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4 small cocktails
This cocktail is made entirely from scratch from fresh young coconuts (which are thankfully always in season), and pineapple which is just about nearing its end. This fresh version has a different texture than your garden-variety piña colada, with delicate bubbles reminiscent of Pearl Diver's Punch, a classic tiki drink. Our Borneo blend supplies a layered heat and alluring fragrance from the mace and long pepper.
Juice and flesh of 1 young coconut (about 12 fluid ounces)
2 cups of chopped fresh pineapple*
3/4 cup crushed ice
3/4 cup of pineapple-coconut purée, chilled
1/3 cup rum‡
Pineapple wedges for garnish
Using a sharp knife remove any excess pith from the top of the fresh coconut, exposing the pointy top.
Identify the edge of where you cleared away the pith, this is where you will make a hole using a sturdy oyster knife.
Carefully but forcefully plunge the oyster knife into the coconut.
Twist the knife and gently lift the point towards the center and you should be able to pop out a neat circle from the shell, it may take a few tries to get a hang of the motion.
Drain the water inside into a bowl and using a spoon scoop the flesh from the inside of the coconut and add it to the bowl as well.
Mix the pineapple chunks and coconut juice/flesh in a blender and process until smooth.
For an even smoother purée you can pass it through a strainer or chinois.
Add the ice, purée, and rum to your blender, along with however much Borneo spice you like (start with a pinch or two, a little goes a long way).
Blend until smooth, taste and adjust seasoning to your tastes, then divide between 4 small mugs or glasses. Garnish with a pineapple wedge dipped in a bit more Borneo spice.
Make sure to consume quickly, the delicate texture will degrade quickly as the emulsion separates. This is why I prefer smaller serving glasses. You can always easily make another batch!
* Use the skin and core of the pineapple to make tepache instead of throwing them away!
‡ I like a lighter bodied and clean rum with vanilla notes for this drink, examples: El Dorado 3-year (Guyana), Mezan Chiriqui (Panama). Or sometimes a richer rum like Plantation Pineapple (which also supplies another layer of pineapple flavor).
Try a dash of pernod, angostura, or fernet to add a savory and spicy counterpoint.
• For a more hassle-free experience you can purchase coconut water and pulp pre-blended. This is a solid option.
• For a more traditional piña colada that's still light and fresh, add 1 ounce of simple syrup, increase the ice to 1 cup, blend, then transfer to an ice cream maker and churn until slushy. Stay tuned for a great recipe for a frozen dessert as well!
• The purée can also be used to add great sweetness and flavor to other dishes, for example Chicken Tenders (sub 50% of the mayonnaise called for with the purée and add a bit of fine flaked coconut and Borneo spice to the breading).
Food images and recipe © Christian Leue.
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