Dark Isles Luau: The Karloff Kooler

With the sharks all exploded and the storm over a bolt of lightning gives new life to the monster of Frankenstein. Pushing me from my bar the monster works with a clumsy, fevered, pace to produce a sickly green potion of a punch. With great fear I take a hearty slug and pronounce it worthy of Tiki toasts. He suggests we raise a glass to Karloff. The man who made horror into a film category.


When we think of the early days of film and those very first monster movies to appear you must think of Boris Karloff. Though Bela Lugosi made the first talking horror epic with Dracula it was the runaway success of Frankenstein that not only created the horror category, but the horror sequel as well. Karloff played many amazing roles and had a long career. He was frightening in appearance and the tone of his voice. Astonishingly enough though, like Vincent Price, he was reported to be a very kind and agreeable man in real life. Like the Frankenstein monster there was a definite goodness in him.

KarloffKooler (2)

I had wanted to do a Frankenstein drink for a few years, and a hauntingly green one at that. Usually our drinks take a few weeks of testing, but this one was a hit on the first try at a gathering. It rarely happens, but it is a happy omen when it does. One need not use a seventy dollar bottle of tequila for this cocktail. We used Camarena tequila, and the drink turned out fine. Though bolder tequila like Lunazul, Milagro, Or Casa Noble would be fun if one has the dough. This drink leans on the sweeter side of the Planter’s Punch spectrum. Usually I like my punches more focused in sour, spice, or strong; but reaction was so favorable I was loathe to change a thing. Even after downing three I don’t find it to be cloying. With the season of candy overdose drawing so near, a little sweet for adults isn’t so bad.

KarloffKooler (3)
Karloff Kooler
1 oz Reposado Tequila
1 oz Cruzan Gold
½ oz Creole Shrubb
¾ oz Midori Melon Liqueur
¾ oz fresh lime juice
½ oz white grapefruit juice
¼ oz vanilla syrup

Shake together your ingredients with ice and pour unstrained into a chimney. Add crushed ice to fill and garnish with a lime wheel speared to a cherry.


Rich melon, grapefruit, and vanilla notes great the tongue with a mild tantalization. However the first sip is what really grabs the palate in a chokehold from beyond death. Vanilla and sharp citrus grips you at first then folds into motes of melon and spirit. The tequila and rum match with surprising ease to provide the drink a strong backbone. They give the drink boozy structure that allows themselves to play a supporting role to. Melon and orange bring up the rear with the flavors from Clement Creole Shrubb adding lovely spice to the finish. It’s worthwhile to note this drink does play on the sweeter side of things, however it avoids being unbalanced or cloying. This is a great drink to sip slowly, it improves even as it warms. If one wishes abit more spirit a quarter to a half ounce more of tequila does make for an interesting take. Or triple it and serve it in a big bowl for a real treat for two.

I’ve always been a big fan of the work of Boris Karloff. I’d like to imagine he’d enjoy our little tiki tribute, though I have no idea whether or not he favored a drink. We hope you’ll all join us in a rousing cheer to a long suffering horror master who put up with some very painful makeup. Until next time…


“You get Hammered America!” – JFL

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
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Dark Isles Luau: The Karloff Kooler

  1. Pingback: MxMo CII: Spooky Sips | Rated R Cocktails

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s