The hard way to make tropical drinks…

No, I haven’t been hungover for the past couple weeks. I’ve just been busy with a few more important things since my New Year’s Eve post when I promised to make this video about our coconut experience…

UPDATE: Youtube spanked us for using Harry Nilsson’s Coconut song, so we had to replace the soundtrack. 🙁

We started out making an instructional video about husking coconuts. But I just couldn’t bring myself to ruin the Harry Nilsson classic Coconut with me blabbering on about something of which I obviously know nothing.

When we decided on tropical drinks to help us ring in the new year, I was determined to serve them in coconuts. After all, we were in Florida. And there was a coconut tree just down the road. So I turned to Google and YouTube for the traditional method of coconut husking.


There are some clever ways to husk a coconut. But it is much harder than it looks. At least for this funky white boy. Native people make husking a coconut look easy.

If you find yourself singing the coconut song to yourself a week from now, you’ll have to check out the 1972 BBC Live Special featuring Harry Nilsson. Or check out Kermit’s version.

OK, if you insist … I’ll tell you a few things we discovered about coconuts:

  • To husk a coconut, jam it onto a sharpened stake you’ve pounded into the ground. Rebar doesn’t work so well.
  • The coconut shell has three softer “eyes” which can be poked out with a screwdriver to drain the juice.
  • The juice inside is coconut water, not coconut milk. Though coconut water is a great source of Potassium and electrolytes.
  • To make coconut milk, carve out the white meat and blend it with hot water in a blender. Then filter the results through cheesecloth.
  • Harry Nilsson’s Coconut song is also available on the Practical Magic Soundtrack.
  • A coconut makes the best party drink vessel because you cannot put it down until it is empty!

7 thoughts on “The hard way to make tropical drinks…”

  1. nice demonstration but, it looks like you have a hard time doing it. but it’s alright after that you have a fresh coconut drink and a white meat to eat.

  2. hihi! hope everything is well with you guys. my mom and i loved the video. she said that she knew what uncle jim was going to do with the coconuts at the end of it. you should put that on America’s Funniest Home Videos. who knows? maybe you can win 1,000 dollars!!!! tell jerry that bailey says hi and misses his play buddy! ttyl!

    renata and evelyn

  3. A five-ounce bird could not carry a one-pound coconut! Of course, the African swallow is non-migratory, so they wouldn’t be carrying a coconut anywhere. Well it doesn’t matter! …

  4. Good Job Jim!! But how do you suppose the Polynesian people got those coconuts open with out a hatchet and “backsaw”? Is it just a coincidence that bowling balls have three holes like a coconut, or was coconut bowling some kind of primitaive game? And what about the horses? What horses?? That’s no horse! Why you’ve got two empty coconut halves and you’re banging them together! (no I’m not!) Where did you get them? (We found them!) Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?? (not at all. They could be carried!) You all know the rest.


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