Coo Coo for Coconuts: Vodka, Rum, Shochu, Beer, Syrup, Milk, Water….

Did I forget to include anything else?  Like macadamia nuts, there is a world shortage on coconuts but one wouldn’t know it because it’s everywhere in the beverage world.  Coconut flavoring has come a long way from tasting and smelling like sun tan lotion.  Coconut drinks have developed into something more exotic than drinking out of coconut and adding a cocktail umbrella.  

Kai Coconut Shochu.  Two of the fastest growing beverages, coconut water and shochu, combined to make one winning product.  Shochu is a distilled spirit normally from rice, but can also be distilled from sweet potatoes, barley, and buckwheat.  The alcohol proof is 48 or 24% alcohol which about half the proof of vodka.  The trend is using Pan-Asian flavors like coconut water, lemongrass, yuzu, and ‘matcha’ green tea.  Coconut water is gaining popularity because it’s ‘fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie, super-hydrating, and naturally rich in electrolytes.’ There is a subtle flavor, but it does not taste like Mounds or Almond Joy.  In my opinion, it tastes more like Horlicks Malted Milk tablets.  The Kai Coconut Shochu does have a slight sun tan lotion aroma but not offensive.  The Horlick maltiness is ethereal and finishes without the burn.

Malibu Black Coconut Rum.  Malibu’s newest addition to their rum family.  The Black is at 70 proof or 35% alcohol compared to the Original is 42 proof or 21% alcohol.  The Malibu Black uses aged rum which gives the rum it’s darker color.  A rule of thumb that we use is the higher the alcohol percentage, the less sweeter the liquor will taste.   The Malibu Black resembles in flavor to a spiced rum with a hint of coconut.  There are nuances of toffee and vanilla on the nose and palate.

Hawaiian Coconut Vodka.  We have all ready mentioned Dave Flintstones’ Hawaiian Vodka on a previous blog, but it’s well worth a second shout.  Hawaiian Vodka is small batch, artisan vodka made in Honolulu, Hawaii.  The Hawaiian Coconut Vodka is very much like the Kai Coconut Shochu but with a more silkier texture and lingering flavor.  It tastes much like haupia, a favorite luau dessert.  I wished it was called Hawaiian Haupia Vodka, but it would be a little harder to market…i understand.

Maui Brewing Co. Coconut Porter.  When this beer first debuted, there was a lot of skepticism about the coconut ‘flavoring.’  Critics were shushed because the Maui Brewing Coconut Porter took Gold Medal for the Herb & Spice category at the 2006 World Beer Cup.  The aroma is full of rich, roasted nuttiness.  There is a slight hint of toasted and salted coconut.  Maui Brewing Co. toasts the coconuts themselves to insure the flavor.

Why we are coo coo for coconuts?  We live on a island where the palm trees sway.

Category : Reviews &Spirits Posted on August 28, 2011

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