Cuckoo for Coconut

(Not really.) I had a recipe the other day calling for coconut milk. My first instinct was to simmer some shredded coconut in milk or cream and call that coconut milk. But I was at the grocery looking for something else and saw they had cans of coconut milk, so I picked one up.

The recipe calls for Drambuie, Grand Marnier, coconut milk, honey, spiced rum, a pinch of cloves, with hot water poured in to mix and melt. You're also supposed to put whipped cream on top (which I forgot) plus a piece of lemon studded with cloves (which I thought was silly).

Not a bad, warm winter drink. I like cloves, and spicy drinks generally, so this appealed to me. If you didn't have powdered cloves on hand, you could add a little falernum, which might make it even better. I frankly don't see what the point of the coconut milk was, since you couldn't taste it, except to add creaminess. Regular milk or cream would do just as well. And I'm not sure you could taste the Grand Marnier either with all the other flavors going on.

Since I had most of a can of coconut milk left, I tried a couple other recipes. The first was Galliano and coconut milk, 2 to 1 ratio, shaken and strained. I like Galliano, but this cocktail was just too blandly sweet and generally unexciting.

The second was equal parts dark rum and coconut milk on ice, topped off with club soda. One drink, yuk, into the sink. I've had a drink or two before this year calling for dark rum with club soda, and the combination just doesn't work at all.