Dairy Free Coquito Ingredients 102265912

Spice Up the Holidays with Creamy Dairy-Free Coquito

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Updated on January 16, 2024

Reviewed by Ciaran Connolly

Any holiday gathering is incomplete without a creamy coquito, but your dairy sensitivity isn’t happy about the situation. Don’t worry, amigo! This isn’t your abuela’s coquito; it’s a dairy-free coquito revolution in a glass!

Say “hola” to a dairy-free coquito recipe that’s so smooth, creamy, and full of tropical sweetness that even lactose-intolerant people will scream for a sip. We’re talking coconut milk magic, rum-kissed (or not, if you’re on the team of no alcohol), and a spice symphony that’ll have your taste buds salsa-ing.

So grab your blender, crank up the merengue, and get ready to whip up a batch of dairy-free coquito with everyone asking for the recipe (and maybe even a second glass). This isn’t just a recipe; it’s a passport to a holiday season where everyone can join the fun, dairy or not. Now, let’s get this fiesta started!

What Is Dairy-Free Coquito?

A collection of dairy-free coquito ingredients arranged artistically on a rustic wooden table.
Dairy-free Coquito drink

Dairy-free coquito is a delicious and festive twist on the traditional Puerto Rican coquito, a creamy coconut-based beverage often enjoyed around the holidays. 

This version omits the dairy ingredients, making it suitable for those with lactose intolerance, vegan dietary restrictions, or simply those who prefer a plant-based option.

Dairy-Free Coquito Ingredients

Here are the key ingredients for making a delicious dairy-free coquito, along with some details and helpful tips:

Coconut Milk

The star of the show! Use full-fat coconut milk for the richest and creamiest texture. Look for brands in cans or cartons specifically labelled as “full-fat” or “for whipping.” Avoid light coconut milk, as it will result in a thinner coquito.

Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk

Adds sweetness and a condensed milk-like consistency. Choose a dairy-free brand like Nature’s Charm or So Delicious.

You can adjust the amount to your desired sweetness level. Start with half the can and add more to taste.

Cream of Coconut

Provides extra richness and a thicker texture. Look for brands like Coco Lopez or Trader Joe’s, which are naturally dairy-free.

You can use the entire can or just half, depending on how rich you want your coquito.

Spices

  • Ground cinnamon: Adds warmth and a classic coquito flavour. Start with 1/2 teaspoon and adjust to taste.
  • Nutmeg: A pinch of ground nutmeg adds complexity and depth of flavour.
  • Vanilla extract: Enhances the sweetness and adds a touch of vanilla aroma.

Rum (Optional)

Traditional coquito includes rum, but you can omit it for a non-alcoholic version.

If using rum, choose a white rum like Bacardi or Don Q for a lighter flavour or a dark rum for a richer taste. Start with 1 cup and add more to taste, keeping in mind the final alcohol content.

Additional Options

  • Unsweetened dairy-free milk: You can add some unsweetened almond, oat, or cashew milk to thin the coquito slightly and adjust the sweetness.
  • Soaked cashews: Blend in soaked cashews for an extra creamy texture and a boost of healthy fats. Soak 1/2 cup of raw cashews in hot water for at least 30 minutes before blending.
  • Pineapple juice: A splash of pineapple juice adds a tropical twist to the coquito.

Remember

  • Adjust the sweetness, spice level, and rum content to your liking.
  • Chill the coquito for at least a few hours before serving to allow the flavours to meld.
  • Garnish with cinnamon sticks, grated nutmeg, or a sprinkle of vegan whipped cream.

How to Make Dairy-Free Coquito

A beautifully decorated glass of dairy-free coquito with festive garnishes.
Easy to make a dairy-free Coquito drink

Get ready to whip up a batch of creamy, delicious, dairy-free coquito that’s perfect for any occasion! This festive drink is a delightful twist on the classic Puerto Rican holiday beverage and caters to everyone, regardless of dietary restrictions.

Ingredients

  • 1 can (14 oz) dairy-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (15 oz) cream of coconut 
  • 1 can (13.5 oz) full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups dark rum (optional)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk (optional, like almond milk, oat milk, or cashew milk)
  • Cinnamon sticks, grated nutmeg, or vegan whipped cream for garnish (optional)

Equipment

  • Blender
  • Pitcher or serving container
  • Spoon
  • Small saucepan (optional)

Instructions

  1. Gather your ingredients and equipment. Ensure you have everything within reach for a smooth blending process.
  2. Combine the creamy base. Pour the dairy-free sweetened condensed milk, cream of coconut, and full-fat coconut milk into your blender. Blend until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. You should have a luscious, thick mixture.
  3. Warm up the spices. (Optional) For an extra depth of flavour, you can infuse the spices. In a small saucepan, heat the cinnamon and nutmeg with a splash of water for a few minutes until fragrant. Strain the mixture and add it to the blender.
  4. Add rum and adjust sweetness. (Optional) If using rum, pour it into the blender and blend again. Now’s the time to taste your coquito. If it’s not sweet enough, add more dairy-free condensed milk to your liking.
  5. Thin the consistency. (Optional) Prefer a thinner coquito? Add 1/2 cup of unsweetened dairy-free milk at a time, blending until you reach your desired texture. Remember, you can always add more, but not take it away!
  6. Chill and let the flavours meld. This is where the magic happens! Transfer the coquito to a pitcher or serving container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight. Chilling allows the flavours to meld beautifully and the mixture to thicken further.
  7. Serve and garnish. Time to enjoy your creation! Give the coquito a good stir before serving, and pour it into glasses. Garnish with cinnamon sticks, grated nutmeg, or a dollop of vegan whipped cream for an extra festive touch.

Tips

  • Go full-fat for the win: Using full-fat coconut milk ensures the richest and creamiest texture.
  • Customise it to your taste: Adjust the sweetness, spice level, and rum content to your liking. Want a lighter touch? Opt for white rum instead of dark.

Storing and Serving Dairy-Free Coquito

Now that you’ve crafted your perfect batch of creamy, delicious, dairy-free coquito, it’s time to master the art of storing and serving it.

With these tips on storing and serving, your dairy-free coquito will be the star of the show, captivating taste buds and bringing festive cheer to your gatherings.

Storing

Here are a few things to keep in mind to store your dairy-free Coquinto:

  • Dairy-free coquito thrives in the fridge, staying fresh for up to 3 days. Store it in an airtight container or pitcher for optimal freshness.
  • Don’t fret if your coquito separates in the fridge. This is natural due to the different ingredients. Just give it a good stir before each serving to bring it back together.
  • You can freeze your coquito for longer storage, up to 2 months. Pour it into freezer-safe containers, leaving some headspace for expansion. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.

Serving

Let’s start the party and see how to serve our delish dairy-free coquito.:

  • Give your coquito at least 4 hours in the fridge to properly chill and let the flavours meld. The chilled coquito is thicker and more enjoyable.
  • Before serving, give the coquito a good shake to ensure everything is well combined.

Dress up your coquito for any occasion! Here are some serving ideas:

  • Classic elegance: Pour coquito into clear glasses and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
  • Festive flair: Rim your glasses with cinnamon sugar or grated nutmeg for extra holiday cheer.
  • Tropical twist: Garnish with a pineapple wedge or a cherry for a touch of the tropics.
  • Creamy indulgence: Top your coquito with a dollop of vegan whipped cream for a decadent treat.
  • Ice or no ice: This is up to your preference. The chilled coquito is refreshing on its own, but you can add ice cubes for a colder drink.

Bonus tip: Remember, leftovers can be repurposed! Use leftover coquito to make delicious pancakes, waffles, or French toast. You can also blend it into smoothies for a creamy, festive boost.

Unwrap the Delights of Dairy-Free Coquito

Coquito
Dairy-free coquito

Finally, Try this dairy-free coquito recipe for a delicious and creamy alternative to traditional eggnog. With coconut-based ingredients like cream of coconut and sweetened condensed coconut milk, this festive Puerto Rican holiday drink is perfect for those with lactose intolerance or who are avoiding dairy products.

Customise it with your favourite spices and enjoy the holiday season with a glass of homemade dairy-free coquito in hand!

FAQs

Can I use any coconut milk for a dairy-free coquito?

Yes, you can use either canned or boxed coconut milk for a dairy-free coquito. Just make sure to choose unsweetened or sweetened according to your preference.

Are there any alternatives to rum in the recipe?

If you prefer not to use alcohol in your dairy-free coquito recipe, you can simply omit it or replace it with a non-alcoholic alternative such as rum or vanilla extract for flavour.

How long does a homemade dairy-free coquito last?

When stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, homemade dairy-free coquito can last up to 5-7 days. Shake well before serving if separation occurs.

What’s the difference between a dairy-free coquito and the classic version?

Traditional coquitos rely on dairy ingredients like evaporated milk and heavy cream. The dairy-free version swaps these for plant-based alternatives like coconut milk and cream of coconut, achieving similar richness and texture without the lactose.

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