Category: DrinkWire
Rule 2
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
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.
  • 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
Rule 2

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 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.
  • 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

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.
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