When asked to describe his “desert island” drink, Giuseppe González gave a lengthy response, diving into the practical merits of coconuts, overproof spirits and more.
Says González, “[Coconut trees] are ‘The Tree of Life,’ and that is exactly what they do. Keep your dumbass who is stuck on an island alive.” Simultaneously a source of sterile water (“you can hydrate intravenously using coconut water,” he explains), they can act as sunscreen (“rub some [coconut oil] on your skin”), fuel (“coconut fibers dry out and can be lit . . . if you have some flammable booze, life just got easier”), fishing spears (“the center spine of the coconut tree leaf is very stiff and easy to shape”) and even weaponry (“Coconuts can be used like baseballs. Baseballs are weapons.”) Add to that some overproof rum—which can be used as everything from a food preservative to a disinfectant—and you arrive at his Coconut Water Highball, or as we like to think of it, survival in a cup.