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:


  • 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.

About the author


I am 48 years old, married with two young daughters. My interests are tennis, reading, computers, politics, and of course cocktails. I run a murder mystery party business that caters to both corporate and private events, Killing Time, murder consultants.


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