Closely associated with tiki-themed drinks of the 1940s, the coconut was once prized as a versatile cocktail ingredient for several of its fine attributes. Firstly, the liquid that this seed offers can often be found in water, milk or cream form and its shell holds the shape of a cup, perfect for themed parties or island reminiscing. Now known as a super-food of sorts, when it comes to coconuts, there’s more that meets the eye.
But with the emergence of other, more approachable and accessible ingredients, the coconut hasn’t exactly been given the attention it deserves of late – often used only in the creation of the piña colada. Well, we think it’s time this gem was given a revival of sorts. Whether you’re dealing with a young, green coconut or a matured brown one, filled with an abundance of full flavoured flesh, there is much that you can create with this underrated gem.
Comprising a distinctly sweet, earthen and nutty profile across all of its forms, the coconut is a perfect match for alcoholic options like the richer, caramel-driven flavours of rum and bourbon, along with being great for mixing with ginger ale. Logically, it’s also a fantastic match for sharper, acidic fruits such as berries or citrus, which have the ability to cut through either the sweetness or creaminess of the coconut, whilst matching the unique qualities of the seed itself.
Some drink options that pair fantastically with coconut include a straightforward highball that celebrates the best of simple ingredients, a classic, party-friendly punch, and a spirit infusion, great for creating at home.
To make the highball, simply pour a measure of sweet bourbon and a good dash of coconut water to a glass filled with ice. Next, top up the glass with ginger ale and then add a squeeze of lime and another wedge to garnish.
For the coconut punch, you’ll need coconut water, ginger ale, cranberry juice, white rum, lime and lemons. To a large punch bowl, add two cups of the rum and then two cups of coconut water, two cups of cranberry juice, along with a cup of ginger ale. Slice two limes and a lemon into wheels and then chill in the fridge for a few hours. Serve over ice.
Finally, for the coconut infused rum, you’ll need one brown coconut and a few cups of white rum. Split the coconut in half and then remove around 10 to 12 chunks from the skin and add two a sealable jar. Add the rum and allow to infuse for two or three weeks, shaking the contents every few days. After the process is finished, strain the liquid into a sterilised bottle. Enjoy!
Cover Image: Tiger Puppala
Image Credit: kthread