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This easy Vegan Coquito recipe is guaranteed to be a hit at your holiday parties this year! It’s just as rich and creamy as the traditional Puerto Rican drink but made entirely from plant-based ingredients. This coconut and rum-filled cocktail is a must-make during Christmas time! 

horizontal photo of 3 cups of coquito with cinnamon sticks

What is Coquito?

Coquito is a traditional Puerto Rican holiday beverage that is widely referred to as “Puerto Rican Eggnog”. It’s a rich and creamy coconut-based drink that is often spiked with rum, giving it the perfect boozy kick! Coquito is best served chilled or over ice with your favorite holiday garnish, such as Coconut Whipped Cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, or grated nutmeg! 

The original recipe is coconut-based, but it’s typically made with dairy-based ingredients like condensed milk and evaporated milk, too. This unfortunately makes the traditional coquito not vegan. But with just a couple of simple swaps, we’ve not only made a vegan version of coquito but have created a festive drink that tastes just like the beloved traditional Puerto Rican Christmas Drink! 

ingredients: non-dary milk, vanilla, spices, salt, condensed milk and cream of coconut

Ingredients You’ll Need 

  • Vegan evaporated milk: We made our own by boiling down plain, unsweetened, non-dairy milk. Try our Homemade Almond Milk, or another non-dairy milk of choice such as soy milk, cashew milk, or oat milk would work well. We wouldn’t recommend using a can of full-fat coconut milk as this will make the drink too thick and rich. If you can access already made vegan evaporated milk, opt for that instead.
  • Cream of coconutThis coconut product is a classic ingredient in a classic Puerto Rican Coquito for its sweet, rich coconut flavor. Note that cream of coconut is not the same as traditional, unsweetened coconut cream or a classic can of coconut milk. Cream of coconut is a sweetened coconut product made from a combination of coconut milk and added sugar. It’s made primarily from coconut fat, giving it a consistency similar to condensed milk.  
  • Vegan condensed milkAdds the perfect sweet, syrup-like richness to the chilled beverage. We used a full 11.25-ounce can, but feel free to adjust if you are sensitive to sweetness! 
  • Rum: If preferred, you can make an alcohol-free coquito and enjoy this holiday drink without rum, but we like to add anywhere between 1/2-1 1/2 cups of rum depending on how strong we want it. We recommend starting with just 1/2 cup and slowly increasing to taste. Any type of rum such as white rum, spiced rum, and dark rum all work well. 
  • Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla adds the perfect, rich vanilla flavor that compliments the richness of the coconut. If preferred, opt for pure vanilla paste or add freshly scraped vanilla from vanilla beans! 
  • Spices: Ground cinnamon and nutmeg add warmth, sweetness, and the perfect cozy aroma to this cocktail.
  • Salt: A small pinch of salt balances the sweet and rich coconut flavors. We used sea salt, but Himalayan salt or kosher salt will work, too! 

For full measurements and instructions, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this post. 

Equipment Needed

How to Make a Vegan Coquito

  1. Reduce the non-dairy milk into “evaporated” milk. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the non-dairy milk and bring to a simmer. Let the milk simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the volume reduces by half.
  2. Strain and cool. Once the milk has reduced by half, strain the mixture and measure out 1 1/2 cups of the “evaporated” milk. Set the milk in the fridge to cool.
  3. Blend with the remaining ingredients. After the milk has been sufficiently chilled, pour it into a blender jar, along with the coconut cream, vegan condensed milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and rum, as desired. Blend until completely smooth and well combined. 
  4. Chill for at least 4 hours. Pour the coquito into a pitcher or container and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours.
  5. Serve. Once chilled, serve in chilled glasses and enjoy! 
close up photo of vegan coquito with cinnamon sticks

Serving Suggestions 

This boozy cocktail is often enjoyed as a standalone drink, and most commonly served during the holiday season at festive gatherings or as a creamy nightcap. We recommend serving it as a dessert beverage or after-dinner drink. 

Planning the ultimate vegan Christmas meal? Check out our 50 Easy Vegan Christmas Recipes

photo of vegan coquito with cinnamon sticks

Recipe FAQs

Can you buy dairy-free condensed milk?

Yes! These days several brands make dairy-free condensed milks that are carried in main large chain grocery stores. Nature’s Charm is one of the most popular brand options. They sell Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk as well as Sweetened Condensed Oat Milk. They also sell a pre-made Evaporated Oat Milk you could use in the Puerto Rican cocktail to quicken the prep time! 

Why is my coquito clumpy?

Clumpy coquito is often the result of improper mixing or drastic temperature fluctuations. For the best, creamy, and smooth cocktail, carefully follow our instructions for chilling the evaporated milk and blend smoothly in a quality, high-speed blender. 

What is the difference between coquito and eggnog?

At a glance, coquito and eggnog look very similar and are both served chilled, but several characteristics set these two holiday cocktails apart!

Coquito originated in Puerto Rico and is traditionally coconut and rum-based, while Europe’s eggnog is primarily made with dairy milk and egg yolks. Coquito is also typically thicker and creamier than the traditional nog. 

Should I add sweetener to my beverage?

Most store-bought vegan condensed milk and cream of coconut are quite sweet, but if you find your coquito could use additional sugar, add additional sweetener to taste. We’d recommend using agave or a classic simple syrup over maple syrup to help keep the color of your beverage light! 

photo of vegan coquito with cinnamon sticks

Storage Instructions

Transfer any leftover coquito to an airtight glass bottle, such as a mason jar, and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 

More Vegan Holiday Drinks You May Enjoy:

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you make this recipe. We love to see your photos! 

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photo of vegan coquito with cinnamon sticks

Vegan Coquito Recipe


  • Author: Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: About 4 3/4 cups
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This easy Vegan Coquito recipe is guaranteed to be a hit at your holiday parties this year! It’s just as rich and creamy as the traditional Puerto Rican drink, but made entirely from plant-based ingredients. This coconut and rum filled cocktail is a must-make during Christmas time!


Ingredients

  • 3½ cups non-dairy milk
  • 1 can (15 oz) cream of coconut
  • 1 can (11.25 oz) vegan condensed milk
  • ½ cup rum
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt

Equipment Needed


Instructions

  1. Make the “evaporated” milk. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the non-dairy milk and bring to a simmer. Let the milk simmer for 45 minutes, or until the volume reduces by half, stirring occasionally.
  2. Strain and cool. Once the milk has reduced by half, strain the mixture and measure out 1 1/2 cups of the “evaporated” milk. Set the milk in the fridge to cool. This step can be done in advance.
  3. Blend with the remaining ingredients. After the milk has been sufficiently chilled, pour it into a blender jar, along with the coconut cream, vegan condensed milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and rum, as desired. Blend until completely smooth and well combined.
  4. Chill for at least 4 hours. Pour the coquito into a pitcher or container and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours. If you would like to serve this immediately, we suggest serving it over ice. 
  5. Serve. Once chilled, serve in chilled glasses and enjoy!

Notes

  • Vegan evaporated milk: We made our own by boiling down plain, unsweetened, non-dairy milk. If you can access already-made vegan evaporated milk, opt for that instead.
  • Rum: Adjust the amount of rum to your liking! Start with ½ cup and add more as desired. Any type of rum such as white rum, spiced rum, and dark rum all work well. 
  • Storage: Transfer any leftover coquito to an airtight glass bottle, such as a mason jar, and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • Additional Sweetener: Most store-bought vegan condensed milk and cream of coconut are quite sweet, but if you find your coquito could use additional sugar, add additional sweetener to taste. We’d recommend using agave or a classic simple syrup over maple syrup to help keep the color of your beverage light! 
  • Prep Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Beverages
  • Method: Stovetop and Blender
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican

Keywords: coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, holiday

Meet The Bloggers

hey there! we’re jasmine & chris.

Hi, we’re Jasmine and Chris! We share fresh and fun recipes to show you that vegan cooking is easy, approachable and delicious. When we’re not blogging, you will probably find us enjoying live music, tending to our backyard garden or playing with our dogs Berry and Louie

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