While visiting Sri Lanka, I learned about arrack – a popular alcohol, made from the fermented sap of coconut flowers. At a coconut plantation near Negombo, ‘toddy tapping’ takes place by a skilled man who climbs the coconut palms and walks along the tightrope between the top of each tree, tapping the stem of the unopened coconut flowers and collecting the sap in round clay pots, every morning and evening. I’ll share more on this in a separate post about Negombo.
When you sample toddy straight from the tree, there is a strong fermented scent and it has a light fizz, similar to beer. Toddy in a clay pot is just the start of the natural fermentation process – afterwards it is taken to a warehouse to be distilled in wooden barrels. The Double Distilled Arrack, which has been matured for three years, was recommended by our tour guide as the one to take home. And that I did!
I tried a few coconut arrack cocktails in Sri Lanka and most contained summer flavours like pineapple, passionfruit and lime. When I got back I tried making something at home and it turned out great. It might be tricky getting your hands on coconut arrack in Australia but if you can, it’s worth grabbing some for your liquor cabinet.
If you like an easy sunshine drink, this is the one for you.
Tip: This recipe makes one serve so if you’re serving a group, increase the quantities and make a cocktail jug.
- Fresh mint leaves
- Ice cubes
- 30ml coconut arrack
- Fresh lime juice
- Pineapple juice
- Ginger beer
- Line the bottom of a glass with mint leaves and a couple of ice cubes.
- Add the coconut arrack and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
- Pour in a dash of pineapple juice and top with ginger beer. Stir and enjoy.
Are you making this at home? I would love to see it! Share a pic with the tag #vegeTARAianmakes so I can check it out. Happy cooking!
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