A Tiki Month Original: The Aku-Kapo Cooler from Basic Civilization

Basic Civilization's Aku-Kapo Cooler
The new Rule 2 Logo....Among my favorite blogging compatriots is Joe Garcia of Basic Civilization. While not strictly a Tiki blogger, or even strictly a cocktail blogger, Joe does both of those well. In fact, he kinda annoys me. See, he thinks he possesses a better sense of sartorial style than I. He is wrong, though I admit he has far more opportunity to indulge in haberdasherian excellence—He actually sees his customers face to face on a recurring basis.

More annoying is the fact that he may in fact be funnier than I am. Take a few minutes to read this piece, entitled “It’ll be fun,” they said. That is some Dave Barry, James Lileks, Patrick McManus-level stuff there.

And his cocktail posts also exhibit this sort of amusement value at times, as he does in the Tiki Month post I want to Rule 2 highlight here.
Since he has no picture, and the part I want to you to visit his site for is the writing, I’ll actually post the recipe here, and discuss. Joe calls his original drink the Aku-Capo Cooler. He actually offers two versions of it, but I will stick with #1, the better one.

Why two versions of the drink, you ask?
Read the damn post, say I!


  • 1/4 oz housemade grenadine
  • 1 oz passion fruit pulp (Try Goya Fruta, thawed)
  • 1/2 oz orgeat
  • 1 oz aged rum (I use Appleton VX)
  • 1 oz white rum
  • 1/2 oz coconut rum to float at the end

Combine all but the coconut rum in a blender with ice and flash blend for five seconds. Pour into a tall glass and float the coconut rum. Garnish as you please.

I’ve modified his recipe in two ways. First, Joe wants you to rim the glass with dried, ground coconut. This is a pain in the ass to accomplish. Second, he wants you to shake the drink and serve on crushed ice, rather than blend it. Since he also thinks the Cooler is a bit on the sweet side, my solution is simply to blend the drink, rather than shake. This increases the cold water content. The cold water damps down the sweet and lets the other flavors come forward.

Don’t get me wrong, the Aku-Kapo Cooler is still on the sweeter side, but I really like it. I’ve served to a number of guests so far this month, and they’ve liked it to. I didn’t tell them they were supposed to be getting a coconut rim, because what they don’t know won’t hurt them.

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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