Explorations in Mixology Cocktails Drinking

Homemade Coconut Cream

Coconut Cream is the cocktail industry name for coconut milk syrup—an essential ingredient in many cocktail classics. There are several brands on the market, but the gold standard is Coco López Cream of Coconut which we have written about before. The canned stuff is great, but we started making our own a couple years ago after reading the Smuggler’s Cove, reinforced by Darcy O’Neil’s Art Of Drink blog and others. The fact is, homemade Coconut Cream is one of the easiest DIY ingredients you can make.

The basic idea is to open a can of quality, full-fat coconut milk, add a heavy pinch of salt, and blend with simple syrup. Done. It lasts several days and couldn’t be easier. We go a step further by dissolving granulated sugar into the coconut milk with a little heat, and and adding some coconut milk powder to give it a boost of flavor.

Coconut Cream
1 can, 13.5 oz coconut milk, full fat, unsweetened
1.75 cups sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 tablespoon coconut milk powder (optional)

Add the can of coconut milk to a sauce pan. Be sure to scrape the inside of the can to get all of the contents which may have separated. Add the sugar and pinch of salt. Stir over medium heat until the the sugar dissolves and the mixture becomes translucent. If using the coconut milk powder, add this and whisk to dissolve. This may need to be blended to fully integrate.

Allow to cool, transfer to a jar or bottle and refrigerate. Keeps for a few weeks, or can be stored in the freezer indefinitely.

We store all of our bulk syrups in the freezer now and pull out only what we need per drink or what we think we can use quickly. This preserves the whole batch for a very long time. If you happen to live somewhere that sells Coco López, you can do the same if you are not able to use the entire can at once. Just make sure you mix it to combine, as it tends to separate in the can. Still, we prefer our homemade version because we can control what goes into it versus potential preservatives and chemical emulsifiers.

Use this in your favorite tiki recipes that call for coconut like the Painkiller, Le Coco, Tradewinds, or a Piña Colada!

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