Evaporated Coconut Milk Turns Creamy Cocktails Vegan With Maximum Flavor

Cocktails have held our imagination for, quite literally, centuries. From the first recorded use of the word as relating to a drink in an 1803 edition of The Farmer's Cabinet to the rhapsodic Roaring Twenties to the post-war Tiki craze, we've been mixing our evening tipples to be sweeter, spicier, or scarier.

Due to this rich history and variety, sometimes opening a menu at a fancy cocktail bar can be an anxiety-inducing experience, with some places offering a whole book's worth of options. For folks with special dietary needs, finally finding something you like the sound of and then catching the dreaded "condensed/evaporated milk," "egg white," or "half-and-half" on the listed ingredients is a kick in the teeth.

Luckily, it's getting easier to find viable substitutes, whether you're out and about or fixing a drink at home, with plant-based milk alternatives being a particularly useful addition to any mixologist's inventory.

Turning your favorite velvety cocktails vegan

With its thick consistency lending a silky sipping experience, evaporated milk is often a component in wintry or dessert cocktails, such as the Coquito or the Ron Ponch. However, evaporated coconut milk can be substituted quite nicely, with its naturally sweet flavor combining particularly well with rum.

It also has the potential to go beyond a straight swap. Again, its thickness means it may serve as a solid alternative to egg whites or half-and-half, meaning you can still throw together a vegan Gin Fizz if you're not a fan of aquafaba. Or, if you're still craving that drinking-your-dessert experience, you can swap the half-and-half in a Cadbury Egg Martini (with the help of vegan chocolate chips and creme eggs).

We're still not quite at that ideal state where we have a perfect, easily accessible alternative for everything. However, if we keep innovating, experimenting, and sharing our findings, we'll soon get there.