Rum and Coconut Water

this coconut is probably too old to contain waterIncredibly simple, and incredibly tasty. The hardest part is reputed to be locating the coconut water — not milk, mind, but the clear liquid that sloshes about in a green coconut — but it sounds as if it may be becoming more available in North America due to increased interest in coconut water as a sports drink. Apparently it also makes an excellent blood plasma substitute, should you find yourself bleeding-out on a desert island and possessed of the necessary IV equipment, though this may be apocryphal. No doubt The Professor would know.

2 oz. rum
4 oz. coconut water
1 dash Angostura bitters

fill a highball glass with ice, cubed or crushed, add rum and coconut water and stir a bit. a straw might be nice.

I’m using Harvest Bay Coconut Water, sold in 11 oz. octagonal TetraPaks, found in my neighborhood grocery store’s juice aisle. At around $1.79 each, boxed coconut water is a bit cheaper than buying a green coconut, too, though you’re deprived of the gelatinous flesh.

I’ve been meaning to try this for some time, having seen mention of it in an eGullet thread back in June. I bought the coconut water, but it promptly went into hiding at the back of the refrigerator, having migrated behind the infrequently-used tubs of curry paste, mango pickle and assorted whatnots. A late-August Cocktail Chronicles post on the subject reminded me that I had the stuff somewhere, which I then excavated, but again, didn’t do anything with. Today, as October wanes, I have at long last consumed a Rum and Coconut Water. Did I say the hardest part was finding coconut water? Obviously for some of us, the hardest part is getting around to making the damned thing.

The verdict? It’s refreshing, light, and vegetatively coconutty — or perhaps coconuttily vegetative. I’ve not tried mixing it with a dark dark rum, but medium-bodieds like Mount Gay Eclipse or Barbancourt 3-star do quite nicely, adding subtleties without overpowering the coconut water. This being a Caribbean beverage, a healthy dash of Angostura can’t possibly be misplaced, and helps to further broaden the drink. I enjoy it as a frappé, poured over crushed ice and swizzled until a nice frost is worked-up.

18 thoughts on “Rum and Coconut Water”

  1. And what ho! Not that I should have doubted it, but this evening I acquired a green coconut, and its waters proved to be a fine improvement on the pre-packaged. A bit more work involved, hacking into a coconut, but the end result is deliciously earthier and more complex than I recall the tetra-pak coconut water to have been. Didn’t even want bitters. Perhaps it was just a remarkably fine coconut.

    I’d say it yielded about 10 oz. of water — certainly sufficient for two rum and coconut highballs — and at $2.99, an easy choice to make, given the added benefit of having young coconut jelly to snack on, and coir for composting.

  2. Dawn, I would assume that you can buy young coconuts and drain them of their juices, if you can’t locate boxed/bottled/tinned coconut water. It does appear that there are British importers of coconut water. Look in a grocery that caters to an Indian clientele.

    Re diabetes, a 330ml package of coconut water has 16g of carbs from sugars. I’ve no idea what its glycemic load is. Oddly, for all the interest in coconut water as a health drink, I couldn’t find anything on its glycemic index that didn’t seem purely speculative.

  3. Dawn: I don’t know where their data comes from but this page asserts that young coconut water has a low (0-35) glycemic index, making it a diabetic-friendly beverage. From a non-diabetic perspective,, while not breaking down the constituent sugars, provides some surprising information about the amino acid content of young coconut water… it’s remarkably complete.

  4. Zico Pure Coconut Water makes the perfect addition to mixed drinks because it adds a mildly sweet flavor and helps to fight hang-overs due to its electrolyte content.

    I also like to make ice cubes out of coconut water and add them to drinks for an exotic note. Even if the drink sits for a while, you don’t get that diluted watery taste at the end but a mildly sweet flavor instead, much better in my opinion.

    John R. Ferrell
    Zico Operations Manager

  5. Dawn,

    I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes three years ago, and since them I can have some pretty bad crashes if I don’t eat because of it. I just discovered that if I drink coconut water (pineapple flavor), not only can I go a few hours without crashing, I don’t feel hungry. It can be a few hours before I realized I didn’t eat something.

    I know the glycemic index must be low (researched this when I had GD). I don’t know what the number is, but just from what my body does when I drink it, it cannot be bad at all.

  6. You should try Vita Coco. Other brands add sodium as a covert preservative, although they don’t tell you that on the label. Vita Coco also has other 4 other flavors aside from the natural coconut water. They have pineapple, peach and mango, tangerine and passion fruit. They use natural fruit puree as opposed to fruit essence or artificial flavors and they’re all delicious.

  7. Thanks, Giselle. Since you left a email address, I’ll assume you’re an employee of the company, with something of an attendant bias (if not, say, a job description that includes astroturfing). Haven’t seen your product in my local grocery, but I’ll keep an eye out.

  8. Has anyone ever used homemade Kefir? We made some the other day & thought I’d share the technique.

    Take 1 Liter of coconut water (you may use the coconut water from these tetra paks or fresh water from young coconuts. (If you use the 250 ml tetra paks it will take 4 to make a liter of water.) Add 1 packet of kefir starter and place lid on jar. It will now take 4-5 days for the kefir to culture at room temperature. The coconut water will become cloudy as the culture grows and it will become “fizzy”. When the culture is done, add a twist of lime and a little stevia or organic sweetener of your choice. Then sit down and enjoy this delicious probiotic drink. It is alkalinizing, wonderful, and very, very healthy.

    Pretty tasty (& healthy) 🙂

  9. I grew up in Mexico and have been enjoying coconut water since I can remember. The vendors would cut out a hole and pour the juice into a plastic bag. He would add plenty of lime juice and some sugar if you wished. The flesh from the coconut would get removed and chopped into bite size pieces. These would be drenched in lime juice and hot sauce. It was great to munch away until your mouth was on fire then put out the flames with a little coconut water.

  10. Oh wow, Michelle… that sounds amazing. I want to get on a plane right now & experience that. I especially like the part about putting out the flames. It’s like being there reading your experience :).

  11. Hey Julio,
    I checked out the EQ Thirst Equalizer. I found it at Sweetbay. The mango-pineapple was good but I really liked the Tangelo. My boyfirend actually
    loved the Mango-Pinapple and mixed it with rum. Great Stuff!

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