Category: grapefruit
Recipes, Rum, Tiki Month 2013

Tiki Drink: The Big Bamboo

The Big Bamboo from the Mai Kai Few Tiki joints in America inspire the kind of evangelical love as does the Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale, FL. It is a living fossil; perhaps the only of the original independent Tiki palaces which never slipped quietly into that dark night. I've been there, and it is a nigh-veritable Disneyland quality execution of commercial Tiki. It has live shows, multiple bar rooms, and food that doesn't suck. It hosts the annual Hukilau Tiki festival. And it has a long tradition of serious Tiki drinks. During my one visit, I was pleasantly surprised at how close to old-school the drinks were. But the menu is not, fortunately, frozen in time. Still, if you update the menu, some old classics will be lost. The Big Bamboo is such a drink, now replaced by a "milder" version called the Mara-Amu.
BIG BAMBOO
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz orange juice
  • 1/2 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz passionfruit syrup
  • 1/2 oz dark Jamaican rum
  • 1 oz gold rum
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Combine all ingrendients with 4 oz crushed ice and flash blend for five seconds. Serve in a tall glass or Tiki mug. Jungle garnish.
This is really a delicious cocktail, and surprising in many ways. Orange juice is a bitch of an ingredient in any style cocktail, as even just a little too much can take over anything. But in this recipe it behaves itself nicely, bringing what it should to the party without dropping its pants and dancing on the furniture like it usually does. Together, all the fruits meld to form one of those marvelous, "tropical" flavor gestalts that make Tiki drinks so cool. But the bitters and all that ice neatly balance out what I was expecting to be a fairly sweet drink, instead producing a tart, zesty, highly refreshing result that brings an immediate smile. The feel here is neither in the Vic school, nor the Don to my way of tasting. I like that and want to find more such drinks this year, to expand my Tiki horizons. With only an ounce and a half of alcohol in a large vessel drink, it is pretty gentle. I'm not sure how much effect specific rums will have on this drink, but I will make enough of them to find out, I assure you. As an exit question, the characterization of the Mara-Amu as "milder" comes from the Bum, in Sippin' Safari. I've never had one of those, so I'm curious, in what way is it milder? The Mara-Amu is listed in the Medium section of the Mai Kai's menu, and the Big Bamboo is a veritable kitten compared to the Swizzles and Jet Pilots in the Strong section. Any of my South Florida readers want to lay some knowledge on us? Update: Here are two more takes on the Big Bamboo from last year: The Atomic Grog Blog, which expands on the history of the drink, and Chemistry of the Cocktail, which concentrates on trying to improve it.
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!
abc
Garnish, Recipes, Rule 2, Rum, Tiki Month 2013

A Tiki Original from Measure & Stir: I Should Buy a Boat

One thing I hope to do this year's Tiki Month is find some good modern original Tiki drinks to try and to feature here. Lo and behold, I wake up first thing the morning of Day One to a Tweet from @Dagreb of Nihil Utopia, alerting my to the I Should Buy a Boat, an original by Joe at Measure & Stir. If all you people are so Johnny on the Spot with the Tiki tips, this Tiki Month will go smoothly for all of us! The "I Should Buy a Boat" from Measure & Stir Above is a picture of Joe's concoction. You need to click through to his site for more, larger pictures, as well as his exact recipe, and why his proportions are as they are. He unaccountably fails to mention in his discussion that this is a Tiki drink, but with rum, grapefruit and exotic spice syrup, I declare it so. In his post on the original version he did note that its spiritual godfather is Don the Beachcomber, though. The presentation, though certainly beautiful and elaborate enough to be Tiki, isn't what I'm looking to do this time of year, so when I took my shot at it, I went with crushed ice and curled the grapefruit slice into a flower with mint stamens. Also, I used equal parts vanilla syrup and cinnamon syrup, rather than Joe's combined syrup. Frankly, it is still too much sweet, but the ice cuts things a lot. The challenge is to use the minimum of the syrup needed to still deliver the spice flavors. This is the best round I came up with:
I Should Buy a Boat Cocktail
Fez found at FezMonger
I SHOULD BUY A BOAT (My version)
  • 1.5 oz. dark rum (He suggests Doorly's. I used Chairman's Reserve)
  • 1 oz. red grapefruit juice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla syrup
  • crushed ice
  • 1 1/2 oz methode champenoise
Shake the first four ingredients and strain over crushed ice. Top with your champers to taste. Sprinkle a touch of cinnamon over the surface and garnish with a thin slice of your grapefruit.
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!
abc
Recipes, Rum, Tiki Month 2009

Tiki Drink: Jet Pilot

If it wasn't Tiki Month round these parts, I would not have made this cocktail... ever. Just take a single look at the Jet Pilot's recipe and the Tiki-ness will practically poke your eyes out. It's got wads of liquors in it, multiple juices, and stuff that I either don't like (Pernod), or don't know what the hell it is (Falernum). Oh, and it's a blender drink. I do not do blender drinks. Well, Doug the Pegu Blogger doesn't do blender drinks. For Tiki month, my trusty but dusty blender is getting twenty-eight days of continuous counter time. So, why is this rather baroque drink my first deployment of said blender? Well, I've read about it several times in the past from BOTI members Dr. Bamboo and Kaiser Penguin, as well as one of my very favorite bloggers, Robert Heugel, who I'm glad to see back blogging a bit more. He writes great stuff, but apparently he has some side project that has been pushing aside important stuff like blogging....jet pilot The Kaiser seemed to like the Jet Pilot so much that he forgot to go ape-sh*t with the garnish, so it has to be good. Finally, Dr. Bamboo really caught my eye with this illustration: bambooillo23
Ah ha! So you just made this drink in order to rip off more of Doc's awesome pictures, didn't you?
I resent that. It's not true, and besides, it's on the Internet so it's free, right? Actually, I did have the Jet Pilot on my list, but I only remembered to try it after thinking about a certain very level-headed jet pilot who has been in the news lately. (The following tape may or may not be completely accurate....) I sailed down to the Pegu Tiki Lounge with the recipe clutched in my hot little hand and immediately realized that I was going to have to exercise some calm improvisation myself if I wanted to drink this right away. I had not made up any cinnamon syrup yet, and I was missing, well, all three rums in this concoction. Here's my recipe, along with what it supposedly should have in parenthesis. jet pilot
THE JET PILOT
  • 1 oz. Appleton VX (dark jamaican)
  • .75 oz. Mount Gay Eclipse Silver (gold puerto rican)
  • .75 oz Bacardi 151 (151-proof Lemon Hart Demerera)
  • .5 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
  • .5 oz. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • .5 oz. Simple Syrup
  • 1 hearty pinch powdered cinnamon (.5 oz.Cinnamon-infused sugar syrup for these two)
  • .5 oz. Fee Brothers Falernum (Homemade Falernum is so on the list)
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • 1/8 teaspoon LaFée Absinthe (Pernod. I actually had Pernod, but I like mixing with Absinthe better. It makes me feel... dangerous.)
  • 4 ounces crushed ice
Combine in the blender and let her rip for about five seconds. Serve up in a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a tiny model of a USAir jetliner. (Recipe was originally from Beachbum Berry's Sippin' Safari)
There is a lot to talk about with this drink.
  1. It is really delicious.
  2. It is a prime example of Tiki-ness in that it shows how amazingly well some very different flavors will blend together. The result is a drink where all sorts of flavors seem to actually line up in orderly fashion for a chance to entertain you. Each sip goes through about three or four distinct taste profiles, and they are all in harmony.
  3. The Jet Pilot was Robert's MxMo: Limit One entry; if you plan on mixing two, alert the authorities.
  4. If you don't have the cinnamon syrup already made, and divert to the powdered cinnamon, you have to drink this fairly quickly, or the cinnamon will precipitate out.
  5. There is not enough ice, and you don't blend it long enough, to get what I expected in a blender drink. Instead you get a frothy, slushy layer on top that you sip the cocktail through. From pictures and descriptions, I think this is what I will get with a lot of classic Tiki presentations. Whether you like this or not is a matter of taste. I found it very pleasant, the PeguWife was less enchanted. This summer, I think I'll try upping the ice content considerably and go for the Fat Tuesdays plastic cup filled from a slurpee machine texture. If you hear about a case of spontaneous human combustion and odd, carved wooden idols seen fleeing the scene, you'll know what happened.
Tiki Month is a lot of fun, folks. Stick with me. And join me in lifting a Jet Pilot up to Cap'n Sully.abc
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