Last week was Texas Tiki Week. While I missed all the festivities at local bars and restaurants, I didn’t want to let the occasion go unnoticed, so I set out to make some Tiki-inspired drinks to enjoy on Sunday by the pool. Thanks to input from my friends in the industry, I came up with a couple of drinks to make.
In classic Tiki tradition, I chose rum as the booze base. There are a variety of light rums, dark rums, and spiced rums, from all over the world that stand out as a complimentary base for the cocktail of your choice. My friend and barman extraordinaire Bill Norris suggested I make classic Mai Tais, but I didn’t have time to make the orgeat – a key ingredient in the cocktail – and I couldn’t find it at the Beverage World. So I improvised. I bought and pressed a pineapple and ended up with 3 1/3 cups of juice. I used two parts rum, two parts pineapple juice, one part Paula’s Texas Orange, and a squeeze of lime juice, shaken over crushed ice, to make a very refreshing drink.
Sadly I was too eager to start and forgot to save a slice of pineapple for garnish. If I had looked outside, I would have seen my plumeria in full bloom. Perfect for a Tiki garnish! For the next round I made a light version of another classic: piña colada. I used regular coconut milk instead of the heavy and sweet Coco Lopez, which made the drink so much more refreshing. So much so that I never took a photo.
Turns out that we’ll have another occasion to finish up that bottle I bought: August 16 is National Rum Day. I received the following information in an email from my friend Susan Friedman, who represents a variety of spirits. Hope it inspires you to make some fun drinks on Sunday!
If spiced is your rum of choice, look no further than Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum. It is a Caribbean Rum blended with 100% natural spices and flavors. Truly spirited by the Americana lifestyle, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum was inspired by the American tattoo legend Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins. Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum embodies the independent spirit and unapologetic attitude of the rum’s namesake who was noted for saying “My work speaks for itself.” Like Norman Collins, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum is bold and smooth. The same can be said for this Heavy Punch Rum Recipe:
Heavy Punch Rum
1½ parts Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
1 part fresh pineapple juice
½ part port
½ part sugar syrup
½ part fresh lime juice
4 dashes of aromatic bitters
Light and dark rums can create a very different taste profile for cocktails. For example, Flor de Caña 4 White [An outstanding rum from Nicaragua] offers a dry and smooth taste with hints of coconut and lychee while Flor de Caña 7 has a richer flavor profile of fig, vanilla, and oak. Try the 7 year old in this Piña Colada recipe:
Flor de Caña Pina Colada
2 ½ parts FDC 7 Rum
3 parts pineapple juice
1 part coconut cream
Shake over crushed ice or blend to a smooth consistency, depending on your taste.