A Coconut Margarita feels like the perfect combination of two of our all-time favorites, the Margarita - obviously- and the Piña Colada. Some even say it takes out the best of both cocktails and creates something even better.
Perhaps, I would not go as far as to say that - the classic Margarita is hard to beat, and so is a Piña Colada when executed the right way. But the Coconut Margarita definitely doesn't have to hide behind those two and deserves a top spot in the list of riffs on a classic Margaritas.
The Margarita is a classic and simple three-ingredient cocktail. All you need is Tequila, Triple Sec, and lime juice. For the coconut version, the recipe gets extended by one more ingredient, namely the cream of coconut. -Not coconut cream or coconut milk.
Also, as we all know, a genuine Margarita isn't complete without a rimmed glass. Technically, that makes the original already a four-ingredient cocktail - with the extra component, the salt, being now replaced by shredded coconut.
Regarding the Tequila, I recommend a Blanco. You can also check out our list of the best Tequilas for Margaritas. It's a hand-picked list of Tequila bottles that work perfectly in classic recipes and twists.
Tools you need for your Coconut Margarita
Don't worry, you won't need a whole toolbox full of kitchen gear to make this Margarita. Still, before you get started, I want to mention that a food blender comes in handy instead of a cocktail shaker. It makes your life a lot easier when mixing the cream of coconut with the other ingredients.
You can also try and use your shaker, but you need good shaking skills to pull that off. And if you intend to do more than one or two Coconut Margaritas, it will quickly turn into a serious workout.
Rim the glass
To answer the first question, raw or toasted: both works. It really only depends on the time you want to spend and the occasion you plan to serve your Coconut Margarita. In some instances, a wedding, for example, it might be nice to have an all-white cocktail. If you have enough time for prep and don't necessarily need an all-white drink, toasted coconut shreds are more fragrant and have a nice texture.
To apply the shredded coconut to your rim, you can use the juice of a fresh lime wedge. Alternatively, you can use honey and even cream of coconut, too. Both are more sticky than lime juice and create a more even coconut rim. But, personally, I lime most convenient:
Either moisten the rim of your glass with the lime wedge or dip it in the cream of coconut/honey and then quickly into the shredded coconut laid out on a saucer or a chopping board.
That one is important, so make a big exclamation mark on your shopping list. There's coconut cream and cream of coconut, and they are not the same. The latter is sweetened -a lot- and has lower fat content than coconut cream. Also, cream of coconut brings more of that beautiful coconut flavor to your drink. In short, both are very different products. One is for cooking, the other for cocktails, and unfortunately, they are not interchangeable.
In the US, the thick, syrup-like cream of coconut usually is sold in a bottle, whereas coconut cream comes in a can. In many other countries, both products are canned, so read the label carefully.
What to do if you accidentally bought coconut cream?
Well, that's a bummer. You can make cream of coconut at home with the help of coconut milk and sugar. But due to the significantly different fat contents, it's not that easy with coconut cream. But this information is not getting you anywhere when the ship has already sailed.
Your best option would be mixing 1 part of simple syrup with 1 part coconut cream. It won't be the same, but it's as close as it gets.
Put all ingredients in the fridge a couple of hours before using them. Because you don't shake them with ice, they won't be cooled down during the mixing process as it is the case with other cocktails. Also, you can prepare this Coconut Margarita in larger batches to save yourself some time.
- 1 Food Blender
- 1 Jigger
- 1 Strainer
- 1½ oz Silver Tequila
- 1½ oz Cream of Coconut
- ¾ oz fresh lime juice
- ½ oz Triple sec
- 1 lime wedge
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- Moisten the rim of your Martini glass with a lime wedge
- Dip the rim of your glass in shredded coconut. Set aside while preparing the cocktail.
- Combine Tequila, Triple Sec, cream of coconut, and lime juice in a blender until smooth.
- Use a strainer to pour the mixture over ice into your prepared glass.