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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » A Spiritous Journey through Remixed - From the Astro Aku Aku to the Zadaran Storm
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A Spiritous Journey through Remixed - From the Astro Aku Aku to the Zadaran Storm
Destro100
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 28, 2012
Posts: 134
Posted: 2014-05-27 1:48 pm   Permalink



Drink 61: Polynesian Spell

Ingredients I used:

Welch's Grape Juice
Fresh lemon juice
Controy (Triple Sec)
Rothman and Winter - Peach liqueur
Simple Syrup (1.5 to 1 sugar to water ratio)
Broker's Gin

I can't hide it; I was pretty excited to see a junky-grape juice as an ingredient. Without even reading the rest of the ingredients, I pictured a wacky and fun grape-flavored tiki cocktail. Instead, I got a wannabe classic sour.

This drink vexes me. It has a strange combination of ingredients and doesn't really balance well. It's not a true tiki-drink, as it's lacking rum, special syrups, and/or juices. It's not a true classic sour, as it is overly sweet, and incorporates unusual ingredients including the grape juice and the peach liqueur.

The appearance is beautiful. The combination of the grape and peach creates this pinkish-purple hue that I have never seen before. It's almost worth saving for the color alone. It is gorgeous. Then I tasted it. The drink tastes stronger than you would expect considering there is only an ounce and 1/2 of gin. I would definitely not serve this drink to a person that dislikes gin, as the juniper flavor is quite pronounced. The peach, grape, and simple syrup blend together without distinguishing themselves. All you get is sweetness, with minimal fruit on the palate. I only truly tasted the grape on the swallow. It provides an interesting subtle tartness.

Additionally, the instructions suggest straining into a specialty glass. The drink seems far better suited for a cocktail coup. There is very little actual liquid.

I will say that the drink does taste better the more you drink. Yet not enough for me to truly enjoy it.

My personal rating: ** (2) out of ***** (5)

SCORECARD:

4.5 ALMOST PERFECT - 3 drinks so far
Chief Lapu Lapu / Kikuya Lapu / Mai Tai (Trader Vic)

4 - EXCELLENT - 11 drinks and counting
Colonel Beach's Plantation Punch /Aurora Bora Borealis / Outrigger / Bourbon Special / Beachcomber's Gold (Hollywood and Palm Springs) / Hell in the Pacific / Krakatoa / La Florida / Tortuga / Mai Tai Swizzle / 151 Swizzle

3.5 - VERY GOOD - 17 drinks and counting
Beachcomber's Punch / Coronado Luau Special / Hawaii Kai Treasure / Coconaut / Castaway (slightly modified) / Don's Special Daiquiri / Banana Daiquiri / Captain's Grog / Viking Fog Cutter / Navy Grog / Hurricane / Lani-Honi / Mariposa Fizz / Mai Tai (Stuft Shirt) / Never Say Die / Pago Pago / Painkiller

3 - GOOD - 16 drinks and counting
Eastern Sour / Astro Aku Aku / Kapu Kai / Western Sour / Beachcomber's Gold (Waikiki) / Red Tide / Samoan Fog Cutter / Gold Cup / Headhunter / Fogg Cutter / Noa Noa / Aku Aku Lapu / Mai Tai (Royal Hawaiian) / Missionary's Downfall / Strip and go Naked / Polynesian Paralysis

2.5 - ABOVE AVERAGE - 4 drinks and counting
Jasper's Jamaican / Derby Daiquiri / Carioca Hawaiian Cocktail / Hawaiian Room

2 - AVERAGE - 8 drinks and counting
Beachcomber's Gold (Chicago) / Lychee Nut Daiquiri / Fog Cutter / Von Tiki / Planet of the Apes / Rum Runner / Pieces of Eight / Polynesian Spell

1.5 - BELOW AVERAGE - 2 drinks and hopefully not too many more
Boo Loo / Royal Daiquiri


 
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Destro100
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 28, 2012
Posts: 134
Posted: 2014-05-29 05:57 am   Permalink



Just different enough

Drink 62: Port Light

Ingredients I used:

Fresh lemon juice
Passion fruit syrup (Goya frozen 100% pulp - based)
1883 Routin Grenadine
Evan Williams Bourbon - Single Barrel

The word that immediately sprang to mind was "delightful." I didn't expect that. The drink seemed a bit ordinary by conventional tiki standards, but upon closer inspection, it is unique enough to distinguish itself. The grenadine-lemon-passion fruit combo is not common at all, and the use of bourbon, as opposed to rum, is also a different take on the traditional tiki template.

Initially, the grenadine, passionfruit, and bourbon created a pleasant peach impression. As the peach faded, the tartness of the lemon, passionfruit, and the grenadine took over the flavor. The strength of the alcohol is pretty-well hidden which could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your point of view.

The drink is a bit too sweet, but one of its strengths is how easy it is to modify depending on preference. Prefer less acidity? lower the lemon by a quarter ounce. Prefer less sweetness? Raise the bourbon by quarter to a half an ounce. I will definitely be trying this with more bourbon next time. I found that it could have used a bit more strength.

The drink, as written, is dangerously easy to consume at a lightning-fast pace. It was gone before I knew it. Aside from increasing the bourbon, I think I would double the quantities overall next time. I would like this drink to last more than five minutes.

Unless your guests specifically dislike sweet drinks, this is an ideal drink for creating in batches. It's quite easy to make, and finding a reasonably-priced bourbon shouldn't be all that difficult. I chose to use Evan Williams Single Barrel, as this year's release is fantastic. It is also priced under $25 in certain stores. If you enjoy bourbon, then don't sleep on this year's release. It's easily better than many bourbons at double the price.

I wrestled between giving this a 3.5 or a 4, but I opted for four based solely on the pleasure of finding a new take on a tiki drink.

My personal rating: **** (4) out of ***** (5)

SCORECARD:

4.5 ALMOST PERFECT - 3 drinks so far
Chief Lapu Lapu / Kikuya Lapu / Mai Tai (Trader Vic)

4 - EXCELLENT - 12 drinks and counting
Colonel Beach's Plantation Punch /Aurora Bora Borealis / Outrigger / Bourbon Special / Beachcomber's Gold (Hollywood and Palm Springs) / Hell in the Pacific / Krakatoa / La Florida / Tortuga / Mai Tai Swizzle / 151 Swizzle / Port Light

3.5 - VERY GOOD - 17 drinks and counting
Beachcomber's Punch / Coronado Luau Special / Hawaii Kai Treasure / Coconaut / Castaway (slightly modified) / Don's Special Daiquiri / Banana Daiquiri / Captain's Grog / Viking Fog Cutter / Navy Grog / Hurricane / Lani-Honi / Mariposa Fizz / Mai Tai (Stuft Shirt) / Never Say Die / Pago Pago / Painkiller

3 - GOOD - 16 drinks and counting
Eastern Sour / Astro Aku Aku / Kapu Kai / Western Sour / Beachcomber's Gold (Waikiki) / Red Tide / Samoan Fog Cutter / Gold Cup / Headhunter / Fogg Cutter / Noa Noa / Aku Aku Lapu / Mai Tai (Royal Hawaiian) / Missionary's Downfall / Strip and go Naked / Polynesian Paralysis

2.5 - ABOVE AVERAGE - 4 drinks and counting
Jasper's Jamaican / Derby Daiquiri / Carioca Hawaiian Cocktail / Hawaiian Room

2 - AVERAGE - 8 drinks and counting
Beachcomber's Gold (Chicago) / Lychee Nut Daiquiri / Fog Cutter / Von Tiki / Planet of the Apes / Rum Runner / Pieces of Eight / Polynesian Spell

1.5 - BELOW AVERAGE - 2 drinks and hopefully not too many more
Boo Loo / Royal Daiquiri


 
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Destro100
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 28, 2012
Posts: 134
Posted: 2014-05-30 05:29 am   Permalink



Definitely not a Mai Tai
Drink 63: Q.B. Cooler

Ingredients I used:

Fresh lime juice
Fresh orange juice
Honey mix (1.25 parts (honey) to 1 part (water) - ratio)
John D. Taylors Velvet Falernum
Soda Water (sodastream)
Appleton V/X Gold Jamaican Rum
Flor De Cana - 4 year white rum
El Dorado 8 year Demerara Rum
Angostura Bitters
Kelly's Ginger syrup (Jamaican product)

10 ingredients. 10 very different ingredients. The Q.B. Cooler can be quite laborious and expensive. The question is, "Is it worth it?" Mostly. I enjoyed the QB Cooler, but I was not blown away.

The drink attacks the palate in two distinct stages: sweet then strong. The beginning and middle of your first sip is consumed by sweetness; perhaps too much sweetness. Next, the alcohol appears and tends to dominate the end of the swallow.

The sweetness in the beginning is accompanied by a concentrated and complex myriad of flavors. The orange, honey, falernum, and ginger combine to create a unique and unmistakably distinctively syrup-like assault on the senses. I confess, I found the flavors to be a bit muddled. It was almost too interesting and layered if that is possible. The drink kept drawing my attention to its complexity, rather than allowing me to simply enjoy it. I couldn't help but drink it slowly and savor each swallow as the intensity was pronounced throughout. I think the level of sweetness is responsible for this quandary.

I would love to try this with a different falernum, but Velvet is all that I had avialable. I opted to go with Kelly's ginger syrup because it has a really nice gingery bite; and considering the recipe only calls for half a teaspoon, I wanted to make sure I could really taste it.

After the explosion of sweetness, the alcohol and bitters comes on strongly. I used three very solid rums, but found the same problem. The rums also get slightly muddled and don't blend harmoniously. The combination is tasty, but not unique nor distinctive.

I think the addition of a little bit of soda water helps the drink. It brings a nice zing, accompanying the ginger, that permeates throughout the drink. I did have to add a more ice to fill the glass properly and help dilute the drink.

Many have said that this drink was the one that Trader Vic based the original Mai Tai on. I don't see it. Not at all. The Mai Tai is a refreshing rum and lime-focused drink with a subtle nutty-orange sweetness. This is a heavily sweetened drink with a strong alcohol finish. The comparison doesn't make sense to me. To my palate they taste like very different drinks.

Overall, it's a fine drink, but I may have to try someone else's version to see what all the hype is about.

My personal rating: ***1/2 (3.5) out of ***** (5)

SCORECARD:

4.5 ALMOST PERFECT - 3 drinks so far
Chief Lapu Lapu / Kikuya Lapu / Mai Tai (Trader Vic)

4 - EXCELLENT - 12 drinks and counting
Colonel Beach's Plantation Punch /Aurora Bora Borealis / Outrigger / Bourbon Special / Beachcomber's Gold (Hollywood and Palm Springs) / Hell in the Pacific / Krakatoa / La Florida / Tortuga / Mai Tai Swizzle / 151 Swizzle / Port Light

3.5 - VERY GOOD - 18 drinks and counting
Beachcomber's Punch / Coronado Luau Special / Hawaii Kai Treasure / Coconaut / Castaway (slightly modified) / Don's Special Daiquiri / Banana Daiquiri / Captain's Grog / Viking Fog Cutter / Navy Grog / Hurricane / Lani-Honi / Mariposa Fizz / Mai Tai (Stuft Shirt) / Never Say Die / Pago Pago / Painkiller / Q.B. Cooler

3 - GOOD - 16 drinks and counting
Eastern Sour / Astro Aku Aku / Kapu Kai / Western Sour / Beachcomber's Gold (Waikiki) / Red Tide / Samoan Fog Cutter / Gold Cup / Headhunter / Fogg Cutter / Noa Noa / Aku Aku Lapu / Mai Tai (Royal Hawaiian) / Missionary's Downfall / Strip and go Naked / Polynesian Paralysis

2.5 - ABOVE AVERAGE - 4 drinks and counting
Jasper's Jamaican / Derby Daiquiri / Carioca Hawaiian Cocktail / Hawaiian Room

2 - AVERAGE - 8 drinks and counting
Beachcomber's Gold (Chicago) / Lychee Nut Daiquiri / Fog Cutter / Von Tiki / Planet of the Apes / Rum Runner / Pieces of Eight / Polynesian Spell

1.5 - BELOW AVERAGE - 2 drinks and hopefully not too many more
Boo Loo / Royal Daiquiri


 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 999
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2014-05-30 06:05 am   Permalink

Good review. My home-made Falernum makes much more flavorful drinks than Taylor's. I haven't been convinced, from what I read and experienced in making Falernum, that Taylor's is very good. It's very high on sweetness and very low on flavor. This may be an element which impacted your tasting - weak Falernum doesn't contribute the same background spicy "zing" which our palates so enjoy.

I always thought the QB Cooler is worth making just for the backstories around it.
_________________


 
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AdOrAdam
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 16, 2013
Posts: 443
From: Wolverhampton, UK
Posted: 2014-05-30 06:14 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-05-30 05:29, Destro100 wrote:
Definitely not a Mai Tai... I enjoyed the QB Cooler, but I was not blown away.

Many have said that this drink was the one that Trader Vic based the original Mai Tai on. I don't see it. Not at all.

***1/2 (3.5) out of ***** (5)



Agreed, good review! I made this a few times alongside Dons Mai Tai Swizzle - both are nice but not the same as Trader Vics Mai Tai


 
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Destro100
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 28, 2012
Posts: 134
Posted: 2014-06-02 05:38 am   Permalink



More drinks in old-fashioned glasses please
Drink 64: Shark's Tooth

Ingredients I used:

Fresh lime juice
Pineapple Juice (Dole canned)
Simple syrup (1.5-1 / sugar to water ratio)
Plantation 5 year rum
Coruba Dark Jamaican rum
Tillen Farms, Maraschino Cherries

This was a solid drink. Interesting, but not too interesting. Tasty, but not too tasty. Unique, but…you get the point.

Rum flavor dominates the drink. There is a good reason for this. Incorporating the Barbados rum into the initial blend, allows the base of the drink to be quite strong, and then by adding the dark Jamaican rum as a shot (almost like a float), you are ensuring that both, the initial taste floating on top is strong, as well as the flavor at the end of the drink. I'm pretty sure that is why the drink suggests NOT using a straw; the shark's tooth is meant to taste boozy all the way through.

I enjoyed the way the pineapple and fake cherry juice come together to provide an interesting fruit combination. Lately, I've been using Tillen Farm cherries; they use natural ingredients and are reasonably priced. I can't see spending over $15 for the Luxardo brand. Especially since I've grown up accustomed to the junky fructose corn syrup cherries that most bars carry.

The combination of rum was very nice. I have to thank heylonine and his superb "5 Minutes of Rum" podcast for introducing me to the Plantation line of rums. They are superb! Upon further research around the internet, I do see that I should have gone with Appleton 12, and perhaps that might have even bumped my score a bit. Live and learn. The drink might also benefit from a spice note or a dash of bitters.

This is a very solid sipper.

My personal rating: ***1/2 (3.5) out of ***** (5)

SCORECARD:

4.5 ALMOST PERFECT - 3 drinks so far
Chief Lapu Lapu / Kikuya Lapu / Mai Tai (Trader Vic)

4 - EXCELLENT - 12 drinks and counting
Colonel Beach's Plantation Punch /Aurora Bora Borealis / Outrigger / Bourbon Special / Beachcomber's Gold (Hollywood and Palm Springs) / Hell in the Pacific / Krakatoa / La Florida / Tortuga / Mai Tai Swizzle / 151 Swizzle / Port Light

3.5 - VERY GOOD - 19 drinks and counting
Beachcomber's Punch / Coronado Luau Special / Hawaii Kai Treasure / Coconaut / Castaway (slightly modified) / Don's Special Daiquiri / Banana Daiquiri / Captain's Grog / Viking Fog Cutter / Navy Grog / Hurricane / Lani-Honi / Mariposa Fizz / Mai Tai (Stuft Shirt) / Never Say Die / Pago Pago / Painkiller / Q.B. Cooler / Shark's Tooth

3 - GOOD - 16 drinks and counting
Eastern Sour / Astro Aku Aku / Kapu Kai / Western Sour / Beachcomber's Gold (Waikiki) / Red Tide / Samoan Fog Cutter / Gold Cup / Headhunter / Fogg Cutter / Noa Noa / Aku Aku Lapu / Mai Tai (Royal Hawaiian) / Missionary's Downfall / Strip and go Naked / Polynesian Paralysis

2.5 - ABOVE AVERAGE - 4 drinks and counting
Jasper's Jamaican / Derby Daiquiri / Carioca Hawaiian Cocktail / Hawaiian Room

2 - AVERAGE - 8 drinks and counting
Beachcomber's Gold (Chicago) / Lychee Nut Daiquiri / Fog Cutter / Von Tiki / Planet of the Apes / Rum Runner / Pieces of Eight / Polynesian Spell

1.5 - BELOW AVERAGE - 2 drinks and hopefully not too many more
Boo Loo / Royal Daiquiri


 
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Destro100
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 28, 2012
Posts: 134
Posted: 2014-06-03 05:19 am   Permalink



This Buddha unenthusiastically approves
Drink 65: Happy Buddha

Ingredients I used:

Ceres Guava juice
Rose's Lime Cordial
Controy
Rough Rider Rye Whiskey

This drink surprised me. It's clearly too sweet, but once you get past that, you have the foundation of a really solid drink.

It starts with 4 ounces of guava juice. Clearly way too much juice. I ended up using Ceres and realized the problem immediately. It is a combination of pear and guava juice. It tastes good, but not like pure guava juice. Regardless, in the future, the juice can be dialed down to 2 and a half to 3 ounces.

I then moved onto the Rose's Lime Juice. I went kicking and screaming. I only use fresh lemon and lime in my drinks. Additionally, I had no interest in making my own lime cordial for a one-off drink. Rose's might be useful in certain other popular drinks, but as I'm deep into my Remixed odyssey, I won't have a chance to find out. It tasted just as I thought it would. Tasty and fake. This will sit on my shelf for a very long time. In the future, a combo of fresh lime juice and simple syrup would work just fine.

I opted for Controy, rather than Cointreau, as it is a most worthy Mexican triple-sec substitute. I have yet to meet anyone who can tell the difference in a Margarita. It's a shame that it is only available in Mexico. It's also about half the price. I'm saving the Cointreau for when I run out of Controy.

Finally, I chose Rough Rider Rye Whiskey. Terrible name for an excellent rye. First of all, you need to use a rye in this drink. Don't use a regular bourbon or a whiskey. The added spice notes of a good rye are essential to balancing the sweetness and fruitiness of the guava. A regular bourbon might only add the vanilla and brown sugar notes piling additional notes of sweetness on an already sweet drink. Rye will bring the sharp woodsy flavor and baking spice notes to help balance the drink. I like Rough Rider, as it is made from a 95% rye mash. Be wary, many rye whiskies are closer to 51% rye. It also doesn't hurt that Rough Rider is 90 proof. Considering the sweeteners in this drink, you definitely need to go with a strong spirit base. In the future, I would raise the quantity of Rye to 2 or 2 and a half ounces.

One more note: This drink is begging for a shot of bitters. It needs a bitter component to help bring all the layered flavors together.

Considering all the changes I would make to the drink, it is strange that I want to give the drink 3 1/2 stars. I think I really liked the base combination of rye, lime, and the guava. Those flavors played off each other very nicely. I'm settling on 3 stars until I get to try remixing this concoction.

I would recommend this for guests looking for an exotic and sweet tiki drink. They may find it unique.

My personal rating: *** (3) out of ***** (5)

SCORECARD:

4.5 ALMOST PERFECT - 3 drinks so far
Chief Lapu Lapu / Kikuya Lapu / Mai Tai (Trader Vic)

4 - EXCELLENT - 12 drinks and counting
Colonel Beach's Plantation Punch /Aurora Bora Borealis / Outrigger / Bourbon Special / Beachcomber's Gold (Hollywood and Palm Springs) / Hell in the Pacific / Krakatoa / La Florida / Tortuga / Mai Tai Swizzle / 151 Swizzle / Port Light

3.5 - VERY GOOD - 19 drinks and counting
Beachcomber's Punch / Coronado Luau Special / Hawaii Kai Treasure / Coconaut / Castaway (slightly modified) / Don's Special Daiquiri / Banana Daiquiri / Captain's Grog / Viking Fog Cutter / Navy Grog / Hurricane / Lani-Honi / Mariposa Fizz / Mai Tai (Stuft Shirt) / Never Say Die / Pago Pago / Painkiller / Q.B. Cooler / Shark's Tooth

3 - GOOD - 17 drinks and counting
Eastern Sour / Astro Aku Aku / Kapu Kai / Western Sour / Beachcomber's Gold (Waikiki) / Red Tide / Samoan Fog Cutter / Gold Cup / Headhunter / Fogg Cutter / Noa Noa / Aku Aku Lapu / Mai Tai (Royal Hawaiian) / Missionary's Downfall / Strip and go Naked / Polynesian Paralysis / Happy Buddha

2.5 - ABOVE AVERAGE - 4 drinks and counting
Jasper's Jamaican / Derby Daiquiri / Carioca Hawaiian Cocktail / Hawaiian Room

2 - AVERAGE - 8 drinks and counting
Beachcomber's Gold (Chicago) / Lychee Nut Daiquiri / Fog Cutter / Von Tiki / Planet of the Apes / Rum Runner / Pieces of Eight / Polynesian Spell

1.5 - BELOW AVERAGE - 2 drinks and hopefully not too many more
Boo Loo / Royal Daiquiri


 
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Destro100
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 28, 2012
Posts: 134
Posted: 2014-06-04 05:47 am   Permalink



Drink 66: Shrunken Skull

Ingredients I used:

Fresh Lime Juice
Routin 1883 Grenadine
Flor De Cana 7 year Gold Rum
El Dorado 8 year Demerara Rum

This drink is simplistic and serviceable. None of the ingredients are very interesting, yet the drink brings a humble pleasure to the palate. The elements of a good drink are well-covered, there is a lot of tart, sour, sweet, and strong flavors being balanced well, but the individual flavors are more familiar than exotic.

I don't believe I've ever had a single-serving drink with this much grenadine. It is essential that a high-quality grenadine is used for this recipe. As all four ingredients in the recipe are incorporated in equal measure, each one must be able to stand alone in terms of quality.


I have advocated for Routin syrups in the past, and I still really like them. They are affordable, flavorful, and use great ingredients. Just take a look at the ingredient list below. Their grenadine has pure cane sugar, pomegranate juice, 10% elderberry juice, and no preservatives. I won't pretend that this is better than making your own, or using the POM method, but I will say, that with all the other juices and syrups us tiki-philes have to focus on, this product does its job admirably. The flavor is sweet, tart, and actually tastes of pomegranate.


Regarding the rums, I went with Flor De Cana 7 and El Dorado 8 for my rums. I think the rums get a little lost in this combination. I mostly tasted the body and strength of the Spanish rum coming forward. The smoky, sugary Demerara rum seemed a bit hidden. This might be a case where I should have chosen the 12-year El Dorado instead of the 8. The 12-year has a beautiful full-bodied flavor that tends to stand out more than it does in the 8.

This drink also uses a lot of lime juice which is necessary to balance the sweetness of the grenadine and they strength of the rum.

In truth, there isn't much to add to this review. The flavor is nice and won't generate complaints, yet at the same time, the drink lacks complexity and inventiveness.

My personal rating: *** (3) out of ***** (5)

SCORECARD:

4.5 ALMOST PERFECT - 3 drinks so far
Chief Lapu Lapu / Kikuya Lapu / Mai Tai (Trader Vic)

4 - EXCELLENT - 12 drinks and counting
Colonel Beach's Plantation Punch /Aurora Bora Borealis / Outrigger / Bourbon Special / Beachcomber's Gold (Hollywood and Palm Springs) / Hell in the Pacific / Krakatoa / La Florida / Tortuga / Mai Tai Swizzle / 151 Swizzle / Port Light

3.5 - VERY GOOD - 19 drinks and counting
Beachcomber's Punch / Coronado Luau Special / Hawaii Kai Treasure / Coconaut / Castaway (slightly modified) / Don's Special Daiquiri / Banana Daiquiri / Captain's Grog / Viking Fog Cutter / Navy Grog / Hurricane / Lani-Honi / Mariposa Fizz / Mai Tai (Stuft Shirt) / Never Say Die / Pago Pago / Painkiller / Q.B. Cooler / Shark's Tooth

3 - GOOD - 18 drinks and counting
Eastern Sour / Astro Aku Aku / Kapu Kai / Western Sour / Beachcomber's Gold (Waikiki) / Red Tide / Samoan Fog Cutter / Gold Cup / Headhunter / Fogg Cutter / Noa Noa / Aku Aku Lapu / Mai Tai (Royal Hawaiian) / Missionary's Downfall / Strip and go Naked / Polynesian Paralysis / Happy Buddha / Shrunken Skull

2.5 - ABOVE AVERAGE - 4 drinks and counting
Jasper's Jamaican / Derby Daiquiri / Carioca Hawaiian Cocktail / Hawaiian Room

2 - AVERAGE - 8 drinks and counting
Beachcomber's Gold (Chicago) / Lychee Nut Daiquiri / Fog Cutter / Von Tiki / Planet of the Apes / Rum Runner / Pieces of Eight / Polynesian Spell

1.5 - BELOW AVERAGE - 2 drinks and hopefully not too many more
Boo Loo / Royal Daiquiri


 
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Kill Devil
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 16, 2011
Posts: 262
From: Chicago
Posted: 2014-06-05 07:24 am   Permalink

The Shrunken Skull is probably my fave "easy" to make cocktails. I do however, cut back on the lime juice, as I do in a number of the Bum's recipes.

BTW, this post reminds me of another grenadine-heavy cocktail. the Jack Rose, which is just Applejack, grenadine and lime. I make mine with the Laird's Straight Apple Brandy (100 proof), so you end up with a great strong/sweet combination.


 
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arriano
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2006
Posts: 1290
From: Dog Patch - San Diego
Posted: 2014-06-05 2:32 pm   Permalink

Quote:

I opted for Controy, rather than Cointreau, as it is a most worthy Mexican triple-sec substitute. I have yet to meet anyone who can tell the difference in a Margarita. It's a shame that it is only available in Mexico. It's also about half the price. I'm saving the Cointreau for when I run out of Controy.



Another vote for Controy. I find it works great. I've never done a side by side comparison, but if there's a big taste difference I would be surprised.


 
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Destro100
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 28, 2012
Posts: 134
Posted: 2014-06-06 09:28 am   Permalink


Fang you very much!
Drink 67: Sidewinder's Fang

Ingredients I used:

Fresh Lime Juice
Fresh Orange juice
Passionfruit syrup (Goya frozen pulp based - ratio of parts: 1.5 pulp to 1 sugar)
Appleton Extra 12 year dark rum
Smith & Cross Rum
El Dorado 8 year Demerara Rum
Club Soda (soda stream)

This drink wants to be a Chief Lapu Lapu, but it isn't. It is a nice pleasurable drink, that just misses the ascendent qualities necessary to elevate it into the highest tiers of tiki-dom. Who am I kidding? Maybe it's just missing an additional ounce of rum?

To begin with, the drink lacks strength. I added a quarter ounce of Smith & Cross to 3/4 of an ounce of Appleton, and still found the flavor and strength of the rum to be too concealed. This is connected to the 3 ounces of club soda the recipe calls for. On the one hand, the club soda adds body while mellowing the drink's sweetness, yet at the same time, it is directly diluting and muddling the rum.

Let's break it down further in comparison to the transcendent Chief Lapu Lapu:

If you do the math, the Chief has about 10 ounces of liquid. The breakdown is nearly even with 3 ounces of rum, 4 ounces of sweetness, and 3 ounces of sour.

While the Fang has about 9 1/2 ounces of liquid. The breakdown is 2 ounces of rum, 3 ounces of sweetness, 1 and 1/2 ounces of lime, and 3 ounces of club soda. That is entirely too much soda for this amount of rum.

While in the Chief Lapu Lapu the sweetness and sour are balanced by rum, in the Fang, the water is completely out of proportion and dilutes all the other flavors. Additionally, they make me regret using great rum. Mediocre rum would work just as well here as the flavors are significantly dulled.

The large amount of lime does help balance the sweetness of the orange juice and passionfruit. The drink does maintain the classic tiki-profile that is very easy to enjoy. I also like the fact that it is a larger drink and therefore lasts longer (theoretically). You can definitely nurse this drink slowly while enjoying a good movie, sporting event, or reading. It dilutes nicely, and should please the tastebuds of most sweet-tooths.

My personal rating: *** 1/2 (3.5) out of ***** (5)

SCORECARD:

4.5 ALMOST PERFECT - 3 drinks so far
Chief Lapu Lapu / Kikuya Lapu / Mai Tai (Trader Vic)

4 - EXCELLENT - 12 drinks and counting
Colonel Beach's Plantation Punch /Aurora Bora Borealis / Outrigger / Bourbon Special / Beachcomber's Gold (Hollywood and Palm Springs) / Hell in the Pacific / Krakatoa / La Florida / Tortuga / Mai Tai Swizzle / 151 Swizzle / Port Light

3.5 - VERY GOOD - 20 drinks and counting
Beachcomber's Punch / Coronado Luau Special / Hawaii Kai Treasure / Coconaut / Castaway (slightly modified) / Don's Special Daiquiri / Banana Daiquiri / Captain's Grog / Viking Fog Cutter / Navy Grog / Hurricane / Lani-Honi / Mariposa Fizz / Mai Tai (Stuft Shirt) / Never Say Die / Pago Pago / Painkiller / Q.B. Cooler / Shark's Tooth / Sidewinder's Fang

3 - GOOD - 18 drinks and counting
Eastern Sour / Astro Aku Aku / Kapu Kai / Western Sour / Beachcomber's Gold (Waikiki) / Red Tide / Samoan Fog Cutter / Gold Cup / Headhunter / Fogg Cutter / Noa Noa / Aku Aku Lapu / Mai Tai (Royal Hawaiian) / Missionary's Downfall / Strip and go Naked / Polynesian Paralysis / Happy Buddha / Shrunken Skull

2.5 - ABOVE AVERAGE - 4 drinks and counting
Jasper's Jamaican / Derby Daiquiri / Carioca Hawaiian Cocktail / Hawaiian Room

2 - AVERAGE - 8 drinks and counting
Beachcomber's Gold (Chicago) / Lychee Nut Daiquiri / Fog Cutter / Von Tiki / Planet of the Apes / Rum Runner / Pieces of Eight / Polynesian Spell

1.5 - BELOW AVERAGE - 2 drinks and hopefully not too many more
Boo Loo / Royal Daiquiri


 
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Hurricane Hayward
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 657
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2014-06-08 12:48 am   Permalink

As usual, I'll weigh in with my Mai-Kai cocktail comparisons for everyone who knows those versions. The Shrunken Skull is elevated via Lemon Hart 151 rum and some cinnamon syrup, which results in quite a fiery Skull. Worth checking out.

The Sidewinder's Fang, on the other hand, follows the traditional recipe pretty closely. But it gets a supersized treatment with a gigantic 48-ounce snifter glass offering a communal drink for two (or one very thirsty soul).

Okole maluna!

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Destro100
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 28, 2012
Posts: 134
Posted: 2014-06-09 07:33 am   Permalink

Thanks for the feedback. I really enjoy hearing other people's opinions and reactions to my reviews.

I'm coming down to Florida in July and am very excited to return to the Mai Kai and try a few of their versions of the drinks I've reviewed. Or maybe I'll just order more Black Magics like I usually do!


 
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Hurricane Hayward
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 657
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2014-06-09 8:38 pm   Permalink

Destro: Of course, I'd recommend you try all the drinks you've reviewed, plus a few more Black Magics. But that could be dangerous. If you'd like to hook up with me or some of the other locals while you're there, just post your trip details or send a message.

Okole maluna!

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Destro100
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 28, 2012
Posts: 134
Posted: 2014-06-10 1:54 pm   Permalink



Another ho-hum classic

Drink 68: Scorpion Bowl

Ingredients I used:

Fresh Lemon Juice
Fresh Orange juice
1883 Routin Orgeat
Flor De Cana 4 year light rum
Courvoisier Brandy V.S.

The Scorpion Bowl is pleasant concoction that is tasty and sweet, at the same time it is simple and uninspired. It's easy to enjoy thanks to the abundance of orange and orgeat. Unfortunately, the use of white rum, even a good one, and a mediocre brandy only helps smooth out the flavor. It doesn't help elevate it.

I knew that the brandy would be mostly undecipherable, so I opted for Courvoisier, and not one of my better bottles of brandy. Additionally, the use of a top-down blender is highly suggested, especially a classic Hamilton (as pictured below). Grab one on Ebay at a great price. At this point, I don't even consider the drinks I made before I picked one up true tiki-drinks.



Back to the Scorpion. Ultimately the drink is very easy to drink, possibly too sweet for some, yet always fun to share. It can easily be shared with up to 4 people. It can also be scaled down to two servings by cutting the ingredients in half. My wife and I did this and shared a tasty bowl a few nights ago.

In conclusion, it is a classic, and like all classics, they rarely live up to the hype.

Final note: A float of 151 could help punch up the drink.

My personal rating: *** (3) out of ***** (5)

SCORECARD:

4.5 ALMOST PERFECT - 3 drinks so far
Chief Lapu Lapu / Kikuya Lapu / Mai Tai (Trader Vic)

4 - EXCELLENT - 12 drinks and counting
Colonel Beach's Plantation Punch /Aurora Bora Borealis / Outrigger / Bourbon Special / Beachcomber's Gold (Hollywood and Palm Springs) / Hell in the Pacific / Krakatoa / La Florida / Tortuga / Mai Tai Swizzle / 151 Swizzle / Port Light

3.5 - VERY GOOD - 20 drinks and counting
Beachcomber's Punch / Coronado Luau Special / Hawaii Kai Treasure / Coconaut / Castaway (slightly modified) / Don's Special Daiquiri / Banana Daiquiri / Captain's Grog / Viking Fog Cutter / Navy Grog / Hurricane / Lani-Honi / Mariposa Fizz / Mai Tai (Stuft Shirt) / Never Say Die / Pago Pago / Painkiller / Q.B. Cooler / Shark's Tooth / Sidewinder's Fang

3 - GOOD - 19 drinks and counting
Eastern Sour / Astro Aku Aku / Kapu Kai / Western Sour / Beachcomber's Gold (Waikiki) / Red Tide / Samoan Fog Cutter / Gold Cup / Headhunter / Fogg Cutter / Noa Noa / Aku Aku Lapu / Mai Tai (Royal Hawaiian) / Missionary's Downfall / Strip and go Naked / Polynesian Paralysis / Happy Buddha / Shrunken Skull / Scorpion Bowl

2.5 - ABOVE AVERAGE - 4 drinks and counting
Jasper's Jamaican / Derby Daiquiri / Carioca Hawaiian Cocktail / Hawaiian Room

2 - AVERAGE - 8 drinks and counting
Beachcomber's Gold (Chicago) / Lychee Nut Daiquiri / Fog Cutter / Von Tiki / Planet of the Apes / Rum Runner / Pieces of Eight / Polynesian Spell

1.5 - BELOW AVERAGE - 2 drinks and hopefully not too many more
Boo Loo / Royal Daiquiri


 
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