Modern Tiki Drink: Permanent Holiday

Modern Tiki Drink: Permanent Holiday

As I said in my Opening Post for Tiki Month, I want to focus to a large extent this year on the new creations that illustrate the strength of the current Tiki revival. The first drink I want to examine this month also illustrates how modern Tiki is expanding upon the previous array of commonly used ingredients to find new ways to create the feelings that somehow define Tiki.

Here’s the recipe. You’ll see that it follows the Tiki formula of a bunch of different boozes, some citrus, and some syrup that defines the overwhelming majority of Tiki drinks. But the alcohols are all out of whack to the traditional eye.


  • 1 part bourbon
  • 1 part Averna
  • 1/2 part Licor 43
  • 1 part (pink) grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 part fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 part passion fruit syrup (Homemade or BG Reynolds’)

Shake with ice until well chilled, then strain over crushed ice in a Tiki vessel. I used an orange peel wrapped around a spent tattooed lime husk. Depending on who’s drinking it, a sprig or even a bunch of fresh mint would not go amiss.

I was seriously curious how this collection of ingredients was going to come out feeling Tiki. When you think upon the genre, bourbon (though a certain prominent exception applies), Italian amaro, and a Spanish liqueur that did not reach American shores until well past Tiki’s formative years are not the ingredients that leap to mind.

But it works. First of all, it is a good drink. It tastes good. It is interesting. It has a whole lot going on. Secondly, it has that exotic, somewhat undefined flavor profile that triggers all sorts of different flavor impressions in different people which I associate strongly with the best Tiki drinks.

This is just the sort of new creation that will help keep Tiki in the craft’s consciousness. Drinks like this one expand the “artist’s” palette and creative options, while at the same time expands the Tiki market to that guy thinks Tiki drinks sound great, but “who really only drink (Spirit X which isn’t rum)”.


  1. Thank you for not only linking back to me but for also writing such a succinct and apt post. The evolution of what we know as ‘Tiki’ is as important as that of any cocktail genre and this recipe looks to do just that.
    As a resident here in the UK I’m forever searching for more and more uses for Licor 43 as it is readily available online. This is another such use and one I’m happy to go and try.
    Great post in general too. I enjoyed the read 🙂

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  2. Doug Winship

    2 February


    Thanks for checking things out! I was glad to find just the information I needed about the Licor 43 at your blog. And by the way, that is a gorgeous layout.

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  3. Jen

    3 February

    Oh, this sounds really intriguing! Will definitely have to try it—thank you for sharing it. Bourbon is something I have often wondered about working into tiki beverages… 🙂

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