Puerto Rican Coquito

This coquito recipe is dedicated to my sister. My sister has taught me too many things over the years. Just two years my senior, we have always been close. As a kid, I looked up to my sister in awe and worship. To me, she was perfect. Smart, witty, stylish, and thoughtful in ways that my young tomboy self was not. My sister took care of me. She reminded me about important things, like when mom’s birthday was, what style and color jeans were currently “in“, and how to properly put on eyeliner. My sister was always there for me when I was scared at night when friends were unkind, and when I got in trouble, which seemed to happen often. She was (and remains) my best friend.


Growing up my sister and I shared a room, went to the same high school, attended the same college, and were roommates for several years pre-marriage. Till our mid-twenties, we were inseparable. We started dating our husband the same year and got married just six months apart. We both bought our first apartments in Brooklyn just blocks from each other so our kids, (who are similar ages) would also be close.

Brooklyn is where my sister first introduced me to coquito (pronounced koh-KEE-toh), which is a festive Puerto Rican holiday drink, very similar to eggnog, that’s popular during Christmas time. My sister served coquito during the holidays, typically on Christmas Eve, and I looked forward to it every year. Typically served chilled, coquito is a decadent coconut-based rum drink that is rich, creamy, and smooth going down and I love it almost as much as I love my sister.


There is very little history available as to the origins of coquito, but some say Spanish and English settlers brought their version of this drink to the Caribbean, where it was adapted with readily available local ingredients. Literally translated, “little coconut”, it’s no surprise that once in the Caribbean, coconut found its way into the mix. Another ingredient that became traditional was canned evaporated and condensed milk. Despite trying alternatives, there is truly no substitution for the real stuff so don’t bother.

Sadly, I no longer live a few blocks from my sister, but we’re still as close as ever. Despite the distance, my sister continues to teach me things and I admire her even more than I once did. I see my sister (and her family) every year during Christmas and this year I will be making her a big batch of coquito in her honor.

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comment Policy

Simmer + Sauce reserves the right to remove or restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the topic conversation, contain profanity or offensive language, personal attacks, or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Any post found to be in violation of any of these guidelines will be modified or removed without warning. When making a comment on my blog, you grant Simmer + Sauce permission to reproduce your content to our discretion, an example being for a possible endorsement or media kit purposes. If you don’t want your comment to be used for such purposes, please explicitly state this within the body of your comment. If you find evidence of copyright infringement in the comments of, contact me and I will remove that in question promptly.