“You put the lime in the coconut and drink ’em bot’ up!” This song has found itself firmly planted in my head lately (maybe because the warm weather has finaaally decided to come out and play!) I can’t help but think of lounging on the beach, toes in the sand, with a tropical drink in hand whenever I hear this song! I found myself singing this as I waltzed down the produce aisle, grabbing coconuts, pineapples, and limes with out even thinking! And what do you think I made with all of these? A cocktail! What else does one do with such beautiful and tasty ingredients?
Knowing there needed to be something else to marry these citrusy and creamy ingredients together and give it some oomph, I searched for the perfect accompaniment. I came across one small, but mighty item that seemed perfect, albeit unconventional for cocktails: Thai Chilies!
These little guys may look harmless, but pack quiiiite a punch. Sticking a whole one of these into a drink would surely cause a 5 alarm fire in your mouth, not exactly what I am look for when I’m parched on a Friday at 5 o’clock. Steeping a few chilies in a brown sugar syrup mellows out the overpowering burn, while maintaining some of the heat and flavor that gives the drink so much depth!
Thai Chili Colada
- 2 oz dark rum
- 1 oz coconut rum
- 2 oz coconut milk
- 4oz pineapple juice
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 1/2 – 1 oz Thai chili syrup (recipe below)
- Pineapple flower (recipe below)
Combine all ingredients into a shaker with ice, adding 1/2 oz – 1 oz chili syrup based on your heat tolerance. Shake for 2 minutes to get the drink cold and frothy. Strain into a tall glass. Top with pineapple flower for garnish (and flair!)
Thai chili syrup
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 3 Thai Chilis
Slice Thai Chilies and remove seeds. Dice peppers. Bring a cup of sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the chili peppers and remove from heat. Let cool and strain out peppers. Can be saved up to 2 weeks in a sealed container in fridge.
There are varying layers of flavor going on here — the citrusy, tart lime is followed by the creamy coconut which is then chased with the slow, sweet burn from the feisty chilies. It creates a smooth and refreshing drink with an unexpected kick. Top with a pineapple flower and you have the makings of a seriously addicting drink!
- 1 pineapple
Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Remove pineapple rind. Slice pineapple width wise into very thin slices. Place pineapple slice onto baking sheet spaced evenly. Bake on one side until it looks dry, begin checking at the half hour mark. Flip pineapple slices and bake that side until dry. Remove from oven and place pineapples in an empty egg carton to make the “petals” curve up.
Whether you are on vacation or pretending you have escaped to the tropics in your own backyard, savoring one of these Thai Chili Coladas will whisk you away to paradise!
Photography and recipe by Ashley Rose Kirschling for Jojotastic.