Category - Mixology Monday

MxMo: XCIII Blue—The Surf Savai’i Sour
Tiki Month Roundup 2014
A Tiki Month SubRoundup of MxMo: Sours
Mixology Monday LXXXII: Sours — The Regal Daiquiri

MxMo: XCIII Blue—The Surf Savai’i Sour

Surf Savai'i Sour
mxmologoI’ve been terribly remiss in participating in Mixology Monday of late, but this month the stars aligned so perfectly that here I am. The particular items in sync here are the impending arrival of Tiki Month here at the Pegu Blog (and assorted other corners of the World Wide Web and Twitterverse), and the theme chosen by this month’s MxMo host, Andrea of Ginhound.

That theme is Blue. Tiki is of course the natural home of blue drinks. The stunning azure of blue curaçao is immediately evocative of the waters of South Pacific beaches, and I project a lot of Tiki-style drinks in this month’s round-up. (Caveat: I have made incorrect predictions in the past.)

Regardless, I have posted before about blue drinks, of varying degrees of quality, many were old recipes with an original or two thrown in. The drink I’m submitting today, the Surf Savai’i Sour is not, in fact, blue at all! The blue is in the special effects. And those special effects have gone through some significant evolution as I’ve worked on this drink.

Tonga 1
Just another crappy day in Tiki Inspirationville….
Savai’i Beach, Tonga Source

I wanted to do a surf-themed drink. The flavor profile came together quickly, but my chosen ingredients result in a drink so brown that simply trying to blue it up results in a look that more evokes the muddy ocean waters of the beautifully bleak Atlantic beach of my own youth. I’m using egg whites to get a good crema intended to evoke mighty ocean spray, so I moved to adding the blue as a liquid garnish enmeshed in the foam.

My first idea was a rocks drink, using a big chunk of ice, and giving it a name something like Diamondhead. I shook the drink, poured it over the ice, then drizzled some blue curaçao over it to work down through the foam in turbulent tendrils like mighty surf breaking on volcanic sands. In theory.

Don’t laugh. I know. I’m in the future, too.
Sad, isn’t it?
If I can’t even get the effect to last long enough to move it from bar to light box and get a picture. That’s pretty lame to give to a guest. And it wasn’t nearly as cool looking as I had hoped anyway.

When the going gets tough, the tough try something else. I changed over to the up drink you see atop the post. I’ve seen countless bartenders do the kind of effect I used to draw the cresting wave, usually with Angostura Bitters in a Pisco Sour or the like. I’ve avoided trying it because it looks like one of those things that’s harder than it looks.

That makes exactly zero sense, Doug….

Quiet while I’m making excuses.

It is in fact dead easy. I put some blue curaçao in a dropper bottle and dropped out a connect the dots layout of the wave. Then you take a coffee straw and sweep evenly through the dots in the direction you want. For the wave, start at either end and go to the crest. The only really important thing to do is make sure your cream or foam is thick and rich enough to support your drops to begin with.

Here’s the recipe:


  • 3 parts El Dorado 3 demerara rum
  • 1 part fresh lime juice
  • 1 part fresh pineapple juice
  • 1.5 parts St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram
  • 1 scant part B. G. Reynolds’ Orgeat
  • Combine ingredients in a shaker, along with the spring removed form a cheap hawthorne strainer. Shake extensively. I usually shake it until the pressure built enough to about pop the seal, then release the pressure and repeat three times. Add ice and shake just enough to chill. Strain into a coupe glass. Wait for the foam to rise and stabilize, and many of the larger, visible bubbles to pop. Garnish with blue curaçao, droppered into a wave shape and stroked smooth with a coffee straw.

I’m pretty happy with the final flavor of the drink. It is intentionally a fusion of the Trader Vic and Donn Beach schools. It has Vic’s unctuous sweet and sour face, but the exotic spicy undertow of the allspice adds a distinctly Donish touch. Be careful with the allspice, though. The sweet spot of just enough is a very narrow band, nestled between great expanses of insipidity and “Wow! That’s a lovely glass of allspice liqueur you’ve served me!”

Cheers, all! Now go read the rest of the Mixology Monday offerings!

Tiki Month Roundup 2014

Click through to YouTube for HD video.

Well, another Tiki Month is (mostly) in the books. I’m leaving the decor up here on the website for a few more days, just as I’m leaving the decor up in my basement a bit longer. I still have a number of people who need to see it and visit, but who got snowed out earlier in the month.

I feel like I’m getting the hang of Tiki more and more each year, and this year was the first that I had to do little or no basic research to get the results I wanted. I know the history of the movement, and it’s current state. I know the attire, the music, the lingo. And I know the drinks. My experiments this year have been exploring some holes in the repertoire, trying a few creations on my own, and formalizing the decorations of my own facility.

Next year, I expect to delve a bit deeper into Tiki food. It is the one area I’ve not been able to crack into fully.

Herewith, a roundup of my posts for Tiki Month, 2014. I was less prolific this year than last, but I hope a bit more on point.

I’ll start with my biggest achievement of the year, my man-sized, light and smoke effects-enabled volcano—a middle school science project gone mad. It is portable, so I can store it for next year, and on into the future. It produced one of those wonderful moments when the PeguWife is forced to admit that strangers actually do read this blog, when someone I’d never met exclaimed to me, “Oh! You’re the dude with the volcano!”
Completed paper mache volcano

I also showed you some video posts on Tiki bombshells of one sort and another….
Chrissy Teigen

Mixology Monday brought me a whole bunch of posts to link to which discussed the theme of Sours in a Tiki or Tikiesque context.

Of course, I posted a whole bunch of drinks individually as well, listed here with pictures.

I also came up with two new cocktails, both well-received, and both riffs/tweaks of classics.

Margarita Atoll-A Tiki Margarita
Margarita Atoll
The Regal Daiquiri, a Tiki drink for MxMmo: Sours
And my own MxMo entry: Regal Daiquiri

There were also things I did not get to in the time the calendar grants. I did not review Jeff “Beachbum” Berry’s new book in full, largely because Real Life™ has precluding my finishing it. This should not preclude you from buying it anyway. What I’ve read is fun and supportive of my long-held contention that the Bum should be considered a serious, perhaps a leading, American historian, rather than just a huckster of funky dunky drinks.

I also wanted to do a separate post on Putney Farms’ Hanalei Sour, which is delicious, and different in presentation, but which I didn’t get a chance to try until too late in the game to make the end of February.

I may yet take the time I’ve granted in keeping up the decor to post on these this year. If not, I’ve got all sorts of ammo to kick off the next!

Aloha, Y’all!

A Tiki Month SubRoundup of MxMo: Sours

For those of you following Tiki Month, but who may have missed this month’s Mixology Monday, I want to present a sub-roundup of the entries which are either explicitly or can just be shoehorned into a Tiki concept. With this month’s MxMo theme being Sours, the basic form of most Tiki drinks, it was a target-rich environment.
Without further ado, here are whole bunch of great looking drinks with a Tiki theme or Tiki elements, most of which I won’t have time to try this month, alas. But I’ll get to a bunch of them… oh yes, my precious.

Blue MargaritaBartending Notes offered a simple Margarita, but the picture came out blue. Tiki Rule 4 says that If it’s Blue, it’s Tiki True, so here it is. I just posted about this entry separately here.

Rhubarb Rum FizzAndrea, this month’s taskmistress, ended up with a Rhubarb Rum Fizz. I’m not sure if rhubarb is Tiki-compliant or not, but it looks tasty, she’s our host, and I’m glad I’m not as old as she is and can still take two ounces of lemon juice in one night. (Cough, Fog Cutters, Cough!)

Sol Volcanique from Rated-R CocktailsJFL of Rated-R Cocktails is about the most prolific Tiki blogger out there currently. He produces all sorts of delicious and gorgeous original cocktails regularly. Read him. For this MxMo, he rolls out the Sol Volcanique, which employs the rarely used tangerine.

Sloppy Joe form Nihil UtopiaMy buddy Dagreb takes the opportunity this MxMo to tell the familiar cocktail blogger story of the One Drink That Really Made Me A Cocktailian™. In his case it is the Sloppy Joe. I’m not sure it is really a Tiki drink, but it has rum and citrus and syrup. And I’ve already gotten into how vermouth can be a Tiki ingredient, so here I shoehorn it in.

Eden Sour from DrinksburghMike from Drinksburgh somehow gets away with putting grenadine in a Trader Vic-style Mai Tai without a horde of angry grass-skirted villagers burning down his house. (Though come to think of it, I haven’t heard from him in the last day or so….) Anyway, his Eden Sour would not be any more Tiki if you served it with a plane ticket to Tahiti.

008Caipirinhas aren’t usually considered Tiki, but I’m not sure why. When we think of Brazil we think of volcanic upthrusts, scary natives, and barely clad women in the sand. It is sort of a giant, continent-sized Bora Bora. Anyway, the Ginger Kumquat Caipirinha that Mike of Grow. Eat. Mix. Drink. offers is sure Tiki enough for me.

BalsouricaTwitter god Joel DiPippa quotes some authority as saying “When you have homemade limoncello everything looks like a Sour.” His Balsourica is another drink that teeters on the edge of being had in a Tiki bar, but I want to remember to try it, so I’m including it here.

5 Spice Ti' Punch from Stir and StrainElana at Stir and Strain went with a 5 Spice Ti’ Punch. She employs the traditional 5 Spice blend through an infused syrup that I think would be useful for all manner of Tiki drinks beyond her intended use.

Hanalei Sour from Putney FarmThe folks at Putney Farm worked up something they call a Hanalei Sour. It looks gorgeous, delicious, and Tiki as all get out. And if I can figure out coconut sugar by this evening, it is what I’m making tonight.

Polynesian Sour from Shake Strain & SipLastly, we have the Polynesian Sour, from Scott at Shake Strain & Sip. I won’t trying this delectable-looking treat since it calls for Hawaii’s own spirit, Okolehao. You’ll be shocked, shocked to hear it isn’t available in Ohio…. Oh, and the picture will show you that there is no better garnish to announce you have a Tiki Sour on your hands than a giant half a lime.

There are lots more great Sours on offer in Andrea’s roundup, but these are the ones I think belong in the Tiki category. Remember to swing back by Ginhound to check out all the rest!

Mixology Monday LXXXII: Sours — The Regal Daiquiri

The Regal Daiquiri, a Tiki drink for MxMmo: Sours
It is time for Mixology Monday, the eighty-second edition! This month’s theme, hosted by Andrea at the Ginhound Blog, is Sours. She’s allowing Daisies and Fizzes too, but come on—The Sour is perhaps the single greatest, most versatile class of cocktails to be created to date. If I, whose entire blogging raison d’etre is centered on a certain lone, magnificent, gin Sour, were unable to summon a worthy example and resorted to a Daisy or Fizz, I’d just close the site.

I think we are all obligated to give our take on just what a Sour is, so here is mine: At it’s root, a Sour is a spirit-forward cocktail, enhanced by lesser amounts of citrus juice and sugar. It can be made with almost any class of liquor as the base, though there are specific brands from almost every kind of spirit that lend themselves better or worse to making a Sour. There are multitudinous ways to enhance the basic formula, with alternates for both the citrus as acidifier, and the sugar as a sweetener. Further, Sours are inclusive beasts, that welcome all manner of additional modifiers to the basic three ingredient party. If you are a home bartender, the Sour should be your first and best area of experimentation to begin creating your own original cocktails.

MxMo-Tiki-ThumbTo focus my task further, it is Tiki Month around here, so I had a good road map to use for my sour, and an obvious spirit to base it on: Rum.

Now, if you are making a bedrock rum Sour, and you use lime as your citrus, you have a Daiquiri. I call the Daiquiri the Gospel of Rum because it is the essential rum cocktail. If you have so much as a bottle of Bacardi, you need to know how to make a basic Daiquiri. And then you need to learn how to riff off of it.

I went searching for Tiki Daiquiris, and found a number. One I had not tried was Donn Beach’s Royal Daiquiri. Dating back to the 1950’s, it is a basic Daiquiri, with most of the sugar replaced with parfait d’amour. I don’t have any parfait d’amour, but I do have a bottle of Creme Yvette that I’ve been struggling to find a good use for. I am really motivated to manage this, as one of my best buds in the industry is a brand ambassador for CY. With a simple substitution, here was my first pass:


  • 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. Creme Yvette (parfait d’amour in the original)
  • 1/4 tsp. simple syrup
  • 1 1/2 oz. silver rum
  • 4 oz. small ice

Combine in a blender and flash blend for 5+ seconds. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a cocktail glass.

More on the preparation in a moment. The resulting drink is beautiful and tasty, but a little too sweet for our preferences around this house. It is very accessible, almost too accessible really for my tastes. You could serve this in any mainstream restaurant and the Cosmo drinkers would slug them down like, um, Cosmos. I wanted something a little more Tiki, more complex in flavors. Also, something a little less sweet.

I got rid of the sugar entirely, as the Creme Yvette is plenty sweet. It is also very powerful in flavor. I did not want to reduce the amount, since I loved the color so much, so I cast about for one more exotic multiplier. I settled on OYO Honey Vanilla Vodka, which I’ve had success with in prior Tiki Months. This is, in my opinion, the best product Middle West Spirits produces, and I treat it more as a fine liqueur than an infused vodka. This pops up the proof of the drink, and adds some sweet flavors while actually dropping the overall average sweetness just a hair.

The result is something I’m quite happy with.


  • 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. Creme Yvette
  • 1/2 oz. OYO Honey Vanilla Vodka
  • 1 1/2 oz. silver rum
  • 4 oz. small ice

Combine in a blender and flash blend for 5-7 seconds. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with a lime and perhaps a preserved hyacinth flower.

This preparation was new to me, and I like it… a lot. You get the benefits of a blender drink, excellent dilution, chill, and meshing of ingredients, but without the slurry of fine chipped ice that makes the drink loud to sip at first, and quickly diluted thereafter.

I know the OYO is not readily available everywhere (the Creme Yvette for that matter), but it is in distribution to some mail order joints, so look around. It is good stuff.

So there you have it, a simple, easy to make cocktail with a Tiki flair. and one that demonstrated the power and flexibility of the Sour. Enjoy.

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