Coquito For Christmas

by Matt Armendariz
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coquito-blog.jpgLast week while visiting with our banker (yes, there are some things you just have to actually go inside a bank branch, apparently) we got on the topic of food. Naturally. We were trading names of favorite restaurants, talking about the holidays, when our banker mentioned how he couldn’t wait to enjoy his family’s Christmas coquito.

As a Puerto Rican in Los Angeles I could only imagine the lengths he must go through in order to enjoy his food. Because unlike Chicago or New York or even Miami, we fall short when it comes to Puerto Rican food. Miserably short. I’m glad I spent years in Chicago, eating lechón and mofongo regularly and ever since my first trip to Puerto Rico last year I’ve realized how sad it makes me that it’s a bit harder to find here. But enough of the sad story. Back to that coquito!

I’ve never made coquito myself, the creamy sweet coconut concoction that’s a cousin to traditional egg nog.  Egg yolks, cream of coconut, spices, condensed milk and rum are blended then chilled and POW – it’s sweet and powerful!

I must confess that I like it a bit more than standard egg nog and have decided that I’ll make it an annual tradition during Christmas starting this year. And I promise to toast my banker each time I make it!

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!


Coquito adapted from

3 egg yolks
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz)
1 can cream of coconut (14 oz)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
½ cup white rum
½ cup water
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

In a double boiler, combine the egg yolks and evaporated milk. Stir to mix well and keep stirring. Cook until the mixture reaches 160˚F. Kitchen thermometers sure come in handy!

Transfer the egg and milk mixture to a blender and add all of the remaining ingredients. Blend for 30-45 seconds and then pour into a container. Chill for 4 hours to overnight. When ready to serve, pour into small glasses, shot glasses work just perfectly. This stuff is SWEET. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg if you’d like.


Matt Armendariz is a writer and photographer who lives in Los Angeles and chronicles his passion for food and travel on his blog MattBites. His latest book is "On a Stick!"   



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