In the realm of Christmas cocktails, eggnog tends to hog the holiday spotlight. But for lovers of all things tropical, Puerto Rico’s velvety Coquito cocktail — eggnog’s coconut-spiked cousin — demands attention. Although similar in consistency to the classic American Yuletide ‘nog, this drink has a magic all its own. Coquito is Spanish for “little coconut,” and it lives up to the name: Rich and creamy with aromatic hits of vanilla and coconut, the stuff is pure island bliss. Cocktail Courier’s Coquito kit is just the thing to pep up this year’s holiday—and to gift that busy cocktail lover in your life.
But before we get into that, a little history lesson. The Coquito is likely descended from a class of drinks called posset, a hearty concoction of hot milk pleasantly curdled by the acidic addition of ale, wine, liquor, or citrus juice. Dating to medieval times, the heady stuff was popular for centuries amongst European imbibers. It was often sweet and spiced, and frequently enriched with eggs and cream to amp up the decadence. Posset eventually made its way to Latin America, likely via Spanish conquistadors who developed a habit of spiking it with the local rum. In different communities, the drink eventually broke off into a constellation of different quaffs, each a reflection of local ingredients and flavor preferences. On the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, home to an abundance of coconut trees, it became Coquito.
Cocktail Courier’s version of this classic drink leans into the creamy notes, calling for rich evaporated milk, sweet condensed milk, and silky cream of coconut. Cream of coconut packs the same flavor profile of coconut milk —robustly tropical with aromatic notes of nuts and cream — but it’s much thicker thanks to a higher fat content. Swirled into a Coquito cocktail, coconut cream serves to thicken the drink without the addition of eggs. BACARDÍ Superior Rum, the classic go-to liquor of island-inspired cocktails, is the spirit of choice here. The blended, charcoal-filtered spirit is aged for one year, which helps to create a clear rum that’s light-bodied and dry—the perfect foil for coconut-forward cocktails like the Coquito.
Cocktail Courier lets you order the Coquito in one of three sizes: mini (which makes enough for you and a friend), classic (cocktails for a small gathering of about 8), and party (for a whole socially distanced crew of up to 18). Just make sure if you make the party size version that there’s enough room for your punch bowl in your fridge, because you’ll want to chill it for at least 12 hours. When it’s ready to serve, dole out individual portions and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
We like to serve the drinks alongside a spread of holiday appetizers, from gooey baked Brie, stuffed with cranberry compote and wrapped in crispy phyllo dough, to slivers of salty-sweet baked ham curled up on toasted rounds of dark pumpernickel. It’s also the perfect addition to a Puerto Rican-themed Christmas dinner, packed with hearty plantain fritters topped with tomato-y stewed shrimp and pernil asado, long-roasted, spiced pork shoulder. Finish the meal with a moist slice of decadent rum cake — the recipe card is included in the classic kit.
However you choose to enjoy the Coquito — as a solo pick-me-up or a party libation at your outdoor, socially-distanced holiday party — one thing is clear. In the dead of winter, this blast of the tropics delivers a heady hit of Caribbean holiday cheer.
Ready to mix up the perfect Coquito? Grab your kit and follow along below. And for even more tips on mixing up the perfect holiday cocktail, RSVP now for our Holiday Happy Hour Cocktail Class — December 10th at 6pm ET. At this exclusive virtual mixology class, you’ll learn how to make three great festive cocktails for holiday entertaining at home. Cheers!
Ingredients (Serves 1):
- 2oz BACARDÍ Superior Rum
- 1oz Cream of coconut
- 1oz Condensed milk
- 1oz Evaporated milk
- 1 Drop of vanilla extract
- Garnish: Cinnamon stick
Shake ingredients and serve over ice in a rocks glass.
Ingredients (Serves 18):
- 1L bottle BACARDÍ Superior Rum
- 4 cans (16oz) Cream of coconut
- 2 cans (16oz) Condensed milk
- 2 cans (16oz) Evaporated milk
- Cinnamon to taste
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- Garnish: Cinnamon stick
Pour all ingredients into a large punch bowl and mix. Refrigerate, then serve in individual rocks glasses, garnished with a cinnamon stick.