Twitter is, no doubt, a terrible time-suck. I can think of any number of great cocktail blogs whose death can be attributed to being cut up into 140 character chunks and fed to the big blue bird. And if you follow and are followed by the wrong sort of tweeter, Twitter can be a hive of scum and villainy so awful it makes Mos Eisley spaceport look like a convent. But if you have the right followers, Twitter can also be a great place to start conversations and develop new ideas. One such idea we've been kicking around this month, that I believe first arose from the mind of Joe Garcia, an otherwise excellent blogger, tweeter, and commenter who apparently constantly teeters on the edge of washing his clothes with dried coconut flakes, is the cocktail class we'll call Tiki Compliant. A Tiki Compliant drink is one that is not, due to its origin, history, name, etc., a Tiki drink, but which sure as hell works as a Tiki drink. If you were to find one of these cocktails on a real Tiki bar menu, the ignorant drinker would not be able to tell the difference, and the average cocktailian would say, "you know, that really makes sense if you think about it." Even the serious Tiki types, the ones who will argue vehemently until 3 in the morning that the Q.B. Cooler is really the prototype of the Mai Tai, will look at a Tiki Compliant drink and go, "Eh. I'll allow it."
To be clear, people who argue that the Q. B. Cooler is the progenitor of Trader Vic's Mai Tai are known, clinically in the Latin as, "wrong". They are hapless Donn Beach fanboys deluding themselves about this subject, and who, if outnumbered by drinkers who test positive for "correct", are always nine seconds away from making this YouTube video: And yes, I am aware that this Q.B. Cooler thing is espoused by no less a light than Jeff Beachbum Berry himself. But Jeff is forgiven for it because he has to sell tickets to seminars, and Rule 4 says there is no success like controversy.I want everyone to know that Guy's opinions are his own, and if you don't like them, address your flames to his Twitter feed, @TheGuyPegu, that way your mascara won't run all over me. And now, if I may have my post back before you completely derail it?
By all means. My work here is done.So what are some Tiki Compliant drinks, and why? I'll start with the one that started this whole process, the Dark 'n Stormy. Intellectual property issues aside, the Dark 'n Stormy is no Tiki drink. It has only two ingredients. And while it is from an island, it is one on the wrong side of the world and which is known chiefly as the home of funny shorts and where Bloomberg runs off to hide when there is to much unremoved snow or storm water lying around for his limousine to navigate the streets of New York City. But with its particularly dark rum, and the spicy sweetness of ginger beer creating such a mysterious and unaccountably deep blend of flavors, the DnS just works. Another obviously compliant non-Tiki drink is the Hemingway Daiquiri. The ingredient list reads a lot more like a Tiki drink this time, with two citruses, rum, and an oddball liqueur in the mix. But it clearly isn't Tiki again because it's Caribbean and it's godfather is one of the least Tiki old SOB's I can think of who nonetheless slept that much on a boat. There are lots more, lesser known drinks that are Tiki Compliant to one degree or another, like this new Martinique Cocktail from Chow. And how about drinks considered Tiki drinks that should really be considered Tiki Compliant? The Carioca Hawaiian that I blogged earlier this Tiki Month is maybe one of these. It is called a Tiki drink because of the recipe, and because it was invented as a Tiki drink to begin with. But it isn't really that Tiki in its actual flavor. Do we perhaps call it more Tiki Compliant than straight up Tiki? It's a fun game to play. What is your favorite Tiki Compliant cocktail?
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