Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Cuckoo for coconut vodka

The Mad Scienticians went down to the wire coming up with an infusion flavor this week, due to a very busy weekend. Ultimately, we wound up going to the store and looking for something on the fly; we came up with several ideas which we may use in the future, but for this week, we decided to roll with coconut. Two of our recent successful cocktails have involved coconut rum, and we want to see if we can produce a vodka equivalent; furthermore, it ought to compliment the pineapple vodka in progress, which is nearly complete.

We purchased an "easy-open" coconut, which proved to be a misnomer. It didn't help that our laboratory is uncharacteristically lacking in immediately accessible tools. We found two stray screwdrivers (the tool, not the drink) and used the handle of one as a hammer and the other as a chisel.

First, we poked one of the coconut's eyes out (nyuk nyuk) and drained out the milk. We were surprised that the coconut milk was clear; we expected it to be... milkier.

Once drained, we attempted to crack the coconut open. Years of research and millions of dollars have gone into modifying the coconut genome to grow an "easy-open" groove on the shell. Unfortunately, this groove only gives you a place to stick a tool with reduced slippage, and does not weaken the shell to any discernable degree. When working with substandard tools, as we were, the coconut will not budge.

Now I wish I had watched that Tom Hanks movie.

After five minutes of tapping, I realized that I had other tools in the trunk of my car, including a hammer. Once we started using the hammer to drive the screwdriver, we began making progress, albeit slowly.

Soon, Wayland had had enough of proper procedure. He chugged some VIT-RX and snapped the coconut open like a large, fibrous-shelled egg.

Qapla'! The coconut has been defeated, providing its meaty goodness as a condition of surrender.

Wayland picks out a small piece of coconut and tastes it.

Yikes! This isn't what coconut is supposed to taste like. It's not really bad, but it's certainly not the flavor that The Establishment has convinced us we would find within. After all the effort we've just expended, the coconut mocks us.

Perhaps the flavor is in the milk, then? I decide to find out.

Blech. Coconut milk is sour. We're starting to get an idea of why Hanks went crazy and started talking to sporting goods.

We forge ahead regardless, scooping out chunks of coconut meat for the infusion.

We'll give this a week or two, testing it periodically. If it does turn out sour, we'll try adding some sugar later on, and see if that helps. In the meantime, we're hoping that the coconut flavor we know and love will escape from the oddly-flavored fruit which imprisons it.


GabĂș said...

I don't think coconuts are in season right now, which might be part of the problem. I know the coconut trees in my backyard are full of the fruit in the summer, and then it's really sweet (although mind you, artificial coconut flavor is kind of a far stretch from real coconut). So that might be your problem. I'm not sure, though.

luna1580 said...

if the coconut water (coconut milk is actually made by boiling the dried shredded meat in water) was sour your coconut was spoiled.

much better to just start with dried, shredded, unsweetened coconut meat and put that in the vodka!