Coquito is an alcoholic drink that’s a holiday season favorite among many Latine communities. The spiked coconut eggnog drink is originally a Puerto Rican tradition but has permeated its way into mainstream culture. Many drinkers will have to either make a few homemade bottles for themselves or order it from someone they know and trust since the drink hasn’t quite hit mass-market shelves just yet. Moreover, making the alcoholic drink can be quite the task depending on the availability of ingredients and if you have time on your hands to make it. Because of this, it’s great to have options.
While many will have coquito ready for Nochebuena and New Year’s Eve, there are some folks out there who are looking for something a bit different this season—and there’s a myriad of alcoholic choices from across Latin America. From sweet and spicy to tart and tangy, here’s a list of eight Latine-owned liquor brands that will hold you down this season and are perfect to turn up to at all holiday parties and get-togethers. But don’t worry, we didn’t forget to include a coquito option for those loyal to the drink.
Cas Rum Beverages
In a world where the alcohol market is oversaturated with celebrity-endorsed/owned liquor brands, Cas Rum Beverages is a surprising non-celebrity crafted gem in the making. Cas Rum Beverages is a woman-owned bottled rum cocktail company that features three signature Belizean-style cocktails: rum punch, rum sorrel, and rum popo. The rum popo looks similar to coquito since it is also a spiked egg nog, but has its own appeal and uniqueness.
All the cocktails are made with Belizean overproof rum and are made by founder Andrea K. Castillo in Brooklyn. According to Castillo, “the goal of the company is to share her culture, one glass at a time.” She wants to showcase what delightfully tasty concoctions her tiny country has to offer and it is definitely something to bring home for the holidays.
Coconut Cartel Special Rum
Ever had a smooth Añejo rum from Guatemala? If not, this is your chance. Coconut Cartel Añejo Rum is the perfect traguito to sip with your tío. This rum is not your run-of-the-mill coconut rum. Instead, it’s a supremely smooth rum that is splashed with freshly harvested coconut water and aged up to 12 years in white oak barrels. Their distillery in Guatemala grows and presses their very own sugarcane, which is then fermented and distilled.
A special breed of regionally grown coconuts is used in making the rum, loaded with electrolytes and minerals which lend themselves to a slightly nutty, sweet, and salty flavor. Coconut Cartel suggests drinking this 80 proof rum neat or over the rocks. Definitely too special to use for mixed drinks.
Clase Azul Reposado Tequila
Looking for a holiday gift that tastes complex in flavor but also doubles as a chic work of art? Then look no further than Clase Azul Reposado Tequila. The gorgeous handmade decanters are crafted by local artisans and are painted individually, which means no two bottles are exactly the same. Clase Azul harvests the finest blue agave plants and uses a unique distillation process that creates the tequila’s flavors of vanilla, cinnamon, hazelnut, and cloves.
The brand has several varieties of tequila that range in depth of flavor, aging, and location of where the agave plants are harvested from. Clase Azul harvests from different states of Mexico to create different taste profiles based on the geography of the agave plant. This sophisticated spirit is perfect to create the right cocktail or to be indulged by itself.
Pitorro by Port Morris Distillery
If you’re ready to have a lit December, then look no further than drinking Pitorro by Port Morris Distillery. Pitorro is Puerto Rican moonshine that is a well-hidden secret on the island and has come stateside via the South Bronx in New York City. The family-run distillery uses a passed-down recipe that features a mash of New York state apples, honey, and brown sugar, which creates a bold-tasting 92 proof alcohol.
Port Morris Distillery also creates several varieties of pitorro, including pitorro parcha, pitorro honey, and a pitorro coquito flavor that is blended with coconut juice and cinnamon and can be used to make coquito at home. Pitorro is usually only drunk on special occasions like big milestone celebrations and holidays like Días de Reyes.
Novo Fogo Caipirinha Kit
If you want to pretend that you’re on a beach somewhere in Brazil then Novo Fogo Caipirinha Kit will be your go-to this holiday season. Caipirinha (ky-pee-ree-nya) is Brazil’s national cocktail and there is no doubt why. The drink is a delicious combo of cachaça alcohol, fresh lime juice, and sugar muddled together.
Novo Fogo’s distillery is in the heart of Brazil’s coastal rainforest, which is said to be tasted in its 80 proof alcohol. The kit comes with a 750 ml bottle of cachaça, a muddler, and two mason jars for shaking and drinking. All you have to do is bring the lime and sugar to the party and you’ll become an expert Caipirinha maker in no time.
For Peruvians and Chileans alike, pisco is life—and it’s totally understandable to see why. The South American brandy is clear in color and used to make the delicious cocktail pisco sour. Peruvian brand pisco Logia not only makes pisco, but it makes top-tier award-winning pisco from estate-grown grapes. Owner and distiller Natalina Gordillo was named Female Craft Distiller of 2021 by Craft Spirits.
Pisco Logia has a very distinctive way of making their alcohol. The best grapes are harvested by hand then crushed by foot and distilled into small batches. Their pisco has notes of honey, orange blossom, and pecans. If you’re looking for something a bit different to imbibe, then Pisco Logia’s pisco is the perfect drink.
Dragos Cantina Margaritas
If you can’t be bothered buying ingredients to make a mixed cocktail, then Dragos Cantina has you covered. The brand has four ready-to-drink margarita mixes that come in perfect spout pour boxes. The woman-owned company harvests agave plants straight from Jalisco for their own blend of tequila and mix it with delicious fruits and natural flavors. Dragos Cantina’s tagline “#TheUnboringCocktail” is a no-brainer when it comes to their mixes. The genius blends are Smoked Blood Orange and Grapefruit, Cucumber Jalapeño, Pineapple Coconut, and Strawberry Basil.
Each box comes with a different container of rimming salts like black volcanic salt, chili lime salt, or jalapeño salt. They come in a colorful, transportable box of margarita ready to be poured and enjoyed. With so many different options to choose from, you can easily be the life of the party if you bring these margaritas.
If you can’t spend your holidays without the heavenly spiced creaminess of coquito then grab a bottle or two from Brooklyn Coquito. The brand’s cheeky “Got Coquito?” slogan asks the question that we want answers to. Brooklyn Coquito has been serving the drink since 2012 and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. They have been providing the same consistent delicious recipe year after year and customers cannot get enough of it. Bottles can be shipped, locally delivered, or picked up from their headquarters.
One particular item that the company has covered is a vegan version of its signature drink. Having an inclusive non-dairy option is a huge win for vegans. This version is prepared with almond milk and can be the solution for that family member who has just adopted a new plant-based lifestyle. So if you’re in the mood for coquito, get your bottle order in now.