Category: Mixology Monday
blogging, Mixology Monday, Rule 2

The Mixology Monday Revitalization

One of the most important things in the history of the Cocktailosphere's development was Paul Clarke's establishment of Mixology Monday. The putatively monthly blog carnival helped foster a sense of community in the early online cocktail community and gave people an assist in maintaining posting momentum. In the early days, MxMo was an event, and a top source of traffic for many blogs. Over the course of several years, however, Paul (and others) became more involved in professional writing for more traditional outlets. The MxMos started being monthly-ish, and they did not spark the pre-event chatter and excitement, nor the number of participants, that they once did. Mixology Monday was withering on the vine. I actually hosted the last of Paul's carnivals that got off the ground right here, with the theme of Tiki. Paul finally announced that he was going to put Mixology Monday to rest around the same time that one time traffic king Darcy O'Neil was composing his darkly thoughtful post, Cocktail Blogging is Dead. Both are symptoms of the same very real phenomenon. And neither makes sense without the other. No, Darcy, this is not my support/rebuttal to your post. Expect that in November, when I have time to write thoughtfully about it. But this is by way of a preview. Because when Paul announced that he was going down for the third time, Fred Yarm, the Hardest Working Cocktail Blogger on the Internet™, stepped up to the plate and took on the task of reviving MxMo. (Oh, while we are talking about Fred, buy his damn book.) Things are going well. The second MxMo of the Yarm reboot (everything gets a reboot nowadays) is up this morning at Wordsmithing Pantagruel, with the theme of Bein' Green. Ed managed 38 entries for this one, a damn good number. Go to his site and get to exploring the world of green drinks, ingredients, and garnish. Mixology Monday embodies what cocktail blogging is really, sustainably about: Individuals writing about all aspects of drinks, out of love and a search for knowledge and entertainment. The posts are all over the place, and that's more than just a good thing. It's the thing.
Hey Doug! You're right. Ed's roundup looks great. But I think I missed something. Where is your MxMo post?
Shut up. abc
Food, Garnish, Mixology Monday, Rule 2, Tiki Month 2012

Mixology Monday Roundup: Tiki!

Well, Mixology Monday LXIV is in the books. I happily hijacked it this time around in search of more content for of my annual Tiki blog-a-palooza, and boy did the internet deliver. There were 35 blog posts, with five more contributions over on the eGullet forums as well. I asked for more than just drinks, and got some molecular mixology, some food, some garnish, vessels, and some good old Tiki memories. But mostly, as it should be, I got drinks. There were classics, riffs on classics, and originals. As for contributors, the usual suspects were in, as well as a raft of new and up and coming bloggers. A few old silverbacks even reared up on their hind legs and let their Tiki roar. Without further ado, here we go! I'm going to lead with Rowley's Whiskey Forge, because his post on Jellied Mai Tais made me call my wife to tell her to pick up Knox gelatin right that moment. I wonder what Don and Vic would have thought of molecular mixology. My suspicion is that they both would have secretly hated it, but would both also have become masters of it, each claiming they invented it. There was a strong international contingent this time around, as probing the appeal of Tiki transcends all boundaries. We all love our pagan Polynesian citrus-rum-spice-everything-else goodness. Danish blogger Andrea writes three blogs, a food blog and a cocktail blog in Danish, and Gin Hound in English. It is there that she forgoes her love of gin to craft the herbal school original offering, Weeping Ukulele. Louis-Florian Tatsuhito is a Franco-japanese musician and sound artist who is documenting his cocktail explorations at Le Trou d'Argent. He offers us a passionfruit treat that certainly fills the faux-Polynesian bill, but also couldn't be more, um, French/Japanese if he tried: 膣 : Vagina. Polish cocktail blogger, Tarasco Bar first rolls out the classic Blue Hawaiian, then fiddles with the color (and flavor) balance to produce a tarter and more even-sounding version, the Red Hawaiian. He blogs in Polish, but always provides an English translation that is annoyingly better written than lots of English language blogs of all sorts. Speaking of "furriners" who write English better than they have any right to, my Tiki idol Tiare, of A Mountain of Crushed Ice, brings us two drinks. The the first is a Beachbum Berry drink, the Tiki Revival. It is presented in the flat-out awesome Tiki mug you see above. She follows it up with the muskily delicious sounding coffee-based original she calls the Tiki Torch. François Monti, of the french-language blog Bottoms Up, discusses the Molokai Mule, one of the better examples of later, juice-heavy Tiki recipes. (A Google translation, with some charm all its own can be read here.) My good buddy Tony Harion of Mixing Bar in Brazil begins with a discussion of Brazil's belated warming to the Tiki phenomenon. He then focuses on the greatest of Tiki drinks, the Mai Tai (sorry, Zombie guys), while engaging in some magnificent Rule 2. He then does what all Tiki-philes eventually do, and riffs on said Mai Tai, offering up the Uai Tai, a Mai Tai with some Cachaça. You can also read his post in the original Portuguese. Next up, we have three Canadian posts. Here is where I would on principle make some joke about how they are really Americans and not foreign at all, but the Canadians have heard it all already, most Americans don't realize that it's a joke, and other international types think we are both weird anyway. So here we go. Bitter monger Janice Mansfield of House Spirits (the company and the blog) had her own festival similar to Tiki Month in January. She pledged to drink Fernet Branca every day. This worked out so well that she has carried the spirit into Mixology Monday. She takes some of her acquired Fernet wisdom and produces The Misfits, an herbal-school Tiki original that I'm sure Don the Beachcomber would have appreciated. Mackenzie Wheeler of The Spirit of Imbibing produced the delicious looking and sounding Terror on the High Seas. This one uses one of the more delicious but pain-in-the-ass ingredients for home mixology, Port. My buddy Dagreb of Nihil Utopia is on the wagon or something. (Is there anything sadder than a booze-blogger taking the Cure?) The upside for us is that after a round of his own Rule 2, he offers up some Tiki tots for the Designated Driver or those who need to extend their stay a bit before driving home. Pictured above is the Jamaique Fleur Café, and he follows that with the Falooklyn, a... I dunno what it is. Read about it. Back to America The United States (Happy, Canadians?), homeland of Tiki (and cocktails over all, for that matter). Specifically, we head to South Florida, where something must be in the water, or maybe the rum, because both entrants from that region work on the same Tiki icon: The hollowed out pineapple drinking vessel. {Flips a coin} Joe Garcia of Basic Civilization does the Chief Lapu Lapu as his offering. He intros it with an amusing take on the history behind the name (Spoiler: Magellan dies), and natters on upon his usual hobby horse of buying everything on eBay. (Gimme a break, Joe. I'm Episcopalian. There are fewer of us every day, but somebody's gotta pay retail.) After that he goes step by step in making both the vessel and the drink. The Atomic Grog blog's Hurricane Hayward also namechecks the cranky old Polynesian chief who told Magellan to "get off my lawn" as intro to his hollowed out pineapple. Both use the same tool, but Hurricane uses the top as a lid, then offers us to other classic recipes for pineapple potation: The Pineapple Paradise and the Pineapple Surprise. Guys, I'll indulge myself in a little flashback to Tiki Month 2010, when I posted this about Ohio bartender Zak Renzetti-Voit's turning the whole pineapple drinking vessel thing on its head... literally. The eGullet crowd came up with a ton of cocktails to try, and a delicious-looking Tiki shrimp dish as well. The thread where they all went up over there is here, or if internet forums scare you, I digested them in a separate post right here on the Pegu Blog. Thanks to Frog Princesse, Zachary, Dan Perrigan, Katie Loeb, Kerry Beal, and another foreign entrant, Australian contributor Haresfur, who used the International Date Line to enter late and still be on time. Very new blog The Mix Lab makes it into its first Mixology Monday with two of the richest-sounding cocktails of this MxMo. The first is an Improved Rum Fizz that shows egg whites can be Tiki too. The second is a coffee-infused number by the name of Starbuck. (To the lawyers of a certain barista mega-employer, I bear no responsibility for this name, I only report!) The garnish on this one is particularly cool and Tiki. The next group of posts are all what I feel like calling "Donnish Drinks". I haven't made many of them, so I'm not sure, but they have the feel of the Beachcomber's style of Tiki. Rowen of San Francisco's Fogged in Lounge offers the original Rongorongo, a spicy, dark, rummy concoction, as well as a look at his impressive collection of Moai Tiki mugs. First time MxMo participant Tri2Cook wanders off the eGullet reservation to blog the original Crackin' Jenny's Teacup. The drink is also suitable for International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Read his post to see why. Colonel Tiki is one of my original Tiki Muses, the Board of Tiki Idols, and also one of those silverback cocktail bloggers I alluded to at the start of all this. He presents the Rio Tonga, an amazing amalgamation of spices, cachaça, bitters, and just enough fruit. The dim, mysterious photo above is typical, by the by, of all the Colonel's pix. I think they capture the Tiki vibe perfectly. Chicago Craft (and occasionally Tiki) bar, The Whistler gives us the fabulously garnished Free Rider. Given that it combines Lemon Hart 151, Benedictine, and Fernet Branca, I think that delicate orchid in the garnish is damn near false advertising! Portland Oregon's leading (only?) Libertarian, Jacob Grier of Liquidity Preference trots out a drink to salve the savage heart of his 49ers lovin' boss, calling it the Bitter End. Another Fernet Branca run at Tiki, the only thing about this drink that bothers me is that Jacob has access to better paper umbrellas than I do. Wordsmithing Pantagruel's Ed features Chartreuse in his creation. A riff off the Improved Chartreuse Swizzle, the Gilligan's Ginger Swizzle is a frosty, frosty glass of high-octane Tiki funk. Ed also includes two other Tiki-fitting creations he's produced during his recent blog hiatus, the Tornadiki and the Einbahnstraße. Speaking of elusive silverbacks of the Cocktailosphere, Rumdood himself (who is not a Tiki blogger) appears from the mist to give us an update and improvement on an earlier creation of his, the Absinthe-Minded Professor. With a full ounce of absinthe, some maraschino, some Smitty, and more, this learned instructor seems not to be trifled with. Quick, go read Matt's post before he slips back into the obscuring jungle. Paul Willenberg of, um, Portland (he's the only guy in town without a blog) brings this wowser: The Kahlua Pork Old-fashioned. This one is worth a read, let me say. I do have one question, Paul. Do the pig ears lend flavor to the falernum, or are they there to collagen up the texture? I'll finish the Donnish Drinks section with my own post on the Missionary's Downfall. I'm pretty sure this one belongs in this section because Don created it. With mint, rum, honey, and fruit brandy, this light concoction has a big, mysterious flavor. Since it's written by me, I'm sure you'll read every magnificent word.... Zach the Venture Mixologist just got back from Hawaii itself, America's Polynesian frontier. He brought with him that most elusive of Tiki ingredients, a bottle of Okolehao, the unique spirit of Maui. He uses it to lend some of the dreaded authenticity to his Polynesian pop, the Shaka. At Shake, Strain, and Sip, Scott Diaz does an Almost Tiki Month in a Post, with four fully fleshed out and beautifully photographed cocktails. It took some doing to decide on a picture to use here, but I settled on the Castaway. Surrounding it is a short history of Tiki, as well as a classic Mai Tai, Don's Navy Grog, and a Pimm's Plantation. Speaking of Navy Grog, my nephew and family cocktail apprentice Duncan also comes in for his first ever cocktail blog post with a run down of his Super (punch)Bowl edition of Vic's Navy Grog. Read this post. Duncan is one of them genuine Disney Imagineers and is learning his cocktail-fu fast. You'll want to be able to say you read him back when. The Hardest Working Man in the Cocktailosphere™, Fred Yarm the Cocktail Virgin leads off the group of what I'll of course call the "Vic-like drinks". That said, his drink is Don's Beach Planter, by the Beachcomber, not the Trader. I may be way off since I haven't made this one yet, but this Zombie variant just looks more like one of Vic's sour/sweet citrusy efforts than most stuff Don ran off. DJ Hawaiianshirt splices the Main Brace over at Spirited Remix. He spends four interesting paragraphs exploring the meaning of this piece of nautical jargon before claiming he's avoided nautical jargon. The drink employs a hearty amount of red burgundy wine and is the only alcoholic Tiki drink I've seen this year that doesn't use any hard spirit at all. Jordan of Chemistry of the Cocktail goes with his Ahau's Dram. This one also has roots as a Beachcomber original, but the changes seem to make for a more Vicish result. Half of Scofflaw's Den (Marshall) loves me and posts on a find from Remixed, the Ankle Breaker. I intend to try this one, maybe tonight. The other half of Scofflaw's Den is dead to me, and I hope the Tiki Gods fill his bed with molten lava.
So, SeanMike's made the list? We're on it....
Marc of A Drinker's Peace focuses on dangerous garnishes, a hallmark of Tiki. His Flaming Boats Don't Float is a how-to on giving your insurance agent a heart-attack. This is a helluva fun post, but Marc needs to go back and put in the proportions to actually make the drink in which to present your pyrotechnics! Bartender-blogger Brian Thomas of Bottle of Swan posts on his neighbor's dog, Tiki. Wait... what? Oh, he gets around to a drink too. First, he carves a gorgeous Tiki mug out of a young coconut, which he then eats instead of drinking out of, before finally giving us the Monkey Business. The final Viclike cocktail comes from Mixology Monday Supreme High King, Paul Clarke of the Cocktail Chronicles. He declares he has now become as lazy as Beachbum Berry lies about being, and so went looking for the ultimate Tiki drink for the mixer who has no Tiki setup at hand and no time to assemble it. The result is the simple and elegant Trade Wind Cocktail, which demonstrates that the right name can take certain classic-style concoctions and turn them into a ticket to the Polynesia that never was. Now, after my comments earlier on Mai Tai supremacy, you Zombie-philes get your turn. Dennis of Rock & Rye gives us a short history of the grandpappy drink of the entire Tiki movement, then offers Ted Haigh's version of the iconic Zombie, and ruminates on the why of so many Zombie variations, since even the bartenders who first made them didn't know what the recipe was! Ian Lauer of Tempered Spirits rounds out the drink offerings this Mixology Monday with more history on the George Romero of Tiki, Don the Beachcomber. He then gives us three versions of the Zombie, all claimed by Don. Finally, he gives more places to look for other variations, and touches on some good music selections for when you drink them all. (But not in the same seating. Only 2 per customer!) Pittsburgh columnist Hal Klein, who blogs also at This Man's Kitchen, heads us home with Tiki Memories of great faux Polynesian haunts of his halcyon days of youth like the Tonga Room and the Tiki Ti. These are the places that bridged the end of the Golden Age with today's revival. The last word of all goes to The Old Town Alchemy Company. Jon missed the deadline for a full post, but prompts us all to watch this Public Service Announcement about the effects of Zombie consumption from British comedian Bill Connolly. I shamelessly steal the video to embed here so that you will be sure to watch it and be forewarned! That's it folks! Thanks for joining us and see you all soon. If MxMo has gotten you in the Tiki mood, please stick around here for the rest of this and every February, when this old joint goes from classic cocktails to all Tiki, all the time. And one last thing: Paul Clarke Wants You! ... for MxMo host. Paul's schedule has been hectic lately, and as several posters this month have mentioned, a few months have been Mixology Monday-less of late. If you are an established blogger who'd enjoy a tremendous amount of extra work but lots of luscious content, contact Paul through the Mixology Monday home site and inquire about offering your services. This is my third time hosting MxMo, and it is Not Just a Job, It's an Adventure! Aloha, everyone!abc
Food, Mixology Monday, Recipes, Tiki Month 2012

Mixology Monday: eGullet Offerings

I view the world of internet forums as a sort of parallel universe to the Blogosphere. Both are filled with a sea of information and opinion. Blogs often are more informationally compact or lush in their presentation, while the forums tend to meander a bit, be a little harder to search, but much more rich in the informed back and forth department. Both are useful and entertaining. Every so often these parallel worlds meet, usually with better results than in Star Trek. One forum that has participated well in Mixology Monday in the past is the eGullet message board. eGullet is sorta the epicenter of food wonkery, and you can find some great stuff on cocktails there too. This month, there has been some great responses this time around, and I'm reprinting them here. (More came in before the end of the day, so this post has been updated.) FrogPrincesse answers my call for all sorts of things Tiki with both a cocktail and a Tiki dish!
Our friends, whose parents have passion fruit vines in their yard, kindly donated some fresh passion fruit pulp last weekend. This became my inspiration for the challenge. I started by making a passion fruit syrup. I mixed the pulp with simple syrup (1 part each), heated the mixture gently, and strained through a fine sieve. For the cocktail, I went with the Hart of Darkness from Beachbum Berry Remixed. I found that it highlighted the fresh passion fruit flavor quite well, and the spice from the Lemon Hart 151 gave it a nice kick.
  • 0.5 oz lime juice
  • 0.5 oz homemade passion fruit syrup
  • 0.25 oz lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz honey mix (1:1 honey/water)
  • 0.75 oz soda water
  • 1.5 oz Lemon Hart 151-proof Demerara rum
  • 1 cup crushed ice
We needed a little pupu with our powerful cocktail. I wanted to use more of the passion fruit pulp so I marinated some shrimp in it together with vinegar, minced ginger, brown sugar, and fresh mint. After about an hour, it was time to grill the shrimp. Mint-Passion Grilled Prawns (adapted from Sam Choy's Polynesian Kitchen) 1/4 cup fresh passion fruit pulp 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh mint 1/2 pound shrimp (15 count) Combine everything in a bowl. Marinate for 1 hour. Skewer shrimp on bamboo skewers and grill until they are pink and cooked through (about 7-8 minutes), basting occasionally with the marinade.
Zachary has made the same journey many of us have with regards to Tiki.
I've had a love/hate relationship with all things Tiki (mainly because there was a long period of time when I thought that Tiki drinks were all dozens of ingredients, most of which were bizarre neon colored syrups). Since getting Beachbum Berry Remixed, I have seen the light. I wanted to take a minimalist tack with this challenge, so I present this, which is archived here.
  • 1 oz. La Favorite Blanc (for aroma)
  • 1 oz. Flor de Cana White (for dryness)
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz orgeat
  • 1/4 oz Cointreau
  • 6 drops Pernod Absinthe (just enough to louche slightly in the drink)
Shake, strain, up. If you'd like a fancy orchid garnish, that's great, but please... no fruit salad to detract from the drink's whiteness.
Dan Perrigan gives us an original:
I don't know if this name has been used before, but for a Pisco-based tiki drink it was a name that was begging to be used:
  • 1 1/2 oz Macchu Pisco
  • 1/2 oz El Dorado 15
  • 1/2 oz Mezcal Vida
  • 1 oz Coco Lopez
  • 1/2 oz Fresh Lime
Shake well with ice. Pour unstrained into a Tiki mug. Garnish with 8 drops of Orange Flower Water.
And Katie Loeb also goes with one of her own creations:
Here's one I did a little while back for a dinner honoring one of our local chefs. The name comes from the fact that all the flavorings grow in the subtropical temperate zone.
  • 1.5 oz. Mango vodka
  • .5 oz. Laird’s 7.5 year old apple brandy
  • .75 oz. fresh lime juice
  • .5 oz. housemade orgeat
  • .25 oz. St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • dash Orange bitters
  • 1.5 oz. club soda
  • Garnish: Grating of fresh nutmeg, small lime wheel.
Shake and strain over fresh ice in a Collins glass. Top with club soda and stir. Garnish with grated nutmeg and a lime wheel tucked into the glass.
Kerry Beal jazzes with some damn high-end Tiki-style ingredients:
KITCHEN SINK ON A TIKI THEME - threw together ingredients that seemed Tiki appropriate. 1 oz Havana Club Anejo 1 oz Mount Gay Extra Old 1/2 oz Cointreau 1 1/2 oz orgeat 1 oz orange 1 oz lime barspoon homemade grenadine 2 dashes angostura bitters A bit sweet - room for adjustment - but altogether quite enjoyable.
And Australian member Haresfur just leaps through the closing blast doors of the deadline. Welcome to the world of orgeat addiction!
Counting on the International Date Line working for me. Tiki trouble is actually having an approximation of everything needed. But Tiki opportunity is finally getting off my tail and making some orgeat. Piece of cake, really. That is if you start with blanched South Australian almonds bought from the grower. I found that the immersion blender worked well for grinding the almonds in some of the water. And a cut up pillow case worked well for straining. Nice and milky, oily. How does it taste? Tastes nice, not strongly almond, but I have no real basis for comparison to what it should be. So last night I discovered that there wasn't a single piece of citrus in the house. But I acquired orange lemon and lime at the end of a long work day. With ebbing energy I decided on a Fog Cutter: 2 oz Cuban white rum 1 oz cheap French brandy 1/2 oz Plymouth gin 2 oz lemon juice - a bit much for my taste 1 oz fresh Valencia orange juice 1 oz plus some orgeat float cream Sherry After balancing the lemon it turned out quite nice. Oh, and we split it 2 ways. Bonus drink: Orgeat in a bourbon cocktail with Fee's orange bitters is a nice use of orgeat even though (or perhaps because) I used cheap bourbon.
Brandy, Mixology Monday, Recipes, Rum, Tiki Month 2012

Mixology Monday: Tiki — The Missionary’s Downfall

Missionary's Downfall Now this is a Tiki Drink. It is Mixology Monday again, the sixty-fourth such extravaganza to take over the interwebz. I am hosting said blog carnival once again. It has been Tiki Month all month here at the Pegu Blog, and the theme for this month's MxMo is.... Tiki!!!
Purely a coincidence. Really!
Be sure to come back in about 24 hours or so to check out the round up of all the participants this time out. Now, let us move on to my own offering. I've concentrated this month on drinks that have awesome names, but I've saved this one for MxMo. The name Missionary's Downfall is almost perfectly evocative of all that is Tiki. It's colorful. It's kinda pagan. It's a little dark and mysterious. And it is kinda suggestive of sex, though not of the Guilt-Free variety. It's a name impossible to forget. But while there are a number of Tiki drinks with memorable names, not all are great drinks. This one is fabulous, however. The exact proportions of this recipe are all over the map, depending on where you find it. This is how I make it, adapted from the Tiki+ app. (Interestingly, the Bum's recipe that is in Grog Log, is significantly different, even though Tiki+ lists that book as the source.)
  • 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 in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into a large cocktail glass and garnish with a sprig of young mint, planted upright in the center.
  • 1 part honey
  • 1 part water
Combine in a small sauce pan and bring just to a boil. Cool and bottle for future use. Make more of this than you think need for just this drink. Honey mix is versatile stuff!
Most other Missionary's Downfall recipes call for peach brandy. I use apricot because my apricot brandy is much higher quality than my peach, and because I prefer how it works in this cocktail. You'll notice that the Missionary's Downfall is much lower in alcohol than many Tiki drinks. Interestingly, it doesn't taste particularly mild. What it does taste like is delicious. The drink does extremely well what good Tiki does best—offer a wide array of soft and exotic flavors that don't trample each other, letting each come to the fore sometime throughout each sip. (Bad Tiki, incidentally, does the opposite.) But because this drink does such a good job of balancing the flavors and making each apparent, you really need to not shortcut any of them. Make sure your juices are fresh. Use good mint. Most importantly, don't substitute other sweeteners for the honey mix. Similarly, don't try to just use pure honey and try to blend it in. It won't cooperate. If you try, you will end up with a layer of sticky goo trapping some of your mint leaves on the bottom of your blender below the blades, and not enough honey flavor and texture in your cocktail. Garbage in, garbage out with this drink. But good stuff in, ambrosia out, in my opinion. It is light, delicious, and goes down easy. I'll leave you with the following as background music for the rest of your Mixology Monday: Tiki reading pleasure. It's a song called Missionary's Downfall by a band called Planet Smashers. They are supposedly classified as a "Third Wave Ska" band, whatever that is. To me, they sound like an upbeat early 80's New Wave outfit, singing about Tiki drinks. Here's the lyrics. Here's a link to the album, Mighty, on iTunes. and here's the YouTube video, embedded for your listening pleasure: abc