The Bacardi family has been making rum since 1803.
The company’s founder was Don Facundo Bacardí Massó y de la O (or “Bacardí Masso” as he became known), an immigrant from Cuba who settled in Puerto Rico where he established his first distillery on San Juan Bay.
He later moved to Santurce in the municipality of Carolina, which is now home to one of his descendants’ companies.
It wasn’t until after Prohibition ended that the company started selling its products outside of the Caribbean island.
Today, Bacardi operates more than 200 brands around the world, including Havana Club and Ron Abuelita.
In addition to being sold at bars throughout the United States, Bacardi-branded spirits and liqueurs have also become staples in many international markets.
One of those is the Philippines, where it’s often referred to simply as “coquito.”
While this festive cocktail is traditionally served during Christmas time, it’s just as delicious any day of the year—and we bet you’ll find yourself drinking it all year long!
To learn how to mix up your own Bacardi Coquito, keep reading below.
What Is The Origin Of The Bacardi Coquito Recipe?
According to legend, the Bacardi Coquito was created by Don Facundo Bacardí Masso himself, when he married María del Carmen García González, daughter of a wealthy landowner whose estate included the town of Rincón de los Sauces, located near present-day Carolina, Puerto Rico.
After they were wed, Facundo bought a small bar called La Piedra de Oro, or “the Golden Rock,” and began serving patrons drinks like el coco (“coconut”) and guayabera (“guava juice”).
While these two drinks were popular at the time, the Bacardi Coquito didn’t exist yet.
That would happen years later, following Facundo’s death in 1902.
After Facundo passed away, his wife took over the business and continued to serve her husband’s original recipes.
By the 1930s, she had begun adding sugar to the coconut and guava juices to create a sweet beverage.
From there, she added other flavors like lemon, orange, pineapple, and coffee.
She eventually decided to call the concoction “Coquetito,” meaning “little quencher” in Spanish.
This name stuck and the Bacardi Coquito was born.
In 1941, Bacardi introduced another variation on the classic Coquito: a version using coconut cream instead of coconut water.
Since then, both versions have remained popular among locals and tourists alike.
Today, Bacardi offers several variations on their iconic holiday cocktail, including fruit flavorings such as grapefruit and kiwi.
You can even request a special bottle of Bacardi Rum in honor of someone special in your life.
How Did The Recipe Come To Be?
Like many rum-based drinks, the Bacardi Coquito originally came about through experimentation.
Back in the early 1900s, Americans weren’t familiar with the taste of local fruits used in tropical beverages.
So, rather than add fresh citrus to the drinks, bartenders opted to use canned oranges and lemons.
Since the Bacardi Company sells a variety of different rums, it was only natural that people wanted to try them in mixed drinks.
And so, while experimenting with new flavors, they found success mixing Bacardi Spiced Rum with coconut water and sugar.
They liked the result so much that they soon started offering the Bacardi Coquito as part of their repertoire.
What Are The Ingredients In A Bacardi Coquito?
A Bacardi Coquito typically contains three main components: coconut water, sugar syrup, and Bacardi Rum.
But unlike typical rum-based cocktails, the Bacardi Coquito doesn’t contain grenadine or Angostura bitters.
Instead, it uses simple syrup and lime juice to give it a sweeter taste.
Coconut water adds extra moisture, while the sugar helps balance out the bitterness of the lime.
There are dozens of different varieties of Bacardi Rum available, but Bacardi Light, Extra Dry, Añejo, and Dark are the most commonly used.
Each one tastes slightly differently and adds its own distinct flavor profile to the Bacardi Coquito.
If you’re looking for something specific, check out our guide to the best Bacardi rums here.
How Do You Make A Bacardi Coquito?
For a basic Bacardi Coquito recipe, start by pouring 1/3 cup of sugar into a saucepan.
Then, add 1 cup of water and bring it to boil over medium heat.
Once boiling, remove the pan from the stove and stir in 2 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut.
Let cool completely before transferring everything into a blender.
Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.
Next, pour the mixture back into the saucepan and slowly simmer over low heat until reduced by half.
When it reaches the consistency of maple syrup, turn off the heat and let cool completely.
Once cooled, strain the liquid through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer.
Discard the solids left behind.
Pour the strained liquid into a container with a tight-fitting lid.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
You can also purchase readymade coconut water and sugar syrups online if you prefer not to spend too much time on prep work.
However, homemade versions will yield superior results because they aren’t processed and won’t lose any nutrients as a side effect of sterilization.
Also, store-bought coconut waters tend to be overly sweet.
If you want to get really creative, you can take things up a notch by adding various flavoring extracts like vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom.
Or, you can experiment with different types of rum to see what combinations work best.
For example, dark rum gives the Bacardi Coquito a deeper, richer flavor, while light rum provides a lighter touch.
Both kinds of rum can provide subtle differences depending on whether you choose aged or unaged options.
Try them both and decide which one suits your palate best.
What Is The History Of The Bacardi Coquito?
It’s no surprise that the Bacardi Coquito got its start in Puerto Rico, given that the spirit itself originated right next door.
Bacardi’s earliest production plant opened up shop on July 4th, 1903, less than 100 miles south of San Juan.
Soon after the factory’s opening, Don Facundo Bacardí Massó died at age 65.
His son, Ramon, inherited the family business and ran it until 1927, when he handed control over to his sister Maria del Carmen.
During her tenure, she modernized the operation and increased production.
From there, the Bacardi Coquito spread across the globe, becoming increasingly popular thanks to the popularity of the company itself.
As a testament to its enduring appeal, Bacardi still makes the Coquito today.
However, Bacardi hasn’t always been synonymous with rum.
Before the company went public in 1917, it produced a number of nonalcoholic drinks under the brand name Bacardí.
These included sodas, tonics, and punches, along with ice creams, jellies, and candies.
The company discontinued those lines of goods in 1965, though, due to declining demand.
How Did The Bacardi Coquito Come To Be So Popular?
As far as we know, the Bacardi Coquito wasn’t invented by anyone specifically named Bacardí.
So why does it have such a strong presence in the islands?
We think it’s because Puerto Ricans love Bacardi and anything related to Bacardi.
Plus, they’ve embraced the Bacardi Coquito tradition wholeheartedly, creating countless variations and spinoffs.
Some of the most popular include Bacardi Coquito Cocktails, Bacardi Coquito Margaritas, and Bacardi Coquito Shots.
Other places where Bacardi Coquito is enjoyed include Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, St. Vincent and Grenada, Turks and Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Martinique
- Shaker or Blender
- 1 cup Bacardi Rum
- 1 tablespoon Condensed Milk
- 1 tablespoon Coconut Cream
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 tablespoon Boiled Spices Water
- 1 stick Cinnamon Stick
- Use a shaker or blender to combine the ingredients. 1 cup Bacardi rum, 1 teaspoon condensed milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 cup boiled spices water
- Blend until smooth and thickened. Fill a jar halfway with ice cubes and add the fresh Bacaradi Coquito. Garnish with cinnamon powder and cinnamon sticks if desired.