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MRD Coquito for the Holidays

Every year as we approach the holidays, we like to offer a traditional holiday beverage like a tried-and-true classic eggnog. This year, in addition to making eggnog, our Burlington Tasting Room bartender Gragen Cook brought us another delicious sipper inspired by his travels to Puerto Rico—a Coquito!

If you’ve never heard of a Coquito before, it’s a rum cocktail served around the holidays in Puerto Rico. Traditionally, it is made with condensed milk, sweetened coconut cream, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and white rum. You can see how it has similarities to eggnog, which is traditionally made with rum, milk, cream, sugar and egg. The Coquito is like a tropical cousin to eggnog.

In making a Mad River Distillers version of the Coquito, Gragen wanted to try a riff that was vegan (no eggs required!), and also bring more emphasis to the coconut flavor of this holiday beverage. Made with an infusion of our Rum 44, the recipe below will yield 3.5-750ml bottles, which will offer 20-22 servings, making this a great recipe to serve a holiday crowd.

To make an MRD Coquito from home, follow along with the instructions below:

MRD Coquito
Ingredients - Yields 20-22 Servings:
- 1-750ml bottle of Rum 44
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 8 oz. of mixed raisins
- 1-15 oz. can of Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut
- 1-14 oz. can of unsweetened coconut cream
- 1-11.25 oz. of sweetened condensed coconut milk
- 1-48 oz. bottle of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp. Nutmeg
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon
- ½ tsp. Vanilla

To make the Rum 44 infusion:
1. Add the raisins and cinnamon sticks to a 750ml bottle of Rum 44. Allow the raisins and cinnamon sticks to infuse overnight, shaking a few times.
2. After a day, strain the raisins and cinnamon sticks from the Rum 44. Set the raisins aside to be used as a garnish later.

To make the cocktail:
1. Combine the Coco Lopez cream of coconut, unsweetened coconut cream, sweetened condensed coconut milk, unsweetened almond milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined.
2. Combine the cream mixture with the Rum 44 infusion to make the Coquito. 
3. To make one cocktail, add 4 oz. of Coquito and ice to a shaker, and shake for 10-15 seconds.
4. Double train into your favorite holiday glass.
5. Grate fresh nutmeg on top.
6. Add 5 rum-soaked raisins to a cocktail pick, then rest over the glass as a garnish, and enjoy!

There you have it! A tropical alternative to eggnog that uses no eggs at all, and can easily serve a large group. If you don’t serve all the Coquito immediately, keep it refrigerated, and consume within 30 days. Be sure to visit our purchase page or stop by our Burlington Tasting Room to get a bottle of Rum 44 for this tasty holiday riff. Cheers!

Recipe by Gragen Cook for Mad River Distillers. Written and published by Brianne Lucas on December 10, 2023.

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