Well it’s MxMo time again and this time the theme is garnishes, brought to us by Joseph of Measure and Stir. I’ll have to admit even though I live tiki, garnishing drinks isn’t always something on my mind. Usually if It’s presented in a nice glass and has attractive color, aroma, and flavor I’m satisfied. Sometimes an understated garnish like a sprig of mint, a wheel of citrus or a dusting of spice if I feel the inkling. So when I saw the theme I’ll admit I was at a bit of a loss for ideas. After all when it comes to drinks it’s the taste that counts right? This was the belief I’d held for the past few years.
This is a shame though because garish, grand, garnishing is at the heart of tiki, and until I undertook this project I hadn’t really thought about the philosophy behind it. Donn always said “If you can’t come to paradise, I’ll bring Paradise to you”. Tiki is all about the illusion after all, creating an experience. You eat with your eyes first, and even though we are all told not to judge a book by it’s cover we can’t help it to some degree. So when what your selling is the exotic tropics and far away forbidden lands sometimes one has to do better than a piece of bar fruit and a cherry.
Why not take that bar fruit and make a mug? Oh it’s not so silly, and not as hard as I had believed it would be. Infact it took less time to make the mug than it did the drink that went inside. And it was so beautiful when finished.
A fruit mug is a perfect thing really, pineapple’s are the most classic but we were quite taken with the Orange mug made over at Putney Farms for this month’s MxMo. After all when many people think of Tiki they think of our “ugly face mugs” and volcano bowls. Everything from ceramic parrots to topless mermaids. Many of these mugs far to big for any proper tiki drink, and many are hard to find and very expensive. Luckily pineapples are cheap and delicious, you can even harvest a paltry sum of juice from each one for your drink.
From the Pi Yi, to the Pina Passion. Most tiki bars of today and bygone have something to fill these tropical vessels. So we picked up an OXO Stainless Steel Corer because we like metal tools, and went to work. They are easy to use and all come with directions. Try it once and you’ll never go through the tedium of cutting them the old way again. To make the lid just cut a small triangle in the top after you remove it. But mind the sharp fronds when you go to drink. Especially if you don’t have super long straws. For our purposes we popped open Jeff Berry’s Remixed and made a Boo Loo!
3-4 chunks of fresh pineapple
2 ½ oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1 ½ oz fresh lime
1 ¼ oz honey syrup
¾ oz Dark Jamaican Rum
¾ oz Lemon Hart 151
1 ½ oz Demerera Rum
1 ½ oz Gold Puerto Rican Rum
1 ½ oz Club Soda
Blend Juices, syrup and pineapple until liquified. Then combine all the ingredients in a hollowed out pineapple filled with crushed ice and stir to combine.
Naturally this drink is very pineappley both up front and in it’s aroma. I’d be disappointed if it didn’t show up since I’m drinking from one. There’s a pleasing honey sweetness that’s kept in check by the lime with notes of cinnamon, oak, and clove plus a bit of almost smoke. There’s a good bit of rum in this, but to me it’s not extremely present or up front. Instead they provide a nice background with lots of pleasing notes to keep things fun and revitalizing. It’s really blended very finely.
But mugs are only the beginning when it comes to tiki theatrics. We’re not just blowing smoke here! So Check out Part 2!