Coconut water is known for its numerous health benefits, but it also has a reputation as a great mixer for cocktails. Picture from Pexels.

Besides being a great source of hydration and several nutrients, coconut water is known for its versatility as a mixer in cocktails. And the reason it makes for such a good mixer is really simple: coconut water is delicious.

“Also known by many as the ultimate hangover cure, coconut water - which is just the liquid found inside a coconut - is packed with more potassium than a banana, sodium, natural sugars and other useful electrolytes,” says clinical nutritionist, wellness specialist and motivational speaker, Desi Horsman. 

Consuming regular water while hungover could throw your body more off-balance, while coconut water replenishes your electrolytes, while simultaneously keeping you hydrated.

“Coconut water works really in cocktail recipes because it is among the few drinks that are  subtle, yet incredibly flavourful,” says Julian Short, mixologist, 2017 Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year in South Africa and owner of Sin + Tax Bar, which recently placed 88th on the list of the world’s top 100 bars. 

“Its revitalizing and uniquely tropical taste complements the ingredients of a cocktail without overpowering them, which is exactly what you want out of any mixer,” he adds. Short shares some cocktail recipes that are appropriate for a number of occasions, from dinner parties, birthday parties, or even just for sundowners after a long day at work:

Pear vanilla coconut cooler. Picture from Instagram.

Pear Vanilla Coconut Cooler

This vodka cocktail just takes a few simple steps. 

Gather your coconut vodka, pear juice, vanilla extract and get to mixing. 

“The intensity of the vanilla flavours, as well as the refreshing pear tastes make this drink ideal the ideal poolside cocktail, says Short. 

“To decorate the glass rims, mix coconut flakes and sugar, then dip the glasses into that mixture,” he adds. Bonus tip: you could remove the alcohol for a mocktail alternative that the children can enjoy.

Coconut and cardamom summer cocktail. Picture from Instagram.

Coconut and Cardamom Summer Cocktail

This cocktail incorporates flavours that you would normally associate with the winter months, but sometimes you really just need some spices to warm you up on a cool summer evening. “All this cocktail needs is two parts coconut water, 1 part elderflower liqueur, a tablespoon of cardamom syrup (which you can make at home with ½ cup of cold water, ½ cup of granulated sugar and a tablespoon of green cardamom pods or ½ teaspoon of ground cardamom), ½ part gin and pear crisps,” says Short. 

“To make the cardamom syrup, let the sugar and cardamom simmer in water until it comes to a soft boil. Cover the mixture and let it stay overnight. The following day, strain the cardamom pods if you prefer them over ground cardamom”, he adds.

Creamy coconut margarita. Picture from Instagram.

Creamy Coconut Margarita

You can never go wrong with a margarita. It’s a classic, and possibly the most popular tequila-based cocktail in the world. “Adding coconut water to the mix makes the cocktail even more thirst-quenching than it already was. The ingredients are simple: “80 ml of silver tequila, 40 ml of triple sec - a strong, sweet and colourless orange-flavoured liqueur - 1 mint leaf, ½ aa tablespoon of lime juice, 250 g of coconut water, ice and salt to the rim”. 

Combine all of these ingredients together in a blender, pour the mixture into a glass and then decorate your glass with salt. “Every time you take a sip, the salt intensifies the sweet and sour flavours of the triple sec, and lime juice. It tempers any bitterness, which in turn makes the sweetness and sourness seem brighter, and the drink all the more delicious.”

Try these coconut water cocktail combinations out. Not only do they taste lovely, but you’ll be far less likely to wake up with a hangover the following day.