Cream of Coconut – Make Fantastic Coconut Syrup For Drinks and Food

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 noticeably 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 the equivalent of coconut syrup in the United States. Like the white coconut syrup used on top of pancakes or desserts. I don’t know why it has a unique name when used in cocktails, but maybe it had to do with the drink’s Spanish language origins. The Spanish word for coconut cream is crema de coco, and every crema de coco I have ever had always had sugar added. The American coconut creams all seem to be unsweetened by default, but I never had a Spanish one growing up that didn’t have sugar added. It kind of makes sense as coconut cream is mainly used for desserts. So maybe that’s it? Perhaps as the recipe was making its way to the United States, bartenders learned that they needed to use a Spanish coconut cream/crema de coco for the right drink to taste. The coconut cream for mixing became known as cream of coconut. Growing up, I remember I hated all the Hispanic coconut creams and waters because they were super sweet with tons of added sugar, and I would ask my parents to only get the American ones at “normal” grocery stores. That’s my best guess anyway.

Coconut cream is good if you plan to make this at home, but it makes for a very dense and overly fatty syrup. Coconut milk works better for making a Spanish-style crema de coco/cream of coconut, as the fat to coconut water ratio is better. That’s just my opinion, though.

2). Coconut Cream

Coconut cream is made from just older brown coconuts. I’ve noticed that coconut creams have added sugars in Spanish cultures, not commonly added in American coconut creams. Check your can and see if it has added sugar and if it tastes sweet. If it does, then it’s OK to use as is in a cocktail, but if it doesn’t, check out the recipe to see how to turn it into a sweetened Spanish-style crema de coco/cream of coconut.

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 just adding sugar and coconut milk together, and it would be great. It would constantly separate, and the fats would get stiff as they cool. Coconut fats start to solidify at a pretty warm 75f (24c), which needs to be kept above that to stay liquid. The solution to both of these issues is to add an emulsifier. Common emulsifiers in food are lecithin and mono-glycerides, and di-glycerides. These can be bought online as purified powders since they are common in baking and super fancy restaurants. Egg yolks also contain lecithin and adding an egg yolk provided the same results. Egg yolks are around 10 – 15% lecithin (that’s quite a bit). For the volume of syrup this recipe makes, you’ll need about 3 grams of lecithin (we need about .5% of the volume of the syrup, so ~600g * .005 = 3g). Egg yolk is around 30g, so one egg yolk will work (~30g * .01 = 3g lecithin).

It doesn’t make it taste odd; it adds a nice texture. I think it tastes a bit better with the egg yolk. So add an egg yolk if you want and if not, keep it warm and shake it before each use. The egg yolk works well; it stays liquid and evenly mixed even in the fridge.

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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

  • 2 tsp Corn Starch

  • 1.5 cups White Sugar

  • 1 tin can Coconut Milk

  • 1 Egg Yolk

  • 1 small pinch Salt

Directions

  • Thicken corn starch with cold water and set aside.
  • Combine the coconut milk, salt, sugar, and egg yolk in a pan and whiskey together.
  • Turn on to medium heat, add the thickened corn starch, and stir till sugar is fully dissolved.
  • Strain through a fine mesh strainer and store in the fridge for up to a week.

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Related Post

Blue Hawaiian – A Delicious Blue Pina Colada

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 – Try This Amazing Colombian Coconut Drink

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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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.


Piña Colada – Make This Delicious And Easy Recipe

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 1972 Trader Vic’s Cocktail Guide is the oldest reference to pina colada I could find. His 1947 edition does not have a Piña Colada, and I could not find any 1950s or 1960s reference to it in print. 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.

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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


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.


Acapulco – Make Trader Vic’s Amazing Original Recipe

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 research, 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.

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Discover what classic cocktails you can make right now with the ingredients you have. Check out the Vintage American Cocktail app.

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


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.