A classic Daiquiri, when made with nothing more than rum, fresh lime juice, and sugar, is a thing of beauty. Given a vigorous shake with ice (please, no blenders), these three simple ingredients can combine into a frothy, refreshing cocktail that can halt a sweaty brow, at least temporarily, even on the balmiest of days. Which all makes complete sense, considering that the Daiquiri was created in the sweltering climes of Cuba.
With the temperatures increasing in my neck of the woods, a cooling cocktail was on order for me this past weekend. While I like a classically made Daiquiri as much as the next cocktail nerd, I was plum out of limes. But what I did have on hand was a surplus of Filipino Calamansi limes, which I knew would provide the sour backbone of the Daiquiri, while also lending a nice mandarin orange aroma to the drink as well.
And since I was already Filipinizing this cocktail with Pinoy limes, I figured I’d go a couple steps extra and go beyond sweetening the drink with just sugar, or even simple syrup. So I decided to make a simple syrup from coconut water and coconut sugar!
Coconut water + Coconut palm sugar + heat = Coconut Simple Syrup
To make the Coconut Simple Syrup, I simply combined equal parts coconut water and granulated coconut palm sugar, brought the mixture to a boil in a small pot over high heat, then reduced the heat and simmered for 3 minutes. The resultant syrup is a dark amber in color, and has an earthy nutty flavor from the coconut water, and a sweet faint molasses flavor from the coconut sugar. You can use this Coconut Simple Syrup the way you’d use regular simple syrup such as for sweetening cocktails, coffee, and other drinks. It would even be good drizzled over ice cream, or heck, rained over some Coconut Milk Fried Chicken and Coconut Macapuno Waffles!
Anyways, back to the Daiquiri.
A classic Daiquiri uses white/light/silver rum, such as that from Bacardi. But Tanduay Silver Rum, a Filipino brand, works well too. The fresh calamansi juice and dark coconut water/coconut sugar simple syrup give this drink a beautiful golden hue–a stark contrast in color to the original drink’s cloudy silvery glow. But the taste is still very similar to the original: refreshing with sour and sweet notes, but with a new depth of flavor thanks to the orange scent of the calamansi, and the rich nuttiness of the coconut syrup. And since the Bicol region of the Philippines is well known for its use of coconut in many of its native dishes, I decided to name this drink The Bicol Daiquiri.
- 1/2 cup coconut water
- 1/2 cup granulated coconut palm sugar
- 2 ounces white rum
- 1 ounce fresh calamansi juice
- 1/2 ounce Coconut Simple Syrup (recipe below)
- Calamansi lime, for garnish
- Combine the coconut water and coconut palm sugar in a small saucepan over high heat.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Store syrup in airtight container or bottle in the refrigerator.
- Combine the rum, calamansi juice, and coconut simple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Shake vigorously for 30 seconds, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with calamansi lime.
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