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Archive for August, 2008

The Hurricane

Posted by Reese On August - 18 - 2008

So, we live in Colorado which is, without question, a semi-arid region of the US.  So when it rains for two days straight, as it did on Friday and Saturday, it’s not a typical occurrence.  Therefore, it seems exceedingly fitting that I should celebrate this rain by making a Hurricane cocktail.

Hurricane Emily 2005 - Thanks NASA

Hurricane Emily 2005 - Thanks NASA

The Hurricane cocktail arose from a glut of rum at Pat O’Brien’s in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The story goes that during World War II whiskey was in extremely short supply.  As such to get any one had to purchase a huge amount of rum (as much as 50 cases) for each case of whiskey that could be bought.  So, when faced with such an incredible surplus the bartenders at Pat O’Briens created the Hurricane.  Named after the glass in which it was served, which mimics a glass hurricane lamp.

This cocktail is, in my opinion, very definitely a Tiki drink, although this may be questioned by some.  The primary flavoring for the drink, beyond the rum, is Passion Fruit Syrup.  Up until late last year there was a syrup marketed by Trader Vic’s that is said to be very good.  It has since been discontinued though.  So, I had to go it alone.  Beachbum Berry gave the following suggestions on the Cocktail Spirit comments:

Looks like Robert was using the good stuff that Trader Vic bottled until late last year, which had 11% passion fruit in it.  Now they sell an entirely artificial syrup that is no longer usable.  Funkin and Perfect Puree both sell excellent passion fruit purees that, when mixed with simple syrup to taste, will give you a VG passion fruit syrup.  Less expensive is to buy Goya frozen passion fruit pulp (sold at Latino markets), and mix the defrosted pulp 1:1 with simple syrup.  Other good brands of ready made passion syrup:  Tessiere, Finest Call, our Auntie Lilikoi (sold online from Hawaii).
Okole maluna!
By beachbum berry on 2008 02 05

So, my first goal was to get a hold of the Goya pulp that Jeff suggests which was also the suggestion of my Aunt Ronnie.  Unfortunately, it seems that it’s not readily available in my area.  The closest I was able to find at ny of the places I checked was Passion Fruit, Carrot, Apple juice.  Since the passion fruit was the third ingredient on the list I didn’t think I’d be getting the right flavor from this product, so I again went searching.  This time I headed to Denver to the Pacific Mercantile.  The Mercantile is known for having a lot of Hawaiian food and I knew they’d have Hawaiian Sun canned juice.  And, indeed they did.  I picked up two cans of Lilikoi Passion juice and used that as the base for my syrup.

To make the syrup I poured the two cans (24 oz) of juice into a sauce pan and reduced by 2/3 to about 8 oz.  I then added one cup of sugar and stirred to dissolve.  The resulting syrup is pleasantly golden and very tasty.  Granted I don’t think it matches the flavor that would come from passion fruit pulp, but hey, there’s always next Tiki week right?

The resulting drink, based on the recipe that Robert Hess gave in his video, is deceptively simple to make and nicely complex to drink.  The Passion Fruit syrup adds a very exotic and unique flavor to the cocktail.  I can see why these are still extremely popular at Pat O’Brien’s today.  This is one that you should very definitely try if you can track down the ingredients.

The Hurricane
2 oz Dark Rum
1 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1) Combine ingredients in a shaker
2) Shake with ice to combine and chill
3) Serve in a Hurricane or pint glass (Collins glass in my case)

The Zombie

Posted by Aaron On August - 16 - 2008

The Zombie was created by Donn Beach in the late 1930s. Legend has it that Donn concocted the Zombie for a friend, a friend on his way to San Francisco. After consuming three of the delicious drinks, the man left for his trip. Upon his return, he reported that the cocktail had turned him into a zombie for the trip’s entirety.

Due to the great deal of secrecy surrounding many Donn the Beachcomber recipes, many variations of the Zombie exist, and many of the variations are surprisingly terrible. After a great deal of research, however, Donn the Beachcomber’s original recipes were rediscovered and published by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry in his book “Sippin’ Safari”.

Though truly a tiki drink, in the sense that a lot of alcohol is hidden by a sweet fruity flavor, the Zombie, owing mostly to the inclusion of Maraschino liquor, Pernod, and Angostura Bitters, has a very complex and surprising flavor.

I would provide you with more of a background, but as I write this, I am working on my second cocktail, having royally FUBARed the first, and have achieved third stage zombification:

Aaron two sips into Zombie #2, and hungry, hungry for brains

I’m drinking Donn the Beachcomber’s 1956 recipe as published by Beachbum Berry and described by Robert Hess here. I highly recommend that you do the same. I’ve tried many Zombie variations, and this is by far the best.


Posted by Reese On August - 16 - 2008

Where once there was one week of Tiki drinks, there are now two!  I like to think of it as some kind of wonderful magic trick, but instead of pulling a rabbit out of a hat I’m pouring delicious cocktails out of the shaker.  We’ve had a good time with Tiki drinks this week and have barely scratched the surface.  So in that light we’re carrying on for another week.  To celebrate this wonderful occasion we’ve adorned the site, albeit lightly, with a Tiki essential, bamboo.

Well, fellow cocktail hackers, I must take my leave of you for now.  I go in search of passion fruit syrup, puree, or juice so I can try my hand at making a Hurricane.

The Scorpion

Posted by Reese On August - 15 - 2008

No, not the stingy ones, the tasty ones. The Scorpion is truly an exemplar of the Tiki cocktail. This drink has an almost excessive amount of alcohol, fruit juice, and the aforementioned Orgeat. The combination of which results is a truly delightful cocktail that you would never guess has as much punch as it does.

I followed the recipe that Gary Regan lays out in the Joy of Mixology. Although, as you can see from the picture my float of 151 Rum didn’t float as nicely as I would have liked. In the future I’ll be sure to pour it over the back of a spoon to prevent mixing. The result of this float is a great Rum kick as you’re getting to the end of the drink. Please be warned that this cocktail can have side effects in some imbibers. Side effects can include a loss of balance, blurred vision and slurred speech. If you experience any of these effects please slow your rate of consumption. The Tiki gods will approve of this plan, I assure you.

The Scorpion
2 oz Light Rum (10 Cane)
1/2 oz Brandy (Germain-Robin)
2 oz Fresh Orange Juice
3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat Syrup
1/2 oz 151-Proof Rum (Gosling's Black Seal)
1) Combine all ingredients, save the 151-Proof Rum, with ice
2) Shake well to combine
3) Strain into a highball glass
4) Float the 151-Proof Rum on top

Ingredient – Orgeat

Posted by Reese On August - 14 - 2008

As you read the recipe for the Mai Tai you may have been tripped up by one of the ingredients, Orgeat. Orgeat is a sweet syrup made from almonds and much like Grenadine is really easy to make at home. You’ll find as you explore the Tiki arts that lots of recipes will use Orgeat as a flavoring and sweetener. There are some Orgeats available commercially and although I have not tried any (making your own is really that simple) I’ve heard that the Fee Brother’s version is quite good.

We used a recipe from The Art of Drink, that slkinsey on the eGullet forums was kind enough to reduce down to a managable quantity.  As a side note there is a lot of good info about Orgeat at the link above.

150 grams blanched almonds [or other nut]
1 blanched apricot kernel (optional)
250 ml water
200 grams table sugar
30 ml brandy
1-5 drops of orange or rose flower water to taste (optional)
1) Soak solids in ample water for 30 minutes
2) Discard water and grind nuts in food processor to
a medium-fine paste. Add water to processor towards the end
3) Let mixture steep 1-2 hours
4) Place a thin tea towel or several layers of cheese into
a strainer and pour mixture through cloth, reserving liquid.
Twist and squeeze solids in cloth to extract maximum liquid.
5) (Optional) Return solids to liquids for an additional
hour and repeat straining and squeezing.
6) (Optional) Repeat one additional time.
7) Add strained nut milk to saucepan with sugar and heat,
stirring constantly, until sugar is disolved. Optionally,
dissolve sugar in some percentage of the strained nut milk
and then combine after the heated mixture has cooled sufficiently.
8) Once sweetened nut milk has cooled sufficiently, add optional
orange flower water, rose flower water or other flavoring;
add brandy for stabilization and bottle.
9) Keep under refrigeration

As we made the recipe we ran in to a couple of things that might help you in your Tiki journey.  First I had a hard time finding whole blanched almonds.  What I ended up using is whole sliced almonds (not slivered).  As a rule the larger the almond pieces you find the less almond flavor will be lost on the store shelves.  We didn’t use the apricot kernel as I didn’t have any apricots handy.  The flavor they will add is a touch of bitterness, but I should also make you aware that they contain very small amounts of cyanide.  Although, in the quantity called for here is very small and shouldn’t be a problem.

We chose not to do the multiple soaking method.  I think the gains from this would be minimal.  If you give the initial soak some extra time, perhaps the full 2 hours, I think you’ll get all the almonds have to offer.  As for straining we used a bandana that I had (clean of course) which proved to be the perfect porosity to get out all the large almond bits.  A dish cloth should work well too, but make sure its one that’s been washed a few times to minimize the lint.  Finally we went with three drops of Orange Flower Water and two drops of Rose Water.  These are very powerful mojo so add slowly and taste in between to find what you like.  We used the Monteux brand of both and I was able to get them at Whole Foods in the spice aisle.

So now that you’ve got a wonderful batch of Orgeat whipped up, what exactly do you do with it?  Make Tiki drinks of course!  In our case we went with some Mai Tais, which I must say were fantastic.  The Orgeat made the drink very smooth and added an almost creamy mouth feel, not to mention the great almond flavor.

In the spirit of full disclosure I must say I’m not 100% sure how one pronounces Orgeat.  I’ve heard it as Or-shay and Wikipedia claims its pronounced Or-zhat.  So I leave that one up to you. :)