You’ll love this easy vegan coquito recipe with a creamy, sweet rum coconut flavor perfect to celebrate Christmas with a tropical touch!
What’s a coquito?
A coquito is a rum-based Puerto Rican cocktail with a creamy, sweet texture and tropical coconut flavor. It’s also known as the Puerto Rican version of eggnog as it’s a traditional Christmas drink in Puerto Rico just as eggnog is in the USA.
Is traditional coquito vegan?
Unfortunately, no. The classic coquito recipe is not vegan as it’s made with evaporated milk. To make your own coquito recipe you need to tweak the original recipe.
How to make a vegan coquito?
A vegan coquito is a dairy-free version of the classic coquito recipe. Since it’s dairy-free, it’s also perfect for anyone with lactose intolerance as it doesn’t include milk.
All the ingredients you need to make a vegan version of a coquito cocktail recipe at home are:
- Sweetened condensed coconut milk – you will find this ingredient in a can, next to condensed milk in most grocery stores. We recommend using Nature’s Charm’s condensed coconut milk.
- Cream of coconut – this is not the same as canned coconut cream. Cream of coconut is also found in a can but it also contains sugar and thickeners that add flavor and texture to the drink. The best vegan brand for this recipe is Coco Lopez, a Puerto Rican brand that makes the cocktails perfect.
- Unsweetened canned coconut milk
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Ground cinnamon
- Vanilla extract
- Shredded coconut – this is optional, but I love the texture it adds to the cocktail.
- Rum – spiced rum or a combination of rums tastes better, see the note below on how to choose the best rum for coquito.
Preparing the cocktail
Shaking the cans
Before you start, make sure you shake all the cans of condensed milk and cream of coconut and coconut milk. In fact, canned ingredients often separate in the can, fat going on top and liquid at the bottom. Shaking the cans makes sure that you don’t miss an important part of the product.
Blending everything together
Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend on high speed until smooth.
Place the cocktail in a glass bottle or jug and chill for 3-4 hours in the fridge before serving. To make this cocktail faster, you can also chill the alcohol bottles and cans the day before. Prepare the cocktail 30 minutes before serving, chill 30 minutes then enjoy.
How to swap cream of coconut?
If you can’t find the cream of coconut in store you can use the same amount of canned coconut cream. However, you will have to add some maple syrup to the recipe to reach the sweetness and texture. Usually adding 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup is enough.
Which alcohol to use in coquito?
The main alcohol used in a coquito recipe is rum. But to make this flavorsome Puerto Rican eggnog recipe we recommended using a combination of 3 rums.
- White rum
- Golden rum
- Coconut rum
Homemade flavored rum
This said it can be expensive to buy 3 bottles of rum so another option is simply to use white rum that you infuse with cinnamon sticks and dried raisins. To flavor your own rum, simply place the ingredients below into a sealed jar in the fridge. Let infuse overnight, filter, and use in cocktails the next day.
- 1 1/2 cup white rum
- 1/2 cup dried raisins
- 2 cinnamon sticks
Is rum vegan?
Yes, most rum brands and spirits are vegan-friendly and don’t involve animals in their process. The only liquors that are not vegan are the ones using honey or cream.
How to serve your vegan coquito?
This cocktail must be served chilled with a pinch of ground cinnamon on top. You can also decorate the glass with shredded coconut and add a stick of cinnamon in the glass for extra flavor.
How to store vegan coquito?
This vegan version of eggnog also called coquito doesn’t use egg yolks as classic eggnog. It means it stores much longer and can be made ahead 2-3 days before. Store your cocktail in a glass bottle in the fridge and open it just before serving.
A cocktail is always better served with finger food like crackers, vegetable sticks, and a dip! This cheesy vegan spinach dip is a delicious hot dip recipe for you to try!
Have you made this dairy-free coquito recipe? Share a review or comment below and join me on Pinterest for more vegan recipes to bring to your table this holiday season!
Your friend, Carine
Vegan coquito recipe
- 1 can (11.2oz) Condensed coconut milk
- 1 can (13.5 oz) Cream of coconut - sweetened coconut cream, see note for unsweetened canned coconut cream option *
- 1 can (13.5 oz) Canned coconut milk
- 1/2 cup Unsweetened almond milk
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup Dark rum or spiced rum - or 1 1/2 cup for strong cocktail * see notes for other options
- In a blender, add all the ingredients sweetened condensed coconut milk, cream of coconut, coconut milk, almond milk rum, vanilla extract and spices and blend on high speed until smooth - about 1 - 2 minutes.
- Chill the cocktail in the fridge in a sealed glass bottle or jug, for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Before serving, shake/stir. If too thick to your liking, thin with 2-4 tablespoons of extra almond milk, stir to combine, and serve.
- Serve in a glass with a stick of cinnamon and a pinch of ground cinnamon.
- 1 cup white rum
- 1/2 cup coconut rum
- 1/2 cup golden/dark rum