Coquito – The Perfect Holiday Drink

14 Dec

Coquito is the Puerto Rican ultimate holiday drink.

It’s served in a small glass, like a shot glass or jigger, but it’s sipped slowly. It’s never meant to be a shot. This is the Puerto Rican version of an eggnog. There are many versions out there – with raw eggs, with rum, with “cañita rum”, however, my version is the Vegetarian way – the spice and warmth comes from the ginger, anise seeds, star anise and cinnamon. The only way to know this does not contain alcohol is because you’ll not get drunk… because it still has a nice kick. And the nice thing, you don’t need to do a kiddie version.



1 can condensed milk
1 carton evaporated milk
1 can coconut milk
3 cups of water
4 inch piece of fresh ginger
5 sticks of cinnamon
4 tablespoons anise seeds
4 tablespoons star anise
2 tablespoons whole cloves
2 tablespoons ground nutmeg
1 vanilla pod
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder or alcohol-free vanilla extract
ground cinnamon to taste


  1. In a medium saucepan create a “spiced tea” – pour the 3 cups of water, ginger, cinnamon sticks, anise seeds, star anise, nutmeg and cloves. Scrape the seeds inside the vanilla pod and add to “tea water”. Throw in the vanilla pod too.
  2. p1020003.jpg

  3. Steep for about 15-20 minutes to create a strong spiced tea. This will give the coquito most of its spiciness. Let cool a bit.
  4. In a blender, mix together all the milks with 2 “cans-worth” of the “spiced tea” and the vanilla powder.
  5. Pour into a clean bottle and chill in the refrigerator.
  6. Serve chilled in small shot glasses.  Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

Salud, Dinero y Amor!!!!!

I try to avoid buying anything canned, but unfortunately condensed milk is something that ONLY comes in a can. The same happens with coconut milk. If you can make your own coconut milk, I highly recommend it. But, I am a working vegetarian woman and I do not have the time to do it.


10 Responses to “Coquito – The Perfect Holiday Drink”

  1. Bri December 14, 2007 at 7:16 am #

    This sounds so tasty! I bet the coconut milk is a wonderful addition. I think I’ll have to try it out since I’ve been wanting to make eggnog, but some family members don’t eat eggs. Thanks!

  2. brilynn December 14, 2007 at 4:50 pm #

    I definitely want to give this a try over the holidays, it sounds like something everyone can enjoy!

  3. johnnypeepers December 14, 2007 at 8:01 pm #

    Sweet recipe. I heard about Kokitos from a lady I know from the Bronx. She said Kokitos, empenadas, and olives is all she needs to get through life.

  4. VegeYum December 14, 2007 at 9:14 pm #

    Wow this is so nice. I am going to link it in to my post on making teas with spices, if you dont mind. Wonder what it would taste like with just plain milk and coconut milk?

  5. karmafreecooking December 15, 2007 at 2:28 am #

    Of course VegeYum – you can post this. The evaporated milk and condensed milk add body and sweetness to the Coquito. If you use plain milk instead, I think the mixture, might be too liquidy rather than creamy after adding the spiced tea. The traditional version actually uses cream of coconut (Coco Lopez) instead of coconut milk, so you would also need to add sugar or some other kind of sweetener. But try it your way and tell me how you like it… good luck.

  6. Kathleen December 28, 2007 at 3:54 pm #

    Hope you had a great Christmas! We did! This drink was a big hit! Thanks to you, we have a new holiday tradition! I love the way the house fills with the aroma of the spices simmering on the stove.

    We made a vegan version of this drink and it was fabulous. Intead of using the evaporated and sweetened condensed milks, we substituted in their place one package of silken tofu. So, the ingredients were silken tofu, the coconut milk, the spicy tea, and to sweeten it we used agave nectar. Delicious! My guests had no idea there was tofu in it until I told them.

  7. karmafreecooking January 4, 2008 at 9:52 pm #

    Kathleen – I am glad you tried the recipe… and I would love to learn the vegan version using silken tofu, in terms of quantities.

    I am glad you now have Coquito in your holiday repertoire…

  8. Rosita Sanchez December 1, 2008 at 1:13 am #

    If you don’t want to make your own, you have to try Mi Abueilta Coquito. I could not believe a bottled Coquito could taste so good. It was almost as good as my friend’s grandmother, who was known for the best Coquito in San Juan!

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