Nothing’s better in hot weather than a coconut shake.
If you’re heading to Koh Samui, or anywhere in Thailand, you can look forward to a Coconut Crawl – a total bender of blender. Of course, one day, the beach is a distant memory and it’s just you versus the Vitamix. Here’s how to make a coconut shake, exactly like in Thailand…
Coconut shake recipe
Making a great coconut shake starts with knowing your preferences, as there’s great variety in the field. Do you want it thick and milky, or slushy and icy? Sweet, or relatively bland? Let’s start with the necessary ingredients, and add a few more depending on your taste.
Coconut shake ingredients and equipment
Just two ingredients (coconut milk, ice) and a blender – constitute ‘coconut shake 101’ – but you can add a few further ingredients to make your shake as sweet (and as tropical) as you like…
Full fat, not light (creaminess is the whole point). If you use light coconut milk, it will taste like a glass of melted, milky ice cubes. Not worth your while! Expect to use half a can per shake (or a full can if you want a big portion in an actual shake glass).
In equal proportion to the coconut milk. Add it slowly until you reach the consistency you’d like. The colder it is, the better your coconut shake will taste.
As when making a Thai pineapple shake, your blender should be the Humvee of blenders – totally up for blending ice. Vitamixes are a major investment, but I’m pretty sure mine could blend a glacier.
4. Sweetener (coconut syrup) – optional
To taste. In Thailand, sugar syrup is most widely used, but to up the coconut aspect consider coconut syrup. It smells amazing, tastes incredible and promises to be a bit healthier (although it will change the colour of the shake to something more malted).
5. Other milk – optional
To lessen the fat content, you could thin it with another milk – cow, almond, soy, etc. It won’t taste as authentic, but balance that with being smug and healthy.
6. Coconut cream – optional
To head in totally the opposite direction – coconut cream will make the tastiest shake you’ve ever known (but call it dessert at this point, it’s stopped being breakfast).
7. Shredded or toasted coconut – optional
In Thailand, the flesh of fresh coconut is often added. Assuming that your access to fresh coconuts is limited, adding shredded coconut to a powerful blender thickens the shake further. In a less powerful blender you’ll probably end up with a coconut shake you have to chew. No bad thing!
8. Rum – optional!
Sneaky suggestion? Add perhaps a tablespoon of coconut rum. (Or a “Jamie Oliver” tablespoon which usually looks like half a cup).
9. Palm tree swizzle sticks – optional!
Final flourish: add an orchid for garnish, throw a cocktail umbrella in there and do a little dance – you’re basically in Thailand.
As you can see, coconut shakes are a varied field with wide interpretation. Once you’ve experienced the full array of coconut shakes, there’s plenty left to try: Papaya, mango, and pineapple shakes offer colours and textures for almost every day of the week.
As for the ultimate fruity underdog, we contend that a banana shake is actually life-changing. Enjoy!