Cristin Noonan

Food and Local Business Editor


‘Tis the season for coconut cream liqueur, Bushwick!

Johnny Rivera and Athena Colon of Brooklyn Coquito have been bottling their authentic Puerto Rican coconut cream liqueur for the holiday season and come this Thursday November 17 will be hosting a free launch party starting at 6 p.m. for the seasonally appropriate sweetened drink at Bushwick’s Norwind’s, located at 1043 Flushing Avenue, off of the Morgan Avenue stop on the L train.

Complete with free samples of coquito, djs, a domino table, and of course, a photo booth, CEO and Founder Rivera tells Bushwick Daily that his event promises to be “a great way to introduce coquito to those that may not know about it.”

Johnny Rivera sporting Brooklyn Coquito duds! Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Coquito’s Instagram.

Attendees are also welcome to pre-order bottles of their signature coquito, as Rivera says “we will be delivering coquito door door right before Thanksgiving.” So while you’re having a good time you can also prepare for the future and be such an adult while doing so.

Brooklyn Coquito is mostly made right here in Bushwick and is sometimes concocted within various Brooklyn commercial kitchens as well. Rivera says that its process can take up to two days to complete!

Rivera tells us that the tradition of enjoying coquito for the holiday season has been central to Puerto Rican culture “for many many years,” explaining that it’s typically handled by grandmothers:

“[grandmothers] would round up the ingredients every holiday season, make a few bottles and either gift them to families and friends or sometimes even sell them to make a few extra dollars for the holidays,” tells Rivera.

Because coquito is personal and is a product unique to each family, the drink’s recipe revolves around tweaking its main ingredients of rum, condensed milk, cream of coconut, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla.

Rivera divulges it would be “rare for you to come across someone who will share their recipe.”

Lucky for Brooklyn Coquito, though, as their signature recipe was derived from Colon’s grandmother. After casually making a few bottles of it for a holiday party several years ago, which Rivera says “people went nuts for it,” the two decided to officially team up and create Brooklyn Coquito.

Rivera says that coquito is typically drank on its own, though if you want a “little zing” to try adding it to either honey whisky or with a shot of fireball!

Rivera is proud to share this moment with fellow Puerto Ricans of the neighborhood from Norwind’s: “As someone who was raised and has lived in Bushwick since 1985, it’s great to see something that I helped create being shared in a space where the owners come from the same place.”

So swing by Norwind’s on Thursday, try some coquito if you haven’t, and, as Rivera says, “rock and roll!”

Featured Image from Brooklyn Coquito’s Instagram



Authentic Puerto Rican restaurant with a modern twist equipped with a spacious beer garden located on Flushing Avenue and between Vandervoort Place and Morgan Avenue.

 1043 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11206

 Mon-Sun: 12 p.m.-2 a.m.

 (718) 417-1450

Follow the Norwind’s on Facebook and Instagram.