A Fresher Take on the Traditional Coquito

I am a Puerto Rican born and raised island girl which means I am entirely biased when I say this but — no holiday eggnog has a chance against our coquito. American style eggnog is usually made with bourbon, heavy cream, milk, egg yolks and sugar, whereas traditional Puerto Rican coquito is made with rum, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, cream of coconut and sugar. 

Both of these recipes call for loads of processed ingredients and sugar which unfortunately can upset the stomach and turn a good holiday time into a sour one. This recipe calls for simpler, fresher ingredients that will make a substantial difference for our health around the holidays and the best part is that it doesn’t compromise on flavor! 

But let’s get one thing straight  — fresh coquito does not come without its cost. The most arduous process of the recipe is actually making the fresh coconut milk. But don’t stress just yet. It’s not rocket science and it certainly won’t have you screaming at the top of your lungs. But it is a process that two people can tackle easily and one with good patience can accomplish alone. 

And while you can very easily opt for an already made coconut milk from the store, fresh coconut milk is what makes the difference between a good coquito and a spectacular one. The extra mile is worth it. And trust me when I say that your guests (and your health) will thank you for opting for the freshest ingredients possible to make the best drink in the house this holiday season. 

So from myself and my beautiful mom who helped me create this recipe, here is our fresher take on our traditional coquito. 

The Hive's Coquito

Ingredients

  • 2 Fresh Coconuts 
  • 2 Cups Water 
  • 4 Sticks of Cinnamon
  • 10 Cloves
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Can Organic Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk 
  • ½ Cup Bacardi (or more for a stronger drink)
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick for Final Product

Directions 

  1. Crack open both coconuts. The easiest way to accomplish this would be to throw it against the concrete outside with a medium amount of force. 
  2. Remove the coconut meat from the coconut. Cut the coconut meat into relatively small pieces. (You don’t need to remove the thin, brown layer from the meat) 
  3. Boil 1 cup of water. Add the cinnamon sticks and the cloves and boil at medium heat for 15-20 minutes until fragrant. 
  4. Boil 2 cups of water. Add the coconut meat and the water to a high speed blender. If you want your coquito to be extra creamy then feel free to use less water but 2 cups of water works very well for a coquito that is not too creamy or too thin. 
  5. Strain the coconut meat mixture with a cheesecloth. This should yield around 2 cups of milk. 
  6. Strain the cinnamon and clove mixture. 
  7. Transfer the milk, the sweetened condensed coconut milk and the cinnamon and clove mixture back to the blender and mix. You don’t need to rinse out the blender from the coconut meat mixture. Remnants of coconut bits will make your coquito even better! 
  8. Add the rum to the blender and mix. 
  9. Transfer the blender to a large glass bottle and add in another cinnamon stick. 
  10. Refrigerate and enjoy! 

Kaylee Baez

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