Coconut and Coconaut

The Coconaut is a very tasty Tikidrink which i like a lot. This evening i was going to let some friends taste this drink and i wanted a nice garnish. So what would fit better than some toasted shaved coconut?

Usually the only coconuts that can be found here are those brown ones…but that is ok as the brown edge is nice on the coconut shavings when used for garnish. To crack open one of those brown coconuts is easier than most people think. All you need is a coconut, a bowl and a large cleaver.

Hold the coconut over a bowl in one hand such that the middle of the nut rests in the middle of your palm, with the tip on one end and the eyes on the other. Now, whack the coconut with the back (that is to say the blunt side) of the cleaver a few times all around the center until it cracks open cleanly into two nearly equal halves. Make sure you use the blunt side of the cleaver. Catch the juice in the bowl as it drains from the cracks.

After the nut was cracked, (it took 1 minute), i shaved the flesh with a potato peeler making sure to get a little bit of the brown shell. The shaved coconut pieces can be toasted to a golden brown so they become crispy and have more flavor. Let toasted nuts cool completely before using. They can be stored, covered, in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.

OVEN: Spread the coconut pieces evenly in shallow pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven 5 – 7 minutes or until golden brown. Stir frequently and don´t leave unchecked.

MICROWAVE: Spread nuts evenly on microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high 1 minute; stir.
Microwave on HIGH, checking every 30 seconds, until nuts are fragrant and browned.

Now the coconut was sorted out, so on to the drink, the Coconaut!

The recipe in Grog Log calls for Lopez coconut cream and of course that`s one of those things i cannot find here so i used the only thing available, Opies “cream of coconut”. Its very sweet so i used a bit less. This is blended with dark Jamaican rum, i used Appleton VX. I could have used the Extra or Reserve but i have more of the VX left.. And then the fresh lime juice, i LOVE fresh lime Juice!

And in the blender with crushed ice until slushy…

COCONAUT from Beachbum Berry`s Grog Log, serves 2-4.

8 oz Lopez Coconut Cream
2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
7 oz Dark Jamaican Rum

The toasted coconut pieces proved to be a excellent garnish as it was not only nice to look at but also very very yummy to snack on right out of the drink.

COCONUT CHIPS WITH SEA SALT

The leftover coconut chips will last about 2 weeks in the fridge and can be used as a snack, or bar snack (well..if you drink or serve something else than coconut drinks…) or if you want to make just the snack:

1 coconut, butter, sea salt

Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a baking sheet by rubbing with butter. Open the coconut and shave into thin slices and bake them as described above. Then sprinkle with sea salt and serve in an empty coconut shell.

As this is a coconutty post i finish with a coconutty drink…i was lucky to find a fresh green coconut and sometimes the simple things are the best..

To easily open a fresh green coconut all you need is a cleaver and a chefs knife. You first cut off a piece from the bottom to make the nut stand steady and then you “shave” the upper part of the nut to form a top which you cut off. Then pour some rum in the nut and chill it in the freezer for a while before adding a straw and maybe squeezing some fresh lime on top.

Trinidad Especial and Fragrant Vanilla Bean

WELCOME TO MY WORLD!

In this blog i`m going to write about tiki drinks, cocktails, rums and other spirits and occassionally throw in a food recipe in the “pages”. Its going to involve quite a bit of rum and tikidrinks…but also the making of syrups, bitters and infusions…and whatever else i may come up with.

I do this for fun and i hope you`ll have fun too!

Its something special about vanilla..maybe its the warm sensual fragrance and flavor of this beautiful exotic tropical climbing orchid…or the beauty of the flowers which only are open for a few hours in the morning. Maybe its the rich fragrant and oily darkness of the cured beans which at first are green. Vanilla flowers once a year in a period of about two months.

I love vanilla and i always have my favorite beans at home which are the Tahitian beans, from vanilla tahitensis. They have a very special floral aroma and flavor.

I`ve made my jar of vanilla sugar with these beans since about 10 years now. I mix 1 pack each of Tate&Lyles – or Billingtons dark and light Muscovado sugars with 3-4 Tahitian beans which i split on the length and scrape out all those lovely tiny black seeds which i mix with the sugars.

The longer they stay in the sugar the more flavor the sugar takes on from the beans. When the sugar is finished i just add some more and it goes on and on..

I also make my vanilla syrups using 1:1 ratio sugar and water and add a couple of split beans to the pan, let it simmer and then cool before i discard the beans (rinsing them and moving them to the sugar jar that is) and bottle my syrup.

A friend to me did mention that the Trinidad Especial cocktail, made by Valentino Bolognese who also won the European Angostura Cocktail Competition 2008 with this unusual cocktail – which indeed is a very special cocktail – using no less than 30 ml of Angostura bitters – is nice poured over vanilla ice cream..

Such a brilliant idea is one i cannot resist trying out. So i made both the cocktail and the vanilla ice cream with some of the cocktail poured over it..sounds a bit crazy but that´s how it was supposed to be done…and indeed this cocktail tastes good!

It wasn`t that bitter as i first expected but rather aromatic and spicy with a heavy dose of clove flavor. On the ice cream it was a treat.

TRINIDAD ESPECIAL

10 ml. Pisco Mistral
20 ml. fresh lime juice
30 ml. barley syrup
30 ml Angostura Aromatic Bitters.
Shake hard and long, and strain in a Martini glass.