Tropical dreams

Tiki is back in Vancouver. Why did it ever go away?

Istockphoto.com photo

Tiki culture is a liquid ticket to an imaginary tropical island where the breeze is always warm, the music sways like the branches of a palm tree, and the rum flows as easily as the waves that wash up on a sandy beach.

Tiki originated in California in 1933, but exploded in popularity after the Second World War. It was inspired by the romance of the South Pacific, the culture of Polynesia, the flavours of Asia and the rum punches of the Caribbean, making it the ultimate fusion cocktail experience, served in a kitschy-cool Hollywood-ready vessel to a market that was weary of war and ready to party.

Continue Reading

Scorpion

Beware of the Scorpion’s lethal sting. Joanne Sasvari photo

Originally a blender drink from Beachbum Berry, and traditionally served as a bowl for six with a gardenia garnish at Trader Vic’s, the Scorpion makes a terrific single-serving shaken drink, too. Just beware of its lethal sting.

• 2 oz light rum
• 1 oz brandy
• 1.5 oz orange juice
• 0.5 oz lemon juice
• 0.75 oz orgeat

Continue Reading

Three Dots and a Dash

Three Dots and a Dash—victory! Joanne Sasvari photo

The garnish says it all. The three cherries are the dots, the pineapple wedge the dash, representing the letter “V” in Morse code, which was the symbol for “victory” during the Second World War.

• 1.5 oz rhum agricole or demerara rum
• 0.5 oz aged blended rum
• 0.5 oz orange juice
• 0.5 oz lime juice
• 0.5 oz honey syrup (see note)
• 0.25 oz falernum
• 0.25 oz pimento dram (see recipe)
• 1 dash angostura bitters
• Garnish: 3 cherries and 1 wedge of fresh pineapple

Continue Reading

Pimento Dram

Pimento Dram makes a great addition to tiki and other cocktails. Joanne Sasvari cocktail

This is a simple spice-flavoured liqueur that makes a great addition to tiki and other cocktails. Note that it will take about a week to infuse, so plan accordingly.

• 2 Tbsp whole allspice berries
• 0.5 cup light or dark rum (whichever you prefer)
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 0.5 cup water
• 0.5 cup brown sugar

Continue Reading

Falling for falernum

Step by step: How to make the secret ingredient that puts the terrific into tiki drinks

Before you start, assemble your ingredients. Dan Toulgoet photo

In bartending, there’s a simple rule called the Golden Ratio: two parts spirit, one part sweet, one part sour. If you apply this rule to your drink making, you can quickly learn dozens of cocktails.

If you dissect a Daiquiri for example, it is simply two parts rum, one part lime juice, one part simple syrup. Sometimes you can use a sweet liqueur to replace the simple syrup, like Curaçao in the case of a Margarita. Depending on your palate, you can increase or decrease the sour and sweet elements or adjust the amount of spirits to create the right balance. In fact, herein lies one of the secrets of fine cocktail making: Bartenders often create one-of-a-kind cocktails by transforming classics simply by using different spirits, sours and sweets.

Continue Reading

El Mocambo

Justin Taylor’s El Mocambo gives tiki a Canadian twist. Dan Toulgoet photo

Named after the legendary live-music venue in Toronto, this tiki-style cocktail takes on a Canadian twist.

• 1.5 oz Canadian 100 percent rye whisky
• 0.75 oz falernum
• 2 oz coconut water
• 1 oz freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
• 0.5 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
• 3 dashes Bittered Sling Kensington bitters

Garnish:

• 5 mint leaves
• 1 mint sprig
• 2 whole almonds

Continue Reading

Zombie Punch

Justin Taylor’s Zombie Punch serves a crowd! Dan Toulgoet photo

This tiki punch recipe serves a crowd—so find some friends to help you out!

• 6 oz añejo rum
• 6 oz dark Jamaican rum
• 4 oz high-proof rum (such as Lamb’s Navy 151)
• 3 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
• 1.5 oz freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
• 3 oz falernum
• 1 oz pomegranate juice
• 2 tsp Pernod
• 10 oz filtered water

Garnish:
• 5 sprigs mint
• 3 cinnamon sticks, snapped in half
• 6 wheels grapefruit

Continue Reading

Mai Tai

The classic Mai Tai. Jennifer Gauthier photo

A classic from the tiki-culture pantheon.

• 1.5 oz aged rum such as Mount Gay Eclipse
• 0.5 oz Cointreau
• 1.5 oz orgeat
• 1 oz lime juice

Continue Reading

The Alchemist Spring 2019

Quench your thirst for all things spirited: The spring issue of The Alchemist is out this week.

Jennifer Gauthier photo

The 11th edition of B.C.’s only magazine dedicated to cocktail and spirits culture brightens the season with a taste of the tropics.

Continue Reading