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Tag Archives: tiki

Day 321, Cocktails 326 & 327

Last Saturday, after the couple of tiki cocktails that I had whipped up, the girls were ready for something different.  There’s been a bit of a buzz over the last year for cocktails that are mixed with tea (and for liquor bottled with tea) that I’ve largely ignored.  However, with a couple of adult beverages already in me, my inhibitions were lowered and I decided to give tea based cocktails a try.

For this effort I pulled out my bottle of Evan Williams bourbon and my Stirrings Peach liqueur.  These are two flavors that go well together and also seemed a natural to go with a Southern inspired tea based cocktail – particularly since I’d be using Gwen’s sweet tea.  After fooling around with the bourbon, peach liqueur, tea and maple syrup (yes, that’s right, maple syrup – it adds depth to the flavor profile)  I settled on two versions of the same cocktail.  One is sweeter and one is more boozy, thus fitting Gwen’s and my tastes.

  Sweet Peach Tea

  • 1-1/2 oz Evan Williams bourbon
  • 1/8 oz Stirrings Peach Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz maple syrup
  • 4 oz sweet tea

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously to chill and combine.  Pour into a collins glass, adding ice if needed.  Garnish with a peach slice.

This drink has a nice, sweetly mellow flavor.  I really had to cut down on the peach liqueur, having started with 1/2 oz.  Even that small amount overwhelmed the drink.  However, for my taste, this was a bit too sweet, so I adjusted it for my taste.

  Peach Tea

  • 2 oz Evan Williams bourbon
  • 1/8 oz Stirrings Peach Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz maple syrup
  • 4 oz sweet tea

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously to chill and combine.  Pour into a collins glass, adding ice if needed.  Garnish with a peach slice.

This version gets closer to the boozy cocktails that I prefer while still maintaining all its southern charm.  With more bourbon and less tea there is a deeper, smokier quality and the maple notes come through stronger as well, which make a nice compliment to the bourbon and peach.

By the time we got through these cocktails it was definitely time to call it a night…which, of course, we didn’t do.  The cocktail experimenting was definitely over though!

Cheers!

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Day 321, Cocktails 324 & 325

Patti and Gwen were out shopping Saturday when Gwen texted me “Patti wants to know if the bar is open?”.  Of course the Twilight Lounge is open!  If I’m awake (even at 2 pm on a Saturday afternoon) then the Lounge is open. 

So when the girls arrived I busted open a couple of tiki cocktails on them.  Hey, it was sunny and almost 40, which passes for spring around these parts.  I could see the tiki torches in mind, and in a few short weeks I’ll see them for real around the Patio Lounge and Swim Club.

My first cocktail was the Trader Woody, which is yet another TikiBar TV recipe (and is pictured above).

  Trader Woody

  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 1 oz amaretto
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • dash of lime juice

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Shake, shake, shake to combine and chill.  Strain into a tiki glass and add cracked ice to fill the glass.

For this drink I used my Appleton Estate V/X rum and the Disaronno amaretto.  It’s a nice, basic tiki style drink with the rum and pineapple being the dominant flavors.  There’s a bit of nuttiness that normally would be provided by orgeat in this thanks to the amaretto.  By the time I was done with this I was thinking mai tai junior.

Patti and Gwen approve of the Trader Woody

The second cocktail is courtesy of Beach Bum Jerry’s Intoxica recipe book.  Called the Cesar’s Rum Punch, it was created by Joseph Cesar, the head bartender of the Grand Hotel Oloffson in Haiti in the 1960’s.  During its heyday in the ’70’s you could find Mick and Bianca Jagger, Michael York and other assorted celebrities at the bar.  Your first Cesar’s Punch was on the house, accompanied by the warning “You won’t like it here.”  Let’s see how we like it at the Twilight Lounge!

  Cesar’s Rum Punch

  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 2 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz grenadine
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice cubes.  Shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a tiki glass filled with crushed ice.  Garnish with a pineapple wedge, maraschino cherry, lime and orange wheels speared together with a mint sprig.

The original recipe called for Rhum Barbancourt, which I did not have, so I substituted in my Appleton Reserve V/X.  I’m not sure that it makes that much difference as this has an almost overwhelming lime presence at first, followed by the fruitiness of the grenadine and then the rum.  And when I say overwhelming, I mean it.  This was in your face lime taste, although there was enough grenadine and bar syrup to tone down the sour component of the lime.  Overall, a fun drink, and it does break the typical tiki flavors of rum and pineapple.

After two tiki drinks the girls and I were in the mood for something different, and the night was still young (who am I kidding, it was still afternoon!).  So for the next two drinks you’ll just have to wait for the next post!

Cheers!

Day 302, Cocktail 303

Yesterday’s cocktail was also courtesy of what appears to be the now defunct Tiki Bar TV (moment of respectful silence).  During it’s 5 year run it was at times funny, at times tawdry but always true to its tiki roots.  The last episode came out in December, 2009 and despite rumours during 2010 that there would be more, alas, there hasn’t been.  Dr. Tiki, Johnny Johnny and Lala you are missed!  And now, for the cocktail.  This little gem is from the second episode when Dr. Tiki writes this prescription for a guy trying to get out of a bad relationship. 

  Trap Door

  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz spiced rum
  • 2 oz orange juice
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • seltzer water

Combine the gin, rum, orange and lime juice in a shaker with ice.  Shake to combine and chill.  Strain into a tiki glass filled with cracked ice.  Top with seltzer water.

I usually don’t used spiced rums in cocktails (I used Sailor Jerry, which is what I stock in the Twilight Lounge) but I have to admit that it worked out well in this cocktail.  The spice from the Sailor Jerry mellowed out over time, giving the drink a smooth, silky feel that wasn’t too sweet.  The gin (I used Beefeater for this one) is a base, but with its botanicals, is present to the taste buds.  The lime and orange balance each other out well.  All in all, a nice, tropical, tiki style cocktail.  In fact, it was so good I had two!

Cheers!

Day 300, Cocktails 298, 299 & 300

Saturday night marked day 300 – I’m in the final stretch now!  Since we stayed home Saturday night it was easy to knock back three new cocktails while we enjoyed watching Dr. No (a James Bond classic with Sean Connery) and then Frost Nixon.  Both movies were evocative of classic style cocktails, so that’s what I stuck with for the night.

The first cocktail was from the old Tiki Bar TV podcast.  Unfortunately, Tiki Bar TV seems to have met its demise, but the catalog of 40 some odd episodes is still available on ITunes.  Check it out – it’s the most!

  Suffering Bastard

  • 1-1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz lime
  • ginger ale

In a mixing glass combine the gin, bourbon and lime juice and stir.  Strain into a tiki glass with cracked ice.  Top with ginger ale and garnish with a mint sprig.

This is really a variant on the classic mules, although the use of the bourbon and gin makes it quite different from the versions using tequila and vodka.  It was quite tasty, and with the mint garnish, really has a tiki feel to it.

After the Suffering Bastard, I switched us to a gin based martini style drink.  We were watching Frost Nixon by then, and a martini just seemed like the drink to have.  I picked out something called the Sweet Martini from The Martini Book by Sally Ann Berk.

  Sweet Martini

  • 3 oz gin
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash orange bitters

Combine the ingredients in mixing glass with ice and stir to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist.

The sweet version of my classic martini, this was good.  The use of orange bitters instead of the standard Agnostura was nice, offsetting the sweetness of the vermouth. 

After the orange bitters flavor of the Sweet Martini, I had a hankering for something with rye and orange – I know, a big surprise!  Here’s what I put together.

  Frost Nixon

  • 2-1/2 oz Old Overholt rye
  • 1/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • orange slice

Place an orange slice in a shaker with ice cubes and add the rest of the ingredients.  Shake, shake, shake to chill and mix.  Strain into a chilled coupe.

A combination of a Manhattan and my favorite rye and orange combination.  Very tasty with hints of fresh orange juice and the orange bitters providing depth to the rye and vermouth.

As I finished up this cocktail the movie also finished up and it was time to call it a night.  And some night it was!

Cheers!

Day 264, Cocktails 263 & 264

Friday night was a stay in family night for us.  The kiddos picked out Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the DVD player and Gwen and the daughters put together a mini Tapas of appetizers for us.  My job was to whip up cocktails for us, non-alchoholic for the daughters, of course.

I had a can of Lychee fruit juice, which has become a favorite at the Twilight Lounge, especially for daughter number 2.  I started by mixing up her non-alcholic cocktail.  I began with a pint glass filled with ice.  Next I added about 3 oz of the lychee juice, 1 oz of orgeat, juice from 1/2 a lime (about 3/4 oz) and then topped it with tonic water.  Sometimes I’ll also drizzle in a bit of grenadine on the top for color, although I did not do that this time.  You can also top this with seltzer water or lemon lime soda – my daughter happens to like the tonic water.  It was soooo good that she had another!

You’ve seen orgeat in some of my cocktails, mostly tiki type fare.  It is an almond flavored syrup and is usually available in larger liquor stores with the other flavorings such as grenadine or bloody mary mix.  It is thick and sweet, so it doesn’t take too much to flavor a cocktail.  It is just one of those ingredients I always have on hand.

Now, what to make for the adults?

  Almond Lychee

  • 1-1/2 oz Appleton Estate VX amber rum
  • 1 oz lychee juice
  • 1/4 oz orgeat syrup
  • 1/2 oz lime juice

Combine the ingredients in a shaker and shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  You really need to work this one over to make sure the orgeat gets thoroughly incorporated.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a lychee fruit.

I know, my picture doesn’t have a garnish – I didn’t have any lychee fruit in the house, but next time I will!  This is a nice, tiki style cocktail with a twist from the lychee juice.  The closest I can come to describing how it tastes is pear – but a little lighter.  There’s a bit of the molasses flavor from the rum and the lime helps provide a bit of tart, cutting the sweetness of the orgeat. 

The Almond Lychee was so good that we had two while watching good ‘ol Harry once again beat off the advances of what’s his name that shall remain unnamed.

Later last night I went down to the Twilight Lounge to write yesterday’s post.  As usual, I poured myself a whiskey on the rocks to sip on while I wrote.  Normally I would have had a scotch (Cutty Sark is my house blended) but instead decided to use Russell’s 6 Reserve Rye last night.  After a couple of sips, which I did enjoy, I decided to tinker.  After fooling around and adusting a bit here’s what I came up with.

  Blog Sipper

  • 2oz Russell’s Reserve Rye
  • 3 dashes Angosturo orange bitters
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice

In a mixing glass, combine the ingredients (bitters first) with ice cubes.  Stir for 30-45 seconds to combine and chill.  Strain into a rocks glass with large ice cubes or an ice ball.

Mmmm, that lovely combination of orange flavors and rye with just a touch of lemon is delicious.  The perfect cocktail to sip on while I muse over the cocktail world!

Cheers!

Day 162, Cocktails 157 & 158

The local Newcomer’s International Dining group has been offering me new cocktail opportunities for several years now.  Usually we have enough couples participating each month to do it at one of the member’s home with everyone bringing a dish.  This month, though, the attendance was light so the group decided to dine out.  Bingo, a cocktail adventure in the making!

We had dinner at a south side Mexican restaurant.  The food was very good, but unfortunately the cocktails did not match the quality of the dinner.  I had what was listed on the menu as a Polamos cocktail.  I asked our waitress what was in it and she told that it was tequila (Don Julio to be exact) with sour and lime juice.  It sounded like the tequila version of a whiskey sour, so I gave it a whirl.  It was served on the rocks with a salted rim and tasted like, well a mediocre restaurant margarita.  A lackluster start to the evening as far as cocktails are concerned.

My fortunes were soon to improve.  After dinner Gwen convinced our group to head over to the Foundation Bar for more fun and cocktails.   You regular readers already know that this is one of my favorite bars in Milwaukee and always provides a new cocktail experience.  Tonight was no exception.  After perusing the speciality cocktail menu I settled on the Pirate’s Grog.  Served in a you get to keep it ceramic pirate head glass it features Coruba dark rum along with Bacardi 151 and a light rum.  There is also apricot brandy and a couple of fruit juices (pineapple and orange, I believe) and a couple of secret spices.  This is a delicious drink with the flavor of the Coruba rum really coming through.  It’s bold and slightly spicy and I really enjoyed it.

After finishing off the Pirate’s Grog I had another classic, the Singapore Sling.  Since I’ve previously posted the Singapore Sling here I won’t go into all the details.  Suffice it to say that the Foundation Bar uses the original 1910 recipe from the Raffles Bar in Singapore.  This is a classic and is a quite a treat.

Cheers!

Day 152, Cocktail 152

There were so many ways to go with this tonight…

I really missed a prime opportunity yesterday, the 151st day of my liver’s long day’s journey into night.  C’mon, you know what it was I missed out on — a chance to have a cocktail that features Bacardi 151, of course.  So that’s what I’m doing today, a day late perhaps, but really, can you ever be late when it comes to cocktails?  Certainly not at the Twilight Lounge where there is no such thing as bar time.

So what to make?  I started with my Beachbum Berry’s Intoxica! recipe book, but just didn’t see anything that caught my eye that I had all the ingredients for (passion fruit nectar was my downfall in most cases).  So next I moved to the Ultimate Bar Book and began flipping through the rum section.  Mittie Hellmich, the author, doesn’t take too kindly to overproof rums like Bacardi 151, so he didn’t have a lot using the stuff.  To be honest, I agree with his sentiments that they are mostly for show or lighting on fire and don’t really add depth or character to a cocktail.  But I was determined to forge ahead anyway.

I cued up some tiki music and became inspired when Don Tiki’s “The Other Side of the Moon” came on.  Actually, it wasn’t as much the song as the album artwork that goes with it.  This is from his “Skinny Dipping with Don Tiki” disc and the nude woman on the cover dipping her toe in the water 

just did it for me.  At the same time I found a cocktail in Hellmich’s book called the Florida Special that provided the inspiration for tonight’s cocktail.

  Skinny Dipping

  • 1 oz Bacardi 151 rum
  • 1/4 oz triple sec
  • 1/4 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • 1/4 oz bar syrup
  • 1 oz orange juice

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes.  Shake, shake, shake to combine and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Although it is only 1 oz of rum, it’s like a double.  Add in the triple sec and Luxardo and you have a cocktail that has a kick.  The neat thing is that between the orange juice and Luxardo you only get a nice, tropical flavor – a nice blend of orange and cherry with a hint of rum in the background.  You’d never know this was 151 proof rum floating around in the glass if I hadn’t told you.  Of course, after two or three of these, you and your friends will be skinny dipping!  It’s just too bad that the Patio Lounge and Swim Club is closed for the year!

Cheers!

 

Day 81, Cocktails 84 & 85  

On Thursday night Gwen and I decided to try out Foundation Bar in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood.  It had been suggested to me by John Dye at Bryant’s as a great tiki bar.  John, you are correct! 

From the moment we walked in to the shotgun style establishment I was taken by the total tiki atmosphere.  Lights, paintings and tiki’s galore were all spot on.  Bamboo, monkeys and surfboards are everywhere.  When we arrived around 8pm softer, lounge style tiki music was playing (think Ultra Lounge).  By 10pm the music had shifted to a more up tempo surf vibe that was perfect. 

Although Foundation claims to have Milwaukee’s best Mai Tai (and I’m sure they do after watching several of them being made, we didn’t try one on this trip (I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities in the future!).  Instead, I chose from the large tiki drink menu, selecting cocktails that included the glass.  Yep, that’s right, order a Surfrider or Bora Bora Headhunters Punch and you keep the glass!  (The refill, by the way is only$7, a $3 discount from the price with the glass).  

So, first, the fellow on the left. 

Bora Bora Headhunter Punch 

In addition to the rums used peach schnapps give this punch a distinct flavor, melding with the citrus and pineapple juices.  Very tasty, but also very strong (think Long Island Iced Tea or Brainbuster here), you don’t want more than one of you want to enjoy the rest of your evening! 

                                                                      

Surfrider 

This is a vodka based drink, which is nice as it lets the blend of fruit juices take center stage and not have to compete with the stronger flavor of rum.  A very tasty cocktail that went down easy and was not too syrupy as juiced cocktails can get.  

By the time I was into my Surfrider Don Nelson, one of the forces behind Foundation, arrived behind the bar.  I had the chance to chat a bit with Don and found that his passion for tiki is real.  He has handpicked the decor items himself, using authentic sources from points around the South Pacific.  Don, you’ve done a great job!  I’ll be back, that is for sure! 

Cheers!

Now That's Refreshing!

  

Day 77, Cocktail 79   

Tiki has come in and out style over the years.  Personally, I caught Tiki fever two summers ago and lived the now infamous Summer of Tiki.  Through it all, though, one man has been the consistent bearer of the Tiki torch.  That man is Jeff Berry, better know as Beachbum Berry.  Virtually all of my Tiki cocktails come from one of his several books.  What I like most about Beachbum Berry is that he combines the classics – classic ingredients, classic cocktails and Tiki culture with up to date ingredients and cocktails as well.  Beachbum Berry, wherever you are, my hat is off to you – Thanks for keeping the torch lit!   

Today’s cocktail is one I’ve been wanting to try for a while now.  Since Gwen’s sister Gale is here for a visit and it is her birthday today, it seems like as good a time as ever for this “serves a crowd’ drink.  

  Blood Of The Kapu Tiki 

  • 10 oz amber rum
  • 3 oz lime juice
  • 3 oz orange juice
  • 3 oz grapefruit juice
  • 3 oz grenadine
  • 3 oz bar syrup
  • 1/8 oz Pernod
  • 3 dashed Angosturo bitters

In a large pitcher mix all the ingredients.  Fill tiki glasses with crushed ice and fill with the drink mix.  Garnish with lime or orange slices.  Serves 4-6. 

This was  a tasty cocktail, somewhat similar to a Mai Tai, but different enough to enjoy.  I used Appleton Estate amber rum and it was a real crowd pleaser this evening. 

Cheers!

Lyman was one of the original purveyors of exotica

Day 76, Cocktail 78 

Ahh, to have heard Arthur Lyman in his prime!  I wish I had, but unfortunately, never did.  Lyman, along with Martin Denny was one of the key forces behind what became known as the exotica style of jazz and lounge music.  Today, we’d think of Lyman’s work as being Tiki…and we would be right!  

Music is just one part of Tiki culture.  There’s also food, clothes, barware and, of course, the cocktails to be considered as well.  Just how did Tiki culture come about?  Undoubtly, the roots of Tiki lie within the Pacific theatre of WWII.  Hundreds of thousands of service men (and women!) served in the South Pacific, spanning a geography from Hawaii to Okinawa.  While the rigors of war were at times brutal, our troops did get a taste of the island lifestyle.  When the war ended and they returned home they brought tropical fruit laced drinks, Polynesian and Hawiian food, tropical shirts and inspired music back with them.  The 50’s saw the advent in home luau parties, Tiki style restaurants such as Trader Vic’s (I remember visiting the legendary Kahiki in Columbus, OH with my family as a kid) and the tiki glass. 

I can’t think of a better way to start a week of Tiki than with the original Mai Tai.  The Mai Tai was created by Victor Bergeron for a few of his friends that were visiting from Tahiti.  One of his guests exlaimed that the drink tasted “Maita’i roa ae!”, which figuratively means “Out of this world – the best!”.  Thus, the Mai Tai was born.  

  Mai Tai 

  • 1 oz St. James Martinique rum
  • 1 oz Appleton Estate dark Jamaican rum
  • 1/2 oz curacao
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1/4 oz orgeat syrup
  • 1/4 oz bar syrup

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes and shake to chill and combine.  Strain into a tiki glass filled with cracked ice.  Garnish with an orange wedge, cherries and pineapple chunk.  Don’t forget the umbrella or, my favorite, the plastic drink monkey! 

This delicious cocktail will take you the beaches of Hawaii, Fiji or any other South Pacific locale you’d like!  It is important to use the St. James and Appleton rums as they each have distinctive flavors that make the Mai Tai what it is.  Substitutions will not yield the same results with this drink, trust me on that one! 

Cheers!