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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food Sri Lankan coconut arrack instead of rum?
Sri Lankan coconut arrack instead of rum?
LankaLink
Member

Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Posts: 7
Posted: 2012-08-22 7:25 pm   Permalink

Being from Sri Lanka, I'm partial to our aged coconut arrack as an alternative to rum. No - it's not the same as that licorice-flavored stuff called Arak. Coconut arrack is very similar to rum, but without the harsh burn you get with traditional sugar based rum. I took a bottle of VSOA over to a friends house and he refused to mix with it, insisting the mix would just mask the flavor and we should use cheaper rums instead.

What's the consensus on tiki drinks requiring a rum that has a strong alcohol burn? Shouldn't the flavor of the spirit add to the drink instead of trying to cover it up?

S.G.



 
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Kill Devil
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 16, 2011
Posts: 272
From: Chicago
Posted: 2012-08-23 07:33 am   Permalink

I've only drank "Batavia Arrack", so I'd be interested as to how that relates to the arrack you mentioned. I don't think there's anything wrong with a strong, "burning" spirit; it depends what you're in the mood for. The great thing about Tiki drinks is how, for example, a 151 proof spirit interacts with other ingredients.

 
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LankaLink
Member

Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Posts: 7
Posted: 2012-08-23 10:09 am   Permalink

Thanks. That was essentially what I told my buddy, except it was based on the interaction of the arrack flavor vs. the burn.

I'll try to give you a little basis for comparing to Batavia arrack - the two arracks are only alike in name....taste is completely different. Batavia arrack is made from sugar and red rice, so I guess it's closer to the definition of a true rum. The fermented red rice as you know from trying it, gives Batavia a very unusual (I call it "funky") taste with an oily feel in my mouth. It really requires mixers to drink the stuff.

Coconut arrack comes from the syrup of coconut flowers, not the fruit, and surprisingly tastes nothing like coconut. It's available diluted right after distillation which is very strong like Batavia, and also as "old arrack" after aging in wood barrels. Traditional distillers use barrels made of teak or halmilla wood to mellow the spirit and both do a fantastic job in just a few months.

The result is a fruit-forward flavor that dips in the middle, then comes back with a nice warmth at the very end. There's also this component that some people associate with whiskey but the taste is different from anything other spirit. The closest comparison I could offer is a combination of smooth Jamaican-style and spiced rums, but without the spices. We have our own style of tiki drinks on the island and tourists love them, though most drink with Coke, our style of ginger beer (EGB) or fresh sweetened lime juice.


 
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Hakalugi
Site Administrator

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 3097
From: Redondo Beach, CA
Posted: 2012-08-23 10:22 am   Permalink

I'm guessing by your user name "LankaLink" and your posts that you are involved with importing Coconut Arrack into the United States? I'd like to try some, where can I obtain a bottle? I'm in Redondo Beach.

 
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LankaLink
Member

Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Posts: 7
Posted: 2012-08-29 2:04 pm   Permalink

Hi Hakalugi -

good guess and close, but actually I am a friend of the family who just started importing and trying to help with drink recipes and ideas for them. I was really trying to solicit ideas without appearing to solicit the product.

But thank you for asking and luckily they are based in Los Angeles and a few places carry it already (Vendome and Tarzana Wine). Other locations are listed on their website. Can I mention it? WhiteLionVSOA.com

After you try it, it would be great to know if you think it's appropriate for Tiki-style drinks. They are also interested in finding events for sampling to the public.


 
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Hakalugi
Site Administrator

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 3097
From: Redondo Beach, CA
Posted: 2012-08-29 2:30 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2012-08-29 14:04, LankaLink wrote:
...
But thank you for asking and luckily they are based in Los Angeles and a few places carry it already (Vendome and Tarzana Wine). Other locations are listed on their website. Can I mention it? WhiteLionVSOA.com

...




Absolutely you can mention it. Now if you were pushing vodka or Bacardi you'd probably get run out of here pretty fast! But this Sri Lanka Coconut Arrack definitely sounds unique and worth checking out.

I see from the website it's available at Hi Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa (anyone in Southern California following this board should already know about them.), as well as Beverage Warehouse near Marina Del Rey. Excellent! Next time I'm at one of those locations I'll pick up a bottle and give it a shot (or two) as well as mixed in some cocktails.

Has anyone else here had a chance to try this yet? Please weigh in with your comments.



 
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jingleheimerschmidt
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 20, 2007
Posts: 339
From: santa rosa, calif.
Posted: 2012-08-30 1:11 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2012-08-29 14:30, Hakalugi wrote:
Has anyone else here had a chance to try this yet? Please weigh in with your comments.



Nope. Coincidentally, I'm on my way to Redondo then San Diego for the holiday weekend. It looks like Hi Times will once again drain me of my money.


 
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LankaLink
Member

Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Posts: 7
Posted: 2012-08-30 2:59 pm   Permalink

[quote]
On 2012-08-29 14:30, Hakalugi wrote:
Quote:

I see from the website it's available at Hi Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa (anyone in Southern California following this board should already know about them.), as well as Beverage Warehouse near Marina Del Rey.


Has anyone else here had a chance to try this yet? Please weigh in with your comments.




May want to call Beverage Warehouse first, they did not have in stock. Hi Time definitely does.


If it's of interest, here are two reviews on it:
http://themixlab.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/white-lion-vsoa-review-and-a-brief-history-of-arrack/

new review from Drink Spirits:
http://www.drinkspirits.com/other/white-lion-vsoa-review/


[ This Message was edited by: LankaLink 2012-09-04 13:52 ]


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jingleheimerschmidt
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 20, 2007
Posts: 339
From: santa rosa, calif.
Posted: 2012-09-24 08:51 am   Permalink

Drove 500 miles to Hi Times Wine and they're out! The guys there had nothing but good to say about it. Maybe they drank it all.

 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 999
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2012-09-24 08:57 am   Permalink

500 miles - now that's commitment. Hoping you had other business in the area before making that kind of drive. Hoping there's also some sort of mail-order option available in the future. (I'd like a bottle myself someday.) Cheers!

 
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jingleheimerschmidt
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 20, 2007
Posts: 339
From: santa rosa, calif.
Posted: 2012-09-24 2:50 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2012-09-24 08:57, AceExplorer wrote:
500 miles - now that's commitment. Hoping you had other business in the area before making that kind of drive. Hoping there's also some sort of mail-order option available in the future. (I'd like a bottle myself someday.) Cheers!



Well...it just happens that I was passing through the area on my annual surf trip. I "settled" with a bottle of 12yo El Dorado though. Hi Times Wine is amazing and it's very difficult to buy just one thing.


 
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jingleheimerschmidt
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 20, 2007
Posts: 339
From: santa rosa, calif.
Posted: 2012-09-24 2:51 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2012-09-24 08:57, AceExplorer wrote:
500 miles - now that's commitment. Hoping you had other business in the area before making that kind of drive. Hoping there's also some sort of mail-order option available in the future. (I'd like a bottle myself someday.) Cheers!



Well...it just happens that I was passing through the area on my annual surf trip. I "settled" with a bottle of 12yo El Dorado though. Hi Times Wine is amazing and it's very difficult to buy just one thing.


 
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LankaLink
Member

Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Posts: 7
Posted: 2012-11-19 8:36 pm   Permalink

We've been playing around with some recipes that use jaggery as a sweetener, and specifically something from Sri Lanka called kithul treacle which is the sugary sap of a tree. There are variations available such as panela and also a coconut nectar available at whole foods.

The jaggery really accentuates the whole island feeling of the drinks. The latest is called the Aria. It's 1 oz of fresh lime juice, 1 oz of jaggery syrup, 2 oz VSOA (coconut arrack), and 4 oz of water - either flat or sparkling depending upon your mood. My friends are loving this!

btw - if you want the authentic treacle, there are a few Sri Lankan stores in the US (Staten Island and Tarzana) that sell it -- and ship too.


 
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