So you think you can't make tiki drinks at home? Think again. In celebration of Labor Day, we've rounded up a couple of recipes from the two tiki authorities in town, Gui Jaroschy (Broken Shaker) and Trevor Alberts, to keep you cooled off in this unbearable heat.
"Tiki drinks have always grabbed my attention right away," says Jaroschy, who recently revamped the cocktail menu at SoBe's new Asian gastropub Drunken Dragon.
Jaroschy's affair with tiki drinks was an accident. The bartender took notice of what successful bartenders and cocktail bars have in common.
"I realized that it's sort of a sense of identity and particular style. Some people do classic drinks and others so small batch whiskey."
A fun and vibrant personality, Jaroschy was looking for a style that would define his bartender persona.
"I never set out for tiki to be my style but somehow it just sort of happened. When you get into cocktail world so much of it is about getting serious or challenging and for me its cool to have a fun cocktail that's also kind of unexpected the way tiki drinks are."
What Jaroschy most likes about tiki drinks is their ability to be strong with flavors that contradict each other but work together and come in this really cool package.
"The biggest misconception people have about tiki drinks is that they're gonna be super sweet or that they have to be overly tropical drinks with pineapple and a bendy straw."
But what the new school of tiki, like Three Dots and a Dash in Chicago or Smuggler's Cove in San Francisco, and even some of the drinks Jaroschy and the rest of the crew at the Broken Shaker serve up is the use of fresh juices to create really balanced cocktails.
"It's simple. Make these drinks with the same rule of the emerging, well not really emerging anymore, but the prominent cocktail movement, which means using the best ingredients available to make a cocktail that you can be proud of."
Drunken Dragon's new tiki cocktails follow this model and are approachable for even those unfamiliar with the tiki culture. Each one has some sort of unexpected pairing of flavors, like the Voodoo Lady -- a tequila cocktail with citrus, all spice and an ingredient that a friend of Jaroschy makes for him by the name of ylang ylang extract.
"Tyler is this rum nerd that's totally into the tiki thing and loves to go explore abandoned buildings and all kinds of stuff. He came across a tree in a neighbors house and makes this drinkable, potable extract that adds a really cool layer to drinks." Ylang ylang is used in Chanel perfume and lots of soaps, and while you may not have your own ylang ylang, that shouldn't stop you from making a tiki drink at home. "My mom still gets stressed when making drinks," admits Jaroschy. "She's all like I have to make simple syrup and I'm like simple syrup is sugar and water. Anyone can do it."
Including you. Try it with these simple recipes from Gui Jaroschy and Trevor Alberts.
- 1 oz. gin
- 1 oz. cognac
- .5 oz. lime juice
- .5 oz. simple syrup (Pre-mix equal parts sugar and water. Stir til dissolved. Cover refrigerated up to 2 weeks.)
- 2 dashes angostura bitters
- 2 oz. of ginger beer to top up cocktail
Shake all ingredients except ginger beer in a cocktail shaker. Strain over fresh ice and top up with 2 oz. of ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wedge and a mint sprig.
Super easy to make at home with very little prep necessary.
Swizzle di Sforza
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- 1.5 oz. Pusser's rum
- .5 oz. Fernet Branca then .25 oz to float
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
- .5 oz. Don's Spices #2 (Equal measure vanilla syrup : allspice dram)
- .5 oz. orgeat
Combine all ingredients except .25 oz. Fernet Branca and swizzle with crushed ice in a hurricane glass. Float final .25 oz. of Fernet over the top of the cocktail and crown with more crushed ice. Garnish with a mint plume, cherry, and lemon slice.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha