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Puerto Rican pistachio eggnog will be your new boozy holiday favorite

Alejandra Ramos is a bilingual lifestyle expert, food blogger, writer, and chef who is passionate about sharing original from-scratch recipes, tips and creative entertaining ideas that inspire readers to have fun in the kitchen, and crea...

Try this pistachio coquito for a twist on the traditional Puerto Rican rum-coconut eggnog

Rich, creamy coconut milk, nutty pistachios and a kick of rum are the secret ingredients in this festive Puerto Rican coquito recipe. The coquito's creamy lusciousness will have you saying adios to eggnog and hola to this perfect holiday dessert cocktail with a twist.

Try this pistachio coquito for a twist on the traditional Puerto Rican rum-coconut eggnog

When you grow up in a Puerto Rican family, coquito is a staple at all your holiday parties. The creamy rum and coconut drink is essentially our version of eggnog, usually served very cold in small glasses with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon on top. Among Puerto Ricans, it's also a popular homemade Christmas gift — the perfect thing to give to neighbors and co-workers to celebrate the season.

More: 12 Days of Christmas cocktails

Like with most traditions, there are as many variations of coquito recipes as there are families who serve them, and each cook will adamantly insist that her way is definitely the best way.

I've never been much of a purist, seeing just as much value in all the versions as long as they're delicious! In my own kitchen, I've always preferred to add my spin to recipes, and coquito is no exception. While I definitely enjoy a glass of the classic coconut version, I also think it's a perfect recipe to play around with and create something new.

Like this pistachio coquito!

Pistachio coquito

The secret ingredient here is pistachio paste — a thick, peanut butter-like spread made with pistachios and sugar. You can easily find it online or at well-stocked supermarkets like Whole Foods. (The brand Love'n Bake is the best one I've tried so far, but there are a few brands that sell it.)

More: Healthier eggnog you can enjoy without the guilt

Pureed with the more typical coquito ingredients of coconut milk, condensed milk and rum, the final drink is sweet, nutty and slightly reminiscent of melted pistachio ice cream. A tiny bit of almond extract helps enhance the pistachio flavor, making it even more intoxicating.

Try this pistachio coquito for a twist on the traditional Puerto Rican rum-coconut eggnog

With 2 full cups of rum, this recipe definitely packs a punch, but keep in mind that it's meant to be shared with many friends and enjoyed in small portions. If you'd like, you can easily adjust the alcohol content by substituting part of the rum with more coconut milk.

Feel free to play around with the recipe and really make it your own. Coquito just might become one of your new favorite holiday traditions.

Pistachio coquito recipe

Fans of pistachio-flavored desserts will adore this creamy and nutty eggnog alternative. A twist on the popular Puerto Rican Christmas drink — coquito — this version of the rum-based cocktail is made with a blend of coconut milk and real pistachio paste.

Serves 12-14

Prep time: 5 minutes | Inactive time: 3 hours | Total time: 3 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-1/2 cups pistachio paste
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 drops green food coloring (optional)
  • 2 cups white Puerto Rican rum
  • Ground cinnamon or nutmeg, for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a blender, combine the coconut milk, condensed milk, evaporated milk, pistachio paste, almond extract, salt and food coloring (if using), and puree for 2 minutes until very smooth. (If you have a small blender, do this in batches, and whisk together at the end.)
  2. Transfer to a large bowl or pitcher, and whisk in the rum for 1 minute, until frothy and evenly combined.
  3. Divide into glass bottles, cover, and chill for at least 3 hours or until cold.
  4. Shake before serving, and garnish with ground cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired.
  5. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

More: White Christmas sangria is the most delicious way to celebrate

Originally published December 2014. Updated December 2016.

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