Aspen Times Weekly Libation: Puerto Rican Coquito |

Aspen Times Weekly Libation: Puerto Rican Coquito

by ELIZABETH KARMEL for The Associated Pres

This Oct. 12, 2015 photo, shows Puerto Rican coquito in Concord, NH. Puerto Rican coquito is a blend of rum, coconut milk, two different dairy milks, cinnamon and nutmeg. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
AP | FR170582 AP


Coquito recipes vary widely. Some families add lime juice or fresh coconut. Others use aged golden rum. And many use far more rum than I do. I like the coquito to be made with a 1-to-4 ratio of rum to milks. But many recipes call for a 1-to-2 ratio. The good news is that it will be delicious either way.

Start to finish: 10 minutes, plus chilling

Servings: 15

Two 13 1/2-ounce cans coconut milk

14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

12-ounce can of evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups crystal or light rum

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In a blender, combine all ingredients. Blend well, then refrigerate in the blender carafe for at least 5 hours (and up to 1 week). Just before serving, blend again to mix, then serve in chilled glasses. If desired, garnish with an addition sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg.

As long as I can remember, I have been a fan of eggnog. And I’m no snob about it. I’ll drink store-bought as readily as homemade. It’s all creamy and delicious. And I’m always game to try new variations. Which explains how I recently fell in love with Puerto Rican coquito, a blend of rum, coconut milk, two different dairy milks, cinnamon and nutmeg. I was introduced to the drink by Roberto Serralles, a Puerto Rican rum maker whose family has owned Don Q rum for over a century. Once I started digging into coquito, I discovered Puerto Ricans are as passionate about the right way to make it as Southerners are about the right way to make fried chicken. And every family has its own recipe. Serralles told me that during the holidays, every family in Puerto Rico makes coquito. His recipe is traditional and does not use egg yolks like some versions (including his mother’s!). He also insists that it is best with crystal rum, which is distilled multiple times to produce a light and bright liquor that won’t overwhelm the delicate coconut flavors. When Serralles makes coquito, he uses sweetened coconut cream, which is sold as a cocktail mixer. But I wanted a slightly less sweet version, so I substituted canned coconut milk. I loved the result. And I later met up with Serralles so he could try my version and I’m pleased to say he loved it, too. Still, if you’d prefer a sweeter coquito, use coconut cream. Regardless of the version you make, it is delicious and easy to prepare. Because it can be made up to a week ahead, make a batch just to have on hand and offer it to everyone who stops by during the holiday season.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User

Aspen Times Weekly

Mountain Mayhem: From sea to shining sea


An accomplished athlete, storyteller and photographer, Ricky Gates shared his story of independence, forming connections, seeking new perspectives, furthering self-awareness, reaching physical and psychological limits and an exploration of our nation at the hometown debut of his documentary “Transamericana”

See more