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This vibrant Matcha Coquito Mocktail is a delicious dairy-free spin on the classic Puerto Rican drink, with a twist just in time for the holiday season.
This recipe was a reader request! Someone sent me a photo of a delicious matcha coquito they enjoyed, however it was neither vegan nor non-alcoholic, so I was inspired to create one that fit the bill. This version is creamy, sweet, and totally delicious (not to mention pretty!)
What is a Coquito?
A coquito is a rum-based Puerto Rican drink. It’s usually served for Christmas. It contains coconut and warming species like cinnamon and nutmeg, so it’s similar to eggnog. There are also various ways to make it. Some family recipes incorporate eggs, some are made thicker in texture. Traditionally however, coquito is made with both evaporated milk and sweetened with condensed milk so it does contain some dairy.
How to Make Coquito without Alcohol?
You can make alcohol-free coquito simply by skipping the rum. Or you can add an amazing non-alcoholic rum replacement for a more traditional flavour. I recommend Lyre’s brand of non-alcoholic rum. If you can get your hands on a rum alternative, I highly recommend it because it not only balances out the sweetness in the drink, but also adds lots of body to the flavour.
To start, I infused the non-alcoholic rum with cinnamon sticks, vanilla and raisins, as you would with traditional rum. Let it soak, remove the cinnamon stick and vanilla and once the remaining ingredients are blended, shake in the rum and raisin mixture to combine.
The traditional drink is very coconutty, so it is easily made vegan with a few modifications! Mainly, we’re replacing condensed milk and evaporated milk in order to make it dairy-free. I use sweetened coconut condensed milk and coconut cream. You get all the same richness without any dairy.
One distinct ingredient often used to coquito is cream of coconut. It is different from coconut cream or coconut milk. It’s a canned coconut based product that is sweetened, thicker in texture and usually contains fresh coconut meat. It can be difficult to find, so instead I included optional coconut meat as an addition to the recipe. Primarily it thickens up the drink but you can absolutely leave this ingredient out.
To prepare the base of the coquito drink, simply blend your coconut milk, coconut cream, condensed milk, fresh coconut meat and spices until smooth. To that mixture, we’ll then add the matcha.
How to Make Matcha Coquito
Coquito cocktails are loaded with warming spices. And while matcha is definitely not a traditional addition to coquito, the flavours pair really beautifully. The creamy and rich coconut balances out the grassy bitterness of matcha.
The matcha also cuts through this sweet drink and the spices warm it all up and make it taste like dessert. If you don’t like matcha, you can leave it out but it is really a delicious twist! I recommend blending it in with your coconut base mixture, then transferring into a jar to chill until ready to serve.
To serve, be sure to shake your mixture well. Separation is natural, and the mixture will be quite thick.
The fun part about this creamy mocktail is that you can add unique toppings. I like to garnish glasses of matcha coquito with rum infused raisins, shredded coconut, and a dusting of fresh matcha or nutmeg.
Infuse the rum with cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean and raisins. Let sit for about 1 hour. After infusing, remove cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean pod. If you are not using the rum alternative, please reference the recipe notes.
Blend matcha with your condensed milk, coconut cream, coconut milk, spices and coconut meat, if using, until smooth. Pour into a bottle or large jar along with your rum and raisin mixture and shake to combine.
Chill your mixture in the fridge until ready to serve. To serve, be sure to shake vigorously first.
For presentation, you can rim your glasses with shredded coconut, garnish with cinnamon sticks, an extra dusting of matcha and/or cinnamon.
Traditional coquito recipes call for cream of coconut, which is a thick, sweetened coconut cream with chunks of coconut meat in it. I opted to omit this ingredient as it is sweet enough with the addition of coconut condensed milk, but if you’d like to add coconut meat to replicate the thick texture, you can absolutely add that!
If you opt not to use a “rum” alternative, simply infuse your cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean and raisins into your coconut milk over low heat instead.
If you’d like to make this drink refined sugar free, remove the coconut condensed milk and instead sweeten with maple, to taste. Note that this will likely lighten up the texture of the drink.
Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.
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