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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.




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.




The Sour Challenge: Eastern Sour Vs. Western Sour


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.



Next Up, The Castaway....


Bring a Tiki to Work Day

Tiki and Coconut M&Ms


Bring a Tiki to Work Day was such a fun day!  I put on a Hawaiian shirt, and took one of my more colorful tikis with me to work today. Along with the tiki I brought coconut M&Ms to share with everyone.  

Instead of my normal cup for water I brought in a tiki mug to drink out of.  On my iPod I had exotica and Hawaiian style music playing all day through my headphones, and I changed my computer's wallpaper to a beautiful tropical sunset.  The day was far more relaxing and enjoyable.

I got a lot of positive feedback and people had wished I had told them in advance so they could have worn Hawaiian shirts and brought in treats.  I think a tiki day at work is on the horizon.

Today, made me realize how grey and dull my cube is. It's no wonder it can feel depressing around there sometimes.  We don't have any strict rules about decorations so I think a tropical make over is necessary. I'm also going to keep my tiki mug at work to drink out of instead of my boring old cup.

On days like this I realize work is really what we make of it.  Day in and day out work can become boring, routine, stressful, and downright un-enjoyable.  However, it's something we all have to do.  By making a conscious effort to find ways to make work fun you might actually have things to look forward to besides quitting time. So why not organize a tiki day at your work?

Dress code allowing, have everyone wear a Hawaiian shirt, and you bring in some cheap decorations for the day, and just have fun with it.  You could even have a cook out over lunch.  If grills make your company nervous just have everyone bring a lunch and eat it outside. You could still bring in snacks to share.  Most companies would embrace a fun event like this especially if it costs them little to nothing, and it will break up the boring routine.

Mahalo to Eric Hedman for organizing Bring A Tiki To Work Day on Facebook!


Foundation Tiki Bar Unveils A New Menu

The Jet Pilot


Last night, Foundation Tiki Bar in Milwaukee, unveiled their new cocktail menu.  The menu went through a complete transformation. In fact, the only drink that remains from the old menu is the volcano bowl.  Everything else on the menu is new or updated.  There is a great selection of classic tiki cocktails from the 30s all the way through to modern tiki favorites.  I'm getting thirsty just thinking about all the new libations!

With over two dozen drinks on the menu I was excited to get started.  My first selection was a Jet Pilot.  This new addition to the menu really hit the spot, and helped me to quickly forget how cold this spring has been.  This refreshing cocktail had great blend of rum, spices, and citrus.  Unlike, your standard, run of the mill cocktail; a good tiki cocktail has a great amount of depth and offers a bouquet of flavors in every sip.  The Jet Pilot at Foundation fits this definition perfectly, and sent my taste buds to paradise.

Next up was a Piranha.  Our bartender, Michael, told us that this drink made the menu by popular demand.  It started out as one of their specials, and after it came of the list customers kept asking for it.  So piranha fans your drink is now a standard on the menu.  After one sip I could tell why this was a popular request.  The blend of rum, ginger beer, and citrus was great.  The spicy sweet flavor of ginger beer blends really nice with rum and citrus.  

Third, I tried another new menu item, The Port Light.  Foundation's version of this Kahiki classic is similar to the original.  It has Bourbon, pomegranate, passion fruit, and lemon flavors. The combination of passion fruit, pomegranate, and bourbon was new to me and it was spectacular.  The passion fruit give a nice touch of sweetness, and the pomegranate give a touch of sour.  The bourbon rounded the drink out nicely with an oaky flavor.  It was the perfect combination.  This smooth drink is a symphony for your taste buds that goes down very easy.

While we sampled the new menu, our bartenders Michael and Ron were regaling us with tales of rum and tiki bar adventures.   They both had a lot of great rum knowledge.  I immediately felt right at home in the friendly atmosphere.

Monday night is a great night to visit Foundation if you want a nice crowd that is there to chill out and unwind.  They had a great set of exotica playing all night long.  Other nights, and espeically the weekends, there is a bigger crowd with more of a upbeat attitude.  Foundation is Milwaukee's only authentic tiki bar, and claims to be the home of Milwaukee's best Mai Tai.  I have personally sampled Mai Tais at a number of different places in Milwaukee, and hands down, Foundation makes the best Mai Tai around.