Our article in the upcoming issue of Tiki Magazine features nine exotic drink recipes gathered from bon vivants whose paths we’ve had the pleasure of crossing over the years, including cocktailians Robert Hess and Paul Clarke, mixologist Daniel Reichert, and fellow tropaholics Bosko Hrnjak, Erich Martin, Chris Gillikin, and Ran Mosessco.
In the mean time, we’d like to share three recipes that came our way too late for the article, but just in time to liven up the jaded palates here at the Deadbeat Bar.
First up is the Maharaja’s Revenge, by Brother Cleve. He first came to fame as a member of Combustible Edison, the band that provided the soundtrack for the Cocktail Nation uprising of the 1990s; now he’s a globetrotting music producer and DJ who shuttles between gigs in the Bahamas, Moscow, and India. It was in the subcontinent that Cleve made the acquaintance of an Indian rum called Old Monk, which inspired the Maharaja’s Revenge. To make one, agitate 2 ounces Old Monk rum, 1 ounce apricot brandy, and 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Strain into a cocktail glass … and prepare for a religious experience. The Old Monk imparts layers of flavor to the drink that no other rum could; it’s a heady melange of maple, wood smoke, and clove. If you live in a city with a large community of Indian expats, you might be able to find it; if not, the closest substitution we can think of is equal parts dark Jamaican rum and Zaya or Zacapa. (Mahalo to Boston-based bar chef Misty Kalkofen for scoring us the bottle of Monk).
Our next recipe comes to us from that exotic tropical paradise, Sweden. Well, that’s what Sweden would be if Stockholm resident Flamingo Fred, a.k.a Fredrik Berggren, had his way. “Good and true Tiki is something rarely seen in these parts of the world,” laments Fred, “and as the drinking culture in Sweden consists of beer and over-sweet grogs, I’m doing my best to spread the gospel of tropical drinks.” Here’s to you, Fred, and your creation: 1 ounce gin, 1 ounce spiced rum, 1 ounce unsweetened pineapple juice, 1 ounce fresh lime juice, and 3 teaspoons each grenadine and sugar syrup, shaken with ice and poured into a tall glass. Top it all off with a dash of soda water. Alternatively, Fred suggests straining the drink into a double old-fashioned glass containing one large chunk of ice, so that the ice becomes “a lonely, mystery island in a dangerous, exotic red sea. The name of the drink should be something like Mystery Island,” adds Fred, somewhat sheepishly: “Very cheesy. You get kind of poetic after a few rounds, don’t you think?” Absolutely. Three Mystery Islands and we’re practically Erik Axel Karlfeldt!
Gwydion Stone is the founder of the Wormwood Society, which he calls “a sort of absinthe anti-defamation organization.” So it stands to reason that the Green Fairy would be a player in his take on a rum cocktail, the Imperial Topaz. Into your shaker pour 1 ounce Cruzan pineapple rum, 3/4 ounce vodka, 1/4 ounce absinthe, 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters, and 1 dash orange flower water. Shake with ice cubes and strain into a frosted cocktail glass. Gwydion says you can substitute Herbsaint for the absinthe, but warns that it will result in a sweeter drink.