The holidays on St. Croix aren’t complete without an ice-cold glass of coquito! Smooth & creamy, this coconut based alcoholic beverage is the perfect combination of ingredients that include coconut, milk, spices like nutmeg and cinnamon and of course, rum – more specifically Cruzan Rum. It is often described as Puerto Rican eggnog since it originated in the neighboring island. The U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have had a longstanding connection since 1917, the year when many Puerto Rican descendants migrated to the territory. As the largest number of migrants in the USVI, we have a one-of-a-kind cultural link between the islands that have produced several shared traditions like drinking copious amounts of coquito during the festive holiday season.

The fervent love of coquito by the Crucian people came to the forefront in 2007 when St. Croix held its first ever Coquito Festival. Hosted by La Reine Chicken Shack, the finest coquito makers would compete for a grand prize and bragging rights for best coquito on island. This is where attendees would see coquito of all flavors ranging from original to pistachio, chocolate and strawberry. Due to the ongoing strains of the global pandemic, the festival has been on pause since 2020 but that doesn’t stop the coquito from flowing! Across the island, you will find coquito for sale at local supermarkets, roadside vendors and at popup sales hosted by well-known coquito connoisseurs.

Not able to make it to St. Croix for the holidays to get a taste of coquito? Not to worry! Here we’ve shared a tried-and-true coquito recipe you can try at home. Feel free to omit the alcohol for a delicious nonalcoholic option. Enjoy!

Coquito Recipe
(Makes 8-12 servings)

1-12oz can evaporated milk
1-15oz can sweetened cream of coconut (Coco
Lopez is what we use in St. Croix)
1-14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1-15oz can coconut milk
1.5-2 cups of Cruzan Light Rum (or any other rum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions: Combine all the milks in a large blender
and blend until completely combined. Add the rum,
vanilla and ground cinnamon to the mixture and blend
together. Pour into glass bottles with sealed lids and
cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before

Article written by Anquanette Gaspard ( for Coldwell Banker, St. Croix Realty

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