Cocktail Corner: A Tropical Pick-Me-Up

Every two months I meet with a group of friends who like to cook. We have what’s called a “cookbook club.” The host selects a cookbook, we pick a time, and every one shows up with a dish or two they’ve made from said cookbook. Last month we prepared recipes from The Brazilian Kitchen: 100 Classic and Creative Recipes by Leticia Moreinos. This particular meeting was hosted by a native Brazilian, so the pressure was on! I chose to make a dessert called Cocada de Forno (Baked Coconut). It was delicious, but you may ask what does it have to do with cocktails? Well, I had to purchase a bottle of Malibu coconut-flavored rum for the one tablespoon that the recipe called for. So what to do with the rest? I’m not much of a Piña Colada gal (although I do love getting caught in the rain), but I’ve always loved rum coffee drinks, so I decided to give that flavor profile a try. I also had leftover sweetened condensed milk, so I used that instead of the more familiar simple syrup. As always, I try to keep things light, so I used a coconut milk drink instead of the heavier canned variety. Of course, I did blow the calorie count on a whipped cream topping anyway, but it’s just as good plain!

Iced Malibu Coco-Coffee

In a cocktail shaker half filled with ice, add one scant cup of coconut milk (the drink that often comes in a carton), one heaping teaspoon of instant espresso powder (such as Bustelo), a good overflowing teaspoon of sweetened condensed milk and two ounces of coconut flavored rum (such as Malibu). Give it a really good, long shake and strain into a chilled tumbler. The shaking will give it a little froth just as it is, but if you want to be decadent, top with whipped cream and some shredded coconut.