Cheers, coquito season is here

Making the holiday drink reminds families of home

ORLANDO, Fla. – It’s coquito season and you might ask, what are we talking about? Coquito is a holiday drink traditionally enjoyed by the Puertorican community. In Spanish, it means little coconut.

“Since I remember, my grandmom makes the coquito. As soon as I learned about the coquito, I started doing it for my kids, for our family,” Abel Pérez, general manager for Pal Campo restaurant in Orlando.

The business is one of many Puerto Rican restaurants in Central Florida.

“What we want is to let them feel like they are in Puerto Rico. As you see we have the Old San Juan here, the Castillo del Morro. We try to let them feel that they are home,” Pérez said. “It’s something great for Christmas and the season.”

Pal Campo also specializes in making the traditional alcoholic beverage. Although it’s not exactly known who created the popular drink, it’s a recipe that’s been passed along generation after generation. Some people think of it as the Puertorican eggnog.

The main ingredients include a can of evaporated milk, cream of coconut, coconut milk, a spoonful of ground cinnamon, condensed milk and a cup of white rum. They are then placed in a large glass jar and then transferred to a blender for mixing.

Once it's ready to pour in a shot glass or a small glass for a few more ounces, the drink is topped off with a dash of ground cinnamon.

Coquito can also be made in different flavors including pistachio and nutella.

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