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Summer Eggnog - Lead
Credit: Courtesy of Mary Concannon

What does a bartender do when it's too hot out for his famous eggnog? Invent a summer version. "People line up for traditional, spiced eggnog in the winter," says Todd Maul of Cambridge, Massachusetts restaurant Cafe ArtScience, "so we wanted to recreate that with something light and summery."

The secret is to get the nog texture without a cup full of cream. "We were chasing the silky, creamy mouthfeel of eggnog but didn’t want to use heavy cream as an ingredient when it’s hot outside," he says, "so we went with coconut to mimic the mouthfeel of cream.

And Maul, a cocktail geek in all the best ways, deployed some technical wizardry to get there. Bring out the centrifuge: "Coconut milk, when spun out in a centrifuge at an appropriate speed and for the correct duration of time, will become a very light and fluffy butter"—step one. "When reintroduced to acid, it creates curds and whey and gives the cocktail the texture and consistency of cream."

So the centrifuged coconut butter joins rum, pineapple juice and lime zest for a cocktail that's very much in the tropical spirit, yet concocted for the eggnog-lovers among us. In a few months we’ll be pondering how to turn a daiquiri into a stiff winter sippers ...