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TypeMixed drink
ServedStrained and Chilled
Standard garnishCinnamon, Nutmeg
Standard drinkwareShot Glass
Commonly used ingredients
  • Coconut milk
  • Puerto Rican Rum
  • Condensed milk
  • Vanilla, for taste
PreparationPlace ingredients into blender and blend until fully mixed. Chill blended drink until cold and serve in shot glasses. Garnish with lightly sprinkled cinnamon or nutmeg.

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, hence it is sometimes called Puerto Rican Eggnog. The mixed drink is made with Puerto Rican rum, coconut milk, coconut cream, and sweetened condensed milk. Other spices and flavoring can be added, such as vanilla, cinnamon,[1] and cloves.[2]


The traditional Christmas drink, Coquito, was originally found in Puerto Rico. However, 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 Spanish invaders. The invaders took their version of "nog" 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: egg, milk, sugar, and spirit. Although this was seen as the original ingredients, Puerto Rico altered it by adding coconut.[4]

The recipe has 4 main ingredients: 1. Coconut Milk 2. Coconut Cream 3. Puerto Rican rum and 4. Sweetened Condensed Milk, but is not limited to these.[3] The Puerto Rican mix drink resembles eggnog and is usually served after dinner in a shot glass. The drink is known to be sweet and strong (with rum).[1]

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]


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 is rum.


Crème de Vie (Cuban Eggnog)[edit]

Crème de Vie is very similar to Coquito (Puerto Rican Eggnog) in that it includes similar ingredients: sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and rum. This drink includes different ingredients as well. (Full recipe can be seen below)[5] Sometimes in Cuba the drink is accompanied by coconut ice cream.[3]

  • 1 Can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Can evaporated milk
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ Cup white rum[5]


Crémas (Kremas or Cremasse)[edit]

This creamy alcoholic drink is also very similar to Coquito because like Crème de Vie it also contains Evaporated Milk, Sweetened Condensed Milk, and rum. This drink is also served throughout the holiday season and with a sweeter meal like desert. The rum that is preferably used is Barbancourt, but other rum can be used.[6]

  • 1 Can of Evaporated Milk
  • 2 Cans of Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 Can Cream of Coconut
  • 1 Teaspoon Grated Nutmeg
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Anise Star Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Lime Juice
  • 1 Cup of Rum (Preferably Barbancourt)[6]



Rompope has the same creamy consistency as Coquito, but has different ingredients. The drink was originally created by the Clarissa nuns and used eggs, cinnamon, sugar, almonds, and rum. Although the ingredients are different they both use white rum.[7]

  • 2/3 Cup blanched almonds
  • 1 1/2 Cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 6 Cups whole milk
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • Rind of 1 lemon*
  • 1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 Large egg yolks
  • 1 Cup white rum or aguardiente**
  • **Remove the lemon rind with a vegetable peeler, being careful to avoid the white pith, which will impart a bitter flavor.**
  • **Aguardiente literally means "burning water" in Spanish. It is a strong (29% or higher) spirit distilled from fruits, grains, and commonly sugarcane. It's available at most liquor stores.**[8]


Ponche Crema (Venezuelan Eggnog)[edit]

Similar to Coquito this is a traditional drink served around the holidays. Ponche Crema is made with sweet condensed milk and rum. The drink was created by chemist and perfumer, Don Eliodoro in 1900.[9]

  • 1 box (2 oz)of flan
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup rum

Other variations of the drink include flavored rum or spiced rum, coconut cream, lemon zest, ice cream, ginger, horchata, chocolate, egg yolks, and evaporated milk. These ingredients are not required, but are often used to sweeten the taste. Sometimes Coquito is made with Pitorro instead of rum. Throughout the Caribbean the drink is made with fresh coconut juice. By using juice the drink is lighter than the normal creamy consistency.[1][3]

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.[5] The Competitors bring forth their best recipes including traditional ingredients as well as fusion mixes.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Cole, Corinne (December 28, 2012). "A Coquito Story". thelatinkitchen.
  2. ^ Coquito Recipe - Puerto Rican Rum Eggnog
  3. ^ a b c d e 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. ^ a b c Darby, Marta (July 27, 2016). "CREMA DE VIE (CUBAN EGG NOG) RECIPE - CUBAN CREMA DE VIE RECIPE – A TOAST!".
  6. ^ a b "Cremas (Kremas or Cremasse)". May 9, 2018.
  7. ^ "Rompope, the Nuns' Drink". December 17, 2017.
  9. ^ "Ponche Crema - Venezuelan Xmas in a glass". December 4, 2009.