Ah, Christmas. It's a wonderful time filled with friends and family, love and giving, and of course, plenty of food and drinks. Eggnog is a holiday favorite, and though I've tried a few varieties I only found one that I liked. About 2 years ago, though, I tried coquito for the first time. I haven't found a holiday drink competition since.

Coquito is a Puerto Rican festive beverage. It's a milky rum drink with a hint of cinnamon. It is absolutely delightful. I had the opportunity to try both the regular and chocolate versions of the drink thanks to one of my dearest friends and coworkers. He was kind enough to share the recipe so that I could make it for my family this year.

The ingredients are fairly simple. Coconut milk, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and water make up the majority of the mixture, with lime juice and cinnamon used to add flavor. And of course, there is rum.

I heated the water in a large pot along with a cinnamon stick and lime peel. As fate would have it, I was making key lime pie at the same time, so this made my lime peel easy to find.

I let the water simmer for a good bit, until the water had darkened slightly and the cinnamon smelled potent. After removing the pot from the heat, I stirred in the milks until it was combined and let the liquids cool slightly. I also added a bit of vanilla to really sweeten it. Once the milks were warm, I poured in the rum. Now this can go any way. I made it lightly alcoholic rather than super potent, as I figured a holiday drink was all for sipping and not getting plastered. But that choice is yours.

So there we have it. Tasty, cinnamon flavored, dessert-like delight. It was delightful, even slightly warm after being freshly made. My family enjoyed it, and I used some in my coffee that week, too. Fun tip: use mason jars or some leftover alcohol bottles and give some out as gifts!

Coquito Recipe


2 cups water
2 cans evaporated milk
2 cans condensed milk
2 cans coconut milk
1 cup rum
1 tablespoon vanilla


Add water, cinnamon stick, and lime peel to a large pot on medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, until the water is slightly browned and smells strongly. Remove from heat and stir in milks. Cool for 5-10 minutes, then mix in desired quantity of rum and vanilla extract.

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