This Vegan Coquito Puerto Rican recipe is a dairy-free version of the traditional Puerto Rican coconut cocktail. This Puerto Rican coquito vegan recipe is filled with coconut cream, coconut milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and more. This coquito is creamy, thick, and delicious. It will be your favorite holiday cocktail.
WHAT IS COQUITO?
Coquito is a traditional Puerto Rican cocktail that is very popular during the holidays. Christmas is not Christmas for us Puerto Ricans without Coquito. This Puerto Rican Coquito Vegan Recipe has all the flavors without the need for dairy.
The traditional recipe calls for coconut milk, coconut cream, evaporated milk, condensed milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and white rum. The rum is the key ingredient but you can skip it.
IS COQUITO SAME AS EGGNOG?
Puerto Rican Coquito is often described as eggnog without eggs. The reality is that it is very different from what eggnog is. There’s a punch (Ponche) recipe from Puerto Rico that is similar to eggnog and contains raw eggs. Nowadays there are a lot of variations of Coquito, people make it in different flavors and add a variety of liquors and spices.
HOW DID COQUITO ORIGINATE?
Coquito (which means “little coconut” in Spanish) originated in Puerto Rico. Although based on the historian, book author, and expert in Puerto Rican cuisine, Dr. Cruz Ortiz Cuadra (2016), it is very difficult to determine who invented Coquito. It may have been after the US invasion in 1898 that merchants began to arrive in Puerto Rico. These merchants became importers and distributors of canned products, including evaporated and condensed milk. Read the article here El Nuevo Dia Moreover, Coquito became popular in Puerto Rico during the 50s and it became a staple in our cuisine.
HOW TO MAKE PUERTO RICAN VEGAN COQUITO?
First, let me tell you that I don’t measure ingredients when making coquito. I adjust the flavors of coquito as I combine the ingredients. Of course, I use the recipe as a guide for the list of ingredients.
There is no need for dairy, eggs, or any complicated ingredient to make this Puerto Rican Coquito Vegan Recipe. Here I will explain to you how to make the traditional coquito flavor and also the pistachio flavor.
- Evaporated milk – the traditional coquito recipe calls for evaporated milk but for this Puerto Rican coquito vegan recipe we are using plant-based milk. I enjoy using almond milk but you can double the amount of coconut milk or use any other vegan milk.
- Condensed milk – I use coconut condensed milk instead of regular but it should be noted that if you like your coquito on the sweeter side, you should add maple syrup or agave syrup to make it sweeter.
- Coconut milk – I use organic full-fat coconut milk. Making coconut milk from scratch is a better alternative, but if you are busy like me, store-bought works well.
- Coconut cream – for making coquito I like to warm up my coconut cream to break the lumps but you don’t have to do it. I recommend you use a high-speed blender to incorporate the ingredients better.
- Spices – you can add spices such as ginger, clove, cinnamon, or nutmeg but for my coquito, I rather use nutmeg and cinnamon. Some people make a spice tea and then add it to the mix of kinds of milk but it is too strong for my taste and will take away the creaminess from the coquito.
- Vanilla – is not required but I enjoy the addition.
- Rum – the traditional recipe is with white rum but my “compadre” suggested I try adding other liquors. I love adding Don Q white rum, coconut rum, and brandy. The rum is optional, if you don’t consume alcohol just leave it out.
CAN I USE THIS PUERTO RICAN COQUITO VEGAN RECIPE FOR OTHER RECIPES?
The answer is YES! This traditional Puerto Rican coquito vegan recipe can be used to make other variations of flavors and even for making desserts such as this Coquito Tres Leches Cake.
I use this recipe to make pistachio coquito by adding pistachio ice cream, pistachio extract, and crushed pistachio nuts. If you find a 100% natural unroasted pistachio paste you can also use it. Using unroasted pistachios will give your coquito a green natural color.
Also, you can add your personal twist by adding strawberry, Nutella, pistachio, passion fruit, and even guava.
HOW TO STORE PUERTO RICAN COQUITO?
I store my coquito inside liquor bottles or large jugs that I preserve in my pantry. Undoubtedly your coquito will taste better after refrigerating overnight, or for a few hours if you can’t wait.
HOW LONG WILL COQUITO LAST?
Coquito is made with milk, therefore we need to keep it fresh. If you are not adding rum to your recipe, it will last for about 4-5 days. Furthermore, if you are adding rum, it will last for about 8 to 10 days. Coquito should be kept refrigerated at all times.
HERE IS MY COQUITO DE ALMENDRA RECIPE
ARE YOU MAKING THIS RECIPE?
If you give this recipe a try, let me know what you think! Leave a comment and don’t forget to take a picture and share it on my Facebook page or tag it #thehungrydragonfly on Instagram! I love seeing your delicious creations!
Puerto Rican Coquito Vegan Recipe
- 2 cans coconut milk
- 1 can coconut cream
- 2 cans coconut condensed milk
- 1 - 1/2 cup plant milk I used almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- cinnamon to taste
- nutmeg to taste
- 1 cup white rum
- 1/2 cup coconut rum
- 1/4 cup brandy or bourbon
- In a high-speed blender add all ingredients, except for the liquors. Blend on high-speed for a few minutes. Taste the coquito to adjust the flavors as desired. This is the time for adding more spices or maple syrup if you would like to add more sweetener to your coquito.
- Add white rum, coconut rum, and brandy if using. Pour your coquito inside a sealed bottle or jug. Add a cinnamon stick to the jar if desired. Chill overnight or at least for 4 to 6 hours.
- Before serving your coquito, shake/stir to incorporate ingredients. Serve and garnish with a cinnamon stick and coconut flakes.