Coconut is versatile — it is used as oil, milk and cream across a host of a variety of cuisines in India. Thankfully, its uses aren’t limited to just the kitchen. If you are experimental, it’s just as great with your spirits.
Very little experimentation has been done with coconut, when it comes to cocktails. It is an ingredient that many may be afraid to use in drinks due to its flavour that they may or may not like. When used with the correct combinations and spirits, coconut has the quality to make a drink great not only taste wise but also with respect to texture. Coconut water, coconut milk, cream of coconut or even the coconut flesh goes extremely well. When in the mood for tropical flavours, coconut cocktails are the way to go.
Take the Pina Colada, for instance. This extremely delicious drink should be the brand ambassador for what coconut can do when utilised well. In fact, the use of coconut became popular because of the Pina Colada. With the flavours of coconut being liked in the drink, people gradually adapted to trying it with different spirits and with different mixers and hence now coconut cocktails yet rare, but are seen to be served in some places.
Apart from Pina Colada, coconut water with tequila is a great combination. You could also use cream of coconut with Jagermeister and vodka-based drinks with chunks of coconut flesh are ones that add a surprise element to the drink. For those who like a mojito, add 45 ml of coconut rum to club soda, 2 teaspoons of unsweetened coconut cream and 45 ml of light rum. Muddle a few spigs of lime, mind and add the rest of the ingredients.
Coconut goes well with tequila, rum, brandy, Jagermeister and vodka! Be it a mojito or a martini, it goes well with everything. Jagermeister with coconut water makes for a sinful shot for every celebration. Vodka and coconut water too are a delight. Fruity cocktails with gin or vodka and a mix of coconut with berries make for delicious drinks. Coconut can replace water or soda in most drinks, making the drink healthier and more delicious. For those who don’t mind a little something to chew on, chunks of coconut flesh in almost any drink are a delight.
The key is to strike a balance with the flavours and you’re good to go. I would say keep your horizon open and go all out with experimenting. Cheers!
Ricky Teja is the owner of Summer House Café