MxMo LXV: Tiki Equality

I think when a lot of people think about exotic cocktails they think of drinks with 10 ingredients and all manner of odd measurements. Classic cocktails have a lot of depth but they do have the reputation of keeping things somewhat simple comparatively. As a contrast nearly every Tiki Mixologist has admitted to the pain in the ass that some drinks make themselves into. I’m looking at you Zombie Punch!

True some drinks leave you reaching for your notes and measuring spoons, though they are generally worth the effort, not all tropicals have to be that way. That’s why I was so excited when Fred Yarm of Cocktail Virgin/Slut announced the Equal Parts Mixology Monday. I’d never really gotten to participate under the old guard but I did always love reading the old posts. So I’m excited for Rated R Cocktails to barrel into this fray.

As Fred said these are “simple drinks where only one jigger is needed.” First my mind jumped to the Shrunken Skull, easily in my top 10 of favorite tiki drinks and always easy to make. Also the Spievak Zombie sprung to mind, even though with it’s teaspoon and dash I’d consider that cheating. In any case I wanted to save the both of them for next month since Halloween is like my Christmas. Luckily Jeff Berry’s Sippin Safari gave me a few ideas to get started.

Like our last post Tony Ramos from the China Trader swung to the rescue with the Tiger Shark. Richly rummy with just enough balance from the sugar and lime. Having just juiced some fresh pineapple I was happy to see it lend it’s color and overall glory to the party. It’s just a bonus that this drink also uses some of my favorite rums.

Tiger Shark

½ Cruzan Gold

½ Cruzan White

½ Lemon Hart 151

½ Fresh Lime Juice

½ Fresh Pineapple Juice

½ Simple Syrup

4 oz Crushed ice

Saving the ice for last blend for 5 seconds and serve in a small glass.

This recipe is delicious, but it’s tiny. It fit perfectly in two of my shot glasses. If your making this at home I’d make a double. Still it’s delicious so thats no trouble.

Now emboldened by Mr. Ramos and a good draught of rum I took my own hand to making an equal parts Tiki drink. After all, I told myself, Tiki can cheat. Don’s Mix and Don’s Spices #2 are combination ingredients and can add a lot of depth while still fitting the bill. And then I got to Mixing….

Soon I found that finding ingredients to perfectly match each other in the same amount was no supremely easy feat. Oh sure it was easy enough to make something tasty, but something awesome eluded me. I was always abit sensitive to sourness. Still it was so easy for the fresh citrus to overshadow the rums. I nearly went crazy trying to meet my own standards on this mission. I had long conversations with my cats, and drank myself stupid(er). I was about to give up and go watch cartoons when I made a discovery.

Golden Grotto

1 oz Flor De Cana 7 Year

1 oz Goslings

1 oz Don’s Spices #2 (Equal Parts Allspice Dram and Vanilla Syrup)

1 oz Fresh Lime

Shake together and pour unstrained into a double old fashioned glass or short tiki mug

This drink had potential. I loved the way the vanilla played in this with the dram. It made the citrus refreshing and bright. But the rums weren’t really there like I wanted, they mainly provided body and background roasty notes. I was forced to admit that this drink was way better if you cut the lime down to ¾ oz. I tried to boost this up by replacing Goslings with Cruzan 151 but it killed all the goodness of the Don’s Spices. It wasn’t bad but it still wasn’t great. If I had Goslings 151 I think it would have worked, but I haven’t found it in America.

I tried to give up, but I couldn’t. The tiki spirits had me and they said “Get up you son of a bitch!” which really made me feel like a fat Stallone. So out of bed I sprung, and kept mixing. I took out one of my favorite rums Cruzan Blackstrap, and I started playing around. Eventually I was rewarded.

Quemada’s Idol

1 oz 8 yr Barbancourt

1 oz Cruzan Blackstrap

1 oz Don’s Spices #2

1 oz Fresh Lime

Shake together and pour unstrained into a double old fashioned glass or short tiki mug

Sour and roasty, the don’s spices play in the backdrop peacefully. Don’t use Torani vanilla for this drink or it won’t come out to play. You need either B.G Reynolds or make your own at home with real vanilla beans pods.

So what was learned?

  1. Citrus can be powerful. If your not careful it can be more powerful than your expensive luscious liquor. I believe it’s always good to add more rum than citrus now, with rare exceptions.
  2. Equal Parts drinks are awesome for a reason, they aren’t always easy. The Last Word, The Blood and Sand, the Negroni, all of these have new life to me. Next time I have a Last Word at Veranda I’m going to wonder if It’s inventor nearly went as mad as I.
  3. You can get away with canned white grapefruit sometimes. In Don’s mix though I think fresher would be better to offset the sweetness. To bad there’s none to be found in Alabama.

Well this was a lot of fun. And quite educational. When it’s up we’ll post a link for all of you so you can see what my friends are up to. Make Mixology Monday your favorite day of the month, and find some new favorite drinks.

You get hammered America! -JFL


Update – Check out the Full MxMo Roundup here for all the other amazing submissions!

About JFL

Joey or JFL as he is known by friends is a culinary trained mixologist from the Heart of Dixie Birmingham, Alabama. From a weekly column in the St. Clair News Aegis to his own experiments online JFL never stops doing work on Tiki and Cocktails. When he's not studying all things spirit, wine, and beer he's pursuing his own odd interests such as cartoons, cheesy old horror movies, horror punk, hair metal, and hockey
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2 Responses to MxMo LXV: Tiki Equality

  1. Pingback: Mixology Monday, How’d it Go? | Rated R Cocktails

  2. Pingback: Shark Reef | Home Bar Girl

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