Category: Recipes
Recipes, Rule 2, Rum, Tiki Month 2017

Tiki Winners 2017 Part II: The Luau

Each year during Tiki Month, I conduct a number of unlicensed laboratory experiments on human subjects have a few friends over to try out new recipes I've run across. This year I want to blog the ones that come up as winners, in that they are the ones that everybody is ordering by the end of the night. Winner number two from lab session one this year is the Luau. This nifty number is a variation on the classic Luau Grog, minus the ice cone, created by Gerry Corcoran at PDT, and published in the eponymous book. Like the other winner from this session, I found this one via a heads up from Fred Yarm. (Spoiler Alert: There are a lot of drinks I'm trying this year that will include hat tips to Fred....)
LUAU (For PDT's exact recipe, see the book)
  • 3/4 oz Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum
  • 3/4 oz El Dorado 8 Yr.
  • 3/4 oz Dos Maderas
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime
  • 1/2 oz passion fruit syrup
  • 1/4 oz orgeat
  • 1 dash Angostura
Shake thoroughly with ice. Strain into a whimsical Tiki mug, top with crushed ice, and garnish with orange and mint. (p.168, PDT Cocktail Book)
This drink really illustrates one of the great joys of Tiki: blending rums. The non-alcoholic ingredients form a nice bed frame for this drink, the but the star attraction is the weird, delicate dance of three disparate rums. I'm sure there are better trios than I chose (including the three specified by PDT, no doubt), but any reasonably informed selection of three high quality rums with different pedigrees will likely make this drink sing. On my †, ††, or ††† scale of Tiki drink potency, the Luau rates just a ††, but comes across as a †††. It's boozy on the tongue. For a Tiki drink, it is quite spirit-forward.abc
Recipes, Rule 2, Rum, Tiki Month 2017, Whiskey

Tiki Winners 2017 Part I: The Expedition

Each year during Tiki Month, I conduct a number of unlicensed laboratory experiments on human subjects have a few friends over to try out new recipes I've run across. This year I want to blog the ones that come up as winners, in that they are the ones that everybody is ordering by the end of the night. Winner number one from lab session one this year is The Expedition. This beaut is a Martin Cate original, and you can find it in his insanely worthwhile book Smuggler's Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki. (The book is on sale as of this posting for only eighteen bucks. This is a steal.) I thought to try it out based on a post from last august by Fred Yarm, which I've had squirreled away in my reading list in anticipation of this day.
THE EXPEDITION
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz 1:1 cinnamon syrup
  • 1/2 oz 1:1 honey syrup
  • 1/4 oz 1:1 vanilla syrup
  • 1/4 oz coffee liqueur
  • 2 oz dark Jamaican rum
  • 1 oz decent bourbon
Flash blend with 12 ounces of crushed ice. Pour into a medium-large mug with 2 oz. of seltzer already inside. Top with more crushed ice if needed. Garnish with orchid and a restrained amount of mint. (p.140, Smugglers Cove)
This drink is a nicely balanced combination of several different strains of Tiki. It is a soft, sweet melange of flavors that goes down easy for the less adventurous drinkers. But it also hearkens back to the exotic spice flavor profile of the early Tiki period with its cinnamon, vanilla and coffee. And it is a bit of a hidden booze bomb, with a splash over three ounces of liquor. Be careful about serving these to people who haven't had them before, as it is terrifyingly easy to misjudge the alcohol content in The Expedition. Don't expect, as I did from reading the recipe, for this to be a "coffee drink". It's not, at least not with the coffee liqueur I used. Instead, the coffee seems to be one of those "flavor morters" great cocktails often have, helping to bind disparate flavors into a single, new whole. The Expedition is what I call a "story drink", in that the ingredients are selected to tell a story, in this case, the career (expedition) of Don the Beachcomber. Read Martin's book for the story. Usually, story drinks, or story pairings, or story menus don't quite stick the landing. It is usually like selecting the instruments in an orchestra based on which ones look them most rad, but in this case the result really, really works.abc
Cachaça, Recipes, Rule 5

Festa Cocktail for an Olympic Alternative

Festa Cocktail Cachaca Display So you bought a bottle of Brazilian cachaça in honor of the Olympics, and while the Games are only three days old, you are already heartily sick of Caipirinhas. That bottle is sitting there on your home bar, taunting you. What are you going to do? I actually rather like cachaça, but it has always for me been a bit of a one-trick pony. While I like the spirit's signature drink, the Caipirinha quite a bit, and I've certainly blogged a fair bit back in the day about both spirit and cocktail, the prospect of a Caipirinha every night as I watch over-developed and under-clad swimmers, volleyball players, and gymnasts is a bit... underwhelming. I need another cachaça cocktail (at least) to mix in for my viewing pleasure.[caption width="2000" id="attachment_11354" align="aligncenter"]I was very sad to see the Swiss team lose. I'm not sure why... I was very sad to see the Swiss team lose. I'm not sure why...[/caption][caption width="2000" id="attachment_11355" align="aligncenter"]It's proof positive of the oppressive Patriarchy that we objectify peak physical conditioned female athletes, but never do that with men... wait... It's proof positive of the oppressive Patriarchy that we objectify peak physical condition female athletes, but never do that with the men... wait...[/caption] I thought about consulting my good friend and Brazilian bartender extraordinaire, Tony Harion. But if he is not far too busy during the games to advise me in a timely manner, these games are doomed. So I instead went to my best source for a new cocktail if I have some ingredient that is going begging, Martin Doudoroff's suite of Mixology Tech smartphone apps. In his Shaken And Stirred collection, I found this one by DrinkBoy, Robert Hess. It is easy, and it is delicious.
FESTA
  • 2 oz. silver cachaça
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. St. George Raspberry Liqueur (or raspberry syrup)
  • 1/2 oz. Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
The original recipe calls for raspberry syrup, but I don't keep that around, and I've had great success using St. George's stuff as a one-to-one substitute. The drink is quite tasty, and distinctively not a Caipirinha while keeping that gently harsh character that characterizes cachaça for me. Give it a try, and keep your bottle working throughout the Olympics! usa-usa-usaabc
Recipes, Rule 2, Rum

Saint Valentine Cocktail

St Valentine Cocktail I don't normally use port when making drinks, but when the PeguWife needs some for cooking, I enjoy the rest of the bottle in something or other so it doesn't go bad. This time around, I've been working my way through a number of the recipes at Portcocktails.com. The clear winner so far, for both my wife and me, is the Saint Valentine, an original by David Wondrich. It is a delicious "improved" Daiquiri, and if you have some ruby (or even tawny) port lying around in need of being used, I can't recommend it highly enough.
ST. VALENTINE
  • 3 parts good white rum
  • 1 part ruby port
  • 1 part orange curaçao
  • 1 part fresh lime juice
Shake well and strain into a stemmed glass. Garnish with a lime wheel or orange peel.
One final note: I came to this as a port drink, but the star of the show is the rum. It's going to make or break the cocktail. I've been using Plantation Three Stars, and it works fabulously.abc
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