1 ½ ounces Yahara Bay Premium Rum
1 ½ ounces pure pineapple juice
3 ounces homemade coconut sour mix **
3 drops Bittercube cherry vanilla bitters
**Coconut Sour Mix
4 Cups Coconut Water
1 Cup fresh squeezed lime juice
½ Cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Cup sugar
Mix together until fully blended.
Well, barflies, it was a busy week for me. At least in terms of making drinks for my neighbors.
It all started when a pediatrician friend of mine asked me for some cocktail advice. At first, I suspected she had just confused my cocktail column with my advice column. That wouldn't be a problem, exactly. Cocktails would be a fairly great theme for an advice column. Though maybe somewhat limiting. For some people.
As it turned out, she just wanted advice on how to use a single ingredient: coconut water. I was intrigued.
First, I had to confirm what she meant by coconut water. I mean, let’s go over some terms. There’s coconut flavored seltzer, which I drink, but probably has no real coconut in it, and certainly has no nutritional value. There’s coconut milk, that creamy stuff used in Thai food. The creamy milk – which comes from the pulp of ripe brown coconuts, I believe – is probably what’s used in Piña Colada mixers like Coco Lopez. If I had to guess. And I’m guessing. Because who the hell knows what’s in that fake sweetened crap.
Then, there is coconut water. This is the clear liquid that comes from young coconuts. It is free of fat and cholesterol, and has – according to WebMD, where I do the vast majority of my internet self-diagnosing – more potassium than four bananas. So basically, what I’m saying is, if you have PMS, skip the fruit salad. It will just make you feel bloated. Drink a cocktail made with coconut water instead.
Upon doing some research, I found that coconut water is not a very common mixer. At least not according to the research archive known as the "internet." But you know, I’m the kind of person who has to finish things I start. Even if they aren’t going that well. You would know this if you were my sister, and visited me in New York that one time -- back when I was still a yellow belt, but had to fight in a Tae Kwon Do tournament against a black belt -- and I got my arm broken. About a minute in, I knew it was broken. I could feel it dangling there as I bounced around the ring. I couldn’t lift it, or really even feel it. But I finished the match, fans, and that’s what counts. That, and maybe also not getting a concussion.
|Talk about throwback Thursday.|
Anyway, as I pondered a drink with coconut water, the first liquor that came to mind (naturally) was rum. I had to check with the pediatrician, of course, about whether she even likes rum. But frankly, I was just happy to be contacting her about something other than one of my kids’ illnesses. The last time I called in -- about my daughter’s bronchial distress -- she was on call. It was Mother’s Day. Needless to say, I felt a lot less guilty for contacting her about a cocktail than about antibiotics.
Now in my last installment, I told you that I dislike frozen drinks. And I dislike no frozen drink more than I dislike a Piña Colada, the mere scent of which hurls me back to 1999, and a cheap condo in Cancun, where college students were hurling. I also don’t like very sweet drinks. Unless you mean sweet in a hip snowboarder kind of way. Like, sweet drink!
In the end, I decided to make a homemade sour mix with the coconut water. I hoped it would cut down on the sweetness, and bring a nice fresh citrus flavor into the coconut mixer. I used a fairly standard sour mix recipe, cut down on the sugar, and used coconut water instead of plain water. Then I shook the mix in a cocktail shaker with a locally-made rum from Yahara Bay, a jigger of fresh pineapple juice, a few drops of cherry-vanilla bitters, and a lot of ice. I poured it into a little round tumbler.
The drink isn’t frozen, but it should be really icy and cold. Because when you drink it, you will think you are hot and in the sun and in the Caribbean. Or maybe Cancun, hopefully in a slightly more upscale hotel. This drink is a little tropical vacation in a glass. Just what the doctor ordered.
I mean that literally. When the doctor wrote me, she said she was “craving the tropics after the subzero temps.” She didn’t ask me to mix one up and deliver one to her door the next night, but I did that anyway. Because I enjoy pretending that I make moonshine for the neighborhood. And also, I’ll probably have to wake her up again, sometime in the future, and ask her to call in a prescription. Cheers, Doctor Amy!
I mentioned that I had a busy week handing out cocktails. Once I had made several cups of this coco-sour mix, I decided to repay a few outstanding debts. In cocktail currency. Two of my other neighbors helped me out with the kids this week, so I mixed up some Getaway for them too, and hand delivered them in jelly and honey jars. They said they enjoyed the drink. Felt like they were on an island. So, cheers Scott and Holly and Nick!
If there is a moral to this cocktail story, it’s this: It takes a village. It takes a village to grow coconuts. It takes a village to grow children. And sometimes, it takes a village to get buzzed. So we can all forget for like, an hour, that our village is actually buried under two feet of snow.