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


Cocktail shaker


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


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

Thai Basil Dark Rum Mojito

Remember when Mojitos hit the vein of popular culture? Suddenly they were popping up at bars across the country - simultaneously gaining hatred and disdain by every bartender having to muddle mint as Mojito fever took over. 

But they caught on for a reason. Simultaneously boozy and refreshing, they are kinda the perfect summer drink. 

We recently played around with the standard recipe and make a couple swaps. Instead of mint, we used Thai basil. It's amazingly aromatic (like mint), but with a distinctive flavor different from typical basil. If you don't have any Thai basil growing in your herb garden (you should), you can easily find it at Asian markets. 

The other swap was using Pyrat dark rum in place of white rum. To further enhance this richness, we also used demerara simple syrup instead of white simple syrup. The result is a richly-complex, yet still refreshing, cocktail.



cocktail shaker
highball or tumbler glass


2 oz Pyrat Rum
1 oz demerara simple syrup (equal parts demerara sugar and water)
1/2 lime, cut into smaller pieces
3 sprigs Thai basil, divided
club soda


Place the chunks of lime and two of the three sprigs of basil in the bottom of your cocktail shaker. Using a muddler, press the limes and basil to squeeze out the juice and release aromatics from the lime peel and fresh basil. Add rum and demerara simple to the shaker and toss in a few cubes of ice. Give it a quick shake and transfer entire contents to your chilled glass. Rinse the shaker with a splash of club soda to get every drop of boozy goodness and pour that into your cocktail. Top with more club soda and garnish with remaining sprig of Thai basil.

The Wreck

Mmmm, rum

Do you ever feel like rum does not get the attention it deserves? We do. Don't get us wrong, we love whiskey and tequila and gin....well, everything, but rum often seems to be left out when people talk about serious cocktails. 

Obviously, they have not had Pyrat Rum. Coming from the folks behind Patrón, you know it has to be good. And it is. So good in fact, you can drink it right from the bottle. Yeah, we tried.

So while you could (and should) try drinking Pyrat on the rocks, we figured it's getting warm so why not do something a little more refreshing?

Here you go...



cocktail shaker
rocks glass


2 oz Pyrat Rum
1.5 oz fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
.25 oz simple syrup
lime wedge


Add the rum, juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Fill it with ice and give it a real quick, light shake (not so much to water it down) before dumping the entire thing into a chilled rocks glass. Squeeze a wedge of lime on top and you're good to go!

Pyrat Rum Cow

Who said Tiki Drinks are only for evenings? Kinda like the New Orleans morning tradition Brandy Milk Punch, this 1937 original from Don the Beachcomber takes a simple combination of rum, milk, sugar and spice and serves it up for any time of the day...or morning.

While the original recipe calls for dark Jamaican rum, we've swapped it out with one of our favorites, Pyrat XO Reserve. From the makers of Patron (YUM!), Pyrat Rum is a blend of exceptional barrel-aged "pot still" rums . Unlike column distillation, pot stills leave more esters (i.e. flavor) in the rum. Once selected and blended (including rums aged up to 15 years), they are further mellowed in French Limousin and toasted American Oak barrels, imparting even more complexity to the spirit. Lucky us.

We also tweaked the original recipe by swapping out simple syrup with Turbinado Simple Syrup (recipe here) and adding a little cream to the mix because, after all, who doesn't love cream? The real secret? Freshly-grated nutmeg. Forget that shit sitting in the tin can hiding in the back of your spice cabinet. Go with the fresh stuff.

Recipe adapted from Beachbum Berry's Sippin' Safari.



cocktail shaker
cocktail glass


2 oz Pyrat XO Reserve
1 oz Turbinado simple syrup
2 oz milk
1 oz cream
freshly-grated nutmeg


Fill cocktail shaker with ice and add rum, turbinado simple syrup, milk and cream. Cover and shake well for 15 seconds or so. Strain into a chilled glass and grate some of that nutmeg on top. Now go get your morning paper and chill.