Original Tiki Drink: The Red Tide


I’m actually fairly proud of this one. My little Red Tide has evolved a lot since I first started nurturing it, and I am happy with the result.

I started out with the not-terribly-original idea of crafting a Tiki version of the Negroni. The web is full of attempted Tiki variants of the Negroni, but none quite pull off the trick in the way I was looking for. I wanted to retain the Negroni’s simple construction and bitter character. However, a drink as fully herbal and bitter as a Negroni would be too much on a Tiki menu along side drinks with the sweet, unctuous, spicy profile from the 30s and 40s that I like so much. Finally, I needed a garnish that wowed.

After much experimentation, I replaced the gin with silver rum, the vermouth with pomegranate juice, and (critically) the Campari with a wine-based apertivo called Cappelletti. The Cappelletti is gentler, lower in alcohol, and oddly nuttier than Campari. The result is nicely balanced, still bitter, but less autocratic than Count Negroni’s creation. The passion fruit foam garnish is essential to the drink. It isn’t Tiki without it, and frankly, it is not completely delicious.

I highly recommend you give this guy a try. Not only is it delicious, pretty, and a welcome low-alcohol addition to a Tiki menu, it’s a real crowd-pleaser to make and present.

RED TIDE

  • 1 oz Plantation 3-Star rum
  • 1 oz Cappelletti Apertivo
  • 1 oz POM Wonderful

Combine in a shaker with large ice and shake lightly. Fill a coupe about two-thirds full with the Sea Foam (see below). Strain cocktail over one side of the foam.

SEA FOAM

  • 6 oz passion fruit syrup
  • 2 oz lime juice
  • 2 oz water
  • 5 oz pasteurized egg whites

Combine ingredients in a cream whipper, and shake for about 5 seconds. Charge with a nitrogen charger. Shake some more. Charge again with a second capsule. Shake again. Refrigerate before use. Shake again when serving.

Here’s a look at how to serve the Red Tide.


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  1. K. Muse

    28 February

    Does one serve a Red Tide or roll a Red Tide? Inquisitive tiki-lovers everywhere have baited breath.

    In other news, puuurty… The passionfruit must take it to the nth level..

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  2. Tiare

    28 February

    Interesting take on a negroni!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

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