Coconut Water Sangria

Have you heard what all the celebrities are drinking this summer? That’s right – it’s coconut water. In the tropical regions of the world, coconut water is not new. People have been consuming it for years! So why the sudden craze in North America?
People magazine attributes it to the proliferation of companies like Vita Coco who have received investments from Madonna and Matthew McConaughey in recent years. Zico, another burgeoning coconut water company, is endorsed by Molly Sims, who actively advocates the drink for healthy hydration.
While coconut water does contain a wealth of health benefits, as I will elaborate below, it definitely is an acquired taste. Let me tell you, I was not leaping out of my chair in excitement the first time I tried it. The flavours are extremely sheer – it basically tastes like water, with a hint of coconut aroma and a slightly salty after-taste. I suppose the after-taste comes from the electrolytes because Gatorade has a similar flavour. Well if you’re like me, and you need a little help easing into this healthy drink, you’re in luck… because this is where Divya from Flavour Fiesta comes in … :)

Coconut water has been labelled a “health” drink, but beware! There are a number of brands that add sugar to the coconut water to make it more palatable. The added sugar is almost equivalent to the sugar in a regular soft drink! So make sure you read those nutritional labels and try to purchase unsweetened coconut water if you can.
Since I’m still getting used to the flavour of plain coconut water (it does take some time to get used to), I concocted a non-alcoholic coconut “sangria” with some inspiration from Connie. Thanks for the fabulous idea, Connie!
Sangria is usually made with red or white wine, fruits and sparkling water. I’ve replaced the wine with coconut water in this drink so it’s kid-friendly. To add a taste of the tropics to the drink, the “sangria” has succulent pineapple and mango chunks and a few kiwis to add a little acidity. To top it off, it has some sparkling water to make that coconut water taste even more special. If you really need the alcohol (trust me, we all do sometimes!), this drink would work well with a few generous splashes of Malibu rum. You pick the flavour!

serves 8

1 litre coconut water (preferably unsweetened)
½ pineapple, cubed
2 kiwis, cubed
½ mango, cubed
500 ml sparking water/club soda
mint for garnish
ice cubes (optional)

Step 1: Pour the coconut water into a large pitcher. Toss in the chopped fruits and mix well. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours to allow the flavours of the fruit to blend with the coconut water.

Step 2: Pour the sparkling water into the pitcher just before serving.

Step 3: Serve in chilled glasses or with ice cubes and garnish with mint leaves. Drink up!

True to ‘Beauty Fiesta’ style (Beauty Nerd + Flavour Fiesta), this coconut water sangria concoction is not only refreshing and delicious, but it comes with a slew of skin benefits as well – here’s the skinny…

Coconut Water: Due to its high electrolyte content (sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus), coconut water has diverse uses, from energy drinks to even intravenous fluids for patients. Because coconut water is known to rehydrate the body more effectively than water, it makes sense why tropical countries like Singapore and Thailand rely so heavily on this drink as a source of hydration. Many even hail coconut water as a beauty drink because it provides a good source of B-vitamins, many of which are essential for healthy hair, skin and nails. Oh and did I mention, it is also an excellent source of potassium? In fact, its potassium content can rival that of a banana. And why is it celebrity-friendly? That’s easy. Four words: zero fat, zero cholesterol.

Mango: Take care of your stomach, and your complexion will thank you. Yes, this is a mantra I repeat constantly, and mango is another one of those wonderful fruits that can help you achieve this goal. The digestive enzymes in mangoes help to break down proteins and thus aid in digestion. The fact that mangoes are rich in vitamins A and E doesn’t hurt either. I’m sure it’s no surprise to you now – we’re all about the antioxidants!

Pineapple: Like mangoes, pineapples help with digestion because it contains the enzyme, bromelain. In fact, many beauty companies use bromelain topically for exfoliation because it is able to break down dead skin cells. Its high vitamin C content helps to stimulate collagen production, while manganese and thiamin (vitamin B1) defends against free radicals and enhances energy production.

Kiwi: Did you know that kiwis have more vitamin C than the same amount of an orange? Vitamin C provides super antioxidant power and vitamin E aids in cellular repair.

Let us know how it goes – leave a comment!


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