Vintage Cocktails: Tiki Drinks

Categories: Booze

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Leading the revival of tiki drinks is Jeff "Beach Bum" Berry, a mixologist who since the late '90s, has been publishing cocktail recipe books featuring exquisitely researched details on the origins of famous tiki drinks like the Mai Tai and the Zombie. His latest book, Beach Bum Berry Remixed, even includes secret recipes handwritten on scraps of paper. If that doesn't get your Treasure Island fantasies going, we don't know what will.

Today's drink comes from that very book, and originated at Ft. Lauderdale's Mai Kai, the oldest still-operating Polynesian restaurant and floor revue in America. The restaurant has been open since 1956. The drink dates from around 1960. Read more about the Big Bamboo and the Mai Kai here.

Big Bamboo

  • 1/2 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice*
  • 1/2 oz orange juice
  • 1/2 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz passion fruit syrup
  • 1/2 oz dark Jamaican run
  • 1 oz gold Cuban rum (we used Cruzan Rum from the Virgin Islands since Cuban rum is embargoed)
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) crushed ice

Put everything in a blender and blend at high speed for exactly 5 seconds. Pour into a bamboo mug or tall glass.

*Part of the pleasure of a tiki drink is the delight of fresh-squeezed juice. If you don't have time to juice all the fruits, you should try never to skimp on fresh-squeezed lime. The squeezing process releases oils from the rind, which gives the juice a slight bitter aftertaste and leads to more flavor complexity in the final cocktail.

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