International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Coquito

Fresh coconut

(Puerto Rican coconut-rum beverage)

Image Creative Commons by bionicteaching

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Coquito is a popular Christmas beverage in Puerto Rico. It has similarities to American eggnog, but the use of creme de coco or coconut milk gives it a unique island flavor. A version with eggs, known as ponche crema, is a favorite in Venezuela.

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • Cinnamon sticks -- 2 to 3 each
  • Water -- 2 cups
  • Sweetened, condensed milk -- 1 (14-ounce) can
  • Evaporated milk -- 1 (12-ounce) can
  • Crème de coco (for example, Coco Lopez) -- 1 (12-ounce) can
  • Rum -- 1 to 2 cups
  • Ground cinnamon -- for garnish

Method

  1. Place the cinnamon sticks and water in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 5-10 minutes to infuse the water with the flavor of cinnamon. Remove the cinnamon sticks and set the flavored water aside to cool.
  2. Whisk the cooled cinnamon water, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and crème de coco together. Chill well.
  3. To serve, stir in the amount of rum desired, pour into glasses and garnish each serving with a pinch of cinnamon.

Variations

  • Ponche Crema (Venezuela): A richer, thicker drink enjoyed by Venezuelans at Christmas-time. Beat 4 egg yolks together with the sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. Heat in a double boiler, stirring constantly, to a temperature of 165°F. Remove from heat and stir in the cinnamon water and 3/4 cup milk. Chill well and add rum as desired.
  • For a lighter, less sweet version, substitute 2 cups of coconut milk for the crème de coco.