T.S. Eliot wrote that April is the cruelest month. He wasn’t thinking about taxes, but you probably are. To ease your pain (which the Bum does not feel, because one does not worry about income tax when one has no income), here are two new Tiki punches to sip while wrestling with Form 1040.
First up is the winner of the Tales Of The Cocktail “Tiki Punch-up” competition, a drink called Death In The South Pacific. The Bum co-judged this contest, which asked bartenders to come up with a Tikified variation on the Planter’s Punch using multiple rums, citrus, and sweeteners a la Donn Beach — whose most famous Tiki drink, the Zombie, is basically a turbo-charged Planter’s.
Seattle bartender Evan Martin trumped the other 150 entrants with this formula: 1/2 ounce each fresh lime juice, fresh lemon juice, Fee Brothers grenadine, Grand Marnier, and Cruzan Black Strap rum; 3/4 ounce each Appleton Extra Jamaican rum and Clément VSOP Martinique rum; 1/3 ounce each Trader Tiki orgeat syrup and Fee Brothers falernum; and three scant dashes Absinthe. To make one drink, place everything except grenadine and Black Strap into a tall glass and fill with crushed ice; swizzle to frost glass, then pour in grenadine. Overfill the glass with more crushed ice, then float the Black Strap. Evan’s clever “hanged man” garnish (pictured above) sports a cherry head, fruit-peel limbs, and a bamboo-skewer spine.
“The drink’s name is a play on Love in the South Pacific and Death in the Afternoon,” explains Evan, who felt his potent punch “needed a name that gave as much warning as the Zombie.”
So you’ve downed a Death In The South Pacific, but you still feel ire for the IRS? Time for a Concubine, by Dave “Basement Kahuna” Wolfe. Dave carves Tikis in Athens, Georgia, where he “designed the recipe as the signature drink at my home bar, the Kon Tiki Paradise Room.” From there word spread of the Concubine’s charms, and she eventually found herself on the cocktail menus of Augusta’s Hale Tiki and Chicago’s Shangri-La, prompting Dave to design a cobalt blue Tiki mug for his concoction (pictured above, photo courtesy Nicole Desmond).
To conjure a Concubine, into your shaker pour 3 ounces each grapefruit juice and El Dorado 12-year Demerara rum, 1 ounce Licor 43, 1/2 ounce each fresh lime juice and passion fruit syrup, 1 teaspoon grenadine, and 4 drops Pernod. Fill with crushed ice, shake, and pour unstrained into a Concubine mug or tall glass. Garnish with a large pineapple chunk and fresh mint.
The Concubine “has a really weird unexplainable sneaky effect, hence the name,” says Dave. “A very seductive and sexy lady, but you damned sure better watch your wallet through the night!”