Latin Twist: Coquito (Puerto Rican Egg Nog) or Holiday Drinks, Part II


coquitoIf you ask a Puerto Rican friend about coquito, you’ll probably hear something like, “Oh—my mom makes the best coquito!”

(By the way, this is not unlike the response I get when I mention lasagne to Italian-American friends!)

But back to coquito—pronounced Koh-KEE-toh—it’s a typical Christmas drink, often compared to its cousin, eggnog. I have to confess, however, that  prefer this coconut-kissed, Caribbean version of the classic holiday beverage. Typically served in small glasses, coquito is typically served cold (though it’s even great in a bit of coffee!). Also, note that like eggnog, you can serve it without rum for the non-imbibing or under-twenty-one crowd! I like to serve this as part of dessert, but I’m sure you’ll have some ideas for it as well…and, as always, I’d love to hear them!

In the meantime, ¡Buen provecho! Enjoy!


Latin Twist: Coquito (Puerto Rican Egg Nog) or Holiday Drinks, Part II

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

This recipe is a slight adaptation of the coquito recipe that originally appeared in my book, Calypso Coolers! Serve chilled, with or without the rum!


  • Coquito has a bit of a Caribbean flair.
  • 8 ounces water
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cloves
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 12-ounce can sweetened evaporated milk
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 8 ounces white rum (optional...and you can always add it later!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or toasted coconut for garnish


  1. In a small saucepan, bring the water to boil.
  2. Add the cinnamon sticks and cloves and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the water is reduced by about half.
  3. Set aside to cool.
  4. When the cinnamon water has cooled, remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves.
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan or the top of a double boiler, whisk together the egg yolks and evaporated milk and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly (without boiling) until the mixture coats a spoon.
  6. Set aside to cool.
  7. In a blender, combine the cooled cinnamon water, egg yolk mixture, remaining milks, rum, and vanilla.
  8. Chill well (for at least an hour).
  9. Serve sprinkled with cinnamon, nutmeg, and or coconut on top.




About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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