Coquito vs Eggnog: Festive Showdown of Holiday Drinks

Last Updated on November 27, 2023 by Lydia Martin

As the holiday season approaches, you’re probably thinking about the perfect festive drink to make the season more joyful. While Eggnog reigns as the classic Christmas beverage, a tropical contender is stealing the spotlight – Coquito.

With its creamy coconut charm, Puerto Rican Coquito provides a delightful alternative. But how does it really stack up against the traditional Eggnog drink?

So, I did a detailed Coquito vs Eggnog comparison, exploring their unique qualities and differences to determine which can elevate holiday celebrations with a sip of something extraordinary!

Eggnog & Coquito Quick Comparison

Bottle of Coquito and a Glass

Coquito, a creamy Puerto Rican drink, and Eggnog, a classic holiday favorite, each deliver a unique twist to any holiday party.

Coquito, often called Puerto Rican Eggnog (or the Puerto Rican version), is a tropical drink brimming with coconut milk, rum, and warming spices.

I find Coquito recipes lighter, with a distinct coconut flavor, a hint of rum, and a smooth, velvety texture, a perfect pairing with food dishes like Chai Crème Brûlée and cinnamon cookies.

“Holiday spirits rise with every glass of Coquito and Eggnog, festive favorites for merry moments.” – Liquor Laboratory

On the other hand, traditional Eggnog, with its roots in medieval Britain, is a dairy-based drink with a rich blend of raw eggs, milk or cream, sugar, and spices.

Spiked Eggnog usually contains liquor, mostly bourbon or rum. Eggnog recipes are thicker and creamier, with a custard-like flavor and distinct eggy richness.

It is perfect alongside meals like tapioca, cornbread, and pecan pie, among others.

Eggnog vs Coquito Comparison Table

Aspect Coquito Eggnog
Origin Puerto Rico Medieval Britain
Base Coconut milk Milk or cream and eggs
Flavorings Cinnamon and vanilla extract Ground nutmeg, cinnamon stick
Texture Light and creamy Thick and custard-like
Alcohol Rum (optional) Bourbon, rum, or brandy
Cultural Use Christmas and New Year Christmas and winter
Availability Seasonal (tropical regions) Seasonal (globally)
Star Rating 5/5 4/5

Key Differences


Coquito’s history is intertwined with the tropical climate and culture of Puerto Rico, gaining popularity as a holiday staple in Caribbean homes, especially for Spanish and Puerto Ricans.

As you may know, Coquito means “little coconut” in Spanish.

Eggnog, however, has its roots in medieval Europe, where it was a symbol of wealth and prosperity, later becoming a holiday tradition in the Americas.

Ease Of Preparation

A Coquito beverage is relatively more straightforward to prepare, with no cooking required – just blend and chill.

On the other hand, Eggnog often involves a more meticulous process, where you must cook the egg whites and yolks alongside other ingredients. Cooking is needed to ensure the right consistency.

Recipe Twists

Coquito allows for more tropical twists, like adding different rums or even coconut cream.

Aside from that, it can be flavored with other ingredients like fruit or chocolate, making it seem like a boozy Horchata, a drink made with rice and nuts.

Eggnog recipes vary in terms of the type of alcohol and spices used, and some modern versions even omit eggs for a lighter texture.


Two Glasses of Coquito

Egg vs Coconut Milk

The main distinction between these two drinks lies in their base: Coquito uses milk (coconut) for its tropical flavor, while Eggnog is based on eggs, providing a decadent drinking experience with a custard-like taste.

Types Of Milk

A Coquito recipe traditionally involves evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk along with coconut milk, while Eggnog relies on whole milk or cream.

Sugar Content

Both drinks are sweet and perfect for the holidays, but Coquito’s mix with condensed milk often makes it sweeter than an Eggnog recipe typically sweetened with sugar.

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For an extra flavor, Coquito usually incorporates ground cinnamon (or cinnamon stick) and vanilla, whereas Eggnog typically uses nutmeg, sometimes complemented by cinnamon.

Mind you – there are many variations of Nog, so the combination of spices may vary, as well as the ingredients.


Coquito is typically made with rum (e.g., Jamaican rum), reflecting its Caribbean origin [1]. Conversely, Eggnog drinks can be made with bourbon, brandy, or rum, suggesting a more comprehensive range of taste profiles.

Temperature & Acid

Coquito is always served cold (chilled in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight), while Eggnog [2] can be enjoyed both cold (stored in the fridge) and warm.

“Coquito was an instant ice breaker. I made multiple friends that day, and I was walking into the party with this thing that was really special to me.” – Alejandra Ramos, Television Presenter

Eggnog’s use of egg also introduces a slight acidity not present in a Coquito recipe.

Do They Have Similarities?

Eggnog on a Glass with Cinnamon Powder on Top

Coquito and Eggnog share a similarity; both are creamy, sweet, and spiced, embodying the spirit of the holiday season. Each recipe is festive, comforting, and perfect for sipping around the fireplace.

They both use milk; however, the type of milk differs since Coquito drinks combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and coconut milk, while Eggnog uses milk or cream.

Additionally, these drinks have added flavors from cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, often mixed with booze, mainly rum.


Is Coquito healthier than Eggnog?

Coquito can be a slightly healthier option than Eggnog due to the absence of eggs. But still, it’s a calorie-rich drink due to the use of coconut milk and condensed milk.

Looking at their health differences, each drink has an edge, so the choice depends on your preference and health condition.

Which has more calories, Eggnog or Coquito?

Eggnog has more calories due to its heavy cream and egg yolks. Coquito, though also rich, might have slightly fewer calories.

While coconut milk is its natural sweetener, once the sweetened condensed milk is added, the calories may go higher since it contains more sugar.

Final Thoughts

After my detailed comparison, I’d lean towards Coquito if I had to choose one. Its unique coconut flavor, ease of preparation, and tropical twist give it a slight edge over the traditional Nog.

Whether lounging on a beach or cuddling up in a snow-laden cabin, Coquito will surely bring a touch of Puerto Rican sunshine during the holidays, making it a gift in a glass!



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here or feel free to give Lydia a tip.

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