Category: tiki
Ice, Recipes, Stuff, tiki

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.
Tiki Month 2016

Aloha All, for Another Year

[caption id="attachment_11116" align="aligncenter" width="380"]Repurposed from Corey Tilley's Vine Repurposed from
Corey Tilley's Vine[/caption] Aloha, y'all! March comes in this year with a glorious hangover after one final, Leap Day Tiki experimentation party. Thanks to all who came to this blog and read about what I learned this year. And thanks to all who came and visited me in real life, and experienced what I learned this year. This year's Tiki Month confirmed the initial thesis I formed to start things out this Tiki Month. The modern flowering of Tiki culture and mixology has moved beyond a mere rediscovery of the decades-old lifestyles of our parents and grandparents, and is producing magnificent new ideas, recipes, and entertainments that expand the breadth of What is Tiki, while remaining true to the genre's original vibe. While remaining boutique in scale, compared to the mass appeal of the original Tiki era, the modern Tiki resurgence is growing nicely, with new bars opening all the time, and may well prove to be as durable as the overall modern cocktail renaissance. The mainstream Craft movement has brought a lot of new ideas and ingredients to the Tiki dugout. I tried many, and blogged several, Tiki drinks that use such spirits as Rye, Aperol, and Calvados to wonderful Tiki effect. Likewise, Tiki drinks are now to be found all over the place, proudly produced in all their over-the-top glory in sleek, modern craft lounges. You can enjoy your faux-Polynesian Three Dots and a Dash in your faux-Prohibition speakeasy. And Rum is everywhere now. The mainstream spirits world has awakened to the fact that it is a category filled with magnificent, high-end expressions, and possessing a variety and thus versatility that dwarfs that of other categories. I believe the steady resurgence of Tiki and Tiki-inspired drinks has much to do with this rise. Rum is experiencing some teething pains as it moves out of the basement and into the light, but that is further evidence of how important it is becoming to the industry. Tiki Month gets easier and more entertaining every year. But now it is time for Gin. abc
Mixology Monday, Rule 2, Tiki Month 2016

What Mixology Monday Has to Offer Tiki Month

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="8037" img_size="full" alignment="center" style="vc_box_shadow_border_circle_2" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" css_animation="bottom-to-top" link=""][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In past Tiki Months, I either hosted the event myself, in a transparent attempt to generate a lot of extra Tiki content from the rest of the blogosphere, or did a secondary roundup of the Tiki representation in whatever theme was hosted elsewhere. This year's theme was Spring Break, which host Joel DiPippa at Southern Ash chose in part to chum the water for Tiki content as well. Bless his useful heart. The Tiki content that resulted from this was impressive. Almost all of the drinks offered could plausibly be considered Tiki Compliant, and a great many claim the mantle of Tiki outright. Instead of running them all down this time, especially since there is no way I have time to make a tenth of them, I thought I'd try out some of the new, high-tech features of this blog's new theme and see how I could showcase a bunch of links to the most Tiki Month-appropriate of the entries....[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row gap="10" equal_height="yes" content_placement="top"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="11091" img_size="full" alignment="center" style="vc_box_shadow_3d" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" css_animation="left-to-right" link=""][vc_column_text]

Between Scylla and Charybdis

Southern Ash Blog
Rums, spices, citrus, and a fascinating blood orange falernum thingy.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="11103" img_size="full" alignment="center" style="vc_box_shadow_3d" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" css_animation="left-to-right" link=""][vc_column_text]

Idle Idyll

A heavier, darker, mango-y Missionary's Downfall.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="11092" img_size="full" alignment="center" style="vc_box_shadow_3d" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" css_animation="top-to-bottom" link=""][vc_column_text]

Queen of the Lava Beds

Cocktail Virgin Slut
Includes Pisco, falernum, absinthe, flame, and is built for Two.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="11104" img_size="full" alignment="center" style="vc_box_shadow_3d" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" css_animation="appear" link=""][vc_column_text]

Violet Kai

A big Tiki-style Daiquiri with Creme de Violette for special effects. And a factoid I did not know: Don the Beachcomber was born during Tiki Month![/vc_column_text][vc_separator color="black" border_width="2" css=".vc_custom_1456701854310{margin-top: 7px !important;margin-bottom: 7px !important;}"][vc_column_text]And of course, my own humble entry...[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="11016" img_size="full" alignment="center" style="vc_box_shadow_3d" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" css_animation="top-to-bottom" link=""][vc_column_text]

Rickey's Gin Dugout

The Pegu Blog
An attempt to meld the ultra-clean, refreshing Gin Rickey with a spicy Tiki undertone.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="11096" img_size="full" alignment="center" style="vc_box_shadow_3d" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" css_animation="right-to-left" link=""][vc_column_text]

Ginger Pilot

Drink Something Completely Different
A Jet Pilot with cachaça and mezcal.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="11105" img_size="full" alignment="center" style="vc_box_shadow_3d" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" css_animation="right-to-left" link=""][vc_column_text]

Pistachio Planter's

Kitchen Shamanism
Don's Spice #2, demerara, and... Swedish pistachio rum?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]There you have it! A bunch of new Tiki offerings to try. There's is only a day or so left of Tiki Month left, sad to say, so get with the program![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]abc
Rule 2, Tiki Month 2016

Fred Yarm, and the Mainstreaming of Modern Tiki

[caption id="attachment_11080" align="aligncenter" width="2000"]Fred Yarm Source—Eater Fred Yarm
Source—Eater[/caption] I call Fred Yarm (Cocktail Virgin Slut), The Hardest Working Man in Cocktail Blogness™, and if you disagree with me that he is the absolute king of cocktail blogging, I'll fight you. (Well, I won't fight you! But that other girl... looks like I could take her!) There are other bloggers who may get more hits, when they stumble around to actually posting (cough, Morganthaler, cough) but Fred produces quality content, day after day, month after month, and has done so, steadily, for years. In addition, he has taken over guidance for Mixology Monday, which keeps the blood flowing in the cocktailosphere. He is a treasure to the sometimes struggling world of cocktail blogging, so raise a glass, will you? I admit it seems a bit odd, even to me, that I am writing about Fred during Tiki Month. From his earliest days blogging, I always cataloged him in my mind as a "brown, bitter, and stirred" kinda guy. And that was true... to an extent. What makes Fred such a valuable resource for cocktail types in general is that he doesn't really make editorial decisions about what he blogs. He, for the most part, blogs what he drinks. Now sure, he decides from drink to drink what to have and to write about, but he chooses from what is out there in the vibrant, mainstream craft cocktail scene of Boston, and as I said, he blogs a lot... in statistically significant amounts. In aggregate, Cocktail Virgin Slut is a history of where the cocktail scene has gone, and where it is going. If you see Fred increasingly blogging about something, you can be sure it is a coming thing in the national cocktail movement. And what Fred has been blogging more and more in the last few years is Tiki drinks. Just so far this young year, Fred has written up at least seven certifiable Tiki drinks (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), with at least six more that are at a minimum Tiki Compliant (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 is there, can you find it?). Are there more? As I said, Fred blogs a lot. This trend in Fred's blogging kind of snuck up on me, and I didn't really twig to it until I was preparing for this year's Tiki Month. I actually gave thought to just throwing up my hands and re-blogging Cocktail Virgin as this year's theme. There were all manner of lame virgiin/volcano jokes in my mind. You are all quite welcome that I had a cup of tea and a lie down until the thought went away. But I have borrowed several of Fred's finds this month, either to blog to to serve guests. [caption id="attachment_11081" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Fred's first book, Drink & Tell. Unlike scores of other blog-inspired book authors, he's produced a mass of good content on his same blog since.[/caption] My main point to this post is that Fred is exhibit A among the evidence for what I've been talking about with the modern Tiki movement.
  1. Tiki drinks are coming back into favor with mainstream drinkers big time.
  2. Those Tiki drinks can increasingly be found happily being served in full Tiki style right alongside the Vieux Carrés and Negronis of "traditional" craft cocktails
Now, some people might lament that even a great Tiki drink is a little diminished when it is served in some Prohibition-themed speakeasy-style joint. And perhaps you do not get the full experience in that circumstance. But you still are exposed to the greatness of this style of mixed drink, and may well want to seek out one of the true modern Tiki dens that are flourishing around the country. Tiki is back. Fred Yarm is proof. Let's all make sure it stays true to what it is, and doesn't slide back into obscurity