Thursday Drink Night can lead to some strange things.
Every Thursday, a group of like-minded cocktail enthusiasts get together in the Mixoloseum chat room to discuss life and create and try original cocktails based on a central theme.
You are invited, too. Come give it a try. The chat room is always open, but TDN starts Thursdays at 8:00 PM in the US Eastern Time Zone.
Yesterday, the theme was simply Kaiser Penguin. Kaiser Penguin is the blog of one Rick Stutz, a long-time cocktail blogger and one of our fearless leaders in the CSOWG (our little blogging guild). Rick is synonymous in the minds of those who know him in this context with three things (at least):
- Homemade ingredients.
- Magnificent, gorgeous, ridiculously complex garnishes.
- An unhealthy affinity for Fernet Branca, the Triple Lindy of cocktail ingredients.
Now, I can’t abide Fernet. And this Tiki month I’ve concentrated on stuff other than making my own syrups. So I was left searching for garnish ideas…
As the picture above will show, I came up with something.
Here’s the recipe:
HALIKAI HOT TUB
- 2 oz. El Dorado 12 yr. demerara rum
- 2 oz. The Gin From Watershed Distillery
- 1 oz. cognac
- 2 oz. orange juice
- 1 oz. fresh lime juice
- 1 oz. Trader Tiki Hazelnut Orgeat
- 1/2 oz. simple syrup
- 10 oz. ice
Combine ingredients in a blender and flash blend for about five seconds. Pour into a scorpion bowl “hot tub”.
Carve a face on a full-sized lime with zester. Skewer lime top down with fireworks pick, and add two key limes for the body. Attach two more key limes with toothpicks to the side of the torso as arms. Use a toothpick behind the head as hook and nestle Mr. Halikai into the “hot tub”.
Place a sugar cube in the volcano crater and fill with J. Wray 151 proof rum. Light it (carefully).
Serves two happily.
This drink is really all about the garnish. (A less pretty but better lit picture is here.) Don’t get me wrong, the drink is really tasty, but all it is is a tiny tweak on the house Scorpion Bowl recipe of the old Luau Restaurant in Beverly Hills (real recipe of this and other Scorpions to be found in Beach Bum Berry Remixed.) But the real point here is one of the fun elements of Tiki drinks: The Garnish. Just like you don’t need to wear an aloha shirt, or listen to Martin Denny, or use a fancy ceramic vessel to enjoy a great tiki drink, you don’t need a silly, wild, creative garnish. And you also don’t need box seats behind home plate to enjoy a baseball game. But if they are available….
Use whatever strikes your fancy. Carve up some tropical fruit, or employ the leaves from atop a pineapple. Mint and other herbs make a great and fragrant garnish that can actually enhance the flavor of the drink. Hell, a cheap paper umbrella or pink flamingo on a toothpick can set your mood. Just experiment, and you’ll have fun.
And once you have a cool idea, don’t hesitate to riff on it. You cannot go too far with Tiki garnishes!”