Well, in the short-term it is for me anyways.
A few months back I had to cut out dairy, soy, eggs, red meat and shellfish for medical reasons. Not for some crazy diet! It doesn’t cut into the cocktail making that much, but there are a few drinks that I’ve had to shelve because of these restrictions. Eggs are an easy one to cut out since I’ve covered so many alternatives for them on the site. Dairy though can get tricky, it imparts a particular taste and mouthfeel that can be hard to replicate. With that in mind, there’s just going to be some drinks I can’t have right now. But this also opens up a new door of twists I can make instead.
Today’s drink is a pretty basic recipe riff on a White Russian. Except… with homemade toasted coconut milk. WHAAAAA?!
Sure, you could add coconut cream or regular coconut milk in here, but the toasty quality of this is OH SO delicious and really stands out in the drink when you put it up against the coffee. I got the idea a few months back when I saw Heidi from 101 Cookbooks make this and for whatever reason I immediately thought about subbing it for cream in a White Russian. Fast forward to now and it is so worth the extra steps to make the toasted coconut milk. And it makes enough so you can add it into your coffee all week and maybe eat some cereal with it too.
Now, this coconut milk behaves differently than cream would; it’s not thick and it’s not going to significantly lighten the color of your cocktail. That also means it’s going to give a lighter feel in your mouth and not coat your tongue like cream does. Maybe for some of you this is a plus. That said, it’s definitely worth trying out if you’re looking for an alternative to dairy or just looking to try something new!
The Toasty Russian
2 ounces vodka
1 ounce coffee liqueur, St. George Spirits NOLA Coffee Liqueur used here
3/4 to 1 ounce toasted coconut milk (recipe follows)
toasted coconut flakes for garnish, optional
In a rocks glass, build your drink by pouring vodka, coffee liqueur, and toasted coconut milk over ice. Stir to combine. Garnish with some toasted coconut flakes if you’re feeling fancy.
Toasted Coconut Milk
- Heat your oven to 350°F. Toast your coconut on a sheet pan for approximately 10 minutes, stirring half-way through. Set aside to cool.
- Once coconut is cooled, combine toasted coconut and water. Let sit for 3 hours.
- Pour into a blender and add salt and maple syrup. Blend for 30 second to combine.
- Pour mixture into a nut bag placed over a bowl to strain out solids. You may need to skim the top after straining.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.