You Go, Van Coco! A Cocktail DIY of Tropic Proportions

I’ll admit it. I love to impress people.

In fact, I enjoy dazzling close friends and total strangers so much, I’m swapping out my garish collection of plastic tumblers and mismatched glassware for something far more impressive: COCONUTS.

Okay, I’m only half joking, but after trying this yourself, you’ll see where I’m coming from! This alternative-vessel DIY didn’t just take me straight to the tropics — it also put me right at the top of people my pals admire most. A confident assertion? Absolutely. But, when anyone gets a glimpse of you taking the time to smash open a piece of produce for their overall enjoyment, you’ll score some serious points. As if you weren’t incredible enough already! This little project requires:

  • Muscle. Use those gym gains, girl!
  • A few ‘old’ coconuts (the brown, rotund kind)
  • Confidence. No need to feel daunted!
  • A mid-sized machete or large knife
  • Some type of scooping mechanism (I used a grapefruit spoon)

A caveat before we get started:
Opening a coconut is no joke. Before pounding away at the hard shell before me, I was lovingly counseled on how to safely handle a machete, and while I strongly encourage you to try this at home, do exercise caution

Also, the ‘meat’ of the coconut is stubborn and the removal process requires patience. (Don’t have time? I got you.To more easily remove the insides, split the shell and leave it out to dry for a day or two. Word on the street is, you can also bake the halves at 300 degrees for 1-2 hours. However, if you’re looking to make up for skipping arm day (I’m with you), scooping provides a great workout.

Pictured: Frond in a Million Coaster Set

Now, on to the how-to!

  1. Coconuts are a triclops fruit — a term I am pioneering — meaning they have three eyes at the top of their round bodies. Over a large bowl, locate the softest eye, and push a screwdriver through it. The nut should make a small suction noise to let you know when you’ve made contact with the inside.
  2. Drain the coconut water so it doesn’t go spilling all over the place when you separate the pieces!
  3. Coconuts are often scored around their circumference. Using a firm grip with your thumb wrapping around the top of the handle and making contact with your fingers, whack the back side of your machete (opposite the blade) along the line.
    • Pro tip: When bringing the knife up to gain momentum, raise it over your shoulder — not near your face!
  4. Rotate the coconut a half inch for each crack formed, then whack it again. Make your way around the entire fruit until it can be easily pulled apart.
  5. After drying out its interior by way of letting it rest or having it hang out in your exotic oven sauna, remove as much of its meat as you prefer.
  6. Give the shell a little haircut so its fibers won’t poke you or anybody in the face while sipping away.
  7. Since this isn’t a flat fruit, you’ll want your vessel to remain upright. I employed some lovely leaf plates by filling them with ice for a clever tropical touch.

Congrats! You now have a fresh and functional cup in which to indulge. Not sure what to savor from its shell first? I gotcha covered there, too. Below is an equally impressive (yet much less physically demanding) cocktail recipe you’ll be enjoying in only a few moments.

72358_0001_800xVHPictured: Leaf Some for Me Plate Set

Punch Ado About Nothing (Shakespearean, not stirred)

What you’ll need:
1/2 oz coconut rum
1/2 oz tequila
1/2 oz blue curaçao
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 oz carbonated lemon-lime beverage
1 lemon wedge

Upon prepping the simple syrup, pour the listed ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker.
Give it a generous shaking, and fill up your coconut. Garnish with a lemon wedge and a fun striped straw, because after all that work, you deserve a little libation vacation.

Depending on the shape, size, and volume of your coconut cup, you’ll likely have some liquid left over. Fear not! Just look at it as already having much-needed refills on standby.

There you have it. Incredible new cup? Check. Wooing everyone you’ve ever met with your dedication to festive creativity? Check. One more survival skill (and recipe) in the event you’re ever stranded on a deserted island and need to host a party? Check!

Some may say that after doing this, the world is your oyster, but shellfish are too simple a conquest for a formidable soul like you. So, I dare to update the adage…

The world is your coconut. Cheers!

About Savannah

If something's happening on stage, you can probably find Savannah there, from house shows and dramatic theater productions to faraway metal gigs and full-on festivals. Otherwise, she spends her days elbows-deep in carb-heavy meals, rattling about years spent overseas, and testing the creative limits of an all-black wardrobe.

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