Category: Stuff
Tiki Month 2018
Other Liqueurs

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.
  • 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.
  • 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. abc
Tiki Month 2018
Rule 4

Tiki Month Editorial: We Have a Problem in Aloha Shirt City

We have a serious problem, folks. A problem with... Hawaiian shirts! I know... how can there possibly be a problem with aloha-wear? The whole point of tropical pattern shirts is to live the no problem life. This is factual. But as the whole tropical/Tiki lifestyle becomes more popular once again, corporations do what they do: Screw things up for everyone through ignorance, avarice, or laziness. (Usually all three.) Aloha shirts (for men at least) have specific look, buried under all that incredible variety of pattern, that is designed to deliver the required comfort and insouciant air that you look for in such garments. They are loosely constructed of woven fabric, button all the way down, and have an open, unconfining collar. The construction design style is called the Camp Shirt. Now, look at this next shirt. Young man, You. Are. Doing. It. Wrong. This is unfair of course. I'm sure this professional model was happy to pop on whatever shirt he was paid to wear. He didn't choose to wear it.
Sure, but I am going to go ahead and hold that hairstyle against him....
Look, the real problem here is this whole idea of aloha print Polo-style shirts. There is nothing wrong with pullovers. I wear them all the time. The problem is companies thinking you can make an Hawaiian shirt with this construction style. Remember my comment about modern businesses screwing things up through ignorance, avarice, or laziness? This trend hits all three. Ignorance: Clothing exec reads a trade article in Vogue that says Aloha is back in a big way. Exec asks himself, "What's Aloha?", does a Google Search, and exclaims, "Oh, it's Hawaiian prints!" He then asks Marjorie to have the plant run off five floral prints in their basic knit.... Avarice: Marjorie tells her boss that she always remembers Magnum wearing camp shirt styles. He replies that knit pullovers use a lot less fabric than woven camp shirts, and he'd rather make an extra buck-seventy five per unit sold. Laziness: Exec goes home and mentions the new Hawaiian Polo to his wife. She starts to go on about Magnum as well. Exec considers dimly that all the women around him seem damned impressed with young Tom Selleck. He decides to call the plant manager and ask about camp shirts. The manager notes that it is a lot of work to match those complex parrot and surfboard pictures across a two piece shirt front, and he'd rather not bother. Exec agrees, and we get the monstrosity above. Listen to the women, Mr. Executive. The chest hair is optional. The comfy, casual camp wear construction is not. Ideally, you match the pattern. In practice, you get it moderately close. Half the time, your customers will wear it over a t-shirt and not even button it at

Tiki “Drink”: Missionary at the Stake

Missionary-at-the-Stake One of the many multifarious advantages of having a Wife is that they periodically buy you things that you were previously unaware that you could not live without. Being married for twenty-seven years now, this advantage has come into play for me too many times to count. The latest exemplar occurred just a few weeks ago. It reconfirms my basic assertion that when it comes to wives, if you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up. [caption id="attachment_11323" align="aligncenter" width="1440"]If you don't get the reference, God help you... And get off my lawn, while you are at it. If you don't get the reference, God help you...
And get off my lawn, while you're at it.[/caption] In this case, the PeguWife, who wishes I were a constant (instead of annual) Tiki-phile, handed me a box that was carefully calibrated to make her wish come true. You see, I'm a winter Tiki guy. I unleash the exotic rum mojo when it is cold... and icy... and miserable. This time of year, in the heat of the Summer I prefer lighter, more refreshing stuff. But just when I thought I was out, she drags me back in.... Tovolo, leading enablers of ice-nerds everywhere, has introduced this spiffy little set of four Tiki popsicle molds. Used as directed, they are a cute little set of popsicle molds. Add a little cocktail science, and they are magic. 81-12073_tiki-pop-molds_3 Since the dawn of time, popsicles (In the lower-case, sorry dudes, no one distinguishes your trademark in the real consumer world sense) have had smooth sides. The missle-shaped design was demanded by the fact that you couldn't get your frozen sugar water out of the rigid mold otherwise. But these Tovolos are actually individual, flexible, rubbery molds that hang in a hard plastic rack in your fridge (another trademark lost to time). Once frozen, the flexible mold peels off of the pop, and voila, you get the ultra-cool, sculptural ice pops you see in the picture atop this post. Each of the four pops in the set are of a different design, and Tovolo also makes sets depicting robots, dinosaurs, penguins, swords, monsters, and even giant thumbs to suck on. 81-17805_thumbsicle-pop-molds_3 These molds work great for basic popsicles and are nearly fool-proof, just freeze everything hard and they pop right off with a tug. Never one to leave well enough alone, I of course had to immediately start trying drink concoctions to go into them. Alcohol doesn't freeze very cooperatively, of course. But with a little work, I've got some tips to help you bring your new Tiki or penguin pops to their full potential. First, use low alcohol drinks. You must give up right away on freezing a Manhattan into the shape of a sword. That strong a drink would never freeze.
And besides, sucking on a Manhattan popsicle would just be downright undignified... for both you and the Manhattan.
Second, blender drinks work especially well. I'm talking about smoothie consistency here, rather than the flash-blended style I usually use. The tiny flecks of ice and copious very cold water in these recipes will freeze quickly. As a bonus, in doing so they form a matrix that traps the air, as well as the booze, in the cocktail and keeps them evenly distributed throughout the pop. Without this quick-freeze matrix, the air bubbles will concentrate in a cloudy ball in the middle of the pop, and the booze will concentrate toward the base of the stick. With this matrix, you get an ice pop that is almost fluffy—a real bonus. Third, when you freeze a slurry drink like this in these molds, you have to be careful when unmolding. The resulting pop is considerably less sturdy than a solid one. You need to keep a light pressure on the top of the pop (bottom of the mold) as you peel it carefully off, or the very end will snap off. Decapitated Tikis are creepy, and a cocktail pop that's missing a third is just sad. The pop atop this post, and its three mates, were made from a single batch of one of my favorite Tiki drinks, which I used completely unaltered. I just renamed the Missionary's Downfall, and I'll reprint the recipe here to get you started with your molds. You know, the ones you've already ordered from Amazon while reading this post... Right?
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. apricot brandy
  • 1 oz. honey mix
  • 1 oz. Mount Gay Eclipse Silver or other white rum
  • 1 1/2 oz fresh pineapple juice
  • 10-20 mint leaves
  • 6 oz. small or crushed ice
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until all mint and ice are completely pulverized. Pour into ice pop molds to just below full, leaving space for displacement from the stick. Place in freezer for 4-6 hours. Enjoy leftover drink immediately to cushion the blow of the long wait.
Lime Juice
Tiki Month 2016

Tiki How-To: Zesting Limes Safely and Quickly

[caption id="attachment_11058" align="aligncenter" width="640"]"I zested all these limes for you...." Karaliaprincess—DeviantArt "I zested all these limes for you...."
Karaliaprincess—DeviantArt[/caption] Earlier this Tiki Month, I posted about how sous vide infusing can drastically reduce one of the two main obstacles to making your own falernum at home: Time. I wrote there that the remaining obstacle to free experimentation with falernum is obtaining one of the two universal ingredients: Lots of fresh lime zest. While attempting to distract the PeguWife from the overwhelming aroma of clove that was briefly emanating from her kitchen as I toasted the aromatics, I let her see her cut-proof glove, which was now covered in pressed in lime zest and juice. This proved not to be a beneficial distraction.... Leaning into the skid, I complained that my fingers were sore from maneuvering nine limes through the flaying process. "There has got to be a better tool," she replied. I told her that I had read of a purpose made device for just this, but that it was eighty bucks... and discontinued. Besides, it is a unitasker, and if you even write that word, you know who will show up and...
No unitaskers!
Yeah. See? She dug into one of the cabinets and came out with her tabletop apple peeler.
I said, no...
It also peels potatoes.
Ah, yes. Carry on.
With a little work, you can indeed peel a lime with one of these devices, but it isn't great for obtaining zest. The blade cuts too deep and you get the white pith. Also, the inner structure of the lime is too weak for the tines, and the lime goes off the rails at least half the time. After a few moments of thought however, I struck upon an alternate method that is extremely easy, clean, and safe. Here's what you need: Apple peelerA counter mounted crank apple peeler. The one I'm linking here is only twenty two bucks. There are numerous models in the ten dollar range, but they are suction cup-mounted, and made from zinc alloy instead of cast iron.
MicroplaneA basic Microplane zester/grater, or other brand of similar design. You need this long, narrow model.
LimesGood, fresh limes. The more plump and firm they are, the better. You want the kind with the smooth skin, not the rough, bumpy Persian jobs.
I made a video the show the process, or this post would be another 2,000 words. Let me know what you think of the production values, please! ...and how you like the process. abc
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