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Why you will love it?
Before we start, let’s appreciate how amazing coquito is. It’s a simple beverage created by blending the richness of condensed milk, the sweet creaminess of coconut cream, and other kinds of milk, rum, and spices. It is love at first taste – especially if you like coconut.
Many people like myself with autoimmune diseases have to avoid dairy either permanently, or on the road to recovery. However, that doesn’t mean we should skip celebrating the holidays. For this reason, crafting this version of Vegan coquito means that you get to enjoy the richness, delicious taste, and warm feeling of Coquito without any dairy involved. Even if you want to skip alcohol, you can add more coconut milk and still have a wonderful drink to be served in your celebrations.
Besides, to make this vegan drink you don’t need many or difficult-to-find ingredients. Most supermarkets nowadays have sweetened condensed coconut milk, coconut cream, and coconut milk. These ingredients tend to be labeled gluten-free so if you are avoiding gluten as well, check the labels.
Ingredients to make Puerto Rican Vegan Coquito:
Here’s a brief list of ingredients and substitutions you can use to make this delicious drink.
- Condensed Coconut Milk: The star ingredient that brings sweetness and creaminess to the party. This is the only brand I’ve seen at my local grocery store.
- Cream of Coconut: A luscious sweetened coconut cream that adds an indulgent richness to the coquito. This is the one I used.
- Canned Coconut Milk: Another layer of coconut goodness that enhances the drink’s overall texture. Use brands with high-fat percentages for a richer beverage like this one.
- Dark Rum or White Rum: The spirited addition that transforms this beverage into a festive delight. Can substitute with white rum. Use your favorite brand.
- Coconut Milk or Almond Milk: regular ones like the ones they sell in the refrigerator section. This is to lighten the drink so it doesn’t end up too thick. If it does, add more milk.
- Vanilla Extract: A subtle yet essential flavor that enhances the overall taste of the coquito. I’ve been using this Mexican vanilla, Molina brand and love it!
- Ground Cinnamon: The aromatic spice that adds a warm and comforting note to the drink.
- Nutmeg: A hint of nutmeg to elevate the flavor profile with its nutty and slightly sweet essence.
- Cinnamon Sticks: for infusing and decorating your glasses!
To make this drink with dairy, use regular sweetened condensed milk and substitute evaporated milk for the coconut or almond milk.
Tips for making the best Puerto Rican Vegan Coquito:
Creating this vegan wonder is a breeze. However, keep in mind the following tips:
- Use high-quality ingredients: To make this drink rich and smooth, use high-quality coconut milk with a high percentage of fat. In fact, the same rule applies to the other ingredients.
- Blend well: Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed for about a minute until smooth. Use a good blender such as this BlendTec that I love so much.
- Adjust to Your Liking: what is great about the traditional Coquito drink is that everyone has different tastes, so you can adjust accordingly. Taste and adjust with more or less rum or cinnamon. Especially those who enjoy a stronger drink, feel free to add an extra ½ cup of rum. In contrast, if you prefer no alcohol simply substitute with ½ cup of milk.
- Infuse and Chill: Pour the Coquito into a glass jar, seal it, and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or until you’re ready to serve. This step allows the flavors to meld and intensify.
- Improve consistency: because of the coconut fat, the coquito may thicken a lot when chilled. Especially if you used full-fat coconut milk. For this reason, you can add 2 tablespoons of almond or coconut milk. Stir until combined, and adjust with more milk until you achieve your desired consistency.
Vegan Coquito – Puerto Rican Drink
- 1 can condensed coconut milk – 11.2oz
- 1 can cream of coconut – 15 oz
- 1 can canned coconut milk – 13.5 oz
- 1 cup dark rum or white rum – 250 ml
- ½ cup regular coconut milk almond milk – 125 ml
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- cinnamon sticks for infusing and decorating
- Add all the ingredients sweetened condensed coconut milk, cream of coconut, canned coconut milk, regular coconut milk or almond milk, rum, vanilla extract, and spices, to a blender and blend on high speed until smooth for about 1 minute. Taste and adjust with more rum or cinnamon to your liking. If you like strong coquito, add ½ cup extra of rum. If you prefer without alcohol, substitute rum with more coconut milk.
- Pour the coquito into a glass jar, seal, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until ready to serve.
- If once cooled it seems too thick, add an extra 2 tablespoons of almond or coconut milk and stir to combine. Adjust with more milk until desired consistency.
- When ready to serve, stir the coquito with a spoon or shake the jar. If desired, serve in a glass with a stick of cinnamon and a pinch of ground cinnamon.