We just can’t get enough of coconut water and all things coconut-enhanced. With the coconut shake fever still going strong, it would seem that the trend is spreading to restaurants and bars. But here’s a little insider secret – coconut water has long been an ingredient in cocktail culture, especially in tropical or tiki bars that paired rums with riper, richer fruits and flavours from the warmer climes.
As a bonus, coconut water is also full of electrolytes and minerals that help to rehydrate you after a big night out. We combed Singapore’s bars and restaurants for the top coconut water cocktails to try, and found surprising combinations that included tequila, herbal jamu and strawberry. But nothing made us happier than finding the OG alcoholic coconut shake – first served at pioneering craft bar Klee in 2008 and now at Naked Finn.
Keep scrolling to check out our favourite coconut water cocktails in Singapore.
Betcha you’ve not tried tequila with coconut, but the combination makes perfect sense in a twist on the party-ready margarita. This feminine version with its cool purple hues gets its colour from blue curacao, lime juice and grenadine, with silkiness from coconut water and punchiness from tequila. It’s a fresh, fun palate cleanser to the farm-to-table grill cuisine such as pan-seared fjord trout, French corn-fed chicken breast with barley risotto and grass-fed beef tenderloin in black pepper sauce.
Black Marble, #02-01 Raffles Holland V Mall, 118 Holland Ave. Tel: 9641 6913.
Simply called Coconut, this seemingly humble cocktail is the one most cited by Singapore’s most knowledgeable cocktail cognoscenti. This is because Naked FInn is operated by the same founder of SIngapore’s first craft cocktail bar Klee back in 2008. Coconut comprises fresh coconut water, fresh coconut kernel and fresh coconut milk, frozen into a sorbet. It’s served without rum for a non-alcoholic version, and with rum, as a pre-dinner drink. You can taste the freshness of the ingredients, and one glass never seems enough.
Naked Finn, Gillman Barracks, 39 Malan Road. Tel 6694 0807.
For those in the know, Catfish holds a Weekend Seafood Shack event from 12-3pm, which is your only chance to catch this ultra-refreshing and unforgettable cooler. The tall drink combines fresh watermelon water, coconut water and rum with simple syrup for a thirst quencher that has just the right amount of sweetness. It’s created to pair perfectly with the fish taco, lobster crab roll, and fish burger from the Seafood Shack brunch menu.
Catfish, 5 Gemmill Lane. Tel: 6226 1395.
At the sleek Tippling Club (ranked 36 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2021), you would not usually find a drink served in a coconut – but its new art-themed menu throws up a few surprises. Named after an iconic Salvador Dali painting, Living Still Life takes a tropical turn to incorporate coconut, rambutan and sugar cane juices in a thirst-quenching highball. The use of vermouth brings more structure to a sophisticated creation, topped with a coconut water meringue laced with rambutan powder. Remember to get a spoon to scrape up the coconut flesh.
Tippling Club, 38 Tanjong Pagar Road. Tel 6475 2217.
Tequila’s earthy, spicy flavour is incorporated into a strawberry-flavoured milk punch — but don’t expect a milky looking drink. It is clarified using coconut milk, achieving a clear look, smooth flavour and a silky texture. A good dose of citrus helps to bring this refreshing tall drink to life. It’s versatile and low ABV enough to have at lunch with a variety of salads or pastas.
Origin Bar, Tower Wing, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, 22 Orange Grove Road. Tel: 6213 4398.
Native Bar is known for sustainability by sourcing around the Asian region and reducing waste – and Tree of Life is the perfect example of that philosophy. A meticulous deconstruction of the coconut plant, this cocktail contains coconut milk, coconut water, coconut nectar, coconut wine and a touch of gula melaka (coconut palm sugar), served in a coconut husk. Ceylon Arrack, a coconut flower sap spirit, gives it a warming rum-like note. The drink is passed through a centrifuge to make it clear, and its curds are made into a crispy meringue garnish.
Native Bar, 52A Amoy Street. Tel: 8869 6520.
The hottest Modern Asian restaurant in town also boasts a cocktail programme to match. Jawa veers from the usual coconut water coolers to present a complex sipping cocktail inspired by the herbal medicine Jamu from Indonesia. The combination of Compendium Melaka Arrack, jamu juice and lemon juice is rounded and smooth with a touch of heat. Coconut water is blended into the jamu juice along with turmeric, peppercorns and old ginger, which balances with the touch of gula melaka notes in the arrack. It pairs exceptionally well with the restaurant’s smoked beef short ribs, which heightens the flavours of honey and smokiness of the meat.
Avenue 87, 47 Amoy Street. Tel: 6970 5491.
At a restaurant-bar known for its progressive tropical food and drinks, it’s hard to narrow down just one coconut water creation as the menu is filled with numerous options. This one stands out, not just for its name but for its punch. The Ting in the name refers to a Caribbean grapefruit juice drink that’s tart and sweet. Here, homemade Ting and intense rum used are the stars of the drink, while coconut water and ancho chilli support the depth of flavour for a memorable sundowner.
Low Tide, 98 Club Street. Tel: 8952 1145.
And finally, what is a beach outing without coconut or rum? This is as straightforward as it gets – a whole young coconut is served with a shot of banana rum for a spike of booze that is a timeless match for coconut water. Banana rums have a sweet burnt sugar and caramel or vanilla notes to notch up the tropical flavour.
Tanjong Beach Club. 120 Tanjong Beach Walk. Tel: 9750 5323.