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Make your own Liquid Crack

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(Oh boy will I probably regret this title when I see the resulting Google searches it may get.).

A few years ago, I ventured into a little, unknown cafe in NYC called Bonobos. Although the cafe was quaint, it was also very quiet.  My mom and I were the only ones in the joint for the entirety of our visit. Fast forward to this past summer.  Once again, I made my way into Bonobos, which was just as quaint as I remember it.  However, the cafe was definitely not as quiet!  Not only did the line snake out the door, there was even a camera crew filming a news segment on what has become one of NYC’s most-popular raw-food restaurants. 

In need of a snack, I knew I had to try their famous Coconut Chai. This stuff was awesome: so thick and spicy-sweet.  Unfortunately, at $5 a pop, it was also expensive.  (Why are raw foods so expensive?!)  Therefore, I went home and attempted to recreate the luscious brew. First things first: I needed to crack open a coconut. 

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I put the coconut on its side, made a cut in it with a sharp knife, then pounded the knife into the coconut with another knife. I am sure there is an easier (and less dangerous!) way to open a coconut, but this worked for me. After a bit o’ trial and error, I encountered the elusive Bonobo-y taste for which I’d been searching.And thus, Hawaii in a glass was born!

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CCK’s Coconut Chai

(makes 1 cup)

  • Meat and juice of 1 young coconut
  • Big pinch of Indian chai masala (You can find this at an Indian grocery store.  **Or, see below to make your own.  You can also leave it out, for a plain-jane coconut shake, but obviously the taste will be different.)
  • Sweetener to taste (I liked it without, but if you want it to taste like Bonobo’s, add up to 1T agave, or sweeten with stevia or other sweetener.)

Open the coconut, and blend all your ingredients together (I used a Magic Bullet). Drink up or eat with a spoon.  You can also freeze this for an amazing ice cream.  Or freeze, then re-blend in your Vita-Mix for a true ice-cream consistency! **If you don’t want to go to an Indian grocery store, you can make your own Indian chai masala. (Combine: 4 whole cloves, 2 cardamom pods, 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces, 1/4 inch fresh ginger, 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.)

Instructions for maximum enjoyment: Put on a lei, close your eyes, and pretend you’re lounging under a palm tree in Hawaii.  Can you feel the cool, Hawaiian breeze?


If you’re not coconutted-out, try a Raw Mounds Bar to go with the drink!

Sadly, when you open your eyes, you’ll no longer be in Hawaii… unless, of course, you’re lucky enough to actually live there.

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. You have the BEST post titles!! LOL! That looks so amazing! I love ANYTHING with coconut. YUM! :)

  2. Pam says:

    ha ha….can’t stop laughing which is a good thing…right!

    Henry is very handsome! Coconut Crack…yea….I was wondering where you were heading…lol!!!

    Drink looks good though!

    Hugs and enjoy!

    Hey I was just wondering….did you get my baby-making post? Have fun!

  3. JCD says:

    Haha, liquid crack! We call addictive foods ‘crack’ too. This looks delicious!

    If anyone has some easier tips on how to open a coconut I’m all ears. Hammering on a knife sounds a little too dangerous for me!

  4. Ameena says:

    How great does this look!! And the raw mounds bar looks even better.

    Cute outfit too. :)

  5. Cindy says:

    I so miss my coconuts…but after getting one bad one after another I am on a coconut ban. ha

    LOVE your tropical infusion this brrrr morning!

  6. Katie says:

    Loving the pic of you in the coconut bra, you are too funny girl!!! This post makes me want to be on an island with that yummy coconut drink!!! Happy New Year to you!!! xo

  7. Jessica says:

    Happy New Year! It’s been forever since I had use of a computer, lol. I’ve missed reading your posts :)

    I’ve never had fresh coconut before. Next time I go to the global foods store, I’m getting one!

  8. erintakescontrol says:

    Seems that any food/beverate I consume often is my crack. I go in cycles with my crack foods. Not a huge fan of coconut in general, but I use coconut milk to cook alot. I’ll have to add this recipe to my “try” list!

  9. you are TOO CUTE! where did you buy a coconut?! sounds awesome!! I am not a HUGE fan of coconut but just like erin says above me, i go thru phases with food that I become obsessed with, it could certainly be coconut at one time!!

  10. marisashealthykitchen says:

    You are the cutest!!!

    Ive nominated you for the Happy 101 Blog Award :)
    Happy New Year!


  11. Yum! I still need to try popping open a young coconut. I’ve only tried the hard-shell ones, and those are such a pain in the butt.

  12. lz says:

    Katie – mmm, this recipe sounds so luscious; thank you for posting it! Will definitely have to give it a try.

    And you look absolutely fabulous in your Hawaiian decor. This picture is a marvelous expression of your creativity, and passion and enthusiasm for all that you do!

  13. Mae says:

    Wow, that looks so delicious!!! I would love to try a chocolate version of liquid coconut crack!! If only I could find a coconut…

  14. Chrysta says:

    hahah you are too funny! this recipe sounds super delish! What an awesome idea for tropical drinks in the winter. I feel like Im back on vacation! I love it!! Have a wonderful day sweetie!

  15. Jenny says:

    coconuts scare the bajeezies out of me.. unless they are adorning the breasts of my favorite beautiful chocolate covered goddess, then i’m okay with ’em 😉 you are so gorg!

  16. eaternotarunner says:

    I kinda love that coconut bra….its hot.

  17. Katie says:

    Yessssss. I love coconuts, I can’t think of a better treat…next time I see these boogers at the grocery store, I will definitely try this out! Thank you!

  18. Lexi says:

    I absolutely love coconut. I will definitely have to try this! Thanks for the liquid crack recipe!!

  19. Veggiesmack says:

    Mmmm. I love anything with coconut, and your Coconut Liquid Crack sounds awesome! I’ve never had a lot of luck when it comes to cracking open coconuts, though.

  20. Haha this post title is hilarious :)

  21. Love the name Coconut Crack!! The drink looks amazing : ) I love anything with fresh coconut meat!! YUM!

  22. Katie says:

    Great recipe! I am not a huge coconut fan, but I keep trying it, because it looks so festive!

  23. Abby says:

    LOL your post titles always intrigue me, I never know what to expect! Thanks for the stellar recipe! :)

  24. Way to go! Bonobos chai is seriously one of the best things ever – I’m glad you have expereinced it. I’m so surprised it was so busy when you were there! There’s rarely more than one other person there whenever I’ve been. Sometimes I worry about them surviving–I would seriously die if they closed! What’s funny is that I did the exact same thing you did when I cracked my first coconut, which is to try and recreate Bonobos’ shake, haha. Pure amazingness! “Crack” away, ma’am. :)

  25. Kate says:

    that sound amazing! i bet it would be good stuck in an icecream maker too. yum!

  26. Shelby says:

    I love your post titles! So creative!

    Mmm and that liquid crack sounds amazing! Better not let my mom here of this 😉

  27. Bekah says:

    Ugh, great idea Katie.. BUT, I love me some coconut, but I cracked open a coconut once, and the juice was gag to me. Literally, couldn’t drink it. Idk why either.. such a shame. :(

  28. Meredith says:

    Oh this sounds just amazing! Thank you for sharing. I’m not sure I could get the coconut open by myself though . . . that sounds pretty intense!

  29. I broke open my first coconut this winter…because I couldn’t find pure, raw coconut at the store without having to drive 20 minutes. My trial and error lasted all night, but I eventually got the meat out!! What a fantastic recipe…looking forward to trying it! And I love coconut water…gives me a great rush when I work out 😉

  30. Mahealani says:

    hehe, makes me wonder sometimes how I ever left hawaii in the first place

  31. Trail says:

    Mmmm, sounds delicious!

  32. Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce says:

    ah, double the coconut….be still my heart! gotta try that drink, sounds amazing

  33. Kelly says:

    Okay, well, I clearly must stop being a wimp when it comes to coconuts – this looks amazing!

  34. ilanalala says:

    Mmmmmmmmmmm coconut! Looks amazing!
    I’m seriously considering getting those earmuffs! My earbuds give off sparks of static electricity because of my hair and the dry air…it sucks!

  35. Katie,
    This makes me want to go out in the freezing cold, drive to my freezing local Asian Mkt, purchase a young coconut, and make your recipe. I love fresh coconut water, and I haven’t had any in soooo long. Definitely picking up some coconuts on my next kabocha run!

  36. Casey says:

    Wow…looks amazing!!

  37. Patrick says:

    If the coconut bra is optional feel free to take it off!


  38. Marianne says:

    I just bought a thai young coconut, and wasn’t sure a) how I was going to open it, or b) how I was going to use it. Now I know!

  39. Melissa says:


    This is my favorite drink for after a long run.
    I tend to just toss cinnamon/nutmeg/vanilla and perhaps a date or two in that bad boy.

    Also good, add a tsp of unsweetened good quality cocoa for a Almond Joy Crack! YUMMM.

  40. Britta says:

    For future reference, if you want crack a (husked) coconut just turn it on it’s side over the sink (with a bowl or glass to catch the water underneath of course), hold it in your hand and with the opposite (not sharp) side of a (big heavy duty) knife hit it hard, give it a little turn, hit it again, turn, hit, turn, hit, turn, on and on until a perfect crack appears, at which point you can stick the knife into it to pry it open and (get the rest of the water out) and pop it open. I live in the Bahamas and drink fresh coconut water everyday after I run (loaded with electrolytes), so my husband and I have become pros at opening them :) Using 2 knifes sounds kind of dangerous! Be careful girl!

    Also, not sure if you are concerned with carbon footprints, but be careful with which coconut you buy in the US. …Purchasing a “Thai” coconut might be causing more Earthly damage than you think!

    1. Thanks, Britta! Haha I have another coconutty post already written (but not-yet published), called “I will never drink again,” where I talk about my struggles to open a coconut. I’m going to try your way! I just started drinking fresh coconut water after I run too. It’s amazing!! But I never thought about the carbon footprint. I’ll have to research that :-?.

  41. April says:

    Hi Katie!
    I’ve been doing some research and wondered if you have done any baking with coconut flour or almond flour? I am trying to make a vegan pizza crust without eggs… ideally using the coconut flour. I was also going to try and substitute it in some of the recipes you have here. They all look so delicious!

    1. Hey April! I’ve only recently gotten into coconut flour experiments… I think there’s only one recipe on my blog. It’s for “dessert pizza.” I guess you could make a savory version, by using savory toppings. But it’s a soft crust, so it might not be what you’re looking for. Here’s the recipe, anyway: