The Monkey Pilot is a quite new Tiki cocktail, as in last month new, from Fred Yarm of Cocktail Virgin Fame. Fred has begun to present a problem for me the last year or so of Tiki Month. The chance of re-blogging someone else’s drink can be expressed in the following formula: Chance = Frequency of Posting X Percentage of Posts about Tiki Drinks. If you plug in the values for the Cocktail Virgin Blog, you get: Chance = Yarm’s Work Ethic X Fred’s Increasing Interest in Tiki. Chance is a big number, folks.
Any way, I’m leaning into the issue by choosing the Monkey Pilot today. Not only did Fred blog it, he created it. If you want to learn about his development process and the drink’s ancestry, click the link. I was wasting time on Twitter today, and saw Fred mention his recent post on the Monkey Pilot.
What happens when you mashup the 1920s Monkey Gland with the 1930/40s Jet/Test Pilot? Yes — the Monkey Pilot! https://t.co/X5SfWAZA2O
— Frederic Yarm (@cocktailvirgin) February 7, 2018
To which my friend Jordan (@Cocktailchem) felt the need to poke the official illustrator of the Cocktailosphere…
I'd have done it in a heartbeat. Hell, I might just do it for fun anyway. #AnyExcuseToDrawMonkeys
— Craig Mrusek (@DoctorBamboo) February 7, 2018
It is time to convince Craig to do this, so please RT this tweet, if you are unfortunate enough to suffer from TwitterAccountosis, and maybe we’ll shame Doctor Bamboo into drawing some monkeys.
— Doug Winship (@dawinship) February 7, 2018
Now, I already had Fred’s Monkey Pilot recipe sitting downstairs in my Basement Bar, waiting for me to make cinnamon syrup. The exchange got me off of my computer and into the kitchen. This evening, first on agenda was this drink.
It’s lovely. A truly traditional Tiki drink, in all the best ways.
- 1 oz dark Jamaican rum (I used Blackwell’s)
- 1 oz London Dry gin
- 1 oz orange juice
- 1/4 oz grenadine (I used POM Wonderful straight)
- 3/4 oz lime juice
- 1/2 oz Velvet falernum
- 1/2 oz cinnamon syrup
- 7 drops absinthe
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
Combine in a shaker with ice and put your monkey shoulder into it. Open pour into a whimsical mug and top with crushed ice. I for one am always one to follow garnish instructions like Fred’s, “garnish with Tiki intent.” I went with a lime wheel, homme-made brandied cherry, and a custom engraved orange zest.
As I said, this is a classic Tiki-profile cocktail. The aroma is exotically redolent. As you first draw on the straw, it feels but doesn’t quite taste sweet. There is quite a bit of acidity, even into the finish. But the finish is mostly aromatics from absinthe, gin, and cinnamon, all of which linger beautifully. It is refreshing, but in no way thirst-quenching, leaving the drinker wanting something else to sip immediately after. If you were serving it in a commercial establishment, I think that would make Donn Beach smile.