Coconut Cream for Cocktails

The Best Coconut Cream for Cocktails

Coconut cream for cocktails is a popular ingredient used in a range of delicious drinks. It has a sweet coconut flavor and extremely thick consistency, making it perfect for creamy drinks – or anything that needs a bit of tropical injection. 

What is Coconut Cream

What is Coconut Cream? 

What is Coconut Cream

Coconut cream is a thick cream made from coconut milk. It has a similar flavor to coconut milk, but the consistency is a lot thicker and often considered more flavorsome. The creamy coconut ingredient is used in a variety of drinks – particularly many tropical cocktails. 

It’s low in carbs and high in fat, making it a favorite for those practicing keto or low-carb diets. It is also the most widely used vegan substitute for cream, providing the same level of thickness you would expect from condensed milk. 

Don’t confuse this with cream of coconut. Cream of coconut has added sugar, so it’s much sweeter. Cream of coconut can also be used in the cocktails we list, but it’s good to know the sweetness might need to be balanced by using less sweetened syrup in your cocktail.

The Best Coconut Creams for Your Cocktails 

You can easily find coconut cream or coconut milk in most grocery stores, but how do you know which one is best? You want one that has the consistency of a heavy cream if you’re using it in a drink. After some research, we found these to be the best for every bartender’s arsenal. 

Coco Lopez Coconut Cream

Coco Lopez is one of the most popular among home bartenders. This is a cream of coconut, so it’s going to lean more toward the sweeter side of coconut products. Mix this with other ingredients in a cocktail shaker, or even try something like a boozy chocolate milkshake. 

Coco Real Cream of Coconut

The Real brand makes such wonderful products, and this cream of coconut is no exception. The taste of fresh coconut flesh shines through. This one is sweeter, so you can skip the simple syrup if you want it less sweet.   

Thai Kitchen Unsweetened Coconut Cream

This is a true coconut cream that’s unsweetened and just pure creamy coconut goodness. This brand can usually be found in most grocery stores, but make sure you get the cream and not the coconut milk. The milk will be separated with a thick layer on top and milky coconut water below. You can still mix it up, but it won’t be nearly as thick and creamy. 

Making Your Own Coconut Cream

Homemade Coconut Cream 

By The Spruce Eats

Homemade Coconut Cream

Making your own coconut cream might sound crazy – but it’s easy to do at home when you can’t find cream. Simply combine coconut flesh with milk (or vegan milk) and boil – it takes less than a couple of hours to complete the whole process! 

How to Use Coconut Cream for Cocktails

If you haven’t been using coconut cream or cream of coconut in your cocktails, you’ve been missing out! This is one of the best ingredients to amplify the coconut or other tropical flavors of all your favorite cocktails. 

We all know coconut cocktails will instantly take you back to your last vacation, but coconut milk can be added to any tropical drink to make it creamy and add flavor. 

The Best Coconut Cream Cocktail Recipes

As surprising as it might seem, coconut cream or cream of coconut can be used in a variety of different drinks – not just tropical drinks. Ok, so we don’t recommend just chucking it into your classic mojito – but a pina colada, margarita, martini, white Russian, and more – can all be transformed with this simple coconut product. 

Whether you want a refreshing cocktail for a hot summer day or a winter warmer for comfort on cold nights, or you just fancy trying a new cocktail – start with our tried and tested (not all on the same night!) list of coconut cocktails. 

Piña Colada 

By BBC Good Food

Piña Colada

The Piña Colada is the classic coconut cocktail. Using either canned pineapple juice or fresh pineapple juice (add frozen pineapple for a thicker version), white rum (or coconut rum), and coconut cream, this simple cocktail takes just minutes to make. 

Traditionally served in a poco grande glass (but a hurricane glass will work in a pinch), with a maraschino cherry and a pineapple wedge, or a generous squirt of whipped cream, it’s the ultimate vacation cocktail – and now you can make it at home. 

Coconut Cream Martini 

By Mashed

Coconut Cream Martini 

Lime and coconut are a great combination – as Harry Nilsson has been telling us since the 70s. And lime juice and coconut cream are the main ingredients of this coconut cocktail. 

This coconut martini uses honey as a sweetener (not needed if you opt for the cream of coconut), desiccated coconut (for a toasted coconut rim), coconut rum, vodka, and coconut cream. It’s served in a chilled cocktail glass and is a delicious drink you won’t forget in a hurry. A skewer with small pineapple chunks makes a nice garnish. 

Pro tip – Not all coconut rums are the same, so if you can’t find any high-quality coconut-flavored rums, a regular rum can be used instead. 

Coconut Margarita 

By The Conscious Plant Kitchen

Coconut Margarita 

Who doesn’t love a good margarita? One of the best things about this delicious drink is how adaptable it is. Want a frozen version? Blend with crushed ice. Want it spicy? Add jalapeno to the mix. Want it creamy? Coconut cream is your best friend. 

This coconut margarita is created by combining tequila, triple sec, lime juice, coconut cream (or cream of coconut), unsweetened coconut milk, coconut syrup (skip this if you’re using the cream of coconut), and crushed ice. This thick drink has a smooth taste – perfect for those hot summer days in the garden. 

Painkiller Cocktail 

By Burrata and Bubbles

Painkiller Cocktail

This classic tiki cocktail will transport you to the beach with the first sip. A smooth cocktail with classic tropical flavor, serve this at your next barbeque or pool party for a day to remember (or not!).

This cocktail uses just four simple ingredients – coconut cream, pineapple juice, orange juice, and dark rum (can be switched to a light rum if preferred). To serve your cocktail, use a highball glass and garnish with a pineapple leaf, orange wheels, or cherries. 


What is a cream of coconut for mixed drinks?

Cream of coconut and coconut cream for mixed drinks are two different things. Cream of coconut is sweetened and is better used in baked goods unless you want a sweeter cocktail. Coconut cream is essentially the fattier cream that separates from coconut milk. 

Is coconut cream or milk better for a pina colada?

Coconut cream will add more richness and a thicker consistency to a pina colada compared to coconut milk. Both add a nice coconut flavor, but cream definitely stands out as superior in this favorite drink with a tropical twist. 

Does coconut cream curdle with alcohol?

Curdling usually isn’t an issue for, but to be safe, it’s best to use higher-proof alcohol. For example, coconut cream is less likely to curdle with something like higher-proof coconut rums, whereas you might see a little separation in lower-proof alcohol, such as coffee liqueur or creme de cacao.

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