All This Rum! A New Tiki Bar Cocktail
Ever since I sat as a Rum Judge at the 2010 Ministry of Rum tasting competition in San Francisco, the whole direction of my spirits-writing career has changed. I used to only write about wine.
Then a flash went off: wine is so serious; why not write about something fun, like spirits?
I’ve always loved rum. Rum appeals to me.
Rum is a spirit woven from history. Flavors exist within rums that don’t reveal themselves in other lighter-colored liquors. I’m a fan of rums aged in used wooden casks that formerly held bourbon or cognac. The caramelized notes of smoke, butter and bittersweet chocolate reveal themselves beautifully with the white flower aromas of freshly crushed cane sugar.
What is good rum, and how does it differ from all other rums? I’m not entirely sure. But when you’re out on a yacht, somewhere between Bermuda and the Virgin Islands, nothing tastes so delicious with some coconut water ice.
Over the past few years, Tiki Bar cocktail lounges have revealed themselves as funky representations of times gone past. Tiki gives credence to the easier times in America.
Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco faithfully reproduces a dream Tiki bar located down off a decaying pier, jutting out into a world of rotting boats and handcrafted cocktails. If a stage set of liquid pleasures could be created, Smuggler’s Cove fits the West Coast genre to a T. Over on the East Coast, on the Island of Manhattan — described as the Greatest Island in the World – PKNY – formerly named Painkiller(the name is another story for another day) has a knack for Tiki as well.
Here’s a Tiki Bar cocktail you’ve never had before.
The Yachtsman’s Demise
3 oz. Kōloa Rum from Hawaii (use their Spiced Rum for this cocktail)
1 oz. fresh mango juice
1/2 tsp. freshly chopped coconut meat
1/2 tsp. freshly scraped ginger
3 drops Bitter End Thai Bitters
6 ice cubes made with coconut water and freshly grated nutmeg (just a bit, it’s strong stuff!)
1/2 oz. Lemon Hart 151 Rum
Q-Ginger Ale to finish
Fill a cocktail shaker with fresh ice (reserve your coconut water ice for the glass). Add the Kōloa Rum to the shaker, then the fresh mango juice, coconut meat and ginger. Add the Bitter End Thai Bitters.
Shake and strain into a tall Tiki (ceramic) mug filled with your coconut water and grated nutmeg ice cubes. Float the Lemon Hart 151 Rum over the top, and finish with Q-Ginger Ale. Makes 1 cocktail.
What happens when a man is snowbound with only his wits and his sideboard? He crafts a perfectly balanced flight of cocktails: too cool!
Passage to India
We just had some snow, about 8 inches this time. The last time it was about two feet. Everything is covered in a fine white dust. It’s quite lovely to look at as long as you’re inside and not shoveling. A friend of mine just sent a lovely container of Fig and Pear Chutney. I had been looking at some photographs of India and it churned my imagination. There was a picture of the Ganges River comingonto the computer screen and I thought of a Passage to India cocktail.
- 2 shots Bluewater Organic Vodka
- 1 tablespoon of a spicy chutney (homemade if possible)
- 1 or 2 saffron threads
- Orange peel
- Add crushed ice and vodka to a cocktail shaker. Do not shake or stir.
- Add spicy chutney to a well-chilled martini glass.
- Strain iced vodka into the glass and garnish with saffron threads and an orange peel.
The Red Hour Cocktail
The Red Hour Cocktail’s inspiration comes from the Star Trek show of the same name. How completely rational people can go quite crazy when the clock strikes The Red Hour.
- 2 shots Siesta Key White Rum
- 1 or two drops of Bitter End Thai Bitters
- Freshly squeezed orange and lime juice (just enough)
- Q-Tonic Water
- Add a few cubes of ice to a cocktail shaker, then the rum, followed by bitters, then fruit juices.
- Shake. Strain onto fresh ice in a tall glass.
- Top with a few splashes of Q-Tonic Water and a RED Cherry.
The Pure Driven Snow
Another cool-as-ice cocktail. If you live anywhere outside the tropics this year, you’re in the snow belt and understand the inspiration for this drink.
- 1 wheat beer such as Brooklyn Brewery Hopfen-Weisse
- 2 shots Anchor Junipero Gin
- 1 lime in chunks
- 1 tablespoon sugar cane syrup
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, pour in beer and gin.
- Add lime and syrup.
- Shake very gently, or the drink will foam wildly.
- Serve in a short glass with fresh ice.
- 2 shots Calvados
- 1 shot good cognac
- Hot Black Tea to fill a mug
- Scraping of fresh nutmeg
- Serve hot.
Sleepy time, sleepy time!
Featured writer: Warren Bobrow
Mark your calendar – Wednesday, Oct. 19 is the next Drink.Think reading event!
Once again, we’ve got a great line-up of writers slated to read from their work — and over the next few weeks, I’ll entice you with mini-biographies, starting this week with Warren Bobrow.
Now, if you’re out and about in the NY food and drink scene, surely you’ve run across this chap. Somehow, the man seems to be everywhere — He’s at spirits launch parties. He moderated a panel on food writing I attended at the IACP regional conference. He was front and center at a rum seminar I attended at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans (he’s a rum judge for the Ministry of Rum, so that makes perfect sense). And all the while, Warren manages to tweet up a storm like it’s an Olympic sporting event–go ahead, follow him @WarrenBobrow1. I dare you.
Warren is a prolific writer off Twitter, too: he’s the Food and Drink Editor of the 501c3 non profit Wild Table on Wild River Review; he is a cocktail writer for William-Sonoma’s Blender Blog, Foodista and Serious Eats; and his research on Biodynamic and Organic Wine and Food will appear in the 2012 Oxford Encyclopedia of Food/Drink in America, Ed. 2.
Whew! Come on out to Lolita Bar on Oct. 19 and hear what he has to say.