Painkiller

Recipe courtesy of Ben Clemons

One of the newest members of the tiki family, the Painkiller was originally invented at the Soggy Dollar Bar in the British Virgin Islands. Quickly rising in popularity, this cocktail is one of the few tiki drinks to actually incorporate coconut, giving it that real toes-in-the-sand beachiness that you might not find in it's more metropolitan cousins.

An important aspect of the painkiller is the rum used to make it. A Navy-Strength rum is imperative to the original recipe. Navy-Strength rum is generally bottled at cask strength, or at a higher proof than most rums. The name comes from British sailors who, while conquering and pillaging the Caribbean, were given a daily allotment of rum. The sailors tested the rum to see if it had been watered down by lighting it on fire and seeing if it would burn. This was the proof they needed and is also the origin of the term proof in relation to alcohol. 

Equipment:

Cocktail shaker

Ingredients:

2 oz Navy-Strength Dark Rum (Pusser's or Smith & Cross)
.75 oz pineapple juice
.75 oz orange juice
.5 oz cream of coconut
freshly grated nutmeg
pineapple leaf for garnish

Method:

In cocktail shaker with ice, combine rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, and cream of coconut. Shake vigorously and strain into glass filled with fresh ice. Top with nutmeg and garnish with pineapple leaf.

Floridita

Recipe courtesy of Ben Clemons

You've heard of a daiquiri. You've heard of Ernest Hemmingway (we hope). And you might know that those two things go together like Pat Sajak and Vanna White. Used to be, when we thought of a daiquiri, it was of the strawberry variety; bright red and fresh out of the island oasis machine, possibly topped with canned whipped cream. How misinformed we were! The original daiquiris of Hemmingway's day were simple concoctions of rum, sugar, and lime with crushed ice. Papa Doblo (Daddy Double), as he was known to the bartenders in Cuba, earned his name by ordering two drinks at a time. Sometimes referred to as Daiquiri #2, the Floridita stays true to it's roots, embellished only with a little bit of Luxardo and grapefruit juice.

When it comes to frozen or blended drinks, ice becomes a measurable ingredient. You don't want to use too much or too little, otherwise the proportions of booze will be off, and we certainly don't want that! We consulted a bartender friend of ours on the matter and he gave us a great tip on measuring the perfect amount of ice. Simply fill the glass you plan on serving your drink in with ice, and dump that right into your blender. The liquid will fill in the gaps. This recipe makes one drink but is easy to multiply, just measure your ice accordingly.

Equipment:

Blender
Bar spoon

Ingredients:

2 oz Flor de Cana White Rum
.75 oz fresh lime juice
.5 oz Luxardo
.5 oz grapefruit juice
granulated sugar
maraschino cherry for garnish

Method:

Combine two bar spoons of sugar, rum, lime juice, Luxardo, and grapefruit juice in blender with (measured) ice. Blend until smooth and garnish with a cherry. Ideally the drink will be thick enough for the cherry to rest on top with out sinking. Thats how you know you used the right amount of ice.

Singapore Sling

Recipe courtesy of Ben Clemons

Originally created in a bar in Singapore 100 years ago and one of the oldest cocktail recipes still popular today, the Sling was adopted into tiki culture early on by Trader Vic (a pioneer of tiki drinks in the US) in a section of his drink menu titled "Drinks I Have Gathered from the Four Corners of the Globe." This menu also included such notables at the Pimm's Cup and Pisco Punch. Like it's cousin the Mai Tai, the Singapore Sling is probably most often thought of as a sweet, red drink full of rum that you enjoy at the hibachi grill, rather than the complex, tart, slightly bitter gin based cocktail it actually is. If anything, the Singapore Sling stands as the least saccharine tiki drink popular today, with all sweetness imparted by juice and the booze itself.

The famed mixologist D.A. Embury once said that "Of all the recipes published for [this drink] I have never seen any two that were alike." This one is based on one of the commonly accepted "original" recipes, but made it a little more modern and easy to make at home.

Equipment:

Cocktail shaker
Cocktail strainer
Hurricane-style glass

Ingredients:

1.5 oz london dry gin
.5 oz Benedictine
.5 oz Cherry Heering (or cherry brandy)
.5 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz pineapple juice
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
club soda

Method:

Fill shaker with ice. Combine gin, Benedictine, Cherry Heering, lime juice, pineapple juice, and bitters. Shake vigorously. Fill hurricane glass with fresh ice and strain cocktail into glass. Garnish with fresh fruit. 



Mai Tai

Recipe courtesy of Ben Clemons

Invented (arguably) by Trader Vic in his Oakland, CA restaurant in 1944, the Mai Tai gets its name from from a friend of Vic's, who tasted his first ever concoction and remarked that the drink was "mai tai," a Tahitian colloquialism that roughly translates to "awesome." We can't argue there. 

You might hear Mai Tai and think of some drink you had at a Chinese restaurant somewhere that was extremely sweet and bright red, garnished with pineapple and cherries, but in actuality that drink couldn't have been further from the real thing. Sometime in the illustrious 70's the Mai Tai went off the rails in American restaurants, becoming bastardized into some sort of rum punch made with shitty, cheap liquor and finished with whatever sweet juice and grenadine was available. Of course they were popular! Your mom and her friends (and everyone else) loved sweet, fruity drinks of an unnaturally red hue! 

We want to put those days behind us and drink the real thing; which is a refreshing, boozy concoction straight from the beach.

Equipment:

Cocktail shaker
Crushed ice

Ingredients:

2 oz Afrohead XO Aged Dark Rum   (Appleton Estate is traditionally used)
.75 oz fresh lime juice
.75 oz orgeat syrup
.5 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao 
fresh mint
Luxardo Maraschino Cherry

Method:

Fill cocktail shaker and with crushed ice. In shaker combine rum, lime juice, orgeat, and curaçao. Shake vigorously and strain over crushed ice in a tall glass. Garnish with mint and cherry.

Scorpion Bowl

Recipe courtesy of Ben Clemons

Now this is our idea of a drink! We've all had the ubiquitous Long Island Iced Tea before, (Just admit it. Its ok you were young...) and we have the Scorpion Bowl to thank. While most Tiki drinks were actually invented by a handful of guys in the United States, the Bowl is based on the idea of "communal drinks," which was a part of South Sea drinking custom. The Polynesians knew there was nothing quite like sharing a giant bowl of booze with their friends!

For this drink, you will need the vessel known as a scorpion bowl or tiki bowl. These are available in a range of options and prices. Other than buying online, you will probably have to keep your eyes peeled at flea markets or antique stores to find one. If you do find one grab it! They aren't all that common in the wild, but otherwise easy to buy with your trusty computer. Traditionally decorated with demons to guard your drink, they can also be found covered with palm trees, hula girls, and other South Pacific imagery. Another feature might be a volcano in the center of the bowl. Trust us, get the one with the volcano if you can, the added theatrics are well worth it. 

The easy association to make is between tiki drinks and rum, but actually a wide range of spirits are used to create these libations. Remember these cocktails were invented by Americans who had access to all sorts of ingredients. That is why you will find things like gin, cognac, sherry, and curaçao included. Our Scorpion Bowl recipe is actually quite easy to make, so invite a few friends and lets get started.

Equipment:

Scorpion Bowl

Ingredients:

3oz london dry gin
3 oz light rum
3 oz brandy
3 oz fresh orange juice
1.5 oz orgeat syrup
1.5 oz fresh lemon juice
1.5 oz amontillado sherry

for the volcano:
2 oz 151-proof rum
ground cinnamon

Method:

Fill Scorpion Bowl with ice. Add gin, rum, brandy, orange juice, orgeat, lemon juice, and sherry to bowl and stir to combine. Fill volcano with 151 rum and carefully set on fire before serving. Toss pinches of cinnamon into fire to create a crackling, fireworks effect.

Serves 2-4 people