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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food Philosophy behind the float?
Philosophy behind the float?
Kill Devil
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 16, 2011
Posts: 257
From: Chicago
Posted: 2014-02-17 07:31 am   Permalink

OK folks - we've all seen many a drink recipe calling for a float of dark Jamaican, 151 Demerara, sherry, etc... What I want to know is why, and is it the same reason for all floats? Is it aesthetics? Is it a desire to have a spirit stirred in vs shaking? I don't think I've ever heard a straight answer, or at least an interesting one, enlighten away!

 
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gabbahey
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 10, 2011
Posts: 231
From: Denver, CO
Posted: 2014-02-17 08:16 am   Permalink

I'm not sure if this is the reason for the float but I find it brings the booze smell forward without having the first drink taste too boozy. So a Zombie keeps its strong reputation while letting the 151 sneak in.

gabbahey


 
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Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2208
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2014-02-17 08:16 am   Permalink

Lots of reasons for the float.

One of the primary reasons is to keep the drink at the desired proof top to bottom. As you sip the drink through your straw, the ice is melting and slowly watering the drink down. As the drink gets lower in the glass, the ice is melting faster and watering the drink down more and more. By adding a float of liquor on top you are adding a level/layer of alcohol that is combating that additional water. It makes the 'bottom' of the drink taste as good (hopefully) as when you took the first sip.

Floats can also be simply for looks, a nice layer of whatever on top can be visually interesting.

And as a general rule any drink that has a float is going to be served with a straw. Otherwise the first sip of the drink is the float and if you are floating overproof liquor then you're going to burn out the tasters and the rest of the drink will not be enjoyable.


 
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AdOrAdam
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 16, 2013
Posts: 429
From: Wolverhampton, UK
Posted: 2014-02-17 10:24 am   Permalink

I usually stir in the float but I serve it with it on top (Eg Dark & Stormy).

The Shark Tooth is one such drink where the float is part of the drink (it is meant to be sipped without a straw) , but I usually stir it in & use a straw.


 
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Kill Devil
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 16, 2011
Posts: 257
From: Chicago
Posted: 2014-02-18 09:16 am   Permalink

Thanks for the replies - interesting theory Chip! I'm leaning towards the aesthetics, at least in most examples I can think of

 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 999
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2014-02-18 11:17 am   Permalink

I thought about this as I was making Viking Fog Cutters last night which call for an Aquavit float. Sometimes it's hard to tell if your float is actually floating. My Aquavit was hard to see because it is clear, and for all I knew, it may have been running down the inside of the glass and mixing with the drink.

We all agreed it was a damn fine cocktail. I quickly forgot all about the float and this thread. heh...
_________________


 
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Destro100
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 28, 2012
Posts: 133
Posted: 2014-02-19 07:56 am   Permalink

For the Viking Fog Cutter I definitely believe that the aquavit enhances the flavor of the whole drink. I was glad mine immersed itself.

 
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thePorpoise
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 23, 2011
Posts: 1239
From: Tampa Bay
Posted: 2014-02-19 9:47 pm   Permalink

here's another old thread on this topic:

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=38993&forum=10

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thePorpoise
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 23, 2011
Posts: 1239
From: Tampa Bay
Posted: 2014-02-19 9:49 pm   Permalink

with aquavit, and sherry floats, i let them dilute into the end of the drink.

with a dark rum float, i remove straw and poke through float on first few sips to decide if i want that float at the end or if i'd rather just mix it into the drink.


 
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gabbahey
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 10, 2011
Posts: 231
From: Denver, CO
Posted: 2014-02-19 9:52 pm   Permalink

As an aside, my favorite tool for floats is the standard swizzle from Frankie's. It has an nice spear to pour onto that works much better than pretty much anything else.

gabbahey


 
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