It seems most coconut flavored rum is consumed mixed with orange juice. It's light, it's easy, and it's sweet. You may have had it in college.
I don't give coconut flavored spirits too much thought, but then I found this recipe sent by DonQ Rum for the Pious Punch from Charles Joly of The Drawing Room in Chicago. Joly wins more cocktail competitions than just about any bartender in America, so when I see one of his recipes I pay attention.
What seems to be Joly's the secret to a more sophisticated coconut rum cocktail is the addition of spices, both in the form of Benedictine and ginger beer. Benedictine is a liqueur that (like so many others) is based on an ancient secret recipe. It tastes of honey and spices like clove and allspice, perhaps with some mintiness in the finish as well.
Both the ginger and Benedictine are wintery spices that play well with orange juice, which in turn plays well with coconut rum. Joly has found a clever way to take a college drink of rum and orange juice and give it a classy twist.
When making this cocktail, the sweetness of the drink may vary greatly depending on the tartness of hte lemon juice, the sweetness of the orange juice, and the spiciness of the ginger beer. I suggest leaving out the agave nectar in your first preparation of the cocktail and adding it in if you don't think the drink is sweet enough.
By Charles Joly, Chief Mixologist of Chicago’s The Drawing Room
1.5 fl. oz. DonQ Coco Rum
.25 fl. oz. Agave Nectar
.25 fl. oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
75 fl. oz. Orange Juice
.5 fl. oz. Benedictine Liqueur
Splash Ginger Beer
Shake all ingredients except ginger beer in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour into an ice-filled glass of your choice and top off with ginger beer. Mist with and orange peel and drop it into the drink as a garnish.