Shirley's Coquito was founded in October 2016 in Jersey City, New Jersey by Shirley Guzmán in the hopes of making just a really great coquito that she could embed into her family tradition. Surprisingly in her Puerto Rican upbringing she was never introduced to this cultural holiday drink which makes her a first generation coquito master.
On May 1, 2017 Shirley's Coquito made its first public appearance in the Jersey City Public Library at the Grand Reopening of the Biblioteca Criolla in the Main Library. The reopening of the building was celebrated with an evening of conversation and music, featuring Tim Lawrence, author of Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983, and local DJ Wyse Rodriguez of Soulful Cypher. Shirley's Coquito was served along with empanadas and alcapurrias.
On May 6, 2017 Shirley was invited to speak about her coquito at CSL Radio La Voz Del Migrante.
On October 27, 2017 Shirley's Coquito sponsored an event by providing her drink alongside empanadas by O'LaLa Empanadas at an event filming Proxies of Fear. Filmmaker Christian Moran and his producing partner Cynthya Blandino, both people of color, are trying to bridge a gap with "Proxies of Fear," a "night of music, poetry, horror make-up FX, and film revolving around the danger of fear and its lasting effects in our communities," according to the press release for the Oct. 27 event at Merseles Studios.
On January 6, 2018 Shirley entered in the International Federation Coquito Masters competition and did not place that year. She approached the Director, Debbie Quinones, and sought feedback on her recipe and Debbie was more than willing to oblige. Shirley took that feedback that year and created her new formula.
She went on to compete again the year after on January 12, 2019 and placed third in New Jersey. Then again she competed on January 18, 2020 and placed second in New Jersey. This competition is based on public tasting and voting.
On December 14, 2019 Shirley also competed at Rastelli's 6th Annual Nog Off & Holiday Celebration. There were thirty contestants and three judges and Shirley's Coquito won third place.