Canned Coconut Milk Is Perfect For A Light And Refreshing Pina Colada

Three pina coladas with fancy decoration
Three pina coladas with fancy decoration - Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

If you find yourself craving the summer months on snowy, cold winter days, one easy way to transport yourself to the tropics is by treating yourself to a pina colada. Pina coladas are sweet cocktails made from two tasty fruits — pineapples and coconut (and sometimes a squeeze of lime). As for the booze, rum is the star player, adding beachy vibes and turning your fruity concoction into an adults-only beverage.

Now, to get the coconut into pina coladas, most recipes call for coconut cream. However, for a lighter, more refreshing twist on this boozy beverage, you can swap it for canned coconut milk instead. The result won't be quite as rich or creamy, but it'll still have plenty of the required flavor. Plus, it's convenient and easy to get your hands on if you can't find coconut cream.

But what else do you need to know about using coconut milk in a pina colada instead of coconut cream? What's the difference between coconut cream and coconut milk anyway? And how is it going to affect your drink? Having the answers to these questions is what will ultimately ensure your tweaked pina colada still tastes divine.

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Coconut Cream Vs Coconut Milk

Glass of coconut milk next to coconut shells
Glass of coconut milk next to coconut shells - Katarzyna Hurova/Shutterstock

When making a pina colada with coconut milk, one of the first things to consider is the type of coconut milk you'll use. You can go for a standard full-fat version or opt for a lite variety, which tends to be more watery but has a lower fat content. It may also contain more "filler" ingredients (such as stabilizers to enhance its consistency and appearance), which could potentially affect the flavor of your beverage. Still, both options will achieve the tropical fruit taste you're going for.

Another thing to keep in mind besides the type of canned coconut milk you use is the sweetness. Pina coladas are typically sweet cocktails, but by switching out the coconut cream for coconut milk, you may lose a bit of that taste. To help balance this out, add a little syrup or sugar to get the sweetness back up. Or, you can leave it as is for a more refreshing drink.

Tips For Making Coconut Milk Pina Coladas

Pina colada on a board next to a pineapple
Pina colada on a board next to a pineapple - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

To understand how to use coconut milk in your pina colada and why coconut cream is the usual go-to, it pays to know what the difference between the two is. While you can find both these foods in cans, and both are made by blending coconut meat with water, they're actually a bit different.

For its part, coconut cream has a higher fat content and doesn't have as much water as coconut milk. It has a thicker consistency than coconut milk, sort of like that of whipped cream. Coconut cream is richer, and it also may have a stronger flavor. Coconut milk, on the other hand, is a much thinner liquid. While it's still made by blending coconut meat with water, it doesn't contain as much fat and doesn't use as much water as its creamy counterpart. With that said, when you buy canned coconut milk, you'll often find a layer of coconut cream floating on top, which you can skim off or mix into the milk.

Whether you decide to use coconut milk or coconut cream, just know that either way, you can make a tasty pina colada. There may be some minor flavor and texture differences, but the drink is still bound to transport you straight to the Caribbean.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.