Summer may be over according to the calendar, but you can still stick a paper umbrella in something tropical to sip. Here are three recipes for a virtual vacation at home.
'coconut' on Serious Eats
Aguas Frescas, which translate literally as "fresh waters," are iced drinks made from infusions of water and herbs, grains, fruits, or vegetables. They're perfect for this time of year because they practically beg to be sipped outside and they're very easily scaled up to make a refreshing pitcher drink.
Plenty of foodstuffs taste great in their natural form, but translate terribly to "flavors." (Banana-flavored Runts or Now 'n Laters couldn't taste less like bananas, right?) So does the notion of a coconut-flavored soda sound particularly appealing? We didn't think so, but were pleasantly surprised by Puerto Rican coconut soda Coco Rico
Coconut rum always makes me a little sad, because it never lives up to its promise. I want it to taste like a real coconut spiked with rum. But what you usually get is a syrupy mess. It smells good, so I psych myself up with visions of a big, fat coconut filled with rum—only to taste a viscous mouthful of sugar and artificial flavors. I had just about given up on coconut rum when I tried to make it myself. Yes! It turns out that it is possible to have a coconut rum that just tastes like rum and real coconut.
A kindly publicist sent us a new bottle of booze last week, about which I offer the following mixed review. Let's lead with the bad news that Malibu Red is a pretty lackluster name for a tequila, rum, and coconut liqueur hybrid. There's a good bit of red on the label, but the liquid itself is clear. Malibu Black—which is basically just a higher-proof version of the original Malibu coconut rum—has the good sense to be black, but I can't think of any reason why the Red isn't named Blue or Kai or any other little word.
I like chocolate and I like tea, but I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about "Cuppa Chocolate Tea" a line of herbal-chocolate tea blends from the Republic of Tea. And while I wasn't wild about the others flavors in this line, the Coconut Cocoa stood out.
All the way in the back of Lifethyme, a health food market in the West Village, is a juice and smoothie stand. The all-fruit and vegetable juices are ordinary, but Coconut Smoothies ($7.50) stands out from the rest. These smoothies are fruit-based, your pick from fruit choices including blueberries, strawberries, and apples. Next comes the awesome part: a whole coconut blended in with the smoothie.