Pioneering Sri Lankan street food restaurant group The Coconut Tree has launched a new range of low-alcohol, low-sugar and sharing cocktails, and an updated range of their sweet and fiery cocktails (nicknamed ‘Cocotails’).
From the 19th September, the Sri Lankan street food restaurant group will be rolling out the new menu across their five branches in the south-west, the most recent having opened in Cardiff this summer. The independent boutique operators are front-runners in bringing fresh Sri Lankan dishes to the UK, coupled with a laid-back, convivial atmosphere.
Featuring a range of 15 fiery and sweet ‘Cocotails’, the new cocktail menu leans heavily on authentic Sri Lankan flavours and ingredients including turmeric, Ceylon tea and Ceylon Arrack. It was developed by operations director Rodrigo Rashinthe in collaboration with Diageo Global Reserve brand team, Nazareth Rodríguez, head of bars at Mahiki, and Tom Bailey, The Coconut Tree’s most decorated spirts aficionado.
Brand Director Anna Garrod said:
“We pride ourselves on our traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, but our legendary ‘Cocotails’ have always been a huge part of our offering, and these new recipes have really taken things up a level. We’ve made an effort to include options for every preference, to make it even easier for people to find something they enjoy – which is in-keeping with our TCT mantra; everyone is welcome at the table, no matter what.”
The updated ‘Cocotail’ menu features a range of prestigious brands and spirits, including Don Julio, Bulliet Bourbon, Ciroc Vanilla, Ceylon Arrack, and Ketel One Botanicals; a botanical vodka that’s new to the UK and particularly low in sugar and calories. The range of new Cocotails includes:
● Wild Bling Ting (£55, for five people) – a sharing cocktail for five, created with Ceylon Arrack, Mahiki Coconut Rum, lemon and guava juice, topped up with Scavi & Ray Prosecco in a glittery 750ml bottle which can be kept on the table and topped up at will. The Coconut Tree are the first in the UK to serve the new Scavi & Ray glitter Prosecco bottles.
● Lovers in Trinco (£7.50, low alcohol, low sugar) – inspired by the shallow aqua waters of Sri Lanka’s East Trinco Bay which turn pink at dusk as the sun sets, this cocktail contains Ketel One Cucumber & Mint low ABV vodka with lemongrass and ginger cordial – and quickly turns from blue to pink with the addition of lime juice!
● Innocent Sour (£6, no alcohol) – an alcohol-free ‘Cocotail’ made with Seedlip Garden botanicals, with a squeeze of lemon, sugar, and grapefruit tonic. Add Tanqueray Gin to make it a Guilty Sour!
For every purchase of a Cocotail with Ceylon Arrack in it, the spirit brand donates a percentage to The Elephant Transit Home run by The Department of Wildlife and Conservation in Sri Lanka.
Three of the Cocotails have also been selected to pair perfectly with some of The Coconut Tree’s most popular dishes:
● The Drunken Sri Lankan & Kotthu: The best example of Sri Lankan street food served all over the country; a plate of finely chopped vegetables, rotti and egg, with chicken or cheese (there is also vegan version). The flavours are fresh yet spicy, and pair perfectly with the ‘Drunken Sri Lankan’ The Coconut Tree’s most popular Cocotail which comprises of Ceylon Arrack, turmeric infused Cointreau, fresh lime and ginger beer.
● TCT Choc Old Fashioned & Hot Battered Cuttlefish: This short, sharp and sweet Cocotail is made with Ceylon Arrack and Bourbon, bitters, and a slow melting coconut ice ball. Pair it with one of the most popular dishes on the menu, the Sri Lankan hot battered cuttlefish with tangles of caramelized onions.
● Sriki Tiki & Cheesy Colombo: A double rum hit with Pampero Golden & Coconut Rum, Guava, pineapple, exuding tropical flavours with squeeze of lime; paired with a Colombo style fried cheese cubes; not a typical Sri Lankan street food – but a TCT family favourite that’s proven to be a hit with diners in the UK.
To see the new Coconut Tree Cocotails menu, click here.
Brand Director Anna Garrod is hoping that the new Cocotail menu will be a hit over the festive season:
“With party season – and Christmas – just around the corner, we’re really excited to be launching our new Cocotails menu and gearing up for a busy end of the year. We don’t force anyone to pre-order for big bookings, making it really easy to just gather a group of friends, get stuck in to our Cocotails and just order a few plates of whatever you fancy.”
Runners-up in the Best Cheap Eats category of The Observer Food Monthly, The Coconut Tree was originally founded by Five Sri Lankan friends living in Cheltenham. Praveen Thanginah, Dan Fernando and Shamil Fernando are the Head Chefs and oversee the food side of things; whilst the Board of Directors is made up of Mithra Fernando (Financial Director), Rodrigo Rashinthe (Operations Director) and Anna Garrod (Brand Director). Anna joined the group five months after they opened their first site from The Lucky Onion Group. Prior to that, Anna helped to expand Po Na Na to 65 sites leaving as Managing Director.
The menu at The Coconut Tree is made up of smaller tapas-style plates including ‘Hot Battered Spicy Cuttlefish’; ‘Hoppers’ – a bowl shaped coconut pancake served with sambal & Sri Lankan Salsa, ‘Cashew Nuts’ and green peas soaked and cooked in coconut cream; and ‘Cheesy Colombo’ –cheese cubes fried and mixed Colombo style. ‘Jaffna Goat Curry with potato’ is also a firm favourite, as is the ‘Black Pork’ which consists of diced pork belly cooked in 30 roasted spices.
Larger sharing dishes include their signature ‘Devilled Dishes’ – meat or fish cooked in spices, then stir fried with traditional banana peppers and finished off with crushed chillies (their own secret recipe!). Finally, their ‘Kotthu’ is a fine example of a local hybrid and served all over the country as a luxurious street food. It’s made with finely chopped rotti and cooked with egg, vegetables and / or meat.
All dishes are made to order and are brought out to the table as soon as they are ready.
The Coconut Tree aims to bring everyone on a journey through Sri Lankan street food and botanical Cocotails in a stripped back, warm ambience with great music. Everyone is welcome to the table. Good Food. Good People. Good Times.