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This island drink will have you saying ‘Bah, humbug’ to eggnog

Bacardí introduces a commercial version of coquito, a Christmas Caribbean favorite. Read More...

The bottle: Bacardí Coquito, $17.99

The back story: Coquito is the Caribbean equivalent to eggnog, a boozy holiday sip. It has rum (and often plenty of it), but it gets its tell-tale flavor from spices and coconut milk — “coquito” is Spanish for “little coconut.”

The drink is typically made at home, with families each having their own recipe. But now, Bacardí, the world’s top-selling rum brand, is taking coquito in a commercial direction with the launch this season in select U.S. markets of a ready-made version.

It’s a move that came from closely studying market trends, says Ned Duggan, a Bacardí senior vice president. He points in particular to the growing popularity of bottled/canned cocktails— Bacardí has its own such line, with offerings that include a ready-to-drink Mojito. “Millennials and Generation Z enjoy the convenience” of such products, he says.

And while Duggan didn’t mention it, the growing Hispanic market in the U.S. is a hard-to-ignore factor. In 2018, the population surged to 59.9 million — or nearly triple what it was in 1990, according to the Pew Research Center.

Still, it’s no simple task making a commercial coquito because no two recipes for the holiday favorite are alike. Duggan says Bacardí did lots of research before coming up with a final product. “It took six months,” he says.

What we think about it: This is easy to enjoy — almost too easy. It has many of the island and holiday flavors you want — we love the hint of cinnamon — but in a drink that’s less heavy than eggnog. For a mass-market product, it also tastes decidedly homemade.

How to enjoy it: This is all there in the bottle. Just add ice and have yourself a merry little Christmas.

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