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

Saturday
Apr302011

How to Drink Out of A Pineapple

Aloha,

My post on How To Drink Out of A Coconut was quite popular. Maybe it was because I almost cut off my fingers.  Anyway, I thought I would explore other fun ways to drink Tiki cocktails.  Another fun way to serve Tiki cocktails is to make a cup out of a fresh Pineapple.  Using a pineapple corer it is really easy to remove the fruit from the center of the pineapple to make a cup.  You can pick up a pineapple corer for about $10 at almost any store that sells kitchen gadgets.  

All you have to do is cut the top off the pineapple. Then, twist the corer into the pineapple.  As, you twist the beautiful, sweet aroma of the fresh pineapple will fill the room.  

Be careful, to not go to go all the way through the pineapple.  You should be able to feel where the bottom of the corer is from the outside of the pineapple.

Once, you are getting close to the bottom just pull the corer out of the pineapple and the fruit will come with it.  It seems to help if you turn the pineapple while you pull.  Once the fruit is removed there will be juice in the pineapple that you can save for drinks.  The corer leaves the center in the pineapple, but this can be cut out with a knife.

I had read online that a bar in Australia was serving drinks in a frozen pineapple.  So, I'm going to give this a try.  The frozen pineapple will help keep the drink cold longer, and this should allow you to prepare the pineapples in advance. So, check back soon, and I'll let you know how it turns out.

Mahalo!

Damon

Saturday
Apr232011

Castaway Cocktail - Tiki Adventure

The CastawayAloha,

I'm slowly drinking my way through Beach Bum Berry Remixed, and sharing my thoughts, and impressions about each of the cocktails.  As I go through the book from front to back, sampling each one, I'm having a fun Tiki Adventure.  The next cocktail is The Castaway.

The Castaway is based off a 1980s rum shooter called Jamaican Dust. This Tiki cocktail is very simple. It only has three ingredients, pineapple juice, coffee liqueur (Kahlua), and gold rum.  Even though, it only had three ingredients it is still pretty good.   

I was a little skeptical about mixing coffee liqueur and pineapple juice, but the combination is pretty good.  The pineapple juice, and the coffee liqueur make this cocktail almost creamy. The Castaway would work great as an after dinner drink.  

The recipe calls for crushed ice, and I would stick to that with the Castaway.  Anytime a cocktail recipe calls for crushed ice you really want to listen.  Crushed ice is going to melt faster causing the drink to be diluted slightly.  Recipes with crushed ice are designed to have this dilution happen.  Without crushed ice the flavors may be too syrupy or intense.  Just the slight melting of the ice can really transform a drink and take it from being an OK drink to an amazing one.  In the case of coffee liqueur and pineapple juice it's good to have a little dilution.  Otherwise, the flavors are overly intense and the drink is too thick.  

I don't think The Castaway is one of my favorite Tiki cocktails.  It doesn't have a whole lot going on in it.  I prefer a cocktail with a little more going on in it, but it's still a good cocktail.   

If you are looking for the recipe for The Castaway get a copy of Beach Bum Berry Remixed.  It has a lot of great Tiki Cocktails in it including The Castaway.  Have you tried the Castaway? I'd love to hear what you think about it.  Just leave a comment below.

Mahalo!

Damon

Wednesday
Apr202011

Restaurant Review: Cheeseburger in Paradise

Cheese Burger in Paradise, Middleton (Madison), WIAloha!

Saturday, was a cold, rainy, and snowy day in Wisconsin. So, what better way to forget about the dreadful weather than to have lunch at Cheeseburger in Paradise.  The moment I walked in I was transported to an over the top beach bar in Florida.  The sound of Jimmy Buffett music greeted my ears, and tropical scenes were painted on the walls in bright, almost neon, colors.  There where thatch roofs over the booths and the bar.  Colorful lighting decorated the thatch.  One wall of the restaurant was made of garage doors that can be opened when the weather is truly nice outside.  I visited Cheeseburger in Paradise one night last summer when the doors were open. It was beautiful!  This is common practice for those of you in tropical climates, but it is a treat for us in the north. Of course, there is a bar in the center of the restaurant that is laid out in a wavy pattern.  What a perfect tropical oasis on a snowy spring day!

Tropical Island TeaCheeseburger in Paradise has a pretty big cocktail menu.  So, picking a drink was a little difficult.  I knew from the last time I was here that the frozen drinks were all extremely sweet.  They are too sweet in my opinion.  I wouldn't recommend them.  So, I ruled those out immediately.  Towards the back of the drink menu they have mixed drinks.

Since there was no mai tai; I tried the Tropical Island Tea, first.  The menu described it as, not your typical long island ice tea.  This was very true.  The only thing that made the drink like a long island was that it was all alcohol, and didn't taste like it.  It had SKYY Infused Passion fruit, Wild Turkey American Honey, Bacardi Silver, and Cointreau.  A delicious passion fruit flavor dominated this libation.  There were hints of orange from the Cointreau as well. It was still a bit on the sweet side, but I enjoyed the drink.

Next up, was the Electric Lizard.  This drink had Coruba Coconut, Midori, lime juice, sweet & sour, and Sprite.  It had a tasty balance of coconut and melon flavors from the Coruba coconut, and the Midori.  It was rounded out with a lemon lime flavor from the sweet & sour, lime juice, and sprite.  This cocktail was also quite enjoyable.  

Chicken SatayFor an appetiser we ordered the chicken satay.  The satay isn't on their appetiser menu, it is actually a lunch item, but there were three of us and we were on a mission to find chicken satay! That's another story... The satay was good, but nothing special.  The peanut sauce made it all right.  I liked Stir Crazy's Chicken Satay much better.

I had the chicken quesadillas for my meal.  I love chicken quesadillas, and these were pretty good.  It had cheddar and peper jack cheese, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and pulled chicken.  The roasted red peppers were really good in the quesadilla.  The red peppers and cheddar cheese were a great combination.

The other two in the group had the mini crab cake burgers, and the coconut shrimp.  Both of those meals were very good.  The sweet potato chips are an excellent side dish.  They are thin cut, crispy, salty and sweet. Mmmm...

Electric LizardOverall Cheeseburger in Paradise is a great place to escape.  The food is pretty good, and the drinks are all right.  I really felt like I was in a Florida beach bar.  It was nice to have some tropical drinks in a tropical setting and escape the cold spring weather for a little while. 

Mahalo,

Damon

Monday
Apr182011

How to Make A Painkiller

The PainkillerAloha,

In the United States today is tax day.  To wear off some of that sting from the tax man Smuggler's Cove, one of the most popular Tiki bars in the U.S., is celebrating National Painkiller Day.   Sadly, Smuggler's Cove is across the country from me, but that isn't stopping me from having a good old Painkiller.  

This Tiki cocktail was invented in the 1970s  at the at The Soggy Dollar Bar in the British Virgin Islands. The Soggy Dollar has no dock so it's visitors have to swim to shore from their boats getting their money all wet, and that is how the bar got it's name.  The original Painkiller recipe is top secret, and is still being served to this day at The Soggy Dollar.  However, through some reverse engineering by some people with much better taste buds than mine you no longer have to go to The Soggy Dollar to enjoy this Tiki cocktail.

To make a Painkiller combine the following in a cocktail shaker with about a one cup of ice:

  • 1 oz Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  • 4 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 1 oz Lopez Coconut Cream
  • 2.5 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Preferably Pussar's Navy Rum)

Shake the ingredients together until the shaker is frosty on the outside. Then, pour it into a large glass or Tiki mug.  You may want to use a Tiki mug for this one because this great tasting drink isn't very pretty to look at.  Then, sprinkle some Nutmeg and Cinnamon on top.  Garnish with an orange wheel, pineapple slice, and cinnamon stick.

The Painkiller really surprised me with how amazing it was.  The Lopez Coconut cream gives a delicious coconut flavor to the drink, and the pineapple juice blends in nicely. I've tried other brands of Cream of Coconut, but Lopez is the best.  The only place I can find Lopez, near me, is at Wal-Mart.  

You get just a hint of orange from the fresh orange juice, and the dark Jamaican rum adds a nice touch, but doesn't over power.  Even a non-rum drinker will love this cocktail.  The Cinnamon and nutmeg go really well with the creamy coconut.  There is just the right amount of sweetness so that you could keep drinking these all day.  I can just imagine being in The Virgin Islands sipping on this while laying in a hammock, and listening to the gentle waves roll in.  Uncle Sam is a million miles away... 

I went to the Soggy Dollar's website to do research for this post, and they have the relaxing sound of waves crashing to the shore playing on their site.  I usually hate it when websites have background sounds, but the waves are very peaceful.  So pull up their website while sipping on your Painkiller and your cares will drift away even faster.

Mahalo!

Damon

Wednesday
Apr132011

The Sour Challenge: Eastern Sour Vs. Western Sour

Aloha!

As we continue sipping our way through Beach Bum Berry Remixed; you Bourbon fans are in luck!  We get to try two more Bourbon based cocktails; The Eastern Sour and The Western Sour.  Just like the Bourbon Special these two cocktails are also from the 1950s.  We'll take these two cocktails and put them against each other to see who is the champion of the "sour" cocktails.

The Western SourThe Western Sour was from Crane's Kon-Tiki restaurant chain.  The Kon-Tiki chain made it's home in Sheraton hotels across the U.S., and and was a direct competitor to Trader Vic's.  This Bourbon cocktail has fresh squeezed white grapefruit juice, fresh lime juice, falernum, and sugar syrup.  The Western Sour isn't bad, but the grapefruit seems to work against the Bourbon a little.  You don't get that rich oaky flavor like you do with the Bourbon Special and the Eastern Sour.  When taking a sip you first taste sweet lime and grapefruit flavors.  It then changes to more of a sour lime flavor, and finally you taste the Bourbon.  The aftertaste is quite sour, and acidic.  I'm a person who likes sour flavors more than average, but it was even too sour for me.  Sometimes, I can blame my citrus for being the culprit on a sour drink, but I tasted the juice by itself and it was great.

The Eastern Sour is made of fresh squeezed orange juice, fresh lemon juice, orgeat syrup, sugar syrup, and Bourbon. Your first sip you taste orange juice with a hint of lemon juice.  The two juices go together extremely well.  There is a hint of sour from the lemon juice, but it isn't too strong.  The orange juice, orgeat syrup, and sugar syrup really help to balance out the sour lemon juice just right.  The wonderful oaky flavors of the Bourbon come through after the citrus and make you want another sip.  The orgeat also adds a hint of almond to the drink to give it more complexity that will make your taste buds dance with delight.  No matter where you are you'll be transported to a tropical oasis.  Just feel the sand between your toes, hear the waves crashing gently to the shore, and see the beautiful palm trees running along the beach. Ah.... isn't that relaxing.

The Eastern SourFor me, the Eastern Sour is the winner in this drink off.   You really had two quality cocktails, but the Eastern Sour with it's orange, lemon, orgeat, and Bourbon really made me want a second.  I just don't have the same feeling about the Western Sour.  These three Bourbon Tiki cocktails have opened my eyes to how great Bourbon works in Tiki drinks.  I always thought of rum as the staple spirit in Tiki cocktails, but Bourbon really offers some amazing cocktail experiences.

What do you think?  Do you like the Eastern Sour or Western Sour better?  Let me know.

If you are looking for the recipe to these two great cocktails you can pick up a copy of Beach Bum Berry Remixed, or if you really want to just Google for them.  The book isn't very expensive though. Just buy it.  Then, you can sip along with me and we can compare notes.

Mahalo

Damon

Next Up, The Castaway....

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