Category - Tiki Month 2013

Aloha Y’all
SideBlog: Ultra Modern Tiki Torches
Extracting the Inversions for Tiki Month
Tiki Drink: Captain’s Blood
A Recipe for a Punch
“Tiki Compliant”

Aloha Y’all

Aloha Y'all
Aloha, Y’all!

Another Tiki Month has come and gone here at the Pegu Tiki Blog. No… as of tomorrow, it’ll be back to the Pegu Blog. I’ll be starting things off this March with a serious, cool post about (drumroll) the Pegu! Seriously, it’s pretty cool.

But for now, I just want to say thanks to all who dropped by this month.
To the regular cocktail crowd who put up with my temporary tropical insanity: thanks, and it is back to the usual.
To the Tiki lovers: hang around, the rest of the cocktailosphere is pretty cool too.
And to all the other bloggers who came along for the ride this Tiki Month… you guys are awesome! I hope I linked you all properly. If I didn’t, sorry. I wasn’t prepared with a good plan for all the buy-in this year. I’ll have a plan for next. I have many plans for next!

Each year, Tiki Month gets more fun and more elaborate. This year, instead of one big Tiki blowout, I hosted four casual drop-in Tiki happy hours for local friends. They all went well, but I expect more of you local types to show next year!

I love Tiki Month, but it is time to take down the decorations and store them, drop the Martin Denny and crank up the Psychedelic Furs, finish off the passion fruit syrup and make up some blueberry, and put away the blender. Tiki Detox around here always means a lot of Old-Fashioneds….

Thanks for the ride, guys.

SideBlog: Ultra Modern Tiki Torches

Tiki torches for the modern ultra-contemporary home (Video). If you have to blend your primitive with the modern in your Tiki decor as I do, these might make an excellent merge point.

Extracting the Inversions for Tiki Month

Turning Doctor Bamboo on His Head
Uninverted Source: Dr. Bamboo

Fred Yarm of Cocktail Virgin Slut, and author of Drink & Tell: A Boston Cocktail Book, is the man I call The Hardest Working Blogger in Booze Business™. Nowhere is this more clear than in his shouldering the burden of keeping Mixology Monday alive, and in wrangling other hard working bloggers into running the monthly programs. Since I am not a hard-working blogger, I have managed to miss almost all of the second wave of MxMos.

Bad blogger!
No Fernet for you!

But I made it in for this month, since I had a Tiki idea.

The excellent Stewart of Putney Farm stepped up to the plate to host MxMo this month, with a cool, if maddeningly open-ended, theme of Inversion. You can read his excellent round up of the results at that link, but I noted that there was a surprising number of Tiki or Tiki Compliant entries beyond mine and wanted to give them all a second link here.
Dagreb's Flourishing Heir
My buddy Dagreb inverts the Suffering Bastard to give us the Flourishing Heir. For reasons unknown, this makes me think of Downton Abbey, and every time I read his post I am seized with the image of a Tiki party at Downton, with Carson arguing with the Earl of Grantham that it is scandalous for him to appear in that fighter plane-patterned dinner jacket, and the Earl should behave himself and wear his more conservative aloha floral patterned tails.
Oh, Dagreb offers a second inverted cocktail as well, but it is a vile perversion of all that is good and holy and I shall not write of it here.

Iat Iam
Joey of Rated R Cocktails has bought into Tiki Month in a big way, may Pele bless him. He will need those blessings, because his offering, the Iat Iam (Mai Tai inverted, get it?) commits almost every sacrilege imaginable to Tiki’s holiest concotion… and still manages to produce a good result! Seriously Joe, gin? Orange juice? Bitters? Red superball cocktail cherries? Freaking Blue Curaçao? What, all out of commercial “grenadine”, were you?

The Tigress
Chef-blogger Nathan Hazard, whose blog sports the gloriously inexplicable moniker of The Chocolate of Meats, pulls off no mean feat in The Tigress—a completely juiceless Tiki drink! I don’t have the time to produce his pineapple cordial which ties it all together, which is too bad because I think this might be an ideal culmination of this year’s unofficial Tiki Month theme of cocktail-style Tiki drinks.

Hawaii O
Another Tiki cocktail, a dessert one this time, is the Hawaii-O, from Danish blogger Andrea at Gin Hound. She takes a long-forgotten candy and inverts it into a cocktail. Chocolate and pineapple go really well together under all circumstances, but with a healthy dose of rum? Yum. The only thing I don’t like about this post is that it reminds me that I did no dessert drinks myself this time through Tiki Month….

Hopped Up Nui Nui
One of my favorite bloggers, and one of my wife’s favorite bartenders, Jacob Grier of Liquidity Preference takes the classic Nui Nui and beers it up with Inversion IPA! I’d wax on here about the very interesting head Jacob gets on the drink from shaking it with a carbonated ingredient already mixed in, which I’d have never considered doing, but I’m too busy wondering where to find that extraordinary cocktail umbrella.
(Bonus: Check out Jacob’s Great Moments in Heterosexuality, which I’d previously not noticed.)

Invertita Boozenerds
“Boozenerds” Christa and Shaun offer two Tiki, or at the least Tiki Compliant, cocktails. The Invertita (pictured) is a spicy aromatic drink where the frozen stuff stays under the liquid. The second, the Rogue Wave, is an Old-Fashioned that morphs into a Tiki drink as the frozen fruit nectar ice cubes melt. Tiki is a particularly ice-nerdy genre of drinks, and these are two fun-looking techniques that I intend to try with stuff that isn’t Tiki-related too.

And I did my aforementioned post as well, in which I “inverted” making a critical Tiki ingredient by, um, not making said critical Tiki ingredient.

There are plenty more worthwhile (though not Tiki) posts outlined in Stewart’s roundup post. Do go check them out as well!

And hey! This post is part of Tiki Month 2013 here at the Pegu Blog! Be sure to look around for LOTS more Tiki stuff all February!

Tiki Drink: Captain’s Blood

Cocktail-style Tiki drinks really have ended up being the central theme of exploration this Tiki Month, and here is another: The Captain’s Blood. Of course, both in name and in flavor, the Captain’s blood is more Pirate than Polynesian, but I’ll allow it. After all, pirate stuff has a long association with Tiki, just as spy-themed music and paraphernalia do. And Tiki’s patron saints, Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic, were really pirates in all but the name. (They also omitted the bad hygiene and most of the old ultra-violence, but let’s not quibble)

There are all sorts of recipes for Captain’s Blood on the web, and aside from all pretty much containing rum, lime of some fashion, and usually bitters of some type, there seems to be no definitive recipe. I suspect that this is one of those drinks with a great name that has been reverse engineered from the memory of the taste countless times, and for which we shall never find a rock-solid origin or original formulation. I went with the one of CocktailDB, which has propagated the farthest on the web and which is the most nearly Tiki in character. I made two amendments, which I will explain.


  • 1 1/2 oz Jamaican dark rum
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 3/8 oz honey mix
  • 1/4 oz falernum

Shake ingredients and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish nautically.

The original CocktaiDB recipe calls for one dash of Angostura and a half teaspoon of sugar (roughly 1 tsp simple syrup). That result I found to be too thin, even sour, in flavor, especially if you are looking for a Tiki, or at least a Tiki Compliant, cocktail.
Increasing the bitters demonstrates that great, largely unappreciated by the masses, cocktail truth: Bitters in small amounts don’t increase the bitterness of a drink, they knock the edges off other outsize flavor elements instead. In this case, the extra bitters just sands down the sourness of the lime and falernum without hiding the underlying flavorful goodness.
I got the idea for the honey mix from Rumdood’s old post on homemade falernum. It was my choice to up the amount. I like the melding of the flavors resulting from the added sweetness, and the honey also gives a tiny bit of additional complexity. But make no mistake, this remains a tart drink. The honey also gives a tiny bit richer body to the cocktail, which I like as well. Next time I try it, I may even replace the honey mix with gomme syrup, to see how far I can take that effect.

The suggestion for this Tiki Month post from Jason McGrady, who presides over the mahogany at Sazerac Restaurant in the Hotel Monaco in Seattle, where Maggi and I stayed two Summers ago. What’s that? Yes, I keep in touch with bartenders I haven’t seen in two years. I keep track of an incredible number of good bartenders around the world whom I seldom actually see. You never know when I am going to have a sudden need for an agent to do me a favor and make me a good drink. I’m like the Shadow that way.

“Someday, bartender, I will need a Manhattan from you….”
Source: Alex Sheikman

And hey! This post is part of Tiki Month 2013 here at the Pegu Blog! Be sure to look around for LOTS more Tiki stuff all February!

A Recipe for a Punch

Here’s a punch recipe.

  • 120 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 120 ounces strong-brewed Darjeeling tea
  • 75 ounces cinnamon syrup (B.G. Reynolds’ brand recommended)
  • 75 ounces vanilla syrup (B.G. Reynolds’ brand recommended)
  • 3 liter bottles of Chairman’s Reserve
  • 1 liter bottle of La Favorite Rhum Agricole Vieux
  • 2 fifth bottles of Rhum Clément V.S.O.P.
  • 1 fifth bottle of Smith & Cross
  • 1 fifth bottle of Dos Maderas 5+3
  • Lemon Hart 151 to fill

Sound fun? Go check out the whole back story at Hurricane Hayward’s Atomic Grog Blog. It involves the two rockingest hats in the rum world, those belonging to Jeff Berry and Ian Burrell, as well other assorted Tiki celebrities. The author of the recipe is Martin Cate.

Folks, this is a serviceable punch. Sure, it doesn’t require 8 liters of light rum, 4 liters of gin, 4 liters of rye, 4 liters of cognac, and 9 gallons of wine, along with the stockings of a soldier’s wife and soil from the land which last shuddered under the regiment’s guns, but a serviceable punch none the less.

Had Admiral Schley been still alive, Hurricane would have had to double his shopping list. I loves me a really big punch.

“Tiki Compliant”

cat-in-a-fez“Oh, I think we’ll be the judge of that!
Source: Meme-O-Rama

Twitter is, no doubt, a terrible time-suck. I can think of any number of great cocktail blogs whose death can be attributed to being cut up into 140 character chunks and fed to the big blue bird. And if you follow and are followed by the wrong sort of tweeter, Twitter can be a hive of scum and villainy so awful it makes Mos Eisley spaceport look like a convent.

But if you have the right followers, Twitter can also be a great place to start conversations and develop new ideas.

One such idea we’ve been kicking around this month, that I believe first arose from the mind of Joe Garcia, an otherwise excellent blogger, tweeter, and commenter who apparently constantly teeters on the edge of washing his clothes with dried coconut flakes, is the cocktail class we’ll call Tiki Compliant.

A Tiki Compliant drink is one that is not, due to its origin, history, name, etc., a Tiki drink, but which sure as hell works as a Tiki drink. If you were to find one of these cocktails on a real Tiki bar menu, the ignorant drinker would not be able to tell the difference, and the average cocktailian would say, “you know, that really makes sense if you think about it.” Even the serious Tiki types, the ones who will argue vehemently until 3 in the morning that the Q.B. Cooler is really the prototype of the Mai Tai, will look at a Tiki Compliant drink and go, “Eh. I’ll allow it.”

To be clear, people who argue that the Q. B. Cooler is the progenitor of Trader Vic’s Mai Tai are known, clinically in the Latin as, “wrong“. They are hapless Donn Beach fanboys deluding themselves about this subject, and who, if outnumbered by drinkers who test positive for “correct”, are always nine seconds away from making this YouTube video:
And yes, I am aware that this Q.B. Cooler thing is espoused by no less a light than Jeff Beachbum Berry himself. But Jeff is forgiven for it because he has to sell tickets to seminars, and Rule 4 says there is no success like controversy.

I want everyone to know that Guy’s opinions are his own, and if you don’t like them, address your flames to his Twitter feed, @TheGuyPegu, that way your mascara won’t run all over me.

And now, if I may have my post back before you completely derail it?

By all means. My work here is done.

So what are some Tiki Compliant drinks, and why?

I’ll start with the one that started this whole process, the Dark ‘n Stormy. Intellectual property issues aside, the Dark ‘n Stormy is no Tiki drink. It has only two ingredients. And while it is from an island, it is one on the wrong side of the world and which is known chiefly as the home of funny shorts and where Bloomberg runs off to hide when there is to much unremoved snow or storm water lying around for his limousine to navigate the streets of New York City. But with its particularly dark rum, and the spicy sweetness of ginger beer creating such a mysterious and unaccountably deep blend of flavors, the DnS just works.

Another obviously compliant non-Tiki drink is the Hemingway Daiquiri. The ingredient list reads a lot more like a Tiki drink this time, with two citruses, rum, and an oddball liqueur in the mix. But it clearly isn’t Tiki again because it’s Caribbean and it’s godfather is one of the least Tiki old SOB’s I can think of who nonetheless slept that much on a boat.

There are lots more, lesser known drinks that are Tiki Compliant to one degree or another, like this new Martinique Cocktail from Chow.

And how about drinks considered Tiki drinks that should really be considered Tiki Compliant? The Carioca Hawaiian that I blogged earlier this Tiki Month is maybe one of these. It is called a Tiki drink because of the recipe, and because it was invented as a Tiki drink to begin with.
But it isn’t really that Tiki in its actual flavor. Do we perhaps call it more Tiki Compliant than straight up Tiki?

It’s a fun game to play. What is your favorite Tiki Compliant cocktail?

And hey! This post is part of Tiki Month 2013 here at the Pegu Blog! Be sure to look around for LOTS more Tiki stuff all February!

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