Coconut Water Colada from 101 Tropical Drinks by Kim Haasarud


Listen to the interview.

101 Tropical Drinks is filled with classic tropical cocktails ranging from the Mai Thai and Planter’s Punch to some new modern drinks like the Pineapple Blossom Sangria and the Coconut Water Colada. This book has something for everyone –from the cocktail connoisseur, to novice bartender. Kim is full of tips, tricks and perfect drink recipes for a summer bbq gathering, or a festive night in.

Great tips from Kim:
1. Always measure your ingredients. It’s what makes the difference between an okay drink and a great one. It’s a little like baking AND cooking. It’s like baking in that you do need to get the right balance of ingredients, otherwise it just doesn’t work. But, once you understand the basic formula and right balance of sweet and sour, then you can get creative and it becomes more like cooking. You can throw a little bit of this and a little bit of that in, but only as long as you are sticking to a formula.

2. Always use fresh ingredients. PLEASE stay away from store-bought mixes – the majority of them are loaded with preservatives, flavorings and are heavy in calories. Fresh ingredients are not only healthier, but taste much better.

3. When making a tropical drink in a blender, easy on the ice. If you add too much ice, it will be watered down. If you like your drinks thick, then be sure to add more sugar. Sugar (or any kind of sweetening agent) will carry the flavors through the ice.

4. Instead of sugar or simple syrup, try using a different sweetener such as agave nectar, coconut sugar, honey water, etc. Also, there are some great syrup companies on the market such as Amoretti that carry a really wide selection of syrups ranging from Pomegranate to Blackberry to Passionfruit. All are fantastic and affordable and can be bought on

5. When making tropical drinks, it’s good to mix various styles of rum. Unlike other spirit categories such as gin or whiskies (which I love, by the way), may not play well in the sandbox together with other gins or other whiskies. Rums are different that way. If you look through the book, you’ll see that sometimes there are as many as three different rums in the drink and that’s because they balance each other out and play well off each other- they just add more depth and roundness.

6. Water & ice – critical element in cocktails. You actually need water to bring it more flavor. That’s why shaking a cocktail for a good 10 seconds is so important. It should be diluted about 50% for optimum flavor. The higher the alcohol content, the more dilution you need.

7. Usually, less is more. So many times I go to various bars around the country and they take something simple and beautiful and add too many ingredients and mess it up. Keep it simple. I’ve judged my fair share of cocktail competitions around the country and can’t tell you that if someone would have just made me a very simple, clean and balanced (key word – balanced) cocktail, they would have won. I see a lot of creativity, but creativity doesn’t mean the drink is going to be good.


This is a much lighter (lower-calorie) variation of the Piña Colada, and without the pineapple.

Combine the white rum, coconut milk, simple syrup, and coconut
water in a cocktail shaker. Top with ice and shake moderately. Strain
into a bucket glass filled with fresh ice. Float the aged rum on top.

What's Needed:


1 ounce white rum
1 ounce coconut milk
1 ounce simple syrup (see page 15)
1 ounce coconut water
1/2 ounce good, aged rum

^ Back to Top

Search & Browse

^ Back to Top

Leave a Comment

  • Recipe to Share?

    Got a special recipe you can't keep under your chef's hat? It's OK, your secret is safe with us — and all our readers.
    Share With Us  
  • Don't Be A Stranger

    Amy is all about being social. Take this opportunity to connect with her on Facebook, share ideas and enjoy free tips.
    Connect With Amy >
  • Where's Amy?

    Wondering what Amy is up to? Take a look at her calendar for all upcoming events.
    View Her Calendar >
  • Dole Spring Mix 167 x 334

  • Gold Star Chili