What makes a Tiki drink a Tiki drink? It's pretty simple really and takes about three main components, but it's really all about layers of fresh, tropical flavors.
First, start with great rum. While not all Tiki drinks are made with rum, most are. Find some good rums, like the ones we've been using from Sugar Island Rum Co. Many Tiki drinks have more than one rum - using light, dark and especially spiced rums to add to the layers of flavor we mentioned earlier.
The second element to a good tiki drink is fresh fruit juices. We're not talking about Ocean Spray out of a bottle...we're talking about squeeze your own damn fruits until they weep. But a good Tiki drink is often made with more than one fresh juice - and typically tropical in nature. Be it pineapple, citrus, mango, passionfruit - whatever.
And the third component to a good tiki drink is spice and other flavor accents. Be it spice from the rum or spiced syrups, many have elements of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or liqueurs that add flavors of almond or citrus.
When you pair all these together, you get that complex layered flavor that makes a delicious Tiki drink - like this one, The Gilligan.
highball or Tiki glass
1.5 oz Sugar Island Spiced Rum
1.5 oz Sugar Island Coconut Rum
1.5 oz fresh-squeezed pink grapefruit juice
1.5 oz fresh pineapple juice
1.5 oz fresh watermelon juice
.5 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
pinch fresh nutmeg
fresh fruit for garnish
In a cocktail shaker with ice, add all ingredients except the garnish. Shake for 20-30 seconds before straining into a chilled glass. Top with ice, garnish with fresh fruit and enjoy!