The Coconut Martini is one of the most popular martinis and there are a number of recipes available. Many take the casual approach of adding vodka or rum to coconut and while it's an okay drink, there's often something missing. To create a truly memorable Coconut Martini, we need to add a little depth to the flavor.
The typical Coconut Martini mix is one of vanilla vodka, coconut rum, and cream of coconut in some form or fashion. It is a nice drink, but there needs to be a spark of flavor and that is why I added a splash of pineapple to this recipe.
What you get out of this drink is a creamy, frothy cocktail with a tropical sweetness that is a fun sipper on a hot day, especially as dessert. The pineapple adds a little contrast to the sweet vanilla and coconut, bringing the drink back from the edge of being too sweet. It's a bit like an inverted Piña Colada where the focus is on the coconut and it is delicious.
- Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Shake well.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a pineapple wedge and/or coconut flake.
You will not have a hard time finding a vanilla-flavored vodka as there are many vodka brands that produce it. It's a very popular flavor that is useful in a number of cocktails (even those that don't call for it).
Some vodkas to try include Grey Goose La Vanille, 360 Vodka Madagascar Vanilla, and Stoli Vanil.
The Coconut Rum
Coconut rum is also very common. While Malibu may be the first choice that comes to mind, I encourage you to explore the other options. Look for Cruzan, Calico Jack, Coruba, or Don Q. They're all in the same price range.
However, coconut rum can be a bit disappointing at times. They're almost always leaning toward the liqueur side of distilled spirits, meaning their low-proof and often too sweet or made with artificial coconut flavoring. If you want a real taste of coconut rum, you will have to make it yourself.
To make the freshest coconut rum:
- Remove the white meat from a fresh coconut and chop it up so it can fit inside your infusion jar or bottle.
- Add the rum of your choice and seal the bottle. (The best part is choosing your own rum!)
- Shake it vigorously and store the infusion in a dark, cool place for about two weeks. Shake it regularly to keep the flavors alive.
- Taste your rum and if you'd like the flavor to be a bit more intense, continue infusing until it's to your liking.
Cream of coconut is the most popular coconut mixer available. It's surprisingly easy to find at the liquor store because it's essential for a Piña Colada. It will produce the creamiest Coconut Martini.
If you want a thinner coconut drink, feel free to use coconut milk. It has the same great taste, it's simply lighter and makes the martini a bit more refreshing.
If you're cutting pineapple garnishes for this martini, then you have fresh pineapple available. This means that you also have fresh pineapple juice at the ready. Because the drink requires just a splash of pineapple juice, there's no need to buy (or waste) a can of the juice.
The easiest way to get fresh juice from your pineapple is to muddle a few chunks of pineapple in your cocktail shaker. Mash it up well enough to release all of the juices, then strain the juice out as if you just made a cocktail. You should have more than enough juice for a round or two of martinis.
Dress Up the Martini
Remember that this cocktail is served in a cocktail glass and your pineapple garnish should not make it top-heavy. Keep your pineapple wedges petite so they don't overtake the glass, but simply adorn it. Cut a slit in the wedge so it can easily rest on the rim.
- If you like, skewer a cherry to the pineapple to add a splash of color.
- You may also want to garnish this drink with a coconut and sugar rim, toasted coconut, or coconut flake. Just remember to do so before straining the drink.
How Strong is the Coconut Martini?
Compared to many other martini recipes, the Coconut Martini is relatively light on the alcohol. That's because the two flavored liquors tend to be lower than their standard 80-proof, unflavored counterparts.
With a 70-proof vanilla vodka and the 42-proof Malibu Rum, this martini weighs in at a mere 21% ABV (42 proof). This is equal to a straight shot of Malibu and milder than the average Chocolate Martini. That said, the Coconut Martini does still have a deceptive punch and yours may be stronger depending on your spirits of choice.