Carnation Coquito Recipe

Indulge in the Creamy Delights of Carnation Coquito: A Festive Recipe for a Puerto Rican Holiday Drink

Carnation Coquito

    Carnation Coquito

  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican
  • Category: Drink, Beverage
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 6
  • Calories: 200 calories

About this recipe

Carnation Coquito is a delightful and creamy Puerto Rican holiday beverage that is often enjoyed during festive celebrations. It's a variation of the traditional eggnog but with a tropical twist, as it incorporates coconut milk and spices to create a unique and indulgent flavor.

The preparation of Carnation Coquito is fairly simple and doesn't require any cooking. You'll need a blender to combine the key ingredients, which include Carnation sweetened condensed milk, Carnation evaporated milk, and coconut milk. These three milks come together to create a rich and luscious base for the coquito.

To enhance the flavor profile, we add a teaspoon of vanilla extract contributes a lovely hint of sweetness, while ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves infuse the drink with warm and aromatic undertones.

Once all the ingredients are in the blender, you'll blend them until they are well combined and the mixture becomes smooth.

At this point, you'll add crushed ice to the blender, which not only chills the coquito but also gives it a frothy texture. Blend it again until the ice is fully incorporated, and you'll have a deliciously creamy and refreshing coquito.

To allow the flavors to meld together, it's recommended to refrigerate the coquito for at least an hour. This step is crucial as it enhances the taste and ensures a more enjoyable drinking experience. Just before serving, give the coquito a good shake to mix any settled ingredients.

Traditionally, coquito is served in small shot glasses or small cups. It's a rich and indulgent drink, so smaller servings are typically preferred. You can also garnish the coquito with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or nutmeg for an added touch of elegance.

It's worth noting that the calorie content of Carnation Coquito can vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients used and any variations in serving size. As a rough estimate, a serving of coquito can range from 150 to 300 calories, considering the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, coconut milk, and spices.

So, if you're looking to add a touch of tropical flair to your holiday celebrations, Carnation Coquito is an excellent choice. It's a creamy, spiced, and decadent beverage that will surely delight your taste buds and bring a festive spirit to any gathering. Just remember to enjoy it responsibly and savor every sip!

Recipe origin and background

The origin of coquito can be traced back to Puerto Rico, where it is a beloved and traditional holiday beverage. Coquito is often referred to as the "Puerto Rican eggnog" due to its similarities in texture and serving style.

However, coquito has its own unique flavor profile, incorporating ingredients like coconut milk and spices that set it apart from traditional eggnog.

Coquito is deeply rooted in Puerto Rican culture and is closely associated with Christmas and other festive occasions. It has been passed down through generations as a cherished family recipe, with each household often having their own variations and secret ingredients.

The exact origins of coquito are somewhat not very clear to me (permit me), but it is believed to have been influenced by the traditional eggnog brought to Puerto Rico during the Spanish colonial period. Over time, Puerto Ricans added their own twist to the recipe by incorporating local ingredients such as coconut milk, which is abundant in the region.

The name "coquito" is derived from the Spanish word "coconut," which reflects the prominent role of coconut milk in the recipe. Coquito gained popularity not only in Puerto Rico but also among Puerto Rican communities in the United States and other parts of the world. It has become a symbol of Puerto Rican holiday traditions and a way to celebrate cultural heritage.

Today, coquito has expanded beyond its traditional roots and has gained recognition and popularity in various communities, often becoming a festive staple during the holiday season. The recipe has evolved and adapted to different tastes, with variations incorporating additional flavors such as chocolate, coffee, or even fruits.

Carnation Coquito, as mentioned in this recipe, is a specific variation that incorporates Carnation brand sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk.

Using these products can offer a consistent and creamy texture that many people enjoy. While coquito recipes can vary, the use of Carnation products in this particular variation helps provide a reliable and delicious result.

Why try this Carnation Coquito recipe?

  1. Delicious and Unique Flavor: Carnation Coquito offers a delightful and unique flavor profile that combines the creaminess of condensed milk, evaporated milk, and coconut milk with the warmth of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. The result is a rich, tropical, and spiced drink that is both comforting and indulgent.
  2. Festive and Holiday Spirit: Coquito is deeply rooted in Puerto Rican holiday traditions, making it a perfect addition to your festive celebrations. By trying the Carnation Coquito recipe, you can bring a taste of Puerto Rico into your holiday gatherings and infuse them with a touch of cultural richness.
  3. Easy to Make: The recipe for Carnation Coquito is relatively simple and doesn't require any cooking. With just a blender and a few ingredients, you can whip up a batch of this delicious beverage in no time. It's a convenient option for those looking to add a special touch to their holiday menu without spending hours in the kitchen.
  4. Customizable to Taste: The beauty of making coquito at home is that you can adjust the ingredients and flavors to suit your personal preferences. Whether you want it sweeter, spicier, or with a stronger rum kick, you have the flexibility to tailor the recipe to your liking. The Carnation Coquito recipe provides a great base that you can easily customize.
  5. Sharing and Traditions: Coquito is often shared among family and friends during the holiday season. By making and serving Carnation Coquito, you can create new traditions and memories with your loved ones. It's a drink that brings people together, sparks conversations, and adds an extra layer of joy and warmth to the holiday festivities.

So, if you're looking to try something new and exciting this holiday season, Carnation Coquito is a fantastic choice. Its delicious flavor, cultural significance, and ease of preparation make it an excellent addition to any festive gathering. Give it a try, and you might discover a new favorite holiday beverage that will become a cherished tradition in your own family.

What does Carnation Coquito taste like?

Carnation Coquito has a rich, creamy, and indulgent taste that is sure to please anyone with a sweet tooth. It offers a delightful balance of flavors that can be described as tropical, and spiced..

The combination of Carnation sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and coconut milk creates a velvety smooth and creamy texture. The sweetness from the condensed milk adds a luscious and comforting element to the drink.

The coconut milk lends a distinct tropical flavor, adding a hint of richness and a subtle nutty undertone that enhances the overall taste.

The spices in Carnation Coquito, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, play an essential role in the flavor profile. They infuse the drink with warm and aromatic notes, creating a cozy and festive sensation.

The cinnamon adds a touch of sweetness and a delightful hint of warmth, while the nutmeg contributes a slightly earthy and nutty flavor. The cloves provide a subtle hint of spice, rounding out the overall taste experience.

When all the flavors come together, Carnation Coquito offers a harmonious combination of creamy sweetness, tropical coconut, warming spices, and a gentle alcoholic kick. It's a decadent and delightful treat that can be enjoyed as a dessert or a festive sip during the holiday season.

Note that, the taste can be customized based on personal preference. You can adjust the sweetness by adding more or less sweetened condensed milk, and the amount of rum can be varied to suit your desired level of booziness. Feel free to experiment and make it your own, tailoring the taste to your liking.

What is in Carnation Coquito?

  • Carnation Sweetened Condensed Milk: This creamy and sweet milk is a key ingredient in coquito. It provides a rich and velvety texture, as well as a delightful sweetness to the drink.
  • Carnation Evaporated Milk: Another milk product from Carnation, evaporated milk adds richness and creaminess to the coquito. It helps create a smooth and luxurious mouthfeel.
  • Coconut Milk: This ingredient adds a tropical twist to the coquito, infusing it with a delightful coconut flavor. It contributes to the creamy texture and brings a touch of exoticness to the drink.
  • Vanilla Extract: A teaspoon of vanilla extract adds a touch of sweetness and depth to the coquito. It enhances the overall flavor and contributes to the delightful aroma.
  • Ground Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a quintessential spice in coquito, providing warmth and a hint of sweetness. It adds a cozy and festive element to the drink.
  • Ground Nutmeg: Nutmeg offers a slightly earthy and nutty flavor to the coquito. It complements the other spices and adds complexity to the overall taste.
  • Ground Cloves: Cloves contribute a subtle spiciness to the coquito. They add depth and balance to the flavor profile, enhancing the overall experience.
  • Crushed Ice: Crushed ice is used to chill the coquito and give it a frothy texture. It helps create a refreshing and smooth consistency.

Equipment required for this recipe

  • Blender: A blender is essential for combining and blending the ingredients together to create a smooth and frothy coquito. It helps to achieve a consistent texture and thoroughly mix all the flavors. If you don't have a blender, you can use a food processor as a substitute. Alternatively, you can use a handheld immersion blender, but it may require more effort and time to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accurate measurements are important when preparing the coquito. Measuring cups and spoons ensure that you add the right quantities of each ingredient, maintaining the balance of flavors. If you don't have measuring cups and spoons, you can use regular kitchen utensils as a substitute. However, keep in mind that precise measurements may be more challenging without the standard measurements.
  • Pitcher or Bottles: Once the coquito is blended, you'll need a container to store and serve it. A pitcher or bottles with airtight lids are ideal for keeping the coquito fresh in the refrigerator. If you don't have a specific pitcher or bottles, you can use any clean, sealable container that can hold the desired amount of coquito.
  • Shot Glasses or Small Cups: Coquito is traditionally served in small shot glasses or small cups due to its richness and indulgent nature. These small serving vessels are perfect for enjoying the drink in moderation. If you don't have shot glasses or small cups, you can use any small glassware or even disposable plastic cups as a substitute.
  • Spoon or Whisk: A spoon or whisk can be used for stirring the coquito before serving, ensuring that any settled ingredients are mixed back into the drink. This helps maintain the consistency and flavors. If you don't have a spoon or whisk, you can use a fork or even gently swirl the container to mix the coquito.

How to make Carnation Coquito

Experience the richness and holiday cheer with our Carnation Coquito recipe. This Puerto Rican drink is creamy, spiced, and perfect for celebrations!


  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (such as Carnation)
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk (such as Carnation)
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk
  • 1 cup white rum (you can adjust the amount to your preference)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • Ground cinnamon or nutmeg (Optional)


  1. In a blender, combine the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, coconut milk, rum, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Blend until well combined and smooth.
  2. Add the crushed ice to the blender and blend again until the mixture is frothy and the ice is fully incorporated.
  3. Taste the coquito and adjust the sweetness or rum level according to your preference. You can add more condensed milk for a sweeter taste or more rum for a stronger kick.
  4. Pour the coquito into bottles or a pitcher and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld together.
  5. Before serving, shake the coquito well to mix any settled ingredients. Pour the coquito into small glasses and sprinkle with ground cinnamon or nutmeg as a garnish, if desired.
  6. Serve chilled and enjoy!

How to serve Carnation Coquito

  1. Chill the Coquito: Before serving, it's important to ensure that the coquito is properly chilled. Place the pitcher or bottles of coquito in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or until it reaches a cold and refreshing temperature. Chilling the coquito allows the flavors to meld together and enhances the overall taste.
  2. Give it a Good Shake: Just before serving, give the chilled coquito a good shake or gentle stir. This will help mix any settled ingredients and ensure a consistent flavor throughout. It's common for some separation to occur during refrigeration, so shaking or stirring will help reincorporate any separated elements.
  3. Choose the Serving Glasses: Carnation Coquito is traditionally served in small shot glasses or small cups due to its richness and intensity of flavors. Select the appropriate glassware based on your preference and the occasion. Shot glasses or small cups allow for controlled portions and a festive presentation. Ensure the glasses are clean and ready for serving.
  4. Pour and Garnish: Using a steady hand, pour the chilled coquito into the serving glasses, filling them about three-quarters full. Be mindful not to overfill, as coquito is a rich and indulgent drink. If desired, you can garnish each glass with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or nutmeg for added aroma and a touch of elegance.
  5. Serve and Enjoy: Once the glasses are filled and garnished, it's time to serve the Carnation Coquito. Arrange the glasses on a serving tray or place them directly on the table. Offer the glasses to your guests or invite them to help themselves. Coquito is best enjoyed in moderation due to its richness, so encourage your guests to savor each sip and appreciate the flavors.
  6. Provide Accompaniments (Optional): If you'd like to enhance the serving experience, you can offer some optional accompaniments. For example, you could provide small spoons for those who prefer to enjoy their coquito with a spoonful or two. Additionally, you might offer a small dish of ground cinnamon or nutmeg for guests to sprinkle on top of their coquito if they desire an extra touch of spice.

Carnation Coquito is a special and indulgent holiday drink, so it's best enjoyed in moderation. Encourage your guests to sip and savor the flavors, taking in the creamy, spiced, and tropical notes that make coquito a unique and festive beverage.

Enjoy the moment and the company of those you share it with. Cheers!

Rated: 4.9 of 5.0 from 259 reviews.

Recipe Tags: Carnation Coquito, Carnation Coquito Recipe, Recipe, Top rated

What to serve Carnation Coquito with

Carnation Coquito is a rich and flavorful holiday drink that pairs well with a variety of complementary treats. Here are some delicious options to serve alongside Carnation Coquito:

  1. Holiday Cookies: Serve an assortment of festive holiday cookies that complement the flavors of the coquito. Classic choices like sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, or snickerdoodles work well. You can also try Puerto Rican favorites like mantecaditos (shortbread cookies) or besitos de coco (coconut kisses).
  2. Churros: Warm, freshly fried churros make a delightful accompaniment to Carnation Coquito. The crispy texture and cinnamon sugar coating of churros complement the creamy and spiced flavors of the drink. Serve them with a side of chocolate sauce for dipping.
  3. Flan: A traditional Latin dessert like flan pairs beautifully with coquito. The silky texture and caramel flavor of flan provide a luxurious and complementary taste experience. Offer individual servings of flan or a large flan that guests can slice and enjoy.
  4. Tropical Fruits: Fresh tropical fruits, such as pineapple, mango, or papaya, can provide a refreshing and vibrant contrast to the richness of the coquito. Serve fruit slices or create a colorful fruit platter for guests to enjoy between sips of the drink.
  5. Cheese and Crackers: Create a cheese and cracker platter with a selection of cheeses like mild cheddar, creamy brie, or tangy goat cheese. Include an assortment of crackers, breadsticks, or toasted baguette slices. The combination of savory cheese and crunchy crackers provides a pleasant contrast to the sweet and creamy coquito.
  6. Roasted Nuts: Offer a bowl of roasted nuts, such as almonds, pecans, or walnuts. The nutty flavors and crunchy texture complement the warm spices in the coquito. You can also consider spiced nuts for an extra flavor kick.
  7. Dark Chocolate: Serve small pieces of high-quality dark chocolate, which pairs wonderfully with the rich flavors of the coquito. Opt for varieties with different percentages of cocoa to provide a range of intensities and flavors.

These are just a few suggestions, but feel free to get creative and cater to your guests' preferences. The goal is to offer a variety of treats that complement and enhance the flavors of the Carnation Coquito.

My recommendations and tips

  1. Follow the Recipe: While coquito can be customized to suit your taste, it's a good idea to follow the basic recipe as a starting point. The recipe provided earlier serves as a guide to achieve the traditional flavors and balance of ingredients. Once you're familiar with the classic version, you can experiment and make adjustments based on personal preferences.
  2. Use High-Quality Ingredients: To ensure the best flavor and texture, opt for high-quality ingredients. Using Carnation Sweetened Condensed Milk and Carnation Evaporated Milk, as mentioned in the recipe, can contribute to a rich and creamy coquito. Additionally, choose a good-quality white rum and fresh spices for the best results.
  3. Chill and Rest: After blending the coquito, allow it to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or two. This resting time allows the flavors to meld together and the coquito to achieve its optimal taste. It also allows any air bubbles from blending to settle, resulting in a smoother texture.
  4. Serve Chilled: Carnation Coquito is best served chilled. Ensure that the coquito is properly chilled before serving to enhance its refreshing and creamy qualities. If you prefer an extra frosty drink, you can chill the glasses in the freezer for a short time before pouring the coquito.
  5. Garnish with Style: Consider garnishing each glass of coquito with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or nutmeg just before serving. This adds an aromatic touch and visually enhances the presentation. You can also get creative with additional garnishes, such as a cinnamon stick or a dusting of cocoa powder, for an extra festive touch.
  6. Moderate Serving Size: Carnation Coquito is a rich and indulgent drink, so it's best enjoyed in moderation. Serve smaller portions, such as shot-sized servings or small cups, to allow guests to savor the flavors without overwhelming their palates.
  7. Personalize and Experiment: Don't be afraid to personalize the coquito to your liking. Adjust the sweetness, spice levels, or rum amount to suit your taste preferences. Keep notes on any modifications you make so that you can recreate your favorite version in the future.
  8. Share the Experience: Carnation Coquito is a drink meant to be shared and enjoyed with family and friends. Invite loved ones to try it with you, share the recipe, and spread the holiday cheer. It's a wonderful opportunity to create lasting memories and traditions.

Potential ingredients substitutes

  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: If you don't have sweetened condensed milk, you can use regular milk or cream with added sugar. Combine 1 cup of regular milk or cream with ¾ to 1 cup of granulated sugar and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Adjust the sweetness to your taste.
  • Evaporated Milk: In place of evaporated milk, you can use an equal amount of whole milk or heavy cream. Keep in mind that using heavy cream will result in a richer and creamier coquito.
  • Coconut Milk: If you don't have coconut milk, you can substitute it with coconut cream or coconut creamer. Alternatively, you can use almond milk or another plant-based milk with a hint of coconut extract for a milder coconut flavor.
  • Ground Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Cloves: If you don't have these spices individually, you can use a pre-mixed spice blend like pumpkin spice or chai spice as a substitute. These blends often contain cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and other complementary spices.

It's important to note that while substitutes can be used in a pinch, they may alter the flavor and texture of the coquito slightly. The original ingredients listed in the recipe are chosen specifically for their taste and consistency. However, substitutions can still result in a delicious and enjoyable coquito, allowing you to adapt the recipe based on what you have available.

Additional note

  1. Shelf Life and Storage: Carnation Coquito can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. It's important to keep it tightly sealed in a container to maintain freshness. Before serving after refrigeration, give it a quick shake or stir to remix any settled ingredients.
  2. Customization: The Carnation Coquito recipe provides a classic and traditional base, but you can customize it to suit your taste preferences. Feel free to adjust the sweetness, spice levels, or rum amount according to your liking. Experiment with different variations and flavors to create your signature coquito recipe.
  3. Serving Temperature: While Carnation Coquito is typically served chilled, you can also experiment with serving it warm during colder months. Heat it gently on the stovetop, but avoid boiling it to prevent curdling of the milk. Warm coquito can provide a comforting and cozy twist to the drink.
  4. Dietary Restrictions: If you or your guests have dietary restrictions or preferences, you can modify the recipe accordingly. For a dairy-free version, you can use coconut milk or almond milk as substitutes for the condensed milk and evaporated milk. Adjust the sweetener and spices to taste. Additionally, if you prefer a vegan coquito, choose plant-based milk options and omit the rum or use a vegan-friendly rum substitute.
  5. Presentation and Garnishes: Consider adding extra flair to your Carnation Coquito presentation by rimming the glasses with cinnamon sugar or toasted coconut flakes. You can also garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick or a sprinkle of cocoa powder. Get creative with your presentation to make it visually appealing and enticing.
  6. Sharing and Gifting: Carnation Coquito makes a wonderful homemade gift during the holiday season. Consider bottling the coquito in attractive glass bottles, tying festive ribbons around the neck, and attaching a tag with the recipe. It's a thoughtful and delicious present that can be enjoyed by friends and family.

Final Remark

In conclusion, our Carnation Coquito recipe is a delightful and indulgent Puerto Rican holiday drink. With its creamy texture and flavorful blend of spices, it's sure to be a hit at any festive gathering. Enjoy the richness and warmth this delicious beverage brings to your celebrations. Cheers to a memorable holiday season!

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