Holiday Caribbean Cocktails: Try a Coquito or Mamajuana with Chinola

If you can’t bask in the Caribbean sun this season, the next best thing is a cocktail that will transport you there through the region’s flavors. These two delicious and authentic Caribbean holiday drinks hail from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic respectively and are a delicious way to celebrate the holidays and ring in 2024, whether you’re creating a new tradition or upholding a well-established one.

National Coquito Day is December 21st (put it on your calendar), but this official holiday drink from Puerto Rico – truly La Isla del Encanto – is served the entire holiday season. Families often have their own variation of Coquito, which means “little coconut,” and will keep their recipe very close to the vest, but below are a variety of recipes that range from more authentic to unique twists made with – of course – Don Q, Puerto Rico’s most popular rum. Their rums are crafted by two female Master Blenders, one of which is Silvia Santiago, Puerto Rico’s first Maestra Ronera.

Another common holiday drink in the Caribbean in the Dominican Republic is the Mamajuana, which is created with rum, red wine, and honey. The mixture soaks with tree bark and herbs until it’s delectable. Below is a simple three ingredient recipe made with Chinola Passion Fruit Liqueur from the Dominican Republic. Chinola (chee-noh-lah), has six passion fruits in each bottle and contains no artificial flavors, highlighting the natural and sweet and tangy balance of this sacred and thoroughly flavorful fruit.

Here are some recipes to inspire conviviality this season:

For the Trailblazer

Doña Silvia’s Coquito – Created by Silvia Santiago, Maestra Ronera Don Q Rum


1 ½ cup Don Q Reserva 7 Rum

1 cup of coconut milk or ½ cup of coconut cream

4 egg yolks

½ cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 can (8 oz) of evaporated milk

1 can (8 oz) of condensed milk

½ cup Cinnamon Syrup*

Instructions: Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

*Cinnamon Syrup Recipe: Boil 1½ cup of water with 12 cinnamon sticks, and 3 lemon peels, and let cool. Then take the cooled water and ½ cup of water and pour into the blender. Blend until all ingredients are mixed well.

Glass: Rocks glass / Servings: 6-8


For the Traditionalist

La Factoria’s Coquito – Served at La Factoria, San Juan Puerto Rico, North America’s 50 World’s Best Bars


6 oz Don Q Cristal Rum

4 oz Don Q Reserva 7 Rum

14 oz Sweetened?Condensed Milk

12 oz Evaporated Milk

8.5 oz Cream of Coconut

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

.25 oz Ground Nutmeg

Instructions: Mix all ingredients well (using a blender always helps). Pour into an empty bottle and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours before serving. Shake well and serve cold in a small glass. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

Glass: Coupe glass / Servings: 6-8


For the Disruptor

Gingerbread Coquito – Created by Josue Gonzalez, Unfiltered Hospitality in Miami, FL


5 oz Don Q Oak Barrel Spiced Rum

5 oz Don Q Coco Rum

5 oz Don Q 151 Rum

2.5 oz Creme De Cacao

2.5 oz Licor 43

5 oz Cinnamon Syrup*

15 oz Coco Lopez

15 oz Heavy Cream

2.5 oz Ginger Juice

20 oz Water

Pinch of Sea Salt to taste

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a large container to incorporate and mix properly. Bottle and store in a cool place. Serve over crushed Ice. Garnish with mint sprig, torched cinnamon stick, grated nutmeg, candied ginger, and gingerbread man cookie.

*Cinnamon Syrup: Prepare a simple syrup using 1 qt water, 1 qt sugar, and 8 cinnamon sticks. Strain out the cinnamon.

Glass: Footed Pilsner / Servings: 6


For the Hostess with the Mostess

Tis’ the Reason to Coquito – Created by Tiffanie Barriere, Atlanta, GA


12 large eggs

1 lb. sugar

1 teaspoon fresh nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

14 oz. coconut cream

14 oz. condensed milk

8 oz. Don Q Spiced

8 oz. Don Q Gold

2 oz. Green Chartreuse

2 oz. rich vanilla syrup

Instructions: Crack eggs inside of the bowl and add sugar. Beat eggs with sugar until sugar dissolves. Pour crème slowly while whisking to prevent curdling. Add rum and chartreuse and stir until the liquid turns light brown. Do not cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator for no less than 3 hours. In a separate bowl, whisk 2 egg whites until whipped into a meringue and set aside and chilled for service. Serve in your favorite glass using a ladle.

Garnish: 1 bar spoon of merengue and nutmeg

Glass: Stemmed glass / Serves: 8-12


For the Holiday Trendsetter

Mamajuana Old Passioned


1 oz Chinola Passion Fruit Liqueur

1 oz Candela Mamajuana Spiced Rum

2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Preparation: Combine Chinola, Candela Mamajuana Spiced Rum and bitters in a glass with ice and stir. Strain over fresh ice into rocks glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Suggested Glass: Rock Glass / Serving: 1