Lemmings. I’ve thought about this some and have concluded that at heart, we’re all really just a bunch of lemmings. Naturally I don’t mean this literally – though a few people of my acquaintance do bear an uncanny resemblance to these small thickset rodents. I’m referring of course to our love of following the pack, mostly thoughtlessly so.
How else can you explain shoulder pads and bubble skirts? Or mullets? The list of deeply silly things that ought to have been killed in infancy is long. Yup folks, we just love ourselves a fad.
Just as fashion fads are imposed upon us, so too food fads. Though they’re generally far less traumatising. The ingredient du jour surely has to be the coconut. First out the gate to join its more familiar cousins, coconut milk and coconut cream, was coconut oil. Like everyone else, I went a bit ‘bos’ – cooking with it, moisturing with it and even cleaning with it, my face that is.
Given our enthusiastic endorsement of all things coconut (and given that marketers aren’t fools) I was unsurprised therefore when a bright young thing recently accosted me in a supermarket, offering me a teeny sippy cup of coconut water.
I’d never actually tasted coconut water before, what with working for a living instead of bumming around on beaches in exotic far-flung places. To be honest, I wasn’t too sure about it. But she was eager and earnest like a baby chocolate lab and saying no rather felt like kicking a puppy. So a litre of the stuff went in my basket. Back home I chucked it in the fridge until seriously chilled, then poured it into a highball glass along with loads of ice and thin ribbons of cucumber. Delicious and refreshing.
The box says you have to consume it within one day of opening. Now there’s only so much ‘delicious’ and ‘refreshing’ I can pack away in a 24-hour period, so this presented a problem. Hating waste of any kind but especially food, I decided to freeze the rest of it in ice cube trays. When the thermometer hit 32 degrees a few days later, I dug out my ‘coconut ice’. Into the blender it went along with a dash of sugar syrup, some mint and a tot of rum, and out came a seriously pimped ‘Slush Puppy’ perfect for summer sipping. Now if only they would sell these at the movies.
- 150ml water
- 150ml sugar
- 1L coconut water
- mint leaves, finely sliced
- white rum
Pour the coconut water into ice cube trays and freeze. To make the sugar syrup, simply boil the water and the sugar together for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, pour into a jug and refrigerate until cold. To make the slushies, place the coconut water ice cubes into a blender along with half the sugar syrup. Add mint to taste (I used 8 leaves) and rum to taste (I prefer it weak, so I added only four tots). Blitz together until smooth. Taste and if you want it sweeter, adjust by adding more sugar syrup. Serve right away with thick straws.
Crushing it: If like me you have a rubbish blender, crushing ice can be a bit of a challenge. I helped things along by first placing the cubes in a clear plastic bag and beating the daylights out of them with my rolling pin. My blender handled the resultant fine ice shards beautifully.
Keeping it virgin: If you don’t want to use alcohol, use this recipe as is and simply leave out the rum.
Nuts for coconut: Coconut water has a very gentle coconut taste. If you want to pump up the volume, you can replace the rum with a coconut-flavoured spirit. If you do, I recommend you leave out the mint.