Hard as a Rock
The coconut has so much potential and can be used in so many ways. In Sanskrit, coconuts are called kalpa vriksha, which translates to “the tree which provides all the necessities of life” (that’s a lot of words for a short original term). Likewise, in Malay, it is known as pokok seribu guna, meaning “the tree of a thousand uses”. Finally, in the Philippines, the coconut is called the “tree of life”. Let’s take a look at some of the many uses the coconut can provide:
In one of wrestling’s most infamous and controversial scenes, ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper invited ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka onto his Piper’s Pit talk show, only to insult the Fijian high-flyer, before walloping him across the head with a coconut. This launched a heated feud between the two superstars that lasted all the way to the inaugural WrestleMania event, with Snuka being in the corner of Hulk Hogan and Mr. T as they battled Piper and Paul Orndorff, with ‘Cowboy’ Bob Orton as their cornerman.
“Death by Coconut” became a mainstream fear, following the publishing of a report on the subject, in the mid 1980’s. Some claims stated that 150 people die each year of blows to the head via falling coconuts and this was exacerbated when an expert on shark attacks stated these numbers to ease people’s fears of sharks (ie. “you’re more likely to die from coconut trauma than a shark attack”). While it was used for humour on Gilligan’s Island, there are some recorded incidents of death by coconut.
Speaking of Gilligan’s Island, the Professor managed to somehow cobble together a radio and other devices, using coconuts and bamboo… and yet he couldn’t just repair their damn boat!? This radio sparked a number of adventures for the deserted castaways, as they were informed of events going on in the outside world and the occasional chance at rescue by groups or vessels that might be in the area.
The coconut bra is more likely to be found worn by Polynesian women at Hawaiian luaus… that or girls attending Hawaiian-themed college parties. My only concern would be potential splinters, but I guess I’m not wearing them anyways, so why should I worry. Coconuts have also been used as armor, from using shells as helmets to weaving the fibers together to guard the body from stones and other sharp armaments.
The half coconut shell, is routinely used in the sound effects world. Perhaps most famously, it was used in the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail to make the clip-clop sounds of imaginary horses. The comedy troupe used the coconuts rather than real-life horses, not just for a few laughs, but also because the animals were expensive and the movie’s budget was getting stretched thin. They certainly turned a negative into a positive, though, and created one of history’s funniest gags.
During World War I, the first war to see toxic gases used in battle, coconut char was used to develop masks that would “scrub” the air clean. At least soldiers didn’t have to strap a coconut across their face. How goofy would that have looked!? Coconut carbon is still used today to clean up mankind’s messes, including leaks at the Fukushima nuclear plant, caused by the massive earthquake that hit Japan in March 2011.
Mrs. Sip loves getting served a drink inside a coconut, likely because once she’s done, she often gets to enjoy the meat on the inside of the shell. One street server in Belize tracked us down after giving us a strongly-poured rum drink earlier, just so he could slash up the tough shell and open up the treat for us. Other times, the coconut is carved on the outside, typically to make it look like a monkey.
Flavour Revolution: The Heat
- Rim glass with Coconut Shavings
- 1.5 oz 1800 Coconut Tequila
- Top with Pineapple Juice
- Splash of Lime Juice
- Garnish with a Lime Wedge
Of course, we also have the various coconut-flavoured alcohols out there, including rums, vodka, liqueurs, and today’s unique tequila libation. Let’s also not forget about all the food that the coconut provides, including a favourite of Mrs. Sip, coconut shrimp!
Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
This is the only recipe 1800 offers on their website for the Coconut Tequila. I really wish they would add more, as finding drink ideas for this particular style of liquor is difficult. Shake the cocktail with a few Jalapeno Slices, but don’t go too crazy or you’ll burn your taste buds right off your tongue. Whenever I’m working with jalapeno, I go very light on any muddling or shaking, as all I want is a light burn at the end of each sip. This recipe is really good, tasting exquisite and looking fantastic… thanks to a few artistic additions, courtesy the Sip Advisor!