Coquito: A Tropical Twist On The Holiday Classic

Coquito is eggnog, Puerto Rican style, enriched by a delicious addition: a dollop of coconut. i i

hide captionCoquito is eggnog, Puerto Rican style, enriched by a delicious addition: a dollop of coconut.

iStockphoto.com
Coquito is eggnog, Puerto Rican style, enriched by a delicious addition: a dollop of coconut.

Coquito is eggnog, Puerto Rican style, enriched by a delicious addition: a dollop of coconut.

iStockphoto.com

Coquito, an eggnog made with rum and coconut, is as integral to a Puerto Rican Christmas as presents under the tree.

In New York on Saturday, 12 coquito makers are battling to be this year's Coquito Masters champion. It's the 10th year of the contest. Trolleys will take fans to different locations in Spanish Harlem to sample coquito and vote for their favorite drinks in blind taste tests.

Puerto Ricans tend to keep their coquito recipes top-secret, according to Debbie Quinones, founder of the International Coquito Federation. Breaking with that tradition, here's a recipe from Ellie Heinzman, mother of Weekend Edition producer Elaine Heinzman.

Basic Coquito Recipe

1 cup white rum

1 can cream of coconut (use a Latin brand such as Coco Lopez or Goya — you want cream of coconut that's sweetened with sugar or with corn syrup)

2-3 egg yolks

2 cans evaporated milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon nutmeg

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend thoroughly (until egg yolks and nutmeg are evenly distributed). Pour into a glass bottle or pitcher, and chill overnight in the refrigerator. Strain the mixture through a medium-mesh strainer. Return the strained coquito to the glass bottle or pitcher, and refrigerate.

It's best to drink it within 3 days of preparing — if your family and friends don't raid your fridge and finish it before then, that is.

Yields approximately 1 liter of coquito.

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