I’ve got better pics I’ll Instagram later, but this is me at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning — and there’s an ocean beyond that sand:
And here’s the pic I posted on Instagram:
For the past few days I’ve been working with coconut milk at home, trying to get something worth using in mixed drinks at the bar.
I wrote a post yesterday about experimenting with coconut and wanting to find a substitute for store-bought syrup.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’d seen on Best Bars In America that at least one bar uses a mix of half coconut milk and half coconut water.
That’s half-and-half coconut milk and coconut water on the left, and just reduced coconut milk on the right.
I’m not completely sold on either of these. I don’t think they’re the answer. The half-and-half mix doesn’t taste strongly enough like coconut, and it leaves a chalky aftertaste in your mouth. Similarly, the reduced coconut milk doesn’t have enough sweetness and mixed strangely in cocktails.
I also made a simple syrup with the reduced coconut milk — not the half-and-half.
The sugar in the syrup brought the sweetness up a lot, but the milk also thickened when cooled — to the point of pudding and almost like Jello. I added a splash of coconut water and shook it vigorous and it works alright in drinks so far, but I’m not happy with it as a finished product.
Summer is starting to feel like it’s here and now that Negroni Week is over, my mind has started to wander toward tropical rum drinks.
At the bar where I work, we do a big trade in Mojitos every summer. We have a dozen different flavored rums… And we bring in watermelon every summer to muddle with the mint and lime. That’s easily one of our most popular drinks this time of year:
One thing which we don’t have at the bar where I work is a blender. Thats’s never really been a problem though. We are not a beach bar. We’re located in the city of Jamestown. And moreover, all those typical neon-colored cocktails served at beach bars are always so sugary and sticky sweet — which I’m guessing comes from all sorts packaged syrups and canned juices.
Don’t get me wrong, I do think there is a proper place and time for all that. One of the best drinks which my wife and I enjoyed on our honeymoon in the Dominican Republic was something called a Miami Vice — which was equal parts piña colada and strawberry daiquiri. It was exactly the sort of thing we wanted at the time, while sitting by the resort pool looking at the ocean.
Aside from that there was a lot of straight rum and a local liquor called Mamajuana.
In the city though, those sorts of beach drinks aren’t an immediate “go-to” for us or any of our customers. We do serve plenty of rum drinks — like daiquiris, Hurricanes, fake Caipirinhas and Dark and Stormy by the ton. But without a blender, we’ve never seen need to bring in any cream of coconut — which is probably why anytime anyone wants anything with coconut flavor, that flavor always ends up coming from Parrot Bay.
So, yeah, that’s where I found myself this past week — with an interest in making tropical drinks that no. 1, aren’t blended and no. 2, don’t use Coco Lopez or any other store-bought syrup or mixer.
Add to all this the fact that a recent episode of Best Bars In America showed a bar which used its own house coconut mix — comprised of equal parts coconut milk and coconut water.
Seeing that half-and-half blend behind a high-end cocktail bar got me thinking about what I could do to incorporate coconut into our drinks (while still only shaking them and not incorporating a blender).