The Story Behind The Coconut Airman

The Test Pilot is a classic tiki cocktail created by Don the Beachcomber back in the 1940s. It combines two types of rum with Angostura bitters, Pernod, Cointreau, Falernum, and fresh lime.

I decided to riff on this drink by incorporating tropical fruits and the flavors of one of my favorite contemporary cocktails, the Paloma. The result is a very balanced, delicious reinterpretation that I think is perfect for summertime.


  • 2 ounces white rum
  • ½ ounce triple sec
  • ½ ounce gomme syrup
  • 1 ounce coconut milk
  • 1 ounce grapefruit juice
  • 2 dashes tiki bitters
  • Salt for rim


  1. Rim a Collins glass with salt and fill it with crushed ice.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  3. Shake hard to chill and combine.
  4. Strain into your prepared glass and enjoy!

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Updated: 2018-07-31

This fun twist on the classic 1940's cocktail, the Test Pilot, blends our love for the grapefruit notes in Palomas with the coconut richness that makes this the perfect summer cocktail.