Some traditions you just don’t mess with. Stateside, come Christmas, we start swilling the eggnog, spiked with bourbon. In Puerto Rico, where the average December temp tops 84 degrees, as soon as the bartender busts out the coquito, everyone knows ’tis the season.
“Coquito is a classic, creamy rum punch that’s an important tradition in Puerto Rico,” says Al Amengual, director of food and beverage at El Conquistador Resort. The Spanish settled on the island in the 1400s and brought with them a drink called “posset,” hot milk mixed and thickened overnight with alcohol. The recipe evolved into a cold drink made with coconut milk and, the Caribbean’s official spirit, rum.
“During the holidays, a bottle of homemade coquito is a welcome host gift at parties. At El Conquistador, we feature the drink in our lobby, along with other local seasonal treats, like coconut cookies,” says Amengual.
Mix up a batch to keep in the fridge in case friends drop by, or combine a half-cup of coquito with 1 cup of vanilla ice cream for an adult milkshake that will have you crooning carols along with Bing all night long.
Watch the video below to see how to make one at home.
from El Conquistador Resort in Fajardo, Puerto Rico (Makes 1 gallon)
- 2 14 oz. cans condensed milk
- 2 14 oz. cans evaporated milk
- 2 14 oz. cans coconut milk
- 1 14 oz. can cream of coconut
- 4 oz. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. grated nutmeg
- 14 oz. white Puerto Rican rum
- 2 oz. brandy
- Combine ingredients in a blender in batches and pulse until mixed.
- Divide evenly into glass bottles and refrigerate overnight.
- Serve cold and top with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
We’ve got more delicious drink recipes to get you through the holidays.