I'll be the first to admit that Tiki style cocktails are one thing I know nothing about. So rather than fake it, I did something I AM good at - research. Lucky for me, Tiki cocktail have been making a comeback as of late, and we found three fantastic recipes that take these classics up a notch. I present to you: a trio of modern tiki cocktails!
Confession: I hate sweet drinks of any kind. So, when faced with coming up with tiki cocktail recipes, I tasked myself with finding drinks that even this gal could (possibly) enjoy. Truth be told, I had way more fun coming up with the garnishes!! If I were to throw this party in real life, I'm pretty sure I would set up a huge garnish bar for people to get really creative with their toppings. While I suppose the point is to make the garnish indicative of what's in the drink, we didn't really follow that rule here. Instead, it's really just about having fun with tiki inspired ingredients.
Cucumber Aku Aku \\ adapted from Modern Tiki
- 2 oz white rum
- 1 oz lime juice
- 1 oz green juice (we used organic superfruit greens from evolution fresh)
- ½ oz simple syrup
- 4 one inch chunks pineapple
- 4 slices cucumber
- 8-10 mint leaves
- thinly sliced cucumber for garnish
I know what you're thinking - green juice in a cocktail? But YES. Because GREEN! I hate using food coloring, but I wanted this cocktail to have a definitive green color to it, so I looked for a green juice with plenty of complementary ingredients in it (mango, orange, pineapple, cucumber) and included it in the recipe. If you wanted to, you could substitute any juice (orange, mango or pineapple would be great) and do some powdered spirulina (available at most health stores) to get the same effect.
To make: muddle the mint, cucumber and pineapple with simple syrup in a shaker. Add the rum, lime juice and green juice along with some ice. Shake until cold. Place your thin cucumber slices into a small glass, then strain the contents of the shaker into the glass. Garnish with whatever you choose! We did a skewer of lime, pineapple, and mint, along with a pineapple leaf!
Polynesian Remedy \\ adapted from imbibe magazine
- 1¾ oz. dark rum
- ½ oz. orgeat
- ½ oz. ginger syrup
- ½ oz. honey syrup (1:1)
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 4 dashes smoky single-malt scotch
- suggested garnish: candied ginger, lemon and pineapple leaf
I love the addition of bit of smoky scotch to this cocktail to keep it all balanced. You'll notice that there's not a tropical fruit in sight here! Only in the garnishes did we add those. This recipe is exactly as created by a Parisian bartender, with one small twist on our part. I made a larger batch and put it in the blender with extra ice to make it more of a slushie. SO GOOD.
Blue Lagoon Punch \\ adapted from craft & cocktails
- 1 oz white rum
- 2 oz coconut cream
- ½ oz coconut milk
- a few drops of natural blue food coloring (see below for notes)
- ¾ oz lemongrass simple syrup (recipe below)
- ¾ oz lime juice
- lime slice, edible flower + pineapple leaves, garnish
We couldn't have some Tiki drinks without one that used coconut! This punch is the dreamiest color thanks to natural food coloring that gives it that baby blue color! We found some in the grocery aisle at our local PCC - so check your health food stores for something similar!
Put all the ingredients into a blender with ice. (This recipe is for singles, so we suggest at least doubling this!)
*For simple syrup, add one cup sugar and one cup water to a pot on high. Once sugar is dissolved, add 2 stalks chopped lemongrass and bring to a boil. Take off heat and cool. Double strain into a jar and store in fridge for one month.