Mai Tai Tiki Drink

february is tiki month! (part 1)

Betcha didn’t know that February is Tiki month. It does seem a little strange to be thinking about Tiki drinks and Luaus in February, but maybe that’s just what we need to help get us over the hump and into spring and summer.

So put on your best Hawaiian shirt, grass skirt, flip-flops and here are a few authentic Tiki drinks for you and your friends to enjoy.Mai Tai Tiki Drink

Mai Tai  
1 ounce Appleton Estate Rum Reserve (Jamaica)
1 ounce Clément VSOP Rum (Martinique)
½ ounce Senior Curacao Orange Curacao
1 ounce fresh lime juice
¼ ounce Wilks & Wilson Orgeat Syrup
¼ ounce Wilks & Wilson Gomme Syrup

Add at least 2 cups of crushed ice, then shake well for around 10 seconds.  Pour unstrained into a double old-fashioned glass.  Sink your spent lime shell in the drink, and garnish with a mint sprig.


$300 Mai Tai
I know it might seem a bit crazy to put such expensive rums into a cocktail, but when you consider that the original Mai Tai called specifically for Wray & Nephew 17 Year Old Rum, and today that rum goes for about $60,000US, you’d have to say that the $300 Mai Tai is a real bargain, right? And I have to say that this really has to be the best cocktail I have ever made. The balance between Strong, Sour and Sweet is perfect. This is what a “Real” Tiki drink is!

1 ounce Appleton Estate 21 Year Old Rum (Jamaica)
1 ounce Clément Cuvée Homére Clément Rum (Martinique)
½ ounce Clément Creole Shrubb Orange Liqueur
½ ounce Wilks & Wilson Orgeat Syrup
¾ ounce Lime Juice
1 tsp Wilks & Wilson Gomme Syrup

Combine all ingredients in a shaker, shake with ice, strain into a glass filled with crushed ice.  Garnish with sprigs of mint and a wedge of lime, (and a hundred dollar bill).

Zombie (Don the Beachcomber’s 1934)
Original drink is by Don The Beachcomber, circa 1934. Found in the 1937 notebook of Beachcomber’s waiter Dick Santiago, who had marked the recipe “old.” Adapted from Jeff Berry, Beachbum Berry’s Sippin’ Safari.

¾ ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce BG Reynolds Don’s Mix
½ ounce John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum
1½ ounces Bacardi Gold Rum
1½ ounces Appleton Estate Reserve Rum
1 ounce 151-proof Lemon Hart Demerara Rum
1 dash Angostura bitters
6 drops (1/8 tsp) Pernod
1 tsp Wilks & Wilson Grenadine
6 ounce (¾ cup) crushed ice

Put everything in a blender. Blend at high speed for no more than 5 seconds. Pour into a chimney glass. Add ice cubes to fill. Garnish with a mint sprig.

zombie cocktailZombie (Don the Beachcomber’s 1950)
Original drink by Don The Beachcomber, circa 1950. The Beachcomber tinkered with his recipes obsessively, changing them many times over the years; this is his revamped version of the 1934 formula.

1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 ounce unsweetened pineapple juice
1 ounce Finest Call Passion Fruit Purée – for a sweeter drink use 1 ounce BG Reynolds or Fee Brothers Passion Fruit Syrup
1 ounce Bacardi Superior Light Rum
1 ounce Bacardi Gold Rum
1 ounce 151-proof Lemon Hart Demerara rum
1 tsp Turbinado 2:1 sugar syrup
1 dash Angostura bitters or 8 drops of Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Cocktail Bitters

Shake well with lots of crushed ice. Pour into a tall glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.

If you like these cocktails and are interested in learning more about Tiki Cocktails pick up a copy of Beachbum Berry’s Grog Log/Intoxica! Remixed, or get the iphone app.  This is a completely revised and updated anthology of the Grog Log and Intoxica!, featuring newly discovered, previously unpublished vintage Tiki drink recipes from the 1930s-1960s, gathered especially for Remixed from the world’s top mixologists and cocktail writers, expanded drink history and lore, incorporating newly discovered information about the origins of the Mai Tai, Zombie, Suffering bastard, and other legendary Tiki mysteries.

Also, watch out for Tiki Night at The Melody Inn in Indianapolis hosted by Bob Tiki Cripe and Wendy Wahine Clay. And perhaps follow the Circle City Tiki Revival Society’s facebook page.

Hipahipa! (Cheers!)
Ricki Tiki

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 Vine & Table #301