coquito is too thin you'll have to experiment a little with thickening agents.  My first thought (and please note that I have not yet tested this) would be to use about a teaspoon of cornstarch whisked into some coconut milk.  This approach is often used to make plant-based custards and curds, so I think it would work well here too.

Coquito in a glass with a cinnamon stick

Note: Nutritional Information is given for a single serving (1/16th portion of the total recipe), including rum.

Nutrition Facts
Coquito - Puerto Rican Coconut Eggnog
Amount Per Serving
Calories 286 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 58mg19%
Sodium 53mg2%
Potassium 237mg7%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 27g30%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 160IU3%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 121mg12%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional Summary

GOOD NEWS:

The good news is that this is a once-a-year treat. Don't fret too much about the calories.

BAD NEWS:

There's no getting around the fact that this is a pretty decadent treat.  Lots of fat, calories, and alcohol. It's a treat that's best shared with others, so don't fret too much - but if you need to make adjustments for personal/health reasons, see below.

TRIM IT DOWN:

You're not going to make coquito into a health tonic while still maintaining its coquito-ness, but you you can make a few adjustments if needed.  Cutting the coconut fat will reduce the overall saturated fat levels significantly.  Don't bother with sweetened condensed SKIM milk, as the fat difference is negligible.  This recipe gives you a lot of control over the added sugar levels, so you can adjust those as you see fit.  Finally, if you want to cut or reduce the alcohol content, see the virgin coquito notes above.

Ingredient Pages

No ingredient pages have been written yet for any of the ingredients in this recipe.  Like to see one?  Let me know in the comments below or by email.

Pantry Pages

No pantry pages have been written yet for any of the ingredients in this recipe.  Like to see one?  Let me know in the comments below or by email.

  • Gluten free
  • Vegetarian
  • 15-minutes
Coquito - Puerto Rican Eggnog - served in glass mugs with a cinnamon stick
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Coquito - Puerto Rican Coconut Eggnog

A delicious Puerto Rican treat traditionally made around Christmas and the New Year, coquito is a coconut-and-dairy-based sweet drink with rum, cinnamon and (in this recipe!) egg yolks. The eggs are friction-cooked with a high-speed blender, but instructions are given for a stove top tempering method as well.
Coquito is easy to adapt to your own desired level of sweetness, and can easily be made without the rum for kids and those who abstain from drinking.
Because the egg yolks are cooked, this coquito will keep well in the fridge for at least a week.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Chilling Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 15 mins
Course: Cocktails, Dessert
Cuisine: Caribbean, Puerto Rican
Keyword: coquito with cooked eggs, coquito with eggs
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 286kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3.25 cups coconut milk (preferably high-fat content)
  • 1.25 cups sugar (see notes 1 & 2)
  • 10 oz sweetened condensed milk (~1.25 cups)
  • 12 oz evaporated milk (~1.5 cups)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon freshly ground, plus more to garnish
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup rum or to taste (see note 3)

Instructions

High-Speed Blender Instructions

  • Combine all of the ingredients, minus the rum, in a high speed blender (e.g. a Vitamix or Ninja). Blend at the highest setting for 5 minutes.
  • Allow coquito to cool somewhat, then add the rum as shown above, or to taste. (See note 3 below if omitting rum). Chill overnight. Serve cold, garnished with a little cinnamon or nutmeg, if you like.

Stove Top Tempered Instructions

  • Heat the coconut milk and sugar in a small pot over medium heat. Bring it to a near-simmer, stirring regularly to prevent scorching and to dissolve the sugar.
  • Whisk the egg yolks together in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Once the coconut milk and sugar mixture is hot (but not boiling), pour it into the eggs a little bit at a time while whisking vigorously. Take care not to pour too fast, or the eggs will cook all at once and scramble. Do not stop whisking until all of the liquid has been added.
  • Combine the tempered mixture with the remaining coquito ingredients, minus the rum, in a blender or food processor. Blend until well combined.
  • Add the rum as shown above, or to taste. (See note 3 below if omitting rum). Chill overnight. Serve cold, garnished with a little cinnamon or nutmeg, if you like.

Notes

1. Cream of coconut - Unlike many coquito recipes, this one does not call for a cream of coconut like Coco López, as it can be exceptionally hard to find in many markets (including most of Canada).  Cream of coconut is a combination of coconut cream and sugar, and is not the same as coconut cream or coconut milk.  If you do have cream of coconut, you can substitute a 15 oz (443 ml) can into this recipe by omitting the added sugar along with approximately 1 cup of the coconut milk.
2. Sugar - Coquito is certainly a sweet drink, but if you want to reduce the sweetness you can cut the sugar considerably.  If your tastes run on the dryer side, consider halving the sugar, then adjusting to taste after the rum has been added, as the rum will also cut the overall sweetness of the finished drink.
3. Rum - I like to use an aged, golden rum to make coquito, but use any rum you particularly like.  Feel free to adjust the rum quantity to taste.  Some prefer less than this, while others prefer a much more rum-centric coquito. 
While you can simply omit the rum for virgin coquito, you may want to also consider reducing the sugar content somewhat to compensate for the lack of booze.  If you want rum flavour without the added alcohol, you can try adding a teaspoon of rum extract.
4. Eggs - The egg yolks in this recipe are cooked, either by friction in a high speed blender, or by tempering on the stove top.  A low-speed blender or food processor will not get hot enough to heat the eggs to a sufficient temperature, and should be used in combination with the stove top tempering method.

Nutrition

Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 237mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 160IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 2mg

More Cocktails on Diversivore

Sparkling Saffron

Sparkling Saffron Cocktail - Saffron-Cardamom Simple Syrup, Grapefruit Juice, and Sparkling Spanish Cava - Diversivore.com

Night Heron

The Night Heron - an Espresso, Cocoa, and Hazelnut cocktail - Diversivore.com

Mezcalita del Ocaso

Mezcalita del Ocaso - Mezcal cocktail with grilled pineapple, chili, and hibiscus agua fresca - Diversivore.com

Share this Recipe

Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I like your version! I didn’t know the addition of eggs was so controversial in coquito. This is really well researched and it sounds like the eggs do take the drink to another level and makes sense to use them. I appreciate the coconut product breakdown as well!

  2. 5 stars
    Tsk tsk Sean. I see sooo many missed egg puns in your post!
    Seriously though, I’m a huge fan of coquito…with eggs. I agree they make sense texturally and visually. Also, I am coco pops for Coco Lopez. I need to find a local spot where I can buy it on the regular, dangerous as that may be.

    Would you try it with bourbon?

  3. I’ve never heard of coquito, and yet I’m still inclined to complain that you’ve presented a version that uses eggs, just because I guess I love controversy. Except that I love eggs. I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place. This does sound delicious, though, and I’m one of those people who isn’t crazy for eggnog, so maybe I should give this a try. I really loved this post. I love the way you write.

  4. 5 stars
    This coconut eggnog sounds absolutely heavenly. It’s like a warm hug on a cold sonwy day! I’m really loving all the flavour combination!

  5. 5 stars
    I never heard of this version, and it sounds so delicious. What a great informative post. Here in Spain, there is huge controversy over the Tortilla de Patatas, with or without onions! Who knew one simple ingredient could cause so much fuss…lol

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.