Koko Kanu 70 cl, 37.5% ABV - Jamaica Coconut Rum
About this deal
Using enough ice to fill your glass to two-thirds, whizz in a blender until crushed, or place the ice in a clean tea towel and whack repeatedly with a rolling pin, rounders bat or similar, then put in a cocktail shaker. Moore reckons “it’s not essential to use fresh fruit to make a decent piña colada, though it certainly adds to the drama if you do” so I try her recipe with tinned pineapple rings, and save the fresh stuff for Wilson’s recipe. Even the great mixologist Tony Conigliaro names it as his guilty pleasure – as if this totally tropical taste were something to be ashamed of.
That said, Conigliaro’s recipe falls at the first hurdle in using cachaça instead of rum, which disqualifies it from the classic colada race. The cream of coconut is unpleasantly gloopy, while the coconut water is too subtle – it works in Godwin’s second version, because it’s a much shorter drink, but I can hardly taste it in Wilson’s drink. It got a 5 star rating at the time on my Rum Atlas but since I have had the bottle at home, it needs 10 stars!
Pineapple is non-negotiable (unless you’re a maverick, like Conigliaro, but as we’ve established, he’s already been disqualified anyway). Wilson says that, despite the name, which means “strained pineapple”, it’s easier to keep the drink from separating if you don’t bother, but his would be better served with a spoon than a straw. For the money it represents fantastic value, but even on pure taste alone, this sits above all the other flavoured rums I've tried.
Moore perspicaciously observes that the thickness of the drink is crucial, describing crushed ice as the ideal, though without a sufficiently powerful blender, she suggests serving the drink in an ice-packed glass instead. Just as I’m wondering how many different rums it’s decent for one woman to have in her collection, I spot that he has helpfully included instructions on how to make your own coconut rum by fat-washing light rum with coconut oil, which provides surprisingly easy and effective, though it’s a subtlety that would be lost in the classic recipe using coconut milk rather than coconut water. I like it with lime juice, ice and a bit of sugar with a mint leaf on top for a lovely refreshing drink.All our journalism is independent and is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative. My blender, despite bold claims of an ice function, is somewhat incompetent at breaking the stuff up, but I find a few stress-relieving whacks of a rolling pin works wonders (on the ice, not the blender, though sometimes I am sorely tempted) – and there really is no decent substitute.