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Welcome to letstiki.com.  Your source for Tiki Bars, Tiki Drinks, and Tiki News.

Sunday
May152011

How To Make A Cuba Libre

Cuba LibreThe Coast Lines & Tan Lines blog inspired today's video.   The Cuba Libre was the original name for today's popular Rum and Cola.  The cocktail was invented in Cuba around 1900 when American's brought Coca Cola to Cuba. Cuba Libre, meaning "free Cuba", was a popular saying in Cuba around that time because the country has just gained its independence.

In 1945 the Andrews Sisters helped the Rum and Coke gain popularity with their number two hit song, Rum and Coca Cola.  Check it out on Youtube.  It's a fun little song to listen to while drinking your Cuba Libre.

A Rum and Coke make not seem very Tiki.  However, this cocktail did seem exotic at the time it was invented.  Most Rum and Cokes served today don't come with a fresh lime wedge, but that is a key ingredient to the Cuba Libre.  I picked up some Key Limes for my Cuba Libre, but regular Persian limes work great too.

A key component to the original Cuba Libre was Coca Cola made with real sugar.  Here in the U.S. our Coke is made with High Fructose Corn Syrup.  So to get closer to the original Coke look for Mexican Coke at the grocery store.  The real sugar makes a difference.  The other key component is to use a rum like the one used around 1900 in Cuba. Since Cuban Rum isn't available in the U.S. Havana Club is out.  As I understand it Bacardi Gold is the next closest thing.

To Make a Cuba Libre you will need:

 

  • 2 oz Havana Club or Bacardi Gold Rum
  • 1 Key lime or 2 lime wedges
  • 4 oz Mexican Coke (or Coke made with Sugar)

 

Cut the Key Lime in half and place it in the glass.  Muddle the key lime gently to squeeze some of the juice and also release the oils from the skin of the lime.  Next, add about 1 cup of ice to the glass. Add the rum, and then top with the Cola.  Stir and enjoy!

The Cuba Libre has a nice lime flavor to it and the Mexican Coke makes it a little sweeter.  The Mexican Coke tastes spicier than American coke, and it has a bit of an herbal flavor.  This is a refreshing little cocktail.

Mahalo!

Damon

Friday
May132011

The Outrigger Cocktail - A Tiki Adventure

Aloha!

The next cocktail in my adventures through Beach Bum Berry Remixed is The Outrigger.  This little cocktail comes in at only 3 oz.  The Outrigger was invented by Beachbum Berry himself.  He was on a quest to find a rum alternative to the classic Sidecar.  Finding no existing recipes he developed one on his own, and the Outrigger was born.

The outrigger has three simple ingredients, Gold Barbados Rum, Triple Sec, and fresh squeezed lemon juice.  The ingredients are shaken with ice and then strained into a 3 oz cocktail glass that has been rimmed with sugar.  Sadly, I didn't have quite the right cocktail glass.  So I used a Champaign flute.  As you can see from my picture it was way to big for the cocktail.  However, it still tasted good.  

Since the recipe calls for Barbados rum, I tried Cockspur Five Star Rum first. The Cockspur Five Star was a little to harsh for this cocktail.  The lemon flavors didn't sit quite right with this rum.  On it's own, Cockspur has nice hints of vanilla, and caramel to begin with.  Those flavors melt away to a buttery flavor, and the oak, from the barrels the rum was aged in, also comes through nicely.  So far so good....  Then, the finish, reveals flavors of racquet ball, and that's where Cockspur looses me.  It is still a good rum.  It just isn't quite right for cocktails where the flavors of the rum come through strong.  I'd imagine that Cockspur's higher quality rums are better for sipping.

For my second attempt I used a local, Milwaukee, rum.  Roaring Dan's Maple Flavored Rum.  This rum worked really well in the Outrigger.  The Roaring Dan's was a lot smoother than the Cockspur.  The maple flavors come through very nicely.  The lemon and the maple flavors married together nicely in the Outrigger.  The Outrigger may not be my favorite Tiki cocktail, but I'm sure I'll be having it again.  It's a nice switch from a Daiquiri, but still in the same family.  

If you are looking for the complete Outrigger recipe check out Beach Bum Berry Remixed , or if you are really desperate Google it.  I just don't give out the recipe since Beachbum Berry worked hard to put the book together. Who am I to give away the recipes.

Mahalo!

Damon

Saturday
May072011

How To Make A Derby Daiquiri

The 137th running of the Kentucky Derby is today, Saturday, May 7th.  I won't be drinking a mint julep as the Thoroughbreds make their sprint around the track.  Instead, I'll be having a Derby Daiquiri.  After all, I need a Tiki cocktail to quench my thirst.

The Derby Daiquiri was invented at the the Mai Kai by one of their famous mixologists, Mariano Licudine.  The cocktail won a contest making it the official drink of the Florida Derby.  You can still get a Derby Daiquiri today at the Mai Kai.

A true  Daiquiri isn't one of those syrupy frozen drinks that come out of one of those spinning machines.  A real daiquiri is rum, lime juice, and a little sugar.  The Derby Daiquiri expands on the formula slightly by adding orange juice.  This is one of the easiest Tiki cocktails to make.  

All you need is:

  • 1 oz Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  • 1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1 1/2 oz White Puerto Rican Rum

First, chill your cocktail glass.  The original Derby Daiquiri was served in a special glass, but a Champaign saucer or other small glass will work great.  To chill a glass add ice and a splash of water to the glass, and let it chill while you make the cocktail.

Derby DaiquiriCombine the fresh squeezed orange juice, fresh squeezed lime juice, simple syrup, and white Puerto Rican rum in a cocktail shaker with some ice.  Shake the ingredients until the outside of the shaker gets frosty.  Next, dump the ice and water out of the glass, and strain the cocktail into the glass.

That's all there is to it.  The Derby Daiquiri has a nice orange flavor, and a hint of lime.  There is a taste of Florida in every sip.  Just like the original Daiquiri the flavors of the rum come through.  So be sure to use a quality rum.  

Enjoy the derby and the daiquiri!

Mahalo!

Damon

Thursday
May052011

El Diablo - A Tiki Adventure on Cinco De Mayo

El DiabloAloha,

For my next cocktail out of Beach Bum Berry Remixed I choose the El Diablo.  It is one of the few Tiki cocktails that has tequila.  With today being Cinco De Mayo it seemed very appropriate.  

 According to alcademics.com this cocktail was first mentioned in Trader Vic's Book of Food and Drink from 1946.  Then in the 1960s The El Diablo was featured on the menu of Trader Vic's Mexican Restaurant Chain, Senor Pico.  The recipe was printed throughout the years in may of Trader Vic's books.

What better cocktail to have on Cinco De Mayo than a cocktail from Trader Vic's Mexican restaurant chain?  So I combined the fresh lime juice, creme de cassis, tequila, and ginger beer.  Next, I stirred the ingredients gently so the carbonation wouldn't be lost, and poured the cocktail into a glass filled with crushed ice.  There wasn't very much of an aroma to this cocktail.  Just a hint of lime juice.  I took my first sip and realized that my bad day was to continue with this cocktail.  

My first impression was that it tasted like ketchup.  The creme de cassis has a very strong flavor.  It make the cocktail sweet and spicy.  My best description is ketchup with a hint of mustard spice.  My guess is the cassis is meant to cover the flavor of the tequila, because the tequila flavor was very subtle. 

I thought this can't be right.  So I read the instructions again and made another.  To my dismay it tasted the same.  I gave the cocktail one last chance and added an extra half ounce of lime juice.  This cut he cassis flavor down a bit, but it still was terrible.  If you are a fan of creme de cassis I'm sure you'll like an El Diablo, but this is one cocktail that isn't for me.  I dumped it out and made myself a Cuba Libre.  I guess that is why I call this an adventure. You never know what you are going to get.

Mahalo

 

Damon

Monday
May022011

Lei Lani Volcano - Tiki Adventure

Lei Lani VolcanoThe other day, I found a can of Guava Nectar that I had purchased a while back.  So, I thought I would go out of order from my adventures in Beach Bum Berry Remixed, and try something with Guava Nectar.  

The Lei Lani Volcano was invented at Disney's Polynesian Village (which is now The Polynesian Resort), and it is made with Guava Nectar. Since, Walt Disney World is one of my favorite places in the whole world to visit; the Lei Lani Volcano is a perfect choice.

The Polynesian Resort was one of the original resorts at Walt Disney World when it opened in 1971. The Polynesian Resort is situated on the Seven Seas Lagoon directly across from the Magic Kingdom.  The Barefoot Pool Bar is right on the Polynesian's beach.  It is so relaxing to sit on the beach and have a cocktail there.  If you ever need a break from the action at the Magic Kingdom take a short monorail ride to the Polynesian and relax on the beach with a cocktail.  You'll feel like you are in Hawaii.  The best part is you don't have to stay at the resort to enjoy the bar and the beach.  Also, the resort is a short walk from the Magic Kingdom parking lot; making it a nice place to end your day at the Magic Kingdom.

I really do like the Polynesian Resort, but I will warn you, they offers a "luau" called The Spirit of Aloha Dinner show.  I went to it a couple years ago.  It was quite disappointing.  The show was a super cheesy Lilo and Stitch adventure with bad Disney pop music.  The food was bland and not up to Disney standards. We left early along with a number of other families.  Not even the kids seemed to enjoy the dinner/show.  Hopefully, Disney has improved the experience.

The Lei Lani Volcano has guava nectar, unsweetened pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, sugar syrup, and coconut rum.  This smooth drink goes down really easy!  The pineapple juice is the first to hit your taste buds, and in concert with the lime juice has a hint of sour.  The sugar syrup cuts down the sourness very nicely though.  The guava nectar adds a great, almost strawberry flavor to the cocktail.

I really like the guava nectar in this cocktail.  It's a nice change from the typical pineapple and citrus drinks.  I used Cruzan Coconut Rum which added a great coconut flavor.  Cruzan Coconut has a more authentic coconut flavor that is less sweet than Malibu.  I'm guessing the Polynesian Village used Malibu back when they served this cocktail, but the Cruzan worked perfectly.  With every sip I was imagining myself on the beach at the Polynesian enjoying the sun, the view of Cinderella's Castle.  Now that is a magical day!

Mahalo,

Damon

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