Tiki Drink: The OYO Lani

The OYO Lani, a tiki drink using OYO Honey Vanilla Bean Vodka
(IITTALA Ultima Thule Old-Fashioned Glass: available from Amazon.com )

OK, most important thing: It’s pronounced Oh-WHY-Oh LAH-nee. Got it? Good.

My last post reviewed the new bottle of honey and vanilla infused vodka I received from local Columbus micro-distillery, Middle West Spirits. It’s a boldly flavored, and tasty, spirit, but it is a bit direct to leave on its own in a good cocktail. After some experimentation, I found it pairs rather nicely with a good premium bourbon, like Blanton’s, which adds some harmonious depth.

On inspection, the drink I’ve come up with to enjoy this bottle may seem a bt, um, straightforward to be called a Tiki drink. But the OYO provides a very exotic flavor on its own. Combine it with a healthy sprig of mint, and the resulting vibe is remarkably Tiki. I give you the OYO Lani:

OYO LANI

  • 1 part OYO Honey Vanilla Bean Vodka
  • 1 part Blanton’s Bourbon
  • 1/2 fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 part simple syrup

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and chill throughly. Strain into an old-fashioned glass over a chunk of ice. Garnish with a bruised sprig of mint. Add dry ice if available.

The mint garnish is important here. I’m hardly comparing this little ditty to Trader Vic’s Mai Tai, but the effect of the mint is the same. The drink is delicious without it, but the aroma of the bruised mint oils as you sip livens things up considerably.

Of course, this drink doesn’t need to be thought of as a Tiki drink if you don’t want to. It’s just a complex Sour after all. Simply adjust the presentation to fit your mood, or the tastes of your recipient. But keep the mint.


  1. That sounds great. In Milwaukee we have the Great Lakes Distillery http://greatlakesdistillery.com/. They make a Citrus Honey Vodka. I think I’ll give that a try in your recipe.

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  2. Josh

    22 February

    Love the glassware.

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  3. Middle West

    22 February

    Doug, the cocktail looks and sounds delicious. Thankyou for your thoughtful contribution to our list of new Honey Vanilla Bean concoctions… this is sure to be a favorite. Props for the glass and dry ice.

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  4. Middle West

    22 February

    Oh, and I’ve had the Great Lakes Citrus Honey vodka… good stuff, for sure.

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  5. Matt

    22 February

    sounds fantastic. Basically a whiskey sour with vanilla. I’ll try one tonight — though I’ll have to use plain vanilla vodka, sans honey.

    – Matt (embitter.net)

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  6. sounds good and for with my site you could check out some more nutritional stuff too!

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  7. Philip King

    8 March

    This is inspired. I like what you’ve done with the photo too. If you’re in London any time you should check out Purl in Marylebone where they go a bomb on this sort of thing.

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  8. alberto

    28 June

    I really love the picture. Not that I am a great fan of tiki drinks, but this one looks awesome, and the glassware so old-fashioned…
    thanks for the post

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  9. The Pegu Blog

    16 February

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