Maybe you had to work on Labor Day. Maybe you're less than psyched about the amount of premature Halloween candy in your local drugstore. Summer may be over according to the calendar, but you can still stick a paper umbrella in something tropical to sip. Take a virtual vacation in the comfort of your own home with these three drinks that incorporate coconut in a few of its many forms.
Banana, Nutella, and Coconut Yogurt Shake with Chai Spices
I once took an informal poll about the distinction between a shake and a smoothie. The overwhelming response was that the defining characteristic of a shake is that it has ice cream. Well, I'd argue that this drink resists that definition. It doesn't have ice cream, but it does have the uncanny creaminess of frozen bananas, their best friend Nutella, and rich, tangy coconut milk yogurt. Accented by chai spices and topped with coconut flakes, this treat just might make it into your regular rotation.
Spicy Honeydew and Coconut Water Agua Fresca
For the base of this refreshment, you'll blend ripe green honeydew melon, then strain it through cheesecloth for a super-flavorful fresh melon juice. Coconut water is a perfect candidate for stretching the fruit juice a bit further: it's not too sweet and not too assertive, but adds a delicate flavor that's more interesting than plain water. The cooling flavors of the melon and coconut get a little kick from homemade chile de arbol simple syrup.
Mango and Coconut Milk Batida Cocktail
Batidas are a family of cocktails that feature the Brazilian spirit cachaça, which is distilled from fermented sugar cane juice. Batidas often combine cachaça, which is likely to appeal to rum drinkers, with either fruit juice, coconut milk, or even condensed milk. This version uses mango juice, coconut milk, plus a little lime juice, and agave syrup to round things out.