Tikiphiles wear many hats, not all of them straw. These new tropical drink recipes came to us courtesy of a novelist, a web designer, a retailer and a resaler.
Joe Riley is Fine Spirits Manager at Ace Beverage, Washington D.C.’s oldest liquor store. He’s also a regular at the downtown D.C. bar The Passenger, where one night he asked resident mixologist Alexandra Bookless “to make me her test monkey for any new drinks she was trying out. She grabbed the Cruzan Black Strap Navy Rum. Suddenly I remembered reading that Don the Beachcomber used to mix rums, so I suggested adding Smith & Cross Navy Proof Rum, and lime juice, and … that hit the limits of my inspiration. Fortunately, Alex decided to add St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, falernum, and pineapple juice. Bingo! Now, this drink needed a name, and it suddenly hit me: ‘Navy Cross,’ because It’s a ‘crossing’ of two ‘Navy’ rums. It also has a personal meaning for me because my late father was a recipient of the Navy Cross in World War II, in the Pacific.” Alex’s Navy Cross: 1 1/2 ounces Smith & Cross rum, 3/4 ounce Cruzan Black Strap rum, 1/4 ounce St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, and 1/2 ounce each fresh lime juice, pineapple juice, and Velvet Falernum. Shake with ice, strain into a tall glass filled with fresh ice, and garnish with a lime wedge.
Dave “Basement Kahuna” Wolfe owns the Athens, Georgia, vintage clothing store Minx. He spent a restless night “screwing around looking for a spicy, creamy alternative to the Deep Sea Diver or the Painkiller.” By daybreak he had The Ghost Ship: 1 ounce Smith & Cross rum, 3/4 ounce Trader Tiki Don’s Mix, 1/4 ounce Barenjager, and 1/2 ounce each fresh lime juice, orange juice, Licor 43, half & half cream, and Stirring’s Blood Orange Bitters. Put it all in a blender with with 3/4 cup (6 ounces) crushed ice, blend, and serve in a double old fashioned glass garnished with a “ghost ship” fashioned from a lime hull and orange-peel sails (pictured above).
In addition to creating the indispensable global Tiki bar review site Critiki, San Francisco’s Michele “Humu Humu” Trott creates exotic cocktails. Humu’s latest is the Agrabana Grog: 1 1/4 ounces Cruzan white rum, 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice, and 3/4 ounce each Appleton V/X rum, grapefruit juice, and garam masala syrup (premixed by adding 2 teaspoons garam masala to a 2:1 simple syrup; let steep, and shake before using). Shake everything with ice, pour into a tall glass, top with 3/4 ounce club soda, and garnish with a mint sprig (drink pictured below).
Harry Squires writes horror novels under the pen name H.R. Knight, and makes tropical cocktails under the Tiki name Castaway Harry. “I was on a quest for the perfect daiquiri for many years, getting close to it in a bar in Cabo San Lucas,” says Harry, who “watched the bartender carefully and saw how much of what went into it.” Once he had the proportions, Harry enlisted his neighbors to try the drink with different rums. Everyone agreed that Matusalem was the winner. Here’s the final draft of Harry’s daiquiri: 3 ounces Matusalem 7 Year rum, 1 ounce fresh lime juice, and 1/2 ounce each simple syrup and triple sec (Harry prefers La Paz). Shake with crushed ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.