Monday, December 31, 2012

Gringo Coquito

Coquito (Puerto Rican Egg Nog)

Coquito is a coconut flavored drink that originated in Puerto Rico. It’s similar to Egg Nog and is most often served during the Christmas holiday season. I offer many thanks to my long-time friend Jeff Harpell, a world traveler and fellow food lover now living in Spain, for sharing this holiday tradition. What a wonderful basis for a twenty-year friendship – food!

Another friend, who was raised in Puerto Rico, tells me that this version tastes just like he remembers from home (although he did mention that his family upped the quantity of rum... to mellow the coconut taste). So if you like coconut, but don’t LIKE coconut, add more rum. Or add more rum if you just like more rum! (You can leave the rum out altogether too!) The point behind a recipe like this is sharing with friends & family – and isn’t that the point of all holiday traditions?

The original recipe uses volume measurements that don’t correspond with the prepared products available in grocery stores here in the states. My version here simplifies preparation and reduces waste by using canned milks in their most commonly available sizes.


Gringo Coquito (Puerto Rican Eggnog)
Yield: 2 Quarts     Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes + Overnight Refrigeration


• 1 Can Evaporated Milk, 12 ounce
• 1 Can Coconut Milk, 13.5 ounce
• 1 Can Condensed Milk, 14 ounce
• 1 Can Cream of Coconut, 15 ounce
• 2 Egg Yolks, lightly beaten
• 1¼ Cups White Rum
• 7 Cinnamon Sticks
• ½ Cup Golden Raisins 
• 10 Maraschino Cherries 
• Sweetened Whipped Cream
• Chocolate Powder

Preparation Steps

Step 1. Combine the Milks and Cream of Coconut in a large, heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Bring to a low boil over medium heat then remove from the heat.

Step 2. Put the Egg Yolks in a small bowl and while gently whisking, slowly add a small amount of the hot milk mixture to temper the Egg Yolks. Repeat this two more times and then reverse the process and add the warmed egg mixture to the milk mixture, whisking until well incorporated.

Step 3. Transfer to a covered half-gallon container and cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Step 4. Add the Rum using more or less to taste then add the Cinnamon Sticks, Raisins and Cherries stirring to incorporate. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Step 5. Strain out the Cinnamon Sticks, Raisins and Cherries.

Serve chilled over ice, topped with Whipped Cream and a dusting of Chocolate Powder.

The original recipe can be found at The Washington Post

Coquito (Puerto Rican Eggnog)
Tips and Trending

~ Canned coconut milk is commonly used, although fresh coconut milk is the preferred tradition. But to be frank, my machete needs sharpening and busting coconuts open isn’t how I enjoy passing an afternoon.

~ If you don’t have Chocolate Powder (not Cocoa Powder which would be bitter), use a micro-plane to grate a little dark chocolate on top.

~ You can also reserve and rinse the Raisins and Cherries for garnish. (There will be a lot Rum in that fruit!)

~ Coquito is fairly thick but can be thinned with a little whole milk.

~ Any time you are using raw eggs in a recipe, make sure you have the freshest eggs possible and be sure that the shell is clean. This is by no means a guarantee against contamination, but personal food safety begins with personal diligence. If you are reluctant to use raw eggs, or have any concerns about the freshness of your eggs, you can substitute Pasteurized Eggs – but they are difficult to find. Do not substitute Egg Beaters®; while they are made with real eggs, there are no egg yolks in them.

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