What is Coquito?

Coquito meaning "Little Coconut" in Spanish is a traditional Christmas drink that originated in Puerto Rico. The coconut-based alcoholic beverage is similar to eggnog, sometimes being called the Puerto Rican Eggnog. The mixed drink is made with Puerto Rican rum, coconut milk, cream of coconut, and sweetened condensed milk. Other spices and flavoring can be added, such as ginger, star anise, egg yolk, cinnamon,[1] and cloves.[2]


The traditional Christmas drink, Coquito, was originally found in Puerto Rico. However, drinks similar to Coquito can be found all throughout the Caribbean.[3] There are two different theories about the origin of the drink. Some believe the person who created Coquito is unknown along with how the recipe began.[1]

Others say that the Puerto Rican drink was brought to the Caribbean by the Spanish during Puerto Rico's colonial period. The Spanish took their version of "eggnog" and combined it with the local rum creating Coquito. As they continued to travel and settle in other areas the drink followed them creating different variations around the Caribbean. The variations are very similar to what they considered the original recipe: milk, sugar. Although this was seen as the original ingredient, Puerto Rico altered it by adding coconut.[4]

The recipe has 4 main ingredients but is not limited to these:

  1. Coconut milk

  2. Coconut cream

  3. Puerto Rican rum

  4. Sweetened condensed milk.[3]

The Puerto Rican mix drink resembles eggnog and is usually served after dinner in a shot glass. No eggs to be added as it would be then a punch instead of Coquito. The drink is known to be sweet and strong (with rum).[1][5]

Many families have their own variations of the recipe that are passed down through generations.[3] The drink will be seen as early as Thanksgiving and as late as Día de los Reyes. That being said the drink makes its main appearance during the Christmas season.[1]

Coquito has become much more popular as more people hear about the drink. The drink can be found bottled in supermarkets and grocery stores for consumers to buy pre-made. Along with being in stores, there are competitions like Coquito Masters, which is an annual competition at the Museo del Barrio in New York City.[1]

Jimmy Fallon is reportedly a fan, and has mentioned the drink occasionally in episodes of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.


There are many variations of Coquito based on location and family traditions.[1] Although all these variations are unique in their own way, they all have one thing in common and that generally is rum, although some prefer to make it with another alcohol such as the Spanish liquor 43. Also some recipes includes egg yolks, similar to eggnog, which we called ponche de coco.

Coquito can be served in shot glasses or small cups and is usually garnished with grated nutmeg or cinnamon.


Depending on the ingredient of choice, Coquito can be prepared over the stove top or in a blender.

If looking for convenience, a quick way to prepare Coquito is to process the ingredients in a blender with the option of using ground spices for more flavor.

After Coquito is prepared and chilled for a few hours it is ready to be served.


El Museo del Barrio in New York City hosts an annual Coquito Tasting Contest called Coquito Masters on Three Kings Day in January. The competition was first established in 2002 and continues each year throughout the holidays.


  1. a b c d e f Cole, Corinne (December 28, 2012). "A Coquito Story". thelatinkitchen.

  2. ^ Coquito Recipe - Puerto Rican Rum Eggnog

  3. a b c Santos, Mariela (May 28, 2017). "A Brief History of Coquito from Puerto Rico". culture trip.

  4. ^ Hofmann, Regan (December 22, 2014). "Coquito: Puerto Rico's Tropical Take on Eggnog".

  5. ^ Elder, Kara (December 21, 2018). "Coquito is the creamy, tropical drink that's better than eggnog — and easier to make" – via www.washingtonpost.com.