“I Saw a Werewolf drinking a Pina Colada at Trader Vic’s; his hair was perfect.” – Werewolves of London, Warren Zevon.
Coconut cream makes bar snobs bristle. It’s sticky, sweet, clings to your shaker and jigger. You have to rinse and dry your tools after using it because it will taint non coconut cream drinks. Despite all this I have a deep and abiding love for the stuff. I can and have eaten it with nothing but a spoon and a small sipper of demerera. It’s like a spoonful of dessert with the yummy bits that make us think of Coconut Cream pie. A sinful treat larger than life on the table and tempting us after a big barbecue lunch.
Like coconut rum last week it’s not uncommon to see coconut cream behind a well stocked bar. Sadly it’s becoming less common being replaced with premixed Pina Colada garbage that’s better used to attract roaches than pour into a shaker. Despite the sneers some give it’s a useful ingredient. It’s in essence a premade syrup substitute with good flavor that adds both body and sweetness. You could make your own, but despite my DIY tendencies you won’t find me breaking my back over it. By all accounts it’s a long and irritating process that doesn’t yield product noticeably different from Coco Lopez.
The drink was inspired by my love of coffee in Tiki drinks primarily. From their it was a short trip to find rums that pair with it and coconut cream for sweetness and body. Scrappy’s Chocolate bitters are pretty damn key here surprisingly. I like their brand of bitters quite a lot but a single hearty dash of their chocolate bitters gives the whole thing harmony and structure. Two dashes if your curious brings ruin and dismay. Three dashes might just make you soil yourself so don’t try it.
1 ½ oz Appleton V/X
¾ oz Myers Dark Jamaican Rum
1 oz dark coffee (Regular strength drip)
1 oz fresh lime juice
¾ oz Coco Lopez coconut cream
1 dash Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters
Shake together with ice and pour unstrained into a chimney. Garnish with a ball of pineapple and a cherry as well as some bushy mint or a swizzle stick if desired.
A rich coffee aroma with hints of cream, bitter chocolate, and molasses hit the palate. The marriage of coffee and lime is a wonderful mix of tart and bitter softened by sweetened coconut which also aids in a rich body. Coffee, coconut, and lime play well throughout as the rums enter in the early middle providing a warming molasses flavor. This flavor flows with pleasing notes from the aromatic and exotic bitters. The rum funk is gentle, but it makes a tropical cacophony that somehow sounds alright on the tongue.
We’ve covered the two most common coconut ingredients in the cocktail scene so far. For the rest of the month we’ll explore ways we’d like to see included in the pantheon of coconut mixology. Until next time…
“You get Hammered America” -JFL