Category: Gin
Other Liqueurs
Rule 2
Tiki Month 2018

Tiki Drink: By Way of the Dodo

Here is another drink that I found via the Cocktail Virgin blog: By Way of the Dodo. It is a creation of Matthew Rose of the Boston Area, and I've been saving this link for months to write up now. The By Way of the Dodo is an excellent example of a "Tiki version" of a non-Tiki drink. In this case, it is a Last Word of sorts. This process of Tiki-fying classics is a pretty common one today, as more and more craft bartenders come to appreciate the great opportunities the genre offers, be it the exotic flavor palette or the excuse to go over the top with a garnish. But just because this happens more and more these days, it doesn't mean it always works. You can't just swap in some pineapple juice and add cinnamon to a recipe and get a Tiki drink. For my own part, I will apparently never learn that you can't just add pimento dram and expect to get a Tiki drink.... When a Tiki reconstruction does work, however, it is glorious. The Last Word would seem to be an unlikely candidate for tikification, but this transformation is one that succeeds comprehensively.
  • 1 oz navy strength aged rum
  • 1 oz Green Chartreuse
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz passion fruit syrup
Shake well, and strain into an old-fashioned glass. Fill to brim with crushed ice. Garnish must include 3-4 dashes of Angostura.
The resulting drink adds a tropical tang and mouthfeel to the crisp herbaceousness of the Last Word. It is quite at home in dark, colored lighting, with Martin Denny on the Hi-Fi (substitute Bose soundbar or Apple HomePod....)abc
Rule 2
Tiki Month 2018

Tiki Drink: Monkey Pilot

The Monkey Pilot is a quite new Tiki cocktail, as in last month new, from Fred Yarm of Cocktail Virgin Fame. Fred has begun to present a problem for me the last year or so of Tiki Month. The chance of re-blogging someone else's drink can be expressed in the following formula: Chance = Frequency of Posting X Percentage of Posts about Tiki Drinks. If you plug in the values for the Cocktail Virgin Blog, you get: Chance = Yarm's Work Ethic X Fred's Increasing Interest in Tiki. Chance is a big number, folks. Any way, I'm leaning into the issue by choosing the Monkey Pilot today. Not only did Fred blog it, he created it. If you want to learn about his development process and the drink's ancestry, click the link. I was wasting time on Twitter today, and saw Fred mention his recent post on the Monkey Pilot. To which my friend Jordan (@Cocktailchem) felt the need to poke the official illustrator of the Cocktailosphere... It is time to convince Craig to do this, so please RT this tweet, if you are unfortunate enough to suffer from TwitterAccountosis, and maybe we'll shame Doctor Bamboo into drawing some monkeys. Now, I already had Fred's Monkey Pilot recipe sitting downstairs in my Basement Bar, waiting for me to make cinnamon syrup. The exchange got me off of my computer and into the kitchen. This evening, first on agenda was this drink. It's lovely. A truly traditional Tiki drink, in all the best ways.
  • 1 oz dark Jamaican rum (I used Blackwell's)
  • 1 oz London Dry gin
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1/4 oz grenadine (I used POM Wonderful straight)
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz Velvet falernum
  • 1/2 oz cinnamon syrup
  • 7 drops absinthe
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
Combine in a shaker with ice and put your monkey shoulder into it. Open pour into a whimsical mug and top with crushed ice. I for one am always one to follow garnish instructions like Fred's, "garnish with Tiki intent." I went with a lime wheel, homme-made brandied cherry, and a custom engraved orange zest.
As I said, this is a classic Tiki-profile cocktail. The aroma is exotically redolent. As you first draw on the straw, it feels but doesn't quite taste sweet. There is quite a bit of acidity, even into the finish. But the finish is mostly aromatics from absinthe, gin, and cinnamon, all of which linger beautifully. It is refreshing, but in no way thirst-quenching, leaving the drinker wanting something else to sip immediately after. If you were serving it in a commercial establishment, I think that would make Donn Beach smile. abc
Tiki Month 2018

Tiki Drink: Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (Major Update)

[Major update at the bottom of this post.] I teased this cocktail in my prior main page post about spiffing up your paper cocktail parasols. I wanted to give the drink its own post because, well, it is really good. And that name... wow. It's one helluv'an awesome mouth full. Actually, it's a lot easier to pronounce than it is to read. Try it. (Hoomoo hoomoo nookoo nooku apoo ah ah) This drink comes to me via Martin Cate's new cocktail essential, Smuggler's Cove. What do you mean you don't have it? It's essential. Go buy it now. Use my link, and Amazon will pay me enough commission to buy a lime. The Humuhumunukunukuapua'a is on pg. 144. The recipe is credited to Marcovaldo Dionysos, whom I don't know, but wish I did. What makes this drink really interesting is that it is a gin drink. With the exception of the Fog Cutter and the various Bastards, there isn't a lot of gin in the Tiki oeuvre. This is a damn shame, because gin is awesome, but most other gin drinks in the Tiki vein come in under the category of "nice enough, but I'll try something else next round." This one, you'll come back to.
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz orgeat
  • 2 oz gin
  • 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters*
Combine in a shaker with ice and shake hard and long, to get a good chill. More importantly, you want a nice froth from the pineapple juice and that takes some elbow grease. Pour into a double old-fashioned glass and top with ice to fill. Garnish creatively. * Be careful with the Peychaud's. Depending on your dasher's joie de vivre, you may want to use only one.
The resulting cocktail is bright, crisp, and not too sweet. It's ideal for guests who think they have an aversion to sweetness. The pineapple and lime lift the gin on their shoulders, and sing a hearty backup. The orgeat lends more substance and texture than most gin drinks possess. The Peychaud's adds a delicate pungency, as long as you don't over do it. The finish is long and aromatic. Can you tell I ruined one of these with too much Peychaud's? Regardless, despite a lot of vocabulary in my description that isn't usually associated with Tiki concoctions, this is very much a Tiki drink. It just feels exotic on the tongue. Give it a try. Major Update: Let's talk a bit more about the name, shall we? Turns out my phonetic breakdown above is correct. A humuhumunukunukuapua'a is a trigger fish and looks like this. (I think I nailed the color scheme of my drink above—totally by accident.) I have gotten multiple messages about the name's pronunciation, and the videos that are out there about it. This includes a comment from Board of Tiki Idols member, Tiare, down in the comments of this post, linking a particularly cute one. Turns out, there are approximately 14.3 million videos on YouTube about pronouncing the name of this fish, which is the state fish of Hawaii. I am now firmly convinced that Hawaiian public education consists primarily of young children dancing around and happily singing the name of this fish all day.... <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>abc
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