This Candy Cane Coquito is my “Holiday Season” rendition on the classic coquito recipe. The original cocktail typically includes sweetened condensed milk, cream of coconut, and rum. And since the coquito originated in the Caribbean, it’s no wonder that the drink usually includes spices such as cinnamon, clove, and star anise.
I decided to add El Guapo Candy Cane Syrup to the recipe for peppermint-driven holiday twist. And while the coquito tends to lean on the super-sweet side, I felt the need to tone down the sweetness by adding a few bitter elements to the recipe. I've included instructions for making your own candy cane sugar, which you can use to rim the glasses if you want. Tie on a little scarf to each stem and you've got yourself one entertaining holiday cocktail.
24 ounces oat milk
18 ounces Caribbean rum
12 ounces heavy cream
9 ounces agave nectar
8 ounces El Guapo Candy Cane syrup
3 ounces Campari
24 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
24 dashes Angostura “Cocoa” Bitters
2 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Steps to Make It
Gather the Ingredients.
Optional step: garnish the glasses. Rim each glass with candy cane sugar (see instructions for making below) and tie a miniature scarf around each stem. Keep glasses chilled in the freezer.
Combine all the ingredients into a large pitcher. Stir gently for 3 minutes.
Pour into prepared glasses and serve cold, without ice.
- Peychaud’s bitters are pretty much the same as Creole bitters. They both have star anise flavor, and a deep red color, which contributes greatly to the pink outcome of the cocktail.
- In case you have trouble locating Angostura “Cocoa” Bitters, you can substitute with any bitters that have a chocolate flavor.
- El Guapo Candy Cane syrup can easily be found online. But the best substitute is Rumpleminze Peppermint Liqueur.
- You can use any non-dairy milk to balance out the richness from the heavy cream.
- If lactose intolerant, just use more non-dairy milk instead of heavy cream.
- Ten to One Light Rum is best for this recipe.
How to make Candy Cane Sugar
- Take 5 miniature candy canes and break them into smaller pieces.
- Put everything into a spice grinder or miniature coffee grinder.
- Grind candy cane pieces until they become a powder, about 10-15 seconds.
- Pour the powder into a small bowl.
- Add an equal amount of white sugar to the powder and stir until both are mixed together.
How to Store
Be sure to refrigerate in a tightly-sealed container or pitcher (use plastic wrap, if possible). Try not to store for more than 2 weeks. Always stir before serving.
If you need to store for longe you can keep it in a freezer for up to a month. Fit a freezer bag inside a large measuring cup or pitcher and pour in the punch. Seal tightly, remove from the cup or pitcher, and place inside a second bag, then place in the freezer. Allow to thaw in a refrigerator for 24 hours before serving.
Make It a Gift
This cocktail also makes for a fun gift. Use a funnel to pour the punch into a clean bottle, seal well, and tie on a colorful ribbon with a candy cane. Attach a note reminding the recipient to keep it refrigerated.
Non-Alcoholic Candy Cane Coquito
If you would like to make a non-alcoholic version of this cocktail, follow the same recipe but make the following adjustments:
- Replace Peychaud’s bitters with non-alcoholic Creole bitters.
- Replace Angostura Cocoa bitters with Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters.
- Replace Campari with Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters.
- Replace light rum with Lyre’s White Cane Non-alcoholic spirit.
How Strong Is a Candy Cane Coquito?
Some rum is 80-proof, and others are over-proof. So, depending on the alcohol percentage of the rum you choose, this cocktail should be between 8-10% alcohol by volume.