Cream of Coconut – Easy Flavorful Recipe

Cream of Coconut
Cream of Coconut

Should I Buy Cream Of Coconut Or Make It?

Always make your own syrup. Never buy syrup, but it’s ok to buy this one if you want to. Coco Lopez and Coco Real are both pretty good products, but the homemade stuff is better. The ingredients in a homemade cream of coconut are much better too. If you have the ingredients and 10 minutes, make your own. If you need to go to the store to buy cream of coconut anyway, you can purchase the ingredients instead and make a much better product.

The Difference Between Cream Of Coconut, Coconut Cream, Coconut Milk, and Coconut Water.

While they all sound similar, coconut water, coconut milk, coconut cream, and cream of coconut are very different. Exactly what coconuts are processed into depends on how mature the coconut is. Coconuts are only harvested when they are young or old. Young green coconuts are sweeter and have more sweet tasty water and less fatty meat. Older brown coconuts have less sweet delicious water and more fatty meat. Check out the differences below to know what each one is used for.

1). Cream Of Coconut

Cream of coconut is coconut syrup like the white coconut syrup used on top of pancakes, in desserts, and in drinks. Making cream of coconut with coconut cream results in a dense and overly fatty syrup. Coconut milk works better for making cream of coconut.

Your standard cream of coconut is just equal parts coconut milk and sugar. If you are making this at home, a normal-size can of coconut milk is about 400 grams (≈ 1.5 Cups). So combine 400 grams of coconut milk and 400 grams of sugar. Gently heat the mixture and stir till the sugar is fully dissolved.

If you want to take it a step further, try adding an emulsifier, a little salt, and a small amount of coconut extract. An emulsifier will make the coconut fat water soluble, which helps it mix better and stay evenly suspended in the final mix drink. Not as noticeable in blended drinks, but it does help for shaken and strained drinks like the Acapulco or Coco Loco. And a little bit of salt and coconut extract helps intensify the coconut flavor without adding volume.

2). Coconut Cream

Coconut cream is made from just older brown coconuts. It’s mostly coconut fats; it is unsweetened and has a deep rich coconut flavor. They are usually used for cooking and thickening soups or curries. This is a bit too fatty to be used to make the sweetened cream of coconuts for cocktails. Coconut milk is better for that.

3). Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is made from both green and older brown coconuts. Coconut milk is made by combining the water of green coconuts with the fatty meat of older brown coconuts. I used to think the coconuts were just harvested at the halfway point, but that’s not the case. Coconuts are harvested either young or old, and coconut milk is a mix of the two. Coconut milk is excellent for cooking and making drinks. It’s sweet and fatty, so it’s a perfect middle ground between the two. Use coconut milk to make a cream of coconut. It’s the right balance of fat and water.

4). Coconut Water

The coconut water you buy at a store to drink is the fluid inside a coconut and is processed from only young green coconuts. Coconut water is usually harvested from 6-month-old green coconut. Coconut water is pretty Healthy. It’s high in potassium, magnesium, and manganese, suitable for your bones, blood pressure, heart, hydration, etc. Most everyone knows coconut water is a healthier alternative to sugary beverages but Google it for more exact information. If you drink too much, the worst is that you get diarrhea. Also, you can not make a cream of coconut with this.

What Are Some Cream Of Coconut Substitutes?

The two main store-bought cream of coconuts are Coco Lopez and Coco Real. Coco Real has slightly better ingredients, but Coco Lopez is the original. For the most part, though, they are pretty similar, and so are all the other smaller brands. If you have coconut cream but don’t feel like making a whole thing of cream of coconut (I know the names are too similar), then split the cream of coconut volume between coconut cream and simple syrup. Pew, that was difficult to write, so I imagine it was hard to read. Here is an example of what I am saying. If your pina colada recipe calls for 4 oz cream of coconut, then add 2 oz coconut cream and 2 oz of simple syrup.

As far as substituting cream of coconut entirely, try using evaporated milk. It’s very similar to cream of coconut and can be substituted 1:1 directly. The other option is to leave it out entirely if the drink still works. It can’t be left out of a pina colada (you can’t make the drink without it), but an Acapulco is just as good with cream of coconut as it is without.

The Benefits Of Adding An Emulsifier.

Cream of coconut can be made by adding sugar and coconut milk together, which would be great. Unfortunately, It will separate from the rest of the liquid in a cold drink. Coconut fats start to solidify at a pretty warm 75f (24c), which needs to be kept above that to stay liquid. Cocktails are much cooler than that, so once a cocktail is chilled, the fats will turn solid and clump together. That’s not a big deal in blended drinks, but it’s pronounced in shaken drinks or stirred ones. This is why drinks like the pearl diver, pina colada, blue Hawaiian, etc., are all blended.

The solution to this is to add an emulsifier. Common emulsifiers in food are lecithin and casein. These are naturally present in foods like eggs and milk but can be bought online as purified powders. Lecithin powder is pretty easy to get and easy to work with. Use 1% of lecithin to the amount you are looking to emulsify. So to emulsify 400g of coconut milk or butter, add 4g of lecithin and thoroughly mix. Bonding lecithin to the fats (or water) will ensure that the fats stay evenly suspended and incorporated in the final drink. It makes the fats water soluble and opens these ingredients to use beyond just being blended.

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Cream of Coconut

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

16

servings
Calories

130

kcal
Total time

10

minutes

Make the best cream of coconut.

Ingredients

  • 400 g White Sugar

  • 400 g Coconut Milk

  • 2 g Salt

  • Optional Ingredients
  • 2 mLs Coconut Extract

  • 4 g Lecithin

Directions

  • Basic Recipe
  • Combine the coconut milk and sugar in a pan. If using lecithin, first blend coconut milk with Lecithin and whisk together till the lecithin is fully incorporated, and then combine the coconut milk and sugar in a pan.
  • Turn on low heat and whiskey together till the sugar is fully dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and let the cream of coconut cool. If adding salt and coconut extract, add once the cream of coconut has cooled and mix them in.
  • Refrigerate cream of coconut or freeze to store for an extended period of time.
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Cocktails That Use Cream Of Coconut


Related Post

Blue Hawaiian – Classic Recipe & History

Blue Hawaiian
Blue Hawaiian

What Does the Blue Hawaiian Taste Like?

If you have ever had a Pina Colada, you know precisely what a Blue Hawaiian tastes like. The only difference is the 1/2 oz of blue orange liqueur that gives it its beautiful color but doesn’t change the flavor much. The Blue Hawaiian has a lovely coconut and pineapple flavor balanced with a sweet orange note.

Mixing Options for the Blue Hawaiian.

You have two options for mixing a Blue Hawaiian. 1). Blend it with ice and make a slushy of it. 2). Shake it and pour it over crushed or shaved ice. Both ways are great, and it just depends on how you prefer to consume the drink. Although blended is likely the more traditional way to make this cocktail, the shaken one is my preferred way.

What Is The Difference Between The Blue Hawaiian And Blue Hawaii?

While similar in name, the Blue Hawaiian and Blue Hawaii are very different cocktails. The Blue Hawaiian is more of a blue Pina Colada, and the Blue Hawaii is more of a blue pineapple juice cocktail. Harry Yee invented the standard Blue Hawaii recipe used today in the 1950s. The creator of the Blue Hawaiian is largely uncredited and unknown. Some credit Donn Beach with having created the Blue Hawaiian, but I looked at the 1940s, 50s, and 60s versions of his menus, and I didn’t see it anywhere. Those who credit him with it don’t seem too confident he made it either, so I would bet more so on the side that he did not invent it.

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Blue Hawaiian

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

383

kcal
ABV

14%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Blue Hawaiian.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice

  • 2 oz Pineapple Juice

  • 2 oz Cream of Coconut

  • 2/3 oz Blue Orange Liqueur

  • 2 oz White Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into a blender with a single scoop of ice cubes.
  • Blend on low for 10 seconds or till the ice is mostly pulverized.
  • Now blend on high for 5-10 seconds to completely crush the ice and turn the drink into a slushy texture.
  • Pour into serving glass.

Notes

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Coco Loco – Recipe & History

Coco Loco
Coco Loco

What Is The Coco Loco?

The Coco Loco is a famous beach and street stand cocktail in Colombia that has spread to other parts of the Caribbean. Now I’ve never been to Colombia and couldn’t find any old recipe books mentioning it, so everything I have learned about it I got from the all-mighty Google. It seems to be a popular beachgoer and tourist drink, each selling using a different recipe. I couldn’t find anything canon on the coco loco, and like so many Caribbean cocktails, it seems comfortable living as a pretty local drink with countless variations. The coco loco is often made right on the beach before the customer. The vendor cuts the top off a coconut, adds the ingredients with the coconut water, gives the coconut a couple of shakes, and puts a straw in the hole. Although even with all the variety, every recipe I tested includes cream of coconut, coconut water, lime juice, simple syrup, vodka, white rum, and silver tequila. So basically, I just stuck to the average of most recipes I found. I do question how old it is and can’t see it being older than the 1950s, at the most. The inclusion of vodka is odd since vodka didn’t leave Russia in large volumes till the bolshevik revolution in 1917. Furthermore, vodka didn’t become a popular cocktail spirit till the 1940s with the invention of the Moscow Mule in LA. If the Coco Loco is older, I imagine vodka was a later addition to boost the ABV to suit American taste.

Variations of the Coco Loco

From what I read, there seem to be as many recipes for the coco loco as people making it. It’s a cheap and easy-to-make cocktail for which tourists can be suckered into paying a high price. Most major Caribbean cruise ships have their recipe for it. The recipe provided here is the sum of all the recipes I could find for it in English and Spanish averaged out. Think of this as a default recipe, but go for it if you want to add something that improves it or makes it unique.

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Coco Loco

5 from 1 vote Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: Colombian
Servings

1

servings
Calories

439

kcal
ABV

12%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Coco Loco.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice

  • 2 oz Cream of Coconut

  • 2 oz Coconut Water

  • 2/3 oz Vodka

  • 2/3 oz Silver Tequila

  • 2/3 oz White Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker and add crushed ice to the shaker.
  • Lightly shake the drink.
  • Pour the whole contents of the shaker into the glass.

Recipe Video

Notes

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Piña Colada – Original Recipe & History

Pina Colada
Pina Colada

The Origins Of The Piña Colada.

The famous origin story for the Piña Colada states it was invented in Puerto Rico in the 1950s or 1960s. Three bartenders claim to have invented it. Ramon Marrero in 1952, Ricardo Garcia a couple of years later, and Ramon Mingot in 1963. Chances are they all made some variation of the same drink. Perhaps just using different amounts of each ingredient. It’s only three ingredients. I’m willing to bet they were not the first to mix rum with coconut and pineapple. The Piña Colada is the official cocktail of Puerto Rico and the national Piña Colada Day is July 10th in the United States.

The oldest reference to the Pina Colada I can find is from a 1964 menu from Senor Pico in Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco. Not every menu has it, though. Some of the earlier Senor Pico Menus do not have the Pina Colada, so it must have been added to the menu around then. Senor Pico was a concept restaurant by Victor Bergeron and part of the trader Vic’s tiki empire. Victor Bergeron wanted to experiment with a Mexican/Southern Californian-themed restaurant. The menu describes the pina colada as a mix of coconut milk, pineapple juice, and rum.

Interestingly the 1972 Trader Vic’s Cocktail Guide has a different pina colada recipe. His 1972 book does not have coconut milk in it, and before this book, I am not able to find a pina colada recipe. His 1947 edition does not have a Piña Colada, and I could not find any 1950s or 1960s reference to it other than his 1964 Senor Pico restaurant menu, but no exact recipe is given. Victor Bergeron’s 1972 recipe is:

  • 2 oz (60 mLs) Gold Rum
  • 3 oz (90 mLs) Pineapple Juice
  • Blend with shaved ice and pour over ice in a tall glass with a straw.

The word Piña Colada is translated to “strained pineapple.” I always found it a weird name since it’s only referring to the pineapple juice in the cocktail. But That name makes sense for this recipe since it does not have any coconut. In 1978 Warren Zevon released his hit song “Werewolves of London.” One of the lyrics is, “I saw a werewolf drinkin’ a piña colada at Trader Vic’s. His hair was perfect.” The exact piña colada Warren references would have been the pineapple and rum only recipe. A year later, in 1979, the song “Escape” by Rupert Holmes was released. The main chorus from that song is “If you like piña coladas, And gettin’ caught in the rain”. I remember seeing an interview with Rupert Holmes when I was a child where he stated he didn’t like piña colada because he did not like the taste of coconut. So the version Rupert Holmes is referring to is the coconut and pineapple version. The first printed piña colada with coconut I could find is from the 1980 book “Manual Del Bar” by The Barmen Association of Argentina. The recipe from that book is:

  • 50 gramos de ron (1.5 oz rum)
  • 25 gramos de leche de coco (almost 1 oz coconut milk)
  • 75 gramos de jugo de ananá (2.5 oz pineapple juice)

Most cocktail recipes I am familiar with that use cream of coconut are from South America. It is much less common in North American or European cocktails. Also, I found the overwhelming majority of piña colada recipes are from 1980 to 1987. As if that was its spike in popularity after those songs came out. Every one of those 1980s recipes is a combination of rum, pineapple juice, and coconut cream/milk. Trader Vic’s recipe is the only one without coconut.

Perhaps it was invented in Puerto Rico, but the first reference I can find to it is from Trader Vic. His recipe also matches the cocktail’s odd name and makes sense. Victor Bergeron was pretty good about citing a recipe that wasn’t his own. Not for every drink, usually just the popular ones, but the Piña Colada is famous enough. He would mention Donn Beach for any recipes in his book inspired by Donn or if he learned of a cocktail while on some particular island. His Piña Colada recipe does not have a citation, so either he left it out or invented it. This reminds me of the Margarita. Most believe it is a Mexican cocktail, but the first record is from the British 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book, and it is not referred to as a Mexican cocktail until 1953. It could also be that these are two unrelated recipes with the same name. Who knows.

The Best Rum To Use And Substitutions For a Piña Colada.

The best rum to use is either a white unaged rum or a very lightly aged rum. The primary cocktail flavors are pineapple and coconut, so the rum should disappear. An aged rum would muddy up the flavor and take away from the drink’s bright tropical taste. That being said, Vodka makes a great Piña Colada. Vodka is an excellent substitute for rum. Another great substitute is silver tequila. Silver tequila makes a great Piña Colada too. Almost any clear dry spirit makes a good Piña Colada. Pisco, and cachaca all work well. Again, the point is to have the spirit disappear into the drink.

Should You Just Buy Piña Colada Mix, Cream Of Coconut, Or Just Make Them From Scratch?

The Piña Colada is just three ingredeints. Equal parts rum, cream of coconut, and pineapple juice. There is no need to buy a premade mix. Don’t get me wrong, most premade Piña Colada mixes are good, but they taste artificial. Like how grape soda is good, but it doesn’t taste like actual grapes. My advice is to skip the mix and make the drink yourself.

A better question is whether to buy cream of coconut or make it from scratch. Cream of coconut is coconut simple syrup. It is both cost-effective to make your own and makes a much better product with little effort. I have a recipe for it here that I believe is the best, but premade cream of coconuts like Coco Lopez or Coco Real are great. Homemade is preferred, but most store-bought cream of coconuts are still quality products.

Recipe Resources

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Download The Official Vintage American Cocktails App

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Piña Colada

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

702

kcal
ABV

7%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Piña Colada.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Pineapple Juice

  • 2 oz Cream of Coconut

  • 2 oz White Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker or blender. Add ice.
  • Vigorously shake or blend the ingredients.
  • Pour in a glass.

Notes

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If you have ever struggled with a recipe or wonder why yours are not turning out like they do at the bar then check out my simple step-by-step videos. I will walk you through how to expertly build each drink so you get consistently great results.

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  • Historically accurate and balanced recipes.


Acapulco – Original Recipe & History

Acapulco
Acapulco

The History Of The Acapulco Cocktail.

I always found the Acapulco Cocktail to be a strange cocktail. Most everyone I knew said it came from Mexico, but the drink seemed very tiki-like to me and not like something that would come from Mexico. After a bit of looking around and researching, I was able to locate it in the 1972 edition of the Trader Vic’s Cocktail Guide. This appears to be the oldest known recipe for the Acapulco cocktail, and it makes sense that Trader Vic invented it. The proportions, ingredients, and exotic association scream tiki to me. This is a fantastic cocktail and one you should try.

Recipe Resources

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Acapulco Cocktail

4 from 1 vote Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

249

kcal
ABV

13%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make an Acapulco cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Pineapple Juice

  • 1 oz Grapefruit Juice

  • 1 oz Cream of Coconut

  • 1 oz Gold Rum

  • 1 oz Reposado Tequila

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass filled with ice.

Notes

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Make Cocktails Like A Pro

If you have ever struggled with a recipe or wonder why yours are not turning out like they do at the bar then check out my simple step-by-step videos. I will walk you through how to expertly build each drink so you get consistently great results.

  • Free and simple step by step videos.
  • Tips and tricks from years of experience.
  • Historically accurate and balanced recipes.