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1
New Tiki Drink: The Tiki Tree Viper by Rated-R Cocktails
2
A Tiki Month SubRoundup of MxMo: Sours
3
National Margarita Day in Tiki Month: The Margarita Atoll
4
More Tiki-themed Video: Captain Morgan White Rum
5
Safety In Paradise
6
Mixology Monday LXXXII: Sours — The Regal Daiquiri

New Tiki Drink: The Tiki Tree Viper by Rated-R Cocktails

Tiki Tree Viper Cocktail from Rated-R Cocktails
The Tiki Tree Viper is one of those newly-invented cocktails you get to see all the time when you read cocktail blogs. Usually, they stick in your mind because of a gorgeous picture, or funky name, or maybe an ingredient that you just haven’t done much with. Most of the time the drink, should you find the time to make one yourself, ends up being fairly “eh”. But sometimes, it ends up being a real find.

JFL, of Rated-R Cocktails, invented the TTV, and posted it just days before Tiki Month began. I had been looking for recipes to blog about, and this one was well-timed. It is a riff on the popular Chartreuse Swizzle, as Tiki/Classic Crossover a cocktail as you will find.

Here is my recipe for it. The brands are a bit altered from the original, and I make one critical change in amount, all of which I detail below.

TIKI TREE VIPER

  • 1 1/2 oz. Mount Gay Eclipse
  • 1/2 oz. Lemon Hart 151
  • 1/2 oz. Green Chartreuse
  • 1/4 oz. Bols Blue Curaçao
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. orange juice
  • 1/2 oz. orgeat

Combine ingredients with cracked or small ice and shake to combine. Serve in appropriate Tiki vessel and garnish with dry ice and lavish produce.

The biggest change I make is to back the Chartreuse back from three-quarters in JFL’s to half an ounce. At the full three-quarters, I think the Chartreuse starts to bully the other ingredients. At a half, you still by God know it is in the drink, but is stays part of the larger ensemble. I think the suggested mint as garnish is also a bit over the top, too. (And I garnish everything with mint in February.) The cocktail doesn’t need more competing herbal notes.
Tiki Tree Viper by Rated-R Cocktails
Finally, a sliver of dry ice in the bottom gives it the appropriate atmospherics. This is a very mysterious, darkest New Guinea kind of Tiki drink. I have also saved it for the homestretch of Tiki Month because it has been so very popular with my friends. Incidentally, they all independently drop the work “Tiki” from the name, just asking for a Tree Viper. When I ask, they mostly say they don’t know what a “Tiki Tree” is. The glasses have, with the exception of one guy whose evening was ending and hadn’t expected the potency, come back uniformly empty. I use Tiki Month get togethers as an opportunity to use my guests as lab rats for new drinks, and the Tree Viper has had this year’s best results in both attracting orders, and in well-received results.

A Tiki Month SubRoundup of MxMo: Sours

MxMo-Tiki-Logo
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!

National Margarita Day in Tiki Month: The Margarita Atoll

Margarita Atoll-A Tiki Margarita
Today is National Margarita Day.


Since just about every day is National {Put name of liquor/cocktail/food/something else that hires PR people here} Day, I usually ignore these momentous occasions on the blog. But every once in a while, circumstances come together to demand a post. This is that point in the current while.

I have been happily perusing the results of this month’s Mixology Monday, hosted at Ginhound. The theme is Sours, and like yours truly, many of the participants chose to set their offerings in the very Sour-friendly arena of Tiki drinks. Another entrant is Bartending Notes’ simple and elegant post on the Margarita (the Gospel of Tequila). Despite a kind shout-out to this humble repository, the Margarita Ceccotti presents is a fairly straightforward, if a touch sweet for my preference, version. Not a Tiki drink, really.

But then you look at the picture used:

marg
It’s BLUE.

Two things here:

  1. I don’t know how this azure concoction arose from the recipe in the post
  2. Doug’s Rule of Tiki #4 is: If it is blue and has citrus in it, but mostly just if it is blue, it is a Tiki drink.

So today’s Tiki Month project was to construct a truly Tiki Margarita.

The right recipe was pretty easily obtained. I simply used my standard Margarita recipe, substituted Bols Blue Curaçao for half the Cointreau to obtain the wanted color of Tahitian coral shallows, then backed off the tequila slightly and added a whisper of honey syrup for the sweeter, more undefined Tiki flavor profile.

MARGARITA ATOLL

  • 1 1/4 oz. good silver tequila
  • strong 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 oz. Cointreau
  • 1/4 oz. Bols Blue Curaçao
  • 1/4 oz honey mix

Combine in shaker with ice and agitate until frigid. Strain into a cocktail coupe rimmed as below.

Since I’m trying to emphasize the Tiki-ness of this drink, I wanted a garnish somewhat beyond a simple lime wedge, even a nicely tattooed one. I also do not like to rim my Margaritas with salt. If you use good tequila, I’ve always maintained that the salt rim just wipes out the character of the spirit. But others continue to be wrong disagree. So I chose to split the difference by caving on the second problem to solve the first here.

I hauled out my black Hawaiian salt (a great origin for a Tiki drink, yes?). You have to crush this further, since the gravel size it usually comes it is to big and heavy to rim with. I just use a muddler on a plate, but if you have a mortar and pestle you are better off. You don’t want to powder the salt, just break it down a little so it can stick.
Black Hawaiian Salt
I then, both to allow an anti-salt guy like me a way to not taste the salt and for garnish purposes, rubbed the outside of the rim with a lime wedge, but only in patches, before rolling the outside of the glass in the crushed black salt. The result is a nifty look, reminiscent of the ring of volcanic islands of a south Pacific Atoll, surrounding the light blue waters of the sunken caldera.
Margarita-Atoll-Rim
The drink’s not half bad either.

More Tiki-themed Video: Captain Morgan White Rum


Two video posts in a row is lazy, but I just think this one is too beautiful (in a different way from the last post’s) to pass up. Captain Morgan is introducing a new silver rum. I haven’t tried it, and don’t know when I will. But someone had an awesome time firing tiny cannonballs at Tiki drinks, and you will enjoy it. (Available in super HD if you click on it.)

You are welcome.

Safety In Paradise

OK, I hesitate to claim that Air New Zealand is “in” for Tiki Month, as I was legitimately able to do with Frankie’s Tiki Room, but I’m gonna suggest it. They posted this, their new cabin safety video, in February after all! And it shows some of the most beautiful tropical island scenery of the Cook Islands I’ve seen, so I want to post it.

Tropical island scenery?
There are islands in this video?
Can’t say as how I noticed.
That said, I will grant that the scenery is pretty awesome.

What are you on about? There are the fabulous Cook Islands. There are flower leis. There are… Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover models… OK. I get your point.

Come on. I gotta shoehorn in some Rule 5 at some point in every Tiki Month. After all, as I have chronicled heretofore, Tiki is about (among other things) guilt-free sex!

And to my female readership, don’t worry. Air New Zealand is an equal opportunity outfit. There is a special guest appearance (they have special guest appearances in airline safety videos now?) by Christie Brinkley, who in addition to being quite the Mikana Añejo herself, seems to be there to remind everyone that Los Angeles is the Air New Zealand destination with the hottest pool boys.

I must say that it is interesting the way that Air New Zealand is turning the safety talk into a revenue opportunity. But celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Swimsuit Edition immediately after the prior celebration is kind of a jarring change in the amount of hair. Good to see they both manage to make the life vest inflation segment into a dirty joke. Bear Grylls (thank God) didn’t get that memo in his version….
Read More

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:

DON’S ROYAL DAIQUIRI

  • 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.

REGAL DAIQUIRI

  • 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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