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Entries in Tiki Drinks (9)


How to Make a Hurricane Cocktail


The HurricaneWith Mardi Gras around the corner it is time to have a Hurricane.  The Hurricane cocktail was invented by Pat O'Brien's during World War II in New Orleans. During the war many varieties of liquor were in short supply.  In order to get a case of whiskey distributors would require a bar to purchase several cases of rum.  As a result there was plenty of extra rum lying around. So, to get rid of it the Hurricane was invented.  The Hurricane is served in a glass that looks like a hurricane lamp, and that's how it got it's name.

There are numerous versions of a Hurricane, but I thought I'd share a simple one that tastes really good. After all who wants to spend Mardi Gras making complicated cocktails?

To make a Hurricane put crushed ice in your cocktail shaker and add:

  • 2 oz Dark Rum
  • 2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
  • 1.5 oz Lemon Juice

Shake it up really good.  Then, pour the drink into a Hurricane Glass, unstrained.  You can garnish with an orange slice or a cherry.

The Hurricane is on the sweeter side of the scale.  One or two of these is enough for me in a night.  It is still a great drink. It is amazing what kind of flavor comes from just three ingredients.  The passion fruit gives it a nice fruity flavor and there is a hint of the lemon juice to cut down against all the sweetness.  The dark rum comes through and adds a hint of molasses.  This is a drink I make for myself year round.

Enjoy your Hurricane and Happy Mardi Gras!





The Start of a Tiki Adventure: Beachcomber's Gold

Beachcomber's Gold ChicagoThe other night I caught the tail end of Julie and Julia.  If you aren't familiar with the movie it is about a woman who goes through Julia Child's cookbook making each recipe and blogging about it.  I thought that might be fun to do with Beach Bum Berry Remixed, which is the ultimate guide to Tiki cocktails.  

I'm not expecting any fame like in the movie.  It will just be fun to take a walk through the history and flavors of Tiki cocktails.  I'm going share my thoughts and impressions about each cocktail, and I'd love to hear your opinions too. I'm not going to share the recipes.  Beachbum Berry spent a lot of time putting this book together, and it's not my place to give the recipes away.  If these cocktails sound good to you buy the book.  I have a link to it on your left.

The Beachcomber's Gold is a recipe from Don the Beachcomber.  Actually, there are three recipes for the Beachcomber's Gold.  The Chicago version, the Waikiki version, and the Hollywood/Palm Springs version.  All three are very different from each other.  The one thing they have in common is how they are served.  All three are served in a Champaign saucer with an ice shell.  

The ice shell was unique and fun to make.  You just shave some ice and put it in the glass.  Then using a spoon press the ice against the outside of the glass.  The ice should start to rise up a bit outside of the glass.  Then, freeze the glasses with the ice overnight.  I used some wine glasses and martini glasses since I didn't have any Champaign saucers.  They worked just fine, and it was a unique way to chill a drink.

Beachcomber's Gold WaikikiThe Chicago version is made with light rum, vermouth, Pernod, and Bitters.  It had a strong anise and vermouth flavor.  I wasn't a big fan.  It really didn't feel Tiki at all to me.  I guess you can leave it to Chicago to call something tiki just because it has some rum in it.  I didn't even finish it.

The Waikiki version was better.  It called for light and gold rum, lime juice, passion fruit juice, honey, and bitters.  I used passion fruit syrup instead of juice.  I have no idea where to find passion fruit juice.  The lime, passion fruit, and honey blended well with the rum.  It wasn't amazing, but it wasn't bad.  

The Hollywood/Palm Springs version was pretty good too. It had lime juice, sugar syrup gold rum, dark rum, Pernod and almond extract.  After trying the first version I wasn't too excited about more Pernod.  However,  this cocktail had an interesting complex flavor.  The drink had a kind of daiquiri flavor with the rum and lime juice, but the Pernod and almond extract made a great addition to the cocktail.  The Pernod wasn't overpowering this time, and was a nice addition.

Beachcomber's Gold Hollywood/Palm SpringsIt was fun sampling three very different versions of the same drink.  The ice shell was a lot of fun and made for a unique experience.  If I had to pick a favorite it probably would be the Hollywood/Palm Springs version.  I love a cocktail with several flavors that combine to make something unique.  It is like an orchestra.  You could play the same song with just a piano, but the sound is amazing when you have all the different instruments playing.


How to Make an Amazing Scorpion Cocktail

Scorpion bowl for 4.

A while back one of my friends on Facebook, Elliot, asked how to make a good Scorpion, because the ones he makes don't turn out all that great.  We've all been there. I've poured some absolutely horrible cocktails.  So, I thought I would finally do some taste testing and provide some tips.

The Scorpion was invented by Trader Vic and is normally served in  in a scorpion bowl (above). A scorpion bowl usually serves more than one person. 

First, I tried the classic Trader Vic's Scorpion recipe.   It has silver rum, brandy, orange juice, lemon juice, and orgeat syrup. For my taste test I decided to try the single serving recipe that I found in the book Trader Vic's Tiki Party!: Cocktails and Food to Share with Friends.  This was a mighty strong concoction.  The rum and brandy comes through really strong.  There is a lot more brandy and alcohol in general in this version compared to the full scorpion bowl.   The orange and lemon gave a nice citrus flavor and the orgeat syrup helped cut down on the boozy taste. I realize it is a Scorpion and needs to have a sting, but the whole thing seemed a bit off balance.  I can't say I have a new favorite here.

The Luau ScorpionNext, up was the Luau Scorpion.  This recipe hails form the Luau of Beverly Hills, and dates back to 1958.  I found the recipe in Beach Bum Berry Remixed.  This version has gold rum, gin, brandy, orange juice, lime juice, orgeat syrup, and sugar syrup.  This scorpion is far superior to to the first.  The gin adds an interesting level of complexity to the drink.  It isn't overpowering, but blends well with the rum and citrus.  The lime juice seems to work better versus the lemon juice in the first recipe.  There is a little more syrup in this version, but it isn't too syrupy or sweet.  It really is the perfect balance, and it still give a fun little sting. The Luau Scorpion is going to be the standard scorpion served in my Tiki bar from now on.

Tips for an Amazing Scorpion

As always for Tiki cocktails, use fresh juice. 

Buy the fruit and juice them yourself. It's amazing what a difference that makes!

Use Quality Booze

Again, this can make a big difference.  I used Korbel Brandy, and Rehorst Gin. Rehorst is a Milwaukee Gin, but any quality Gin will do.  Different brands of Brandy can be very different. So be sure to stick with a good one.  You can't go wrong with Korbel.

Watch Your Measurements

With a lot of classic Tiki cocktails sloppy measuring can change the drink significantly. So if it isn't tasting good make sure you are measuring correctly.

It's not difficult to make great Tiki cocktails.  Give the Luau Scorpion a try.  Now, you are probably looking for the recipe. I don't think it's right for me to give all the recipes out of these books.  People worked hard to put them together.  So if you want the recipes buy the book and support Tiki culture.   I have links to them on Amazon over on the left side of the page.  If you really don't want to buy the book I'm sure Google will help you find the recipe.

I hope this helps Eliot!  If you have a Tiki cocktail question let me know. I'll do my best to answer it.





Top Five Halloween Tiki Cocktails

Photo By RJL20Happy Halloween from Let's Tiki.  It is time for those spooky cocktails.  Here is a list of the top five Halloween Tiki Cocktails:


1. The Zombie

A zombie is a classic Tiki Cocktail invented by Don the Beachcomber in the 1930s. 

There are a number of variations on The Zombie but here are a couple recipes:


2. Devil's Advocate

To make a Devil's Advocate Combine:

  • 1 oz Bacardi Lemon
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • 3/4 oz Sour Mix
  • A splash of Grenadine
  • 4 oz Cranberry Juice

Shake and pour unstrained into a glass.

3. Dark 'N Stormy

 The Dark 'N Stormy is popular in Bermuda and Australia.  It's a very simple drink. Most commonly Gosling's Black Seal Rum  Just combine:

  • 2 oz. Dark Rum  
  • 6 oz Ginger Beer
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

Pour into a glass and garnish.

4. The Red Death

Thanks to for this one. The Red Death has Amaretto, Peach Schnapps, Slo Gin, and Southern Comfort and Vodka. Check out the full recipe at:

5. Voodoo

What would a Tiki Halloween be without a little Voodoo?

  • 1 oz Kahalua
  • 1 oz Coconut Rum
  • 1 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
  • 2 oz Milk

Pour over ice and serve.



How to Make a Gilligan's Island

The Gilligan's Island is named after the popular 1960s television show with the same name.  This is a great Tiki style cocktail for those who don't like to drink rum.  I know not drinking rum may sound crazy, but these type of people do exist.  To make a Gilligan's Island fill your glass with Ice.  Then add:

1 oz Vodka

1 oz Peach Schnapps

3 oz Orange Juice

3 oz Cranberry Juice

Shake the drink in your cocktail shaker, pour back into the glass and enjoy!