Dark Isle Blitz: The Bridal Shock

Sometimes after a hard month of making drinks for monsters a guy needs to relax. It’s always Halloween here on the Dark Isles, and this years bash was certainly the biggest ever. As I get back to my haunted bungalow my newly divorced roommate is there recharging. She hisses as I come in and wave. I try to tell Frankie we’re not serious. I wonder if I’m lying. Still when she looks at me with those sparking pale eyes and her neck-bolts crackle in the moonlight, it could be love. Or maybe I should stop drinking straight absinthe.
I whip up a few of her favorites for a cocktail fit for a bride. Gin, coconut, sparkling wine with a kiss of orange and allspice. The hiss from her lips as she sips is all the thanks I need. She’s a great gal, but if she mentions the big M word to this booze-hound I’ll vanish faster than the Invisible Man.

TheBride (7)When we did the Karloff Kooler last year it was great. Super tasty drink and a photo shoot so complicated we had to do it 4 times. This year I wanted to build off that in sort of a sequel. It’s not hard to make the argument that Bride of Frankenstein is better than the original. It had the benefit of more money, support, and technology to make it happen. Plus it doesn’t hurt that Karloff finally gets to speak in it. When I was a kid there was always something about The Bride that drew me to her, she might have been my first or second crush. Yeah, I’ve always been a weirdo. So the idea was to make a Tiki bridal cocktail. Sparkling wine and champagne flutes were a must. Plus I wanted to give it an ethereal whitish color like the streak in her hair and her burial robes. After about a year or more of looking a friend got me a bottle of Clement Mahina de Coco. It has a spot on coconut flavor with a little dose of Clement funk. It’s great, but if you don’ have it I suggest subbing unsweetened coconut milk. I’ve tested the drink with that to and it gives the drink great body and a pretty damn similar flavor. Try it both ways if you can!

TheBride (3)The Bride
1 oz london dry gin
½ oz Clement Mahina de Coco (unsweetened coconut milk will work in a pinch)
¾ oz fresh lime juice
¼ oz orgeat
¼ oz allspice dram
dash orange bitters
3 to 3 ½ oz dry sparkling wine (Prosseco, Cava, or Korbel will do)


Shake together everything but the sparkling wine well with ice, once finished top with sparkling wine. Then strain into a flute and garnish with a twist of lemon. Maybe you can cut a better lightning bolt lemon peel then me!



The scents of fresh shaved white coconut and citrus mix well with the nose of the wine. It even wafts in to some vanilla notes that I think come from the coconut and orgeat scents getting muddled. The drink starts out rather deep like a dark stormy night. Those rich coconut flavors are slowly peeled away. The drink lightens and allows the gin and spice appear. Finally the orange bitters, dry wine, and lime crash ligke lightning and thunder to electrify your soul. YOUR ALIVE!

Well we hope you’ve enjoyed our annual Halloween bash! We always keep it spooky around here though. Stick around and tell us your favorite horror movie in the comments. By the way if you like gin Tiki as much as me check out this new post from one of my favorite bloggers who recently made it back from a long slumber. Welcome back Kaiser Penguin! Maybe we can get Colonel Tiki to rise from the grave to. Until next time…



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MxMo CII: Spooky Sips Roundup!

Fall is truly in the air, and as I sit among the glowing skulls and twinkling bats of my Halloween lights I sip. Yes Halloween is truly a time for Horror and drunken revelry. We put out the call to the blogosphere for drinks to reflect our favorite spooky season. They sure did answer with some innovative and unexpected ideas. So without further delay I am proud to present the results of Mixology Monday Spooky!

0-Ct-Barissimo-www.UrbanFeveR.ro [14] Marius of Arcane Potions brings us a stirred concoction he dubs the Essence of Nightshade. Unicum and spherical ice always appeal to me, so much I may even try to stomach sweet vermouth to try it. He was stingy with it’s story, It makes me want to hear more.

Mad ScientistKatie from Garnishblog brings us a Mad Scientist. I may have never done much with foams, but I know she is one strong chick to forgo an ISI Whip for a whisk. I love the use of beaker’s and pipette’s here. I’ve often thought of doing it myself. As for Chartreuse my love for that is well documented.

SinisterShotsWe go from beakers to test tubes thanks to Pete Barmeister of Meticulous Mixing. He presents us with a trio of spooky shots that even use some fresh citrus to give them balance. I knocked back a Red Rum myself and I can vouch for their tastiness.

IMG_4343I love Andrea from Ginhound, but her post here really gave me a thrill. I’ve often thought about the spooky unknown qualities of the deep. Her lurking in the deep blue is very eye catching. It makes me want to get a few fishbowls for the future. We really appreciate all the hard work she put in.

islandlostsouls6208_zps3md3vubdMy good friend and MxMo master Fred Yarm from Cocktail Virgin/Slut loves to tease my hatred of Mocktails. So it’s only fair I tease him a touch for jumping into the hipsterish fortified wine trend. All teasing aside his Island of Lost Souls is mouth watering. This take on a Zombie will ensure you end up going all night instead of slumping against the bar like yours truly. Fred is truly a master at what he does, and I appreciate his friendship, participation, and teasing.

Black-JulepJennifer from Scraps of Life must have been reading my diary. How else could she know how much I adore blackberries? Her Black Julep has good color and a lovely name for a Halloween cocktail. She admits her cocktail has a surge of sweetness, but she has inspired me to make my own blackberry syrup. Cheers Scraps and thanks for playing along!

img_4651I always love seeing what the Booze Nerds come up with. Their blog is lots of fun. Well they sure know how to get me by combining my love of smokey mezcal with Tiki in their Funeral Pyre. I had two reactions when I first saw the picture. First is that I used to have a glass like that. Second is that I tried to light it abalze to and it broke after I washed it next.

1-20151018_132958Swizzzlestick wins the award for best photo. My God just check that out. The Dead & Thirsty is full of tasty peated scotch and ginger. Then garnished with a very spooky gummy eyeball. Make sure to give this one a look while it looks back at you.

freudstein-3The Freudstien is a creation of Robin from Kitchen Shamanism. It seems to be a take on the classic Zombie and is definitely looking lovely. As a shameless plug we played with rosary garnishes last year ourselves. A fellow horror fan always gets a hearty cheers from us. Especially when they tantalize us with a Tiki Treat. Thanks for the submission!

Drinksburgh Karloff ColadaIt didn’t take to much arm twisting to get my good buddy Mike from Drinksburgh to enter the fray. I’m certainly glad he did because he gave a tasty tribute to one of my favorite horror icons with his Karloff Colada. He gives a good dash of spice and citrus giving the drink balance and a nice blend of rums as well. “Colada Goooooood”.

photo 4It just wouldn’t be MxMo if my buddy Dagreb from Nihil Utopia didn’t make it in. He brings us a Mai Kai treasure the classic Last Rites. He uses the super tasty tribute drink made by another great friend Hurricane Hayward. I’ve made the original version out of Sippin Safari more than once and loved it. I’m sure you’ll love either version as well. Thanks for all the hard work my friend to the north! Reading his post he tried a lot of different routes to end up here.

IMG_5360Joel DiPippa of Southern Ash slides in just before the coffin door closed. He worked hard to bring us the tasty Voivode’s Hospitality, a tipicular tribute to Vlad Tepes aka Dracula. Grappa is powerful stuff. Strong enough to wake and summarily roast even the dead. We’re happy to have him join us.

Rotanone (7)Lastly you know us, we always keep it spooky, but even moreso when October rolls around. We highlight the Rotenone for you. A punch dedicated to the Creature of the Black Lagoon. Of course we also have our Gozer’s Gulp, Witch’s Apple, and a few more sips before the month is out. So join us and subscribe won’t you?

mxmo halloween

I must say after hosting 3 MxMo’s this was definitely the most fun. I hope you’ll agree. Thank you everyone for your entries. They all look just great. Until next time…

“Unpleasant Dreams America!” -JFL

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Dark Isle Blitz: Bitchin Witchin

The witch girls cackled on in the corner at the same old booth. It seems Ghoul’s night out was lasting all October long for them. A picky bunch they liked colorful drinks with a touch of sweet. No one wanted to get hexed, so I whipped up a cocktail of herbs, fresh juice, apple brandy and a little poison. The result, a treat no old crone could resist.

WitchsApple (2)

This cocktail came from a love of American IPA’s, and the thought one drunken night “Hey Hop syrup would be cool”. It got pushed to the back burner for months. Even though the funky flavor in my mind would be on point I had no real idea to pop it into. A little Calvados in August brought this idea on, and I’m really glad it did. Some pieces fell in last minute, to be honest they just made the drink better. The Foco bears mention in that I had seen it in Remixed and Potions from the Bum. After being burned by Ceres I was skeptical about other juices. Ceres kind of sucks because it’s mostly pear, and it tastes like it to. Luckily in Foco it’s lengthened by water, So it still tastes like the advertised fruit. Also it’s way cheaper. Look for it at your local Asian Food mart. I’ll be honest it’s a lot of fun to use. If you lack Foco just remove it and the Strega, shake, and serve in a coupe. I call that the Witchy-Poo and it’s alright to, but a different animal.

WitchsApple (12)Witch’s Apple
1 ½ oz Calvados (Christian Drouin Selectcion or Domfrontais style)
¾ oz fresh lime juice
¾ oz FOCO passion fruit juice (Check you local asian food mart)
½ oz Green Chartreuse
½ oz Hop Syrup (See Recipe below)
1 tsp Midori (Stop cringing hipsters)
1 tsp Strega
dash Bittermen’s Hopped Grapefruit bitters

Shake together with ice. Pour unstrained into a tulip and garnish with green apple and a straw.


Hop Syrup
Heaping ½ cup Simcoe hops (not pellets)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Bring to a decent boil stirring often then dial back the heat to medium low and allow to simmer for two minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and leave to infuse for 4 to 5 hours before bottling and straining.


This drink really takes you on some twists and turns. It has a lovely aroma of apple and herbs. The Calvados and notes from the Strega take a quick bow at the open only to meld away to citrus peel and balanced hops. As the herbaciousness rises the apple and passion fruit come out to do their big number, fading with a waft of mellow sweetness. This drink sort of reminds me of a Missionary’s Downfall. It has some sweetness, but the herbs and citrus keeps it from being to sweet. The syrup is actually a lot of fun. It gives a good hop bite but doesn’t overpower. However after 3-4 weeks the flavor really weakens.

WitchsApple (4)Don’t be afraid of the Midori, cocktails are supposed to be fun. You should definitely make that hop syrup. We’ll keep our ghastly groove moving as Halloween draws closer. Until next time…


“You Get Hammered America” – JFL

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Dark Isles Blitz: Drunkard of the Black Lagoon

“You know Joey, they just don’t get me man. All I want is some love, I mean that and fish.”, the Gill-man said at our swim up bar.
“Hey Gil, We’re all misunderstood around here, lets see if we can’t take your mind off it. After all it’s a party.”
I mixed up something with the swampy color of his far away home and slid it to him. I could see the effect as he drooped sleepily and begin to swim along with the music.
“What’s in this man? This hits hard.”
“Oh just something a river fisher told me about. He said it really mellowed out Devonian era fishmen.” The party was just getting in full swing and the Gill-man was already wasted. A monster after my own heart.

Rotanone (12)
The Creature of the Black Lagoon is one of those immortal movies that critics snub and fans love. You can say that about a lot of classic horror, but I’m not sure any of those films was more influential in future monster movies than this. The Gill-man certainly paved tmxmo halloweenhe way for modern favorites like the Predator, Alien, Jaws, and even Jurassic Park. The last monster to be admitted to the beloved Universal monsters pantheon he didn’t show up until the 50’s. He brought with him a bevy of innovative effects including underwater cameras and 3-D. Still even without the gimmicks this film stands the test of time making him one of the most collected and beloved of the Universal Monsters. So of course he had to make an appearance for MxMo Spooky Sips here on Rated R Cocktails.

Rotanone (14)

Sadly this means when it comes to tribute recipes most of the best names have been taken to. My buddy Jim is proud papa to the epic Gill-man Grog. Not only a very tasty cocktail but a super name as well. Sadly “The Black Lagoon” was also taken and is beyond rancid. While I’d like to usurp it my numbers can’t beat Martha Stewart even if my product is superior. I’ve probably watched this movie 50 times, and that’s not an exaggeration. In the interest of not stepping on the toes of others I decided to dig deeper in the movie for a reference. Rotenone is a compound used to sedate the creature and kill fish several times in the first movie as well as the beginning of the second. It’s also a real life chemical. In the movie it’s used to sedate the Creature more than once. I wanted the cocktail to seem swampy like the creature’s home. I also wanted to use funky agricole rums to emulate Brazilian sugar cane spirits. In the end I think we have a drink delightful enough to put a true Devonian era dynamo to bed.

Rotanone (1)Rotenone
1 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (We Like Coruba)
½ Neisson Eleve Sous Bois (Or other 100 proof aged Martinique rum if you just happen to have some)
½ Barbancourt White (You can try other white agricole)
¾ oz fresh lime juice
½ oz fresh pineapple juice
½ oz coffee syrup
½ oz blue curacao (We used Senior)
½ tsp absinthe (We used Lucid)

Shake together with ice and pour unstrained into a chimney. Garnish with a few mint sprigs and keep away from Gill-men if you can!



Lovely hints of molasses, pineapple, and anise in the nose. This drink’s flavor is like holding on through a fast river. The flavor keeps changing. The drink starts out light and bright full of lime, anise, and agricole, then the pineapple and dark rum make their appearance giving way to notes of sweet coffee. I like the way this drink kind of fools you into thinking it has Chartreuse. As it dilutes some of the orange peel notes come out more and the agricole is enhanced significantly. We used a few different rums to get here. Appleton Extra also does decently well in here but moves more to the background. I encourage the acquisition of Senior for this cocktail. It’s got a good flavor, but also the dye isn’t as strong as Bols. This helps get that green color easily.

Rotanone (7)

I’ve wanted to do a Creature of the Black Lagoon tribute drink for a long time. I wanna thank my buddy Dan for making me try again and this time succeed. I love this cocktail, I hope you’ll make it and tell me what you think in the comments below. Until next time…


“You get Hammered America!” – JFL

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MxMo CII: Spooky Sips

October is the most magical time of year. There’s a ghoulish revelry in the air, a perfect time for kitschy creeps. As the Tiki Terror and the master of my own brand of Horror Tiki I’ve always saved my best works for October. A time when I can present them in a month long Halloween Bash here on the Dark Isles. This month as the host of MxMo I invite all my blogger friends to join in my party. This year we’ve remade all manner of classics that are complex in their simplicity. However my idea is more esoteric and out there. Something to challenge your creativity. I trust all of you will rise to the challenge.

mxmo halloween

Spooooky MxMo!

October means Halloween. Halloween means kitschy parties and my favorite classic horror movies on the television. Here on the blog we’ve done tributes to Karloff, Dracula, and of course Vincent Price just to name a few. Tiki is rich with adventurous drinks that call to the terrifying. The Sidewinder’s Fang, the Shrunken Skull, the Shark’s Tooth, and of course the venerable Zombie. However I am sure there are creepy classics as well. Your challenge for my MxMo of Horrors is to create a terrifying tipple. It could be a drink that just screeches Halloween. Maybe it’s a recipe to honor your favorite horror movie or star. It could be a spooky garnish or petrifying punch. Heck if you wanna make eyeball jello shots who am I to tell you no. Let your creativity shine, I want to hear the blood curdling screams of your readers as they sip your creepy creations. Want to join my haunted bash? Here’s how to play.

  • Find or Create a booze filled item to celebrate all things Halloween and Horror. Feel free to make it a tribute to a horror icon or movie. Spooky garnishes and effects are also highly encouraged. Then include a photo, recipe, and such on your blog or eGullet’s Spirit’s and Cocktails forum.
  • Do all of this by midnight Monday, October 19th. Late submissions may be taken, but lets try to be on time lest you face the horrors of being left out! Make sure to post a link to your post on THIS article in the comments. Or Tweet it to @RatedRCocktails.

We hope this excites you Guys and Ghouls to rise from the dead. Shake those tins till you lose a limb. Then lets drink a toast to the best holiday of the year. The Dark Isles annual Halloween bash is rockin and we need your help! Until next time…

“Welcome to my Nightmare America!” -JFL

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Dark Isle Blitz: Gosebusters

There I was finishing up my garnish tray in the Dark Isles Daquiri Den. Our annual bash just keeps getting bigger and so does the guest list. I let the wolfman in early to enjoy a beer while my gremlin barback washed and set glasses. I could scarely believe it when a dimensional portal opened and out stepped Gozer the Gozerian. The Traveler that had nearly destroyed New York.
“Are you a God?”, She hissed
“I am”, I said calmly as I sipped my coffee. Luckily the Ghostbusters were in my Rolodex.
She seemed in disbelief. So I quickly set about cobbling together a cocktail to prove my claims. A wash of relief ran over me when her mind seemed blown. This year was going to be a veritable Ballroom Blitz here on the Dark Isles.

GozerGulp (7)
Ghostbusters is one of those movies that you either love, or you have no pulse. I’ll be honest however I’ve always been a huge fan of The Real Ghostbusters. This cherished cartoon builds off the 1st movie and sets the guys against everyone from devils, and valkyrie’s to Dracula and Cthulhu himself. The risks taken and references made in this cartoon are as delightful as the the jokes still are to me. It’s something I watch every October because of all it’s horror callbacks. This drink specifically was born our of us buying Westbrook’s Gose cans without really knowing anything aside from we really loved their other beers. We’d never had a sour, salty, coriander beer before and it was a shock. However I’ll never forget my elation when we read how to pronounce it on the back of the can. It sounded almost exactly like Gozer. We knew then we had to turn this fine funky beer into a cocktail.

GozerGulp (3)
Gozer’s Gulp
1 oz Flor de Cana 7
1 oz Brugal white
¾ oz fresh lime juice
½ oz sweetened coconut cream
½ oz orange curacao
dash Bittermen’s Elemakule bitters
3 oz Westbrook Gose (or other salty, sour,Gose style beer)

Shake all ingredients except the beer well with ice then top inside the shaker with beer, pour into a pilsner glass and garnish with mint or ghoulish decorations.

This drink’s flavor is utterly fascinating. It’s PKE readings are off the charts! It’s coconut delights quickly melt away into slight twinges of coriander and salt. The rum really cuts into the dominance of the Gose and forms an ecto-containment unit around it. The dry flavors of brugal and flor de cana really make this drink along with the Gose. The orange curacao and sour beer play very nicely in the finish especially as you move to the middle of the glass,. Like any good Tiki drink this one’s flavor changes pleasingly as you enjoy it. If you find the Gose to be a bit strong take it down a half ounce. We found this variation very pleasing as well. We hope you’ll tell us which you like best in the comments.
GozerGulp (8)

The doors are open and the guests are making their way in. This years ghoulish celebration is promising to be bigger than ever. I’ll have to put the call out for some help. Until next time…

“You Get Hammered America!” -JFL

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I Survived the Cowgirl Uprising

Frozen drinks, aren’t they fun? I mean the cleanup is the pits and the prep can be a nightmare. Even so I still love a blender drink now and again. So I bring you another little challenge drink this month from my dear friend Dagreb from Nihil Utopia. Probably the best Tiki drink made in a true blender and not a milkshake blender is the Missionary’s downfall. This leads us to Dagreb’s challenge…

COBRznzUYAA79txSo being from the South I know plenty of Cowgirls. By Cowgirls I mean drunken suburbian girls in western hats after a George Strait concert. I associate these sauced southern belles with peaches, and I got the idea to play with the Missionary’s Downfall in that regard. The Missionary’s Downfall does have peach brandy, so why not swap out the fresh pineapple with fresh peaches? A Cowgirl may not like rum, but she would surely be tempted by overproof bourbon. From their we add a few Tiki touches and try to follow Donn’s pattern. The end result I find to be pretty darn tasty. Although, I did tweak the name, it just flows better.


Nothing says tasty like my old boot.

Cowgirl Uprising
1 ½ oz Wild Turkey 101
½ oz Orange Curacao
1 oz honey syrup (1:1)
½ oz fresh lime juice
¼ cup of diced peaches (About 10 medium large diced chunks)
1 tsp absinthe
Dash orange bitters
¾ cup crushed ice

Combine ingredients into a blender and blend on high for 20 seconds. Pour into a small goblet and garnish with mint.


The peaches come through beautifully and pair nicely with the absinthe and whiskey. The honey and lime provide a heavenly balance and body to add to the orange peel twang. The mint is a pretty important garnish here, not only to tie in with the Missionary’s Downfall but also to marry with the peaches in a lovely aroma. This drink is definitely on a different path than our Missionary, but lets just say they went to the same Sunday School.


I hope Dagreb likes the results. I know we do over here. I was hoping to do a few more challenge drinks this month, but illness and October prep got in the way. In any case we hope you’ve enjoyed this spin in our magic blender. Until next time…


“You get Hammered America!” -JFL

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MxMo OJ: Tropi-cure what ails Me

Well it’s MxMo time again and this one barely got done. Blame it on being a bit under the weather, but luckily DJ Hawaiian Shirt from Spirited Remix has me drinking my Orange Juice for this MxMo. I guess there are some detractors to orange juice in the cocktail world. I don’t run into them in my circles, however I seem to have read some suspender snapping ponces railing against the tasty juice. You may not see OJ a lot in classic cocktails, but it’s common in Tiki. Hey finally an easy one!

remixmo_final1Alright so before I got sick this drink was mostly done, unfortunately booze and a stomach flu don’t mix well. I have to say I really adore oranges. I have the fondest memories of Sunkist orange soda and cheesy 50’s scifi on cable as a kid. Heck even when there is an option of candy I tend to go for the orange flavor. The juice itself is healthy, colorful, and smells great. The peel is packed with flavor as well, but it’s not really our focus here. I wanted to add some spices, but really let that fresh flavor show through. I think the funk of the Barbancourt is really cool in this drink and several variations on it I made. Enough blathering though, here’s one to your health.

Tropicure (1)
1 oz El Dorado 12 year
1 oz Barbancourt White
1 oz fresh orange juice (Gotta be fresh on this one)
½ oz fresh lime juice
½ oz simple syrup
¼ oz Allspice Dram
tsp Benedictine
dash Bittermen’s orange cream citrate

Shake ingredients together and pour into a hurricane glass unstrained. Garnish with an orange wheel and straw.

The Benedictine and allspice provide a nice contrasting nose to the orange peel. There’s a warmth to this drink. Not the burn of alcohol, but the soft greeting of mellow spices and the lightly tangy refreshment of the fresh orange juice. The rums provide lots of depth in the background with funk and rich smokey molasses. White Agricole and aged Demerara are actually a decent pair. This will cure your rainy day blues, but not your stomach flu. Sometimes I get decent results from quality bottled orange juice. Especially when it’s a minor element. This is not one of those times, you gotta get to juicing.

Well this was a really fun MxMo theme. I even made an orange peel syrup I didn’t get to use. Rest assured you’ll get to see that soon. Thanks again to our host and until next time…

“You get Hammered America!” – JFL

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Filling Lono’s Cup

Fall is here and it brings with it great weather, awesome movies, and pumpkin spice products. I’m not immune to a certain chain’s pumpkin spice coffee. I’m also not immune to a good drink-making dare. So I put the word out to my twitter peeps to give me some drinks to work on while I get ready for our annual Halloween Blowout. This article my awesome friend Muse gets a cheers for our first little idea.

ChallengeSo I’ve used coconut a lot on this site. It comes with the Tiki Territory. Coconut cream is sweet and I often use it instead of a syrup. I also introduce a lot of my spice elements with a syrup. My bro Dan and I have been discussing finally doing a pumpkin spice syrup for the site so I decided the time was now. I hope Muse doesn’t mind that I used no Coco Lopez here, instead we use creamy delicious coconut milk to add delicious flavor and mouth feel. I also used the new syrup to add an array of pie spice to make your taste-buds glad it’s fall. Dark rum and orange peel love coconut and pumpkin alike, when you bring them together we have a happy family. Also let me make this clear. This is a pumpkin spice syrup, not a pumpkin pie syrup. So of course there’s no pumpkin in it. Pumpkin spice is a flavorful fall spice mix added to baked goods. I find it hilarious people were surprised Starbucks wasn’t putting squash in coffee. We’ve made a couple of drinks with pumpkin puree. This isn’t one of them.

Lono's Cup (3)

Lono Cup
1 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba)
1 oz Gold Virgin Islands Rum (Cruzan)
1 oz Orange Curacao (Ferrand)
¾ oz fresh lime juice
½ oz unsweetened coconut milk
¾ oz pumpkin spice syrup (see below)
1 hearty dash Angostura orange

Shake well with ice and garnish with peels of lime and orange. Add dashes of powdered spice and a lime wheel as desired.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup
4 sicks of cinnamon, crushed
1 heaping tablespoon of allspice, crushed
1 heaping teaspoon cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 grated bulb of nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Combine ingredient and bring to a small boil while stirring often, then reduce heat and keep stirring for two minutes. Let infuse off heat for at least four hours but no more than eight before straining and bottling.

The coconut milk, orange peel, and nutmeg in the syrup really give this one a great nose. If you wanna enhance the spice aspect you could dash the top with a little Pumpkin Spice, but I think this is perfect. The orange liqueur and bitters add a really great refreshing note to this that would be sorely missed. The pumpkin spice and coconut milk are such a match made in heaven and both marry well with the dark Jamaican rum. The gold rum helps keep things light here. I tried Mount Gay and Appleton Special as well. Both rums were good, but I liked how Cruzan moved to the background more than the others.

Lono's Cup (2)So I hope Muse and all of you like this drink. I find it to be pretty damn delicious myself. Make your voice heard in the comments below and hit me up on Twitter. Until next time…

“You Get Hammered America”– JFL

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All L.I.T. Up: Matcha, Matcha, Man

The Long Island is a very simple drink. That’s the reason it’s on so many menus in chain restaurants. It’s easy to make small modifications to make the drink unique. Also by touting a premium brand in their formula they can better advertise to customers. One thing has always bothered me, besides the ultra lousy well brands used to make them. There’s no damn tea in the drink, it’s colored with coke. I’ve always wanted to put the tea back in the L.I.T. Good thing I have a blog because I intend to do just that.

GreenBlade (1)
We’ve used tea before on the site, though unfortunately in the past it has tended to be a background player. The Haggerty’s Draught uses a syrup to add an herbal backing to other big flavors. However thanks to a Kurosawa marathon I stumbled across a great idea, matcha, a powdered Japanese green tea. It’s very strong, herbal, and quite trendy right now. Thanks to Japanese animation, samurai movies, and literature the tea ceremony isn’t so foreign to many nerds like me. So I decided to give it a try, and man does it add bold flavor to cocktails. However it’s color and high price make potent problems to deal with. On the bright side you can make it and keep it chilled in the fridge for a few days without much issue. The flavor does improve with some sweetness, but if you enjoy a rich herbal flavor you’ll likely enjoy it. I can see pairing it easily with gin, or using it in a bigger better syrup. In any case I’m certain you’ve never had a L.I.T like this. It’s delicious, bright, and strong potion for spring or summer with a herbaceous, and sour flavor.

GreenBlade (2)
Green Blade Tea
¾ oz Flor de Cana 4 white
¾ oz vodka
¾ oz Camus VS Cognac
¾ oz Bacardi Ron de Solera
¾ oz fresh lime juice
½ oz Clement Creole Shrubb
½ oz simple syrup
½ oz matcha tea (1 tsp powder to 1 oz hot water, make as instructed otherwise on package)
dash Angostura orange bitters

In a shaker tin combine ingredients and shake very well to combine. Pour into a footed pilsner and garnish with orange peel and pineapple leaves.

The aroma here is funky fresh, to date myself mightily. The orange peel and creole shrubb brighten the nose considerably while the matcha and white rum belt out some strong vegetal and herbal notes. The cognac and rum combo make a strong entrance and greet your palate with crisp orange notes. The lime and matcha slowly waft in after, with the matcha finishing strong but not in a way that overpowers. There’s a lot of room to play here. I spent three weeks swapping rums, syrups, and bitters around. Needless to say your gonna see a couple more matcha pieces from me this year. In the end I chose this one because it puts a high end spend on the L.I.T. While keeping some of those fresh, crisp, boozy notes a well made L.I.T can bring.

I hope we’ve shown this month that if made well you can redeem a Long Island. More than anything I believe that the framework is strong, you just need to spruce up the floor plan. In the end a Long Island teaches you one crucial Tiki skill, blending spirits. Construct a blend poorly and they won’t sing, they’ll riot. I’ve had to gas a few bad blends this month, but in the end I got some gold. What was your favorite iteration? What are your thoughts on the infamous L.I.T? Can this fun college skull crusher be redeemed? Until next time…

“You get Hammered America” – JFL

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