Dairy Free Coquitos With Alisa

In this mini episode of Drinking Sensei I am joined by my housemate and friend Alisa. This podcast started as something to do to keep my spirits lifted while drinking during this crazy pandemic. Something else I decided to do, since I wasn’t already stressed enough, was move into a new apartment. Moving may have been hard and the worst idea at the time, but it allowed me the opportunity to meet Alisa and learn more about her dairy free lifestyle. Since we live in the same house (different apartments) we have spent considerable time together eating, drinking and kayaking the shores of east Oahu. I’m so thankful for her and her husband Tony for our late night chats, drinks, and often them feeding me dinner! One afternoon while kayaking, Alisa asked me if I’d ever thought about doing any mini episodes, maybe ones where I would taste test something and talk about it to my listeners. That started the wheels turning in my head for update mini episodes and holiday inspired cocktail minis. I had also asked Alisa if she’d ever made any dairy free cocktails and a few days later she came to me with the idea of trying a Coquito. “Little coconut” is what Coquito means in Spanish and it definitely tastes like a little coconut! This Puerto Rican holiday drink has many variations but is often made with coconut milk, dark spiced rum (I used Koloa Dark Rum, YUM!), sweetened condensed milk, cream of coconut (was told to ONLY use Coco Lopez), coconut milk, evaporated milk (since it was only a bit, I used almond milk), ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon and vanilla extract. There are many people that argue that eggs should be added to this as well, but an equal amount say that eggs are a no go. We decided not to include eggs in our recipes. While I was making the dairy version of this drink Alisa was working on her own non-dairy version for me to try.

The ingredients I used. Recipe adapted from The Novice Chef Recipe

While Alisa adapted her dairy free recipe from this recipe found on The Novice Chef I did the same but changed things a bit. For my recipe I didn’t use evaporated milk, but instead switched it our for almond milk which I would probably use up as opposed to evaporated milk which I never use. We both used Koloa Kaua`i Rum and decided it was the best that we could have used. I’ve been trying to buy local spirits and this is one that’s an easy choice. I usually never use an entire bottle of liquor very quickly, but this one is empty after just a few short weeks. I’ve decided my next trip to Kaua`i will include a trip to their tasting room in Lihue.

Koloa Dark Rum (Photo by Koloa Rum Company)

Alisa adapted hers with her own dairy free evaporated milk recipe and a few other tweaks to ensure the taste would be similar to the standard cocktail. Check out Alisa’s dairy free version here. For my recipe adapted a bit from The Novice Chef, see below.

  • 1 1/2 cups dark rum
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (15 oz) can cream of coconut (Coco Lopez)
  • 1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
  • 4 oz Almond Milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

I’m not a mixologist, so I just threw all of this in the blender, which was almost completely full and hit the on button. Some of it ended up on the counter since it was practically overflowing before I blended it, but I still got quite a bit of product. The original recipe calls for nutmeg, but I didn’t have any so it didn’t end up in the drink. If I make this again, I’ll try to find some and see if I like it better with the spice added. The recipe indicates that once mixed it’s good in the fridge for close to a month. I found that it separates a bit after a while and if you know you’re going to keep it for longer periods of time it’s best to add the alcohol once you’re ready to drink it so it doesn’t run the risk of curdling. All in all this was a fantastic drink. I found myself craving it during the day and had it three nights in a row as a dessert after dinner. Alisa used it to make ice cream and said it was even more delicious that way. I’m down to try it, cause really….who doesn’t love a boozy ice cream.

Check us out on this week’s mini episode and don’t forget to rate and subscribe!