The Monk-ey Nut
Updated: Jul 10, 2020
One of the most unique tropical drinks I've had in a long while.
As I continue my (Covid-19 quarantine) journey through The Home Bar Guide to Tropical Drinks I came across the Monk-ey Nut. Having a large portion of coconut rum I didn't have high expectations, but it became a lesson in the way that less can be more in a Tiki drink.
When it comes to Tiki aficionados, I'm definitively middle of the road. I'm not one of the purists that won't use canned pineapple juice or relegates a large portion of Don the Beachcomber's catalog to the few weeks a year that fresh white grapefruit is available. However, I will always opt for a real ingredient over flavored spirits. I've mentioned before that coconut rum is a bit of an exception due to coconut syrups having a creamy nature that isn't always desirable. But in general, I want the actual thing, not a chemical facsimile.
Then I came upon the Monk-key Nut. It has coconut rum and coconut cream. Why both? Well, it's not just mouthfeel but flavor is also an issue here. By mixing a bit of each you punch up the coconut flavor without getting too creamy but you still get a bit of the creaminess without it feeling too full. Less of both equals more. This happens a lot in Tiki drinks.
When you start looking at a lot of recipes you begin to notice that the smallest of differences makes a totally different drink. Sometimes that's in name only, but often the taste is completely transformed as well. It's taught me to sample additives and subtractions in 1/4 ounce increments lest you skip over the sweet spot in a drink's combo. The Monk-ey Nut is a great example of this as well. As you may have guessed from the name there was a monk involved at some point and that would be in the creation of Frangelico. Frangelico is a hazelnut liqueur from Italy; which doesn't exactly bring "tropical" to mind. However, it is combined with coffee, cocoa, and vanilla extracts so we're moving safely towards tropical flavors even if we did start in Italy. While we only use 1/4 of an ounce of it in this drink, it truly sets it off. Balanced with the coconut and book ended by the spicy Ancho Chili Pepper Syrup and the tart passion fruit syrup you end up with a 10 ingredient drink that still manages to be greater than the sum of its parts!
Source - Hiphipahula, The Home Bar Guide to Tropical Drinks
3/4 ounce lime juice
1 1/2 ounce guava nectar*
1/2 coconut cream syrup*
1/4 ounce passion fruit syrup*
1/4 ounce Frangelico
1/2 ounce Cruzan white rum
1 1/2 ounce Cruzan Coconut rum
splash of soda water*
Add all of your ingredients into a drink mixer tin. Add 12 ounces of crushed ice and flash blend in the spindle mixer. Gated pour into a hurricane glass or Tiki mug. Garnish is a pineapple leaf and a couple of raw sugar can sticks
*Bamboo Sam's customizations: In The Home Bar Guide to Tropical Drinks, they mention a lot of ingredients by brand name. Sometimes they change my mind and other times I prefer other brands/methods. I'm a big fan of Cruzan rums so we're good there. Kelly "Hiphipahula" says to use a squeeze of Coco Real but I prefer the Smuggler's Cove Coconut Cream syrup instead. It's less greasy and mixes well. I have a hard time finding guava nectar so I tend to use whatever (not Jumex) I can find. She also mentions Torani passion fruit syrup. I prefer BG Reynolds; to each his/her own, I guess. And I almost always use Perrier for soda water. Lastly, I apologize for the lack of correct garnishment of late. This whole Covid-19 pandemic has done a number on my grocery situation...