Liquor Laboratory

5 Best Coconut Cream for Cocktails: Mixologist’s Secret

Coconut Cream For Cocktails

Coconut cream is a magical drink that infuses tropical flavors into cocktail drinks. It adds a sumptuous coconut flavor and an irresistible smooth taste, especially on a hot summer day.

If you’ve ever sipped on coconut cocktails like the Piña Colada, Blue Hawaiian, or Coconut Martini, you know what we’re talking about.

However, not all coconut creams are created the same, so I’ve personally taken it upon myself to find the right coconut products for your pantry.

These are our top picks for the best coconut cream for cocktails that will take you straight to the beachside. 

Top 5 Coconut Cream For Cocktail Recipes

1. Coco Lopez Coconut Cream

Can of Coco Lopez Coconut Cream

Average Price: Around $10 for 3 (Amazon)

Star Rating: ★★★★★

Why We Like It: Coco Lopez is a favorite among bartenders because it brings a rich coconut taste to creamy drinks. It’s also super affordable, meaning you can elevate your cocktail game without burning a hole through your wallet.

“Coconut cream in cocktails makes us dream of sunsets and sandy shores in every sip.” – Liquor Laboratory

This cream of coconut leans towards the sweeter side, so if you like sweet drinks, this is definitely a must-try. [1]

2. Thai Kitchen Unsweetened Coconut Cream

Thai Kitchen Unsweetened Coconut Cream on a Table

Average Price: Around $35 for 6 (Amazon)

Star Rating: ★★★★★

Why We Like It: Thai Kitchen Unsweetened Coconut Cream is pure coconut goodness and a must-have for those who want to put a tropical twist on their concoctions.

What sets this cream of coconut apart is that it’s unsweetened, so you can adjust the sweetness level according to your preference.

Here’s a tip: grab the cream of coconut version, not the coconut milk.

3. Coco Real Cream of Coconut

Coco Real Cream of Coconut

Average Price: Around $35 for 3 (Amazon)

Star Rating: ★★★★

Why We Like It: Real has some wonderful products, and their Cream of Coconut is no exception. We especially liked how the unmistakable taste of fresh cream of coconut shines through in every sip.

This cream of coconut is pretty sweet. You can skip the sweetened syrup to avoid adding another layer of sweetness to your mixed drinks.

4. Rumchata Coconut Cream

Close Up Image of Rumchata Coconut Cream Bottle

Average Price: Around $25 (Drizly)

Star Rating: ★★★★

Why We Like It: RumChata Coconut Cream is a delightful fusion of premium Caribbean rum, Wisconsin heavy cream, and a burst of tropical coconut flavor, creating a mouthwatering liqueur perfect for tropical drinks. [2]

This vacation-in-a-glass is a unique departure from the typical cream liqueurs – on the contrary, it takes you to sun-soaked beaches and tiki-themed parties, no matter how far you are from the nearest beach.

Also Read:

5. Bacardi Coquito Coconut Cream Liqueur

Bottle of Bacardi Coquito Coconut Cream Liqueur

Average Price: Around $25 (Drizly)

Star Rating: ★★★

Why We Like It: Coquito, which means “little coconut” in Spanish, is a beloved traditional Christmas drink akin to eggnog. This is a creamy, coconut-based liqueur that brings the holiday spirit right to your glass.

This coconut rum is made with Bacardi Rum, rich vanilla, and spices and is a reliable sidekick for holiday and tropical drinks.

Note: The star rating was determined based on a blind test, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. Each coconut cream was ranked based on flavor complexity, smoothness, versatility in mixology, and popular consensus among enthusiasts.

How To Make Homemade Coconut Cream

Making homemade coconut cream is super simple. Start by grating coconut flesh and putting it inside a blender. You can get this from the produce section of your local grocery store or crack open a fresh coconut if you wish (remember to save the coconut water). [3]

Add milk, dairy-free milk, or heavy cream to the coconut flesh and blend until smooth. Add more milk or coconut until you achieve the right consistency, then strain to remove all solid coconut products. 

Heat the liquid in the saucepan and simmer until the cream of coconut thickens.

Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge. Homemade coconut cream should last for several days when properly refrigerated.

Cocktail Recipes With Coconut Cream

Coconut Margarita 

Glass of Coconut Margarita 

Coconut Margarita is a delicious drink that combines the tanginess of a traditional margarita with the tropical flavor of cream of coconut.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 2 oz tequila
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • 2 oz coconut cream
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • Simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Lime wedge

Instructions: Prepare your glass by running a lime wedge along the rim, then dipping it in toasted coconut to create a toasted coconut rim. Set it aside to chill. [4]

Combine the tequila, Triple Sec, coconut cream, lime juice, and syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain the mixture into the chilled coconut-rimmed glass with fresh ice and garnish with a lime wedge.

Serving: 1

Blood Orange Coconut Cream Soda 

Blood Orange Coconut Cream Soda is a fizzy, refreshing cocktail that gets its flavor from bold and tangy blood oranges and smooth cream of coconut.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 1 oz blood orange juice
  • 1 oz coconut cream
  • Vanilla syrup or coconut syrup
  • Club soda
  • Blood orange twist
  • Ice

Instructions: Pour the juice into a highball glass filled with ice, followed by the coconut cream. Add a bit of vanilla or coconut syrup to add flavor and stir. Top with club soda and garnish with an orange twist.

Serving: 1

Painkiller Cocktail 

Bartender Making Painkiller Cocktail 

The soothing Painkiller cocktail is a tropical drink with pineapple and coconut cream goodness.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 2 oz coconut-flavored rums, regular rum, or dark rum
  • 1 oz cream of coconut
  • 4 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • Crushed ice
  • Frozen pineapple slice

Instructions: Add rum, cream of coconut, and juices to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass with fresh ice and garnish with a pineapple slice.

Serving: 1

Piña Colada 

The classic Pina Colada captures the essence of a beach vacation in a glass. The frozen version of this simple cocktail has the creamy goodness of coconut cream with the tanginess of pineapple.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 2 oz light rum
  • 3 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz coconut cream
  • Crushed ice
  • Whipped cream, pineapple wedge, and maraschino cherry for garnish

Instructions: Fill a blender with crushed ice and add the white rum, fresh pineapple juice, and cream of coconut. Blend until smooth.

“Piña Colada… is a sip of sunshine, a taste of the tropics, and a one-way ticket to relaxation.” – Jimmy Buffett, American Musician and Singer-Songwriter

Pour the thick drink into a hurricane glass and garnish with a pineapple leaf, wedge, and maraschino cherry. Add some whipped cream and a cocktail umbrella if you’re feeling a bit more fancy.

Serving: 1


Is coconut milk the same as coconut cream for cocktails?

No, coconut cream and coconut milk are not the same for cocktails. Coconut milk is thin and less concentrated, while coconut cream has a thicker consistency.

What coconut cream to buy for a Piña Colada?

The Coco Real Cream of Coconut is the best coconut cream to buy for a Pina Colada. This sweet, creamy coconut base is perfect for any coconut cocktail. 

Does it matter if you use coconut cream instead of coconut milk in cocktails?

Yes, it makes a difference. Coconut cream is thicker than coconut milk, which can provide a more luxurious and creamy texture to your mixed drinks.
It’s often used in classic tropical cocktails like the Pina Colada. You can use coconut milk if you can’t find cream, but the consistency and flavor may differ slightly.

What is coconut cream, and how is it used in cocktails?

Coconut cream is a thick, rich liquid made from squeezing the meat of mature coconuts. In cocktails, it’s used to add creaminess, richness, and tropical flavor, lending a smooth texture and subtle sweetness to drinks.

What cocktails commonly feature coconut cream as an ingredient?

Cocktails like the Piña Colada, Coconut Margarita, and Chi Chi are well-known for featuring coconut cream as a primary ingredient. It’s also used in variations of classic cocktails to add a tropical twist.

How do you incorporate coconut cream into cocktails?

Coconut cream can be added directly to cocktails during mixing or shaken with other ingredients in a cocktail shaker. It can also be blended with ice to create frozen drinks like the Piña Colada.

Are there any non-alcoholic cocktails that use coconut cream?

Yes, coconut cream is often used in non-alcoholic tropical drinks like virgin Piña Coladas or coconut milkshakes. These mocktails offer the same creamy, tropical experience without the alcohol.

Can coconut cream be substituted for other cocktail ingredients?

Coconut cream can sometimes be substituted for other creamy ingredients like heavy cream or milk in cocktails, but it will impart a distinct coconut flavor. However, it’s essential to adjust the proportions accordingly to maintain balance in the drink.

What are some tips for storing coconut cream for cocktails?

Coconut cream can be stored in the refrigerator after opening. It may solidify when cold, so it’s best to let it sit at room temperature or warm it slightly before using it in cocktails to restore its creamy texture.

In Summary

Coconut cream can truly make or break the experience of that perfect tropical cocktail. After indulging in various options, we’re thrilled to crown Coco Lopez Coconut Cream as the winner.

This coconut cream is best for crafting the most delectable coconut-infused cocktails because of its unrivaled creamy sweetness. This is definitely our go-to choice if we want to create many tropical cocktails right in the comfort of our own home.

However, if you don’t have any cream of coconut on hand and the liquor store is out of it, it’s easy to make your own at home with coconut flesh and milk.


  1. Why do some of us have a sweet tooth? Study investigates
  2. 23 Tropical Cocktails That Make You Feel Like You’re on Vacation
  3. 11 Top Health Benefits of Coconut Water, According to Registered Dietitians
  4. How to Rim a Cocktail Glass, Because It’s an Important Skill You Should Have
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