Queztal

Tiki. Rum. Punch. Maple Syrup. These all go together, right? Right. We know the whole maple syrup thing sounds weird, and we weren't sure about it ourselves at first, but once we tried it we were hooked. Almost any cocktail is going to have some sort of sweet component to it. This is usually simple syrup, occasionally with a flavor included, but almost always made with basic white sugar. Don't get us wrong, we are big fans and users of simple syrup, but why not mix it up a little bit? 

To avoid any confusion, we are talking about real, pure maple syrup. If you use something in a plastic or woman-shaped bottle you're drink won't be right, as that is corn syrup, which is completely different. Real maple syrup will have a slightly thinner texture and a more subtle flavor than it's processed counterpart.

Enough about syrup, let's talk rum punch! While perfectly drinkable all summer long, this recipe will keep your tiki dreams alive well into the fall. The recipe below is for one drink, but is easily translated into a party punch that will serve many

Equipment

Cocktail shaker

Ingredients

1.5 oz Pyrat Rum
.5 oz fresh lime juice
.5 oz orange juice
.5 oz pineapple juice
1 oz maple syrup
2 dashes bitters

Method

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until well mixed and strain into a glass with fresh ice.

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.

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

Tennessiki

Tiki drinks have made a huge comeback in the world of cocktails, and you won't hear any complaints from us! What's not to love about fruity, fun drinks with exotic ingredients? Not to mention all of the cool, kitschy glassware and garnishes that come along with tiki! While some people may think that tiki drinks are all sweet, sugary concoctions that your too-tan aunt Linda drank by the pool, that actually couldn't be further from the truth. While little paper umbrellas and bright red cherry garnishes might appear from time to time, tiki drinks are most often crafted from tart, even bitter ingredients that highlight the small amount of sweet fruit included in the cocktail.

Of course, when one thinks tiki, they probably think rum. Tiki can be made with just about any spirit you want to include. There are very few rules to tiki; it is a state of mind more than anything! Of course our spin on tiki had to include a Tennessee element, so we thought why not use a little Tennessee whiskey instead of rum for that southern flair. Because fruit complements whiskey so well, tiki seemed only natural! Most of the fruit we use in this drink is tart, with only a little bit of sweet nuttiness coming from the amaretto. Although we may not be drinking this on a tropical island somewhere, this cocktail makes any day a day at the beach!

You could choose to make this as a shaken drink, but we opted to blend it up instead. Either way, it's a refreshing whiskey cocktail!

equipment:

blender
tiki glass

ingredients:

2 oz Clayton James Tennessee Whiskey
.5 oz amaretto liqueur
.25 oz Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
.5 oz raspberry puree
.5 oz lime juice
1 oz orange juice
.5 oz lemon juice
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
4-6 oz crushed ice

method:

Add all ingredients into the blend and process until smooth. Pour into glass and garnish with something frilly!

Pirate Punch

We love a good Tiki drink. Scratch that. We love a great Tiki drink. 

But what makes a great one? It's a few things really. Obviously, you have to start with good booze. For this one we've used Shellback Rum. It comes in both a silver un-aged version and a tasty spiced rum. For the sake of simplicity, we made this with just the silver rum, but it would be even better with an ounce of each!

The second element you need is fresh fruit juices - and a variety of them ideally. And, finally, you need an element of spice. This can come in the form of a few dashes of bitters, a sprinkle of cinnamon or, in this case, a half ounce of Pimento Dram, an allspice liqueur. 

Because what really makes a good Tiki drink a great one is layers of flavor. Well, that and maybe a creative garnish or two. 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
tiki cup (or any cup, really)

ingredients:

2 oz Shellback Silver Rum
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz fresh orange juice
1 oz pineapple juice
.5 oz simple syrup
.5 oz pimento dram (allspice liqueur)
2 dashes aromatic bitters
fresh fruit garnish

 

method:

Combine everything but the garnish in a cocktail shaker and shake the living daylights out of it to chill before straining into a glass with crushed ice. Garnish and serve. 

Whack n' Unwrap

Gin. It's just so misunderstood. 

People often think of gin as the 'christmas tree' booze, but what they may not realize is how books are on the shelf of the gin library. From London Dry Gin to Genever to Botanical Gin, each one is essentially unique from the next. 

That has never been more true than with Damrak Gin. Though it does contain some of the typical juniper flavor (it is a gin, after all), what really stands out are the bright citrus flavors. An unmistakable orange flavor is predominant on the palate, making it quite the 'gateway' gin.

So when it came time to play with cocktails, it seemed only natural to pair the orange flavor of Damrak Gin with what else but chocolate. Yes, chocolate. Orange and chocolate are a match made in heaven and this cocktail is good enough to have a halo all on its own.

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
cocktail glass

ingredients:

2 oz Damrak Gin
.5 oz Collins Cordials Cocoa Dark
.5 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 dash Scrappy's Chocolate Bitters
orange peel for garnish


method:

Add the Damrak Gin, cocoa liqueur, orange juice and bitters to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake for about 10 seconds to chill before straining into a pre-chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with twist of orange. 


Lime & Orange Tequila Jelly Shots

These aren't the Jell-o shots of your youth. Forget those little cups with grape, cherry, and lime vodka-spiked slurpers. These are some high-test, high-grade, high-class jelly shots! 

Made with pure, unflavored (and unsweetened) gelatin, the flavors of the Espolón Reposado and other top-notch ingredients shine through in two different layers, one made with fresh lime juice and the other with fresh-squeezed orange juice. 

Once made, you can slice them into bite-sized 'shots' and serve them with a side of kosher salt for dipping if desired. 

 

equipment:

saucepan
bowl
whisk
9" square pan

ingredients:

LIME LAYER
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
2 packages of unflavored gelatin (.5 oz total)
1/4 cup orange liqueur
3/4 cup Espolón Reposado
1/4 cup agave nectar

ORANGE LAYER
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
2 packages of unflavored gelatin (.5 oz total)
1/4 cup orange liqueur
3/4 cup Espolón Reposado
4-6 dashes orange bitters


method:

You'll make one layer at a time, allowing the first to chill before adding the second. In a saucepan, add the juice and simple syrup. Sprinkle the gelatin over top of the liquid and allow it to absorb liquid before placing over low heat. Stir to combine until gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add in remaining ingredients.

Pour the completed mixture into your pan, starting with your lime layer. Refrigerate for two hours or until set. Pour the orange layer on top and return to the refrigerator overnight.

Tequila Orangeade

There was this little old-fashioned soda fountain that made the best orangeades back in the day. They would take fresh oranges, cut them in half and juice them to order with their old metal press. After a little squirt of simple syrup from the pump behind the counter they would fill with ice and top with water. It was delicious.

It was this experience that inspired this crazy-delicious and equally-simple cocktail made with another one of our May participants, Espolón Tequila. This award-winning booze first grabs your attention with its killer packaging, but will hold your study with it's superb flavor and smoothness. 

For this recipe, we opted to use the Espolón Reposado, which is 'rested' in barrels, giving it some great depth of flavor.

 

equipment:

collins or high ball glass
bar spoon

ingredients:

2 oz Espolón Tequila
3 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 oz simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
seltzer


method:

Add the tequila, orange juice and simple syrup to your ice-filled glass. Top with seltzer and stir lightly to combine. 

The Veneto

In preparation for our April 3st of the Month and a theme that's "all about the grapes," we're playing around with some grape-based booze. 

In this cocktail, we're using Alexander Grappa, one of our April booze partners, to make a damn tasty sipper. Grappa can pack a punch, with proofs ranging from 70-120. Luckily, Alexander Grappa is hovering right at 80 proof, which makes it ideal for mixing into cocktails. 

We've written about Grappa before, but the key is that it is an Italian spirit. We figured we'd stay with that theme and mix in a couple other ingredients from its native land - Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur and freshly-juice Valencia oranges. Okay, so maybe these oranges didn't come from Italy, but you get the point. Don't split hairs. 

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
mesh strainer
coupe cocktail glass

ingredients:

1.5 oz Alexander Grappa
1.5 oz freshly-squeezed Valencia orange juice
.5 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
.5 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
granulated sugar for garnish


method:

After juicing the orange, rub the cut side of the orange on the outside edge of one side of the glass and dip it in sugar. Set it aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake the hell out of it for about 15 - 20 seconds. Double-strain into the cocktails glass. Enjoy!

Emerald Isle

When it comes time for St Patrick's Day, everyone starts thinking GREEN! Green socks, green shirts, green beer. Admit it, you've tried it...only to wake up in the middle of the night with green vomit. 

But while there are many natural ways to make drinks green, sometimes you just need to resort to the old fashioned way - food coloring. In this case, it's with the addition of two brightly-colored spirits; blue curacao and Midori. Both of these often get a bum rap for being 'foo-foo' drink ingredients, but when used in moderation, you can get two great things from them - flavor and color. Especially when you put a ton of rum with them.

In this case, we're using two of our favorite rums from our Tikitober event last October, both from Papa's Pilar. Like with many Tiki Drinks, we're using more than one rum, getting signature flavors from each. 

This drink is not as sweet as it looks and it packs one hell of a punch, with a total of 3.5 oz of booze. So please go easy on them. We wouldn't want you waking up in the middle of the night with green vomit or anything. 

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
jigger
strainer
tiki glass or tumbler

ingredients:

2 oz Papa's Pilar Light Rum
.5 oz Papa's Pilar Dark Rum
.5 oz Licor 43
.5 oz Midori
.5 oz blue curacao
1.5 oz fresh-squeezed oj
.5 oz fresh lime juice
slice of orange and lime for garnish


method:

Combine everything except your garnish in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 15 seconds to chill. Strain into your glass and fill the glass with crushed ice. Garnish and serve. 

Winter Vacation

There's something about a cold weather vacation. Be it a visit to a ski lodge or just a trip to see family up north, it's seeing how cold other people are that sometimes makes you feel a little better about your own winter blues. 

Well, this rum-based refresher might cure those blues, too. Made with Papa's Pilar 24 Dark Rum and a few other goodies, it might surprise you how much depth a rum drink can have.

We first enhanced the natural flavors of this rum with orange marmalade and Licor 43. Licor 43 is a liqueur with vanilla and spice notes, and it's pretty damn tasty. We had the pleasure of taking shots of it at our November 3st of the Month.

And just in case you needed a little extra warmth, we added a little splash of another one of our favorite back bar essentials: Ancho Reyes. Like the name would suggest, it's an ancho chili liqueur and it is damn fine. Not too spicy with a depth of toasty flavor, it's a great secret ingredient to many different cocktails.

 

equipment:

rocks glass
cocktail shaker
strainer

ingredients:

2 oz Papa's Pilar 24 Dark Rum
1 oz Licor 43
.5 oz Ancho Reyes
1 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
.5 oz orange marmalade

 

method:

Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker and shake to chill. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice and garnish with a slice of orange. 

Big Bamboo

If ever there were an example of what a mix of fresh fruit juices can do for a Tiki Drink, the Big Bamboo is the one. With fresh-squeezed lime, orange, and grapefruit juices - plus a little passionfruit syrup, each simple flavor layers with the next to make this classic from 1960 a true Tiki Drink.

Originally from Mariano Licudine of the Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this cocktail eventually became known as the "Mara-Amu." Some suggest they changed the name when they lowered the booze content, which was probably not a bad thing.

Like many other classics, this cocktail gets a quick zip in the blender, but if you prefer to leave the appliances out of the mix, just shake the shit out of it - but go with crushed ice, as you'll need every drop of water you can get to soften the punch of the rum.

Speaking of rum, we chose to use Flor de Caña Anejo Oro for the primary spirit in this one. This gold rum is aged 4 years and proves to be that perfect balance of soft yet full. Better still, you can try it next Friday, October 3rd when we gather for "Tikitober" at Track One!

Recipe adapted from Beachbum Berry's Sippin' Safari.

 

equipment:

blender
tall glass

ingredients:

1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz fresh orange juice
1 oz fresh white grapefruit juice
1 oz passionfruit syrup (recipe)
1 oz dark Jamaican rum
2 oz Flor de Caña Anejo Oro
4 dashes Angostura bitters
1 cup crushed ice


method:

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high for 5 seconds. Pour into glass and serve.

Tiki Takedown

An artist friend recently told us the story about a buddy who would get drunk on Tiki Drinks and set up a makeshift bowling alley in the back yard. He used a series of Tiki heads as the pins and called it Tiki Takedown. 

It sounded like fun to us, but we don't have any Tiki heads. Oh well, apparently we'll just have to get drunk and not worry about the game.

We made this with some fine-ass rum that will be at our October 3st of the Month - Papa's Pilar Rums. These rums are aged and blended in what's called the Solera process. They are aged in bourbon and port wine barrels before being blended and finished in sherry casks. The result? Fine ass rum. Didn't we already tell you that?!

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
bar spoon
crushed ice
tall glass

ingredients:

1.5 oz Papa's Pilar 3 Blonde Rum
1.5 oz Papa's Pilar 24 Dark Rum
1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
.5 oz cinnamon syrup
1 barspoon orange flower water
3 dashes bitters
fresh lime and flower garnish

 

method:

Fill serving glass with crushed ice. In your cocktail shaker, add all ingredients except bitters and garnish. Shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds and strain into serving glass. Add bitters on top, garnish and serve.

Fogg Cutter

Don't let the frilly umbrella on this drink fool you - it's not for the weak of heart, or liver for that matter.

Made with 4 ounces of booze, including two different rums, gin and brandy, it actually tastes surprisingly approachable, due in part to the addition of pure almond extract. 

Created in the 1970's at New Orlean's Bali Hai At The Beach, it was misspelled with an extra "g" on fog - most likely to differentiate it from the original Trader Vic's version. Well, that or whoever named it had consumed one to many themselves!

 

Recipe adapted from Beachbum Berry Remixed: A Gallery of Tiki Drinks.

 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
tiki mug

ingredients:

2 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
1.5 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
1.5 oz turbinado simple syrup (recipe)
1 oz Ron Matusalem light rum
1 oz Ron Matusalem dark rum
1 oz brandy
1 oz gin
1 bar spoon almond extract
8 oz crushed ice
fresh mint for garnish

 

method:

Combine everything in a blender and blend on high speed for 5 seconds before pouring into glass and adding more crushed ice to fill. Garnish and serve.

La Playa Royale

Yes, we will admit it. Most Tiki Drinks are made with rum, lots of it in fact. But search through the history of tropical drinks and you'll find ones made with gin, cognac and more. 

When it came time to bring together great brands for our Tikitober event at Track One, we knew we wanted to get some great rums, but we also knew that this event was an excuse to also bring some kick-ass tequila to the table.

Maestro Dobel tequila is one of those kick-ass tequilas that our attending members and guests will have an opportunity to enjoy.

For the sake of making a Tiki Drink with it, we used the same principles of fresh fruit and layers of spice and flavor to make La Playa Royale. The most notable addition is the Cinnamon Syrup. Adapted from a recipe from Beachbum Berry's Potions of the Caribbean, this syrup was a common ingredient at the famous Don the Beacomber, labeled simply as "Don's Spices #4" in his original recipe books to keep competitors from copying his recipes. 

Making your own Cinnamon Syrup is easy. We posted a recipe for it here.

Okay, let's make this drink.

 

A tequila-based #tikidrink from 3st of the Month

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
rocks glass
crushed ice

ingredients:

2 oz Maestro Dobel Diamond Tequila
1.5 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 oz cinnamon syrup
.25 oz orgeat syrup
strip of orange zest and cinnamon stick for garnish


method:

combine tequila, juices and syrups in an ice-filled shaker and shake like your life depended on it. Or at least like your drink depends on it. Curl the strip of orange zest around the inside of your glass and fill with crushed ice to hold it in place. Strain cocktail into glass and add a cinnamon stick on top.