The Phantom of the Luau

You have promise Mademoiselle DuBois. But you must choose between an operatic career and what is usually called a normal life. Though why it is so called is beyond me. You can’t do justice to both, The Artist has a special temperament, and he must live his life exclusively with those that understand it….. You’ll find that music has it’s compensations my dear, good night,” – Monsieur Villeneuve (Phantom of the Opera, Universal Pictures, 1943)

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My love for old horror movies is no secret, but neither is my devotion to the craft of the cocktail. Any dream of a “normal life” went up in smoke when this dream was born in my mind. Luckily smoke was this September’s MxMo theme presented by Elana Stir & Strain. Sorrowfully we’re a few days late, Hopefully though we can beg forgiveness.


Smoke is an important theatric element to Tiki as is last month’s fire theme. We spoke more in depth about smoking drinks before, but this time we sought to use cognac. To be honest we don’t hold much love for the spirit normally, but Camus really impressed us last month. Camus and smoke are also elements we can definitely admire in the story of the Phantom of the Opera. There are plenty of great adaptations, but the tragic story presented in the 1943 story of Erique Claudin (Claude Rains) is a personal favorite. So here we present a more tropical phantom, after all how could he miss the chance to see Christine in a bikini?

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Phantom of the Luau


1 ½ oz Camus VS Cognac

1 ½ oz Appleton Special (gold) rum

¾ oz Fresh coconut syrup

¾ oz fresh lime juice

½ teaspoon Islay scotch

1 dash Angostura bitters

Shake with ice and pour unstained into a double old fashioned glass. Serve in a smoking coconut shell.

There really are some very orangey notes to this even though there’s no orange at all. That makes me laugh. The lime really provides structure here for flavors to hang on. Often for me in drinks lime is a bouncer keeping sweetness and other undesirable flavors at bay. The coconut syrup is so subtle adding the most fleeting -but missed when absent- bump to the middle of the cocktail. The Camus and Appleton are perfect housemates, they marry so well together and add a lot to the drink. Islay scotch to me is always lovely but in cocktails it is quite the bully ingredient. The Diva that is peat smoke is ever present in this cocktail and for me that is lovely. If you find it much to much I recommend reducing it to ¼ tsp. In this it only has wisps of smoke for the finish. However as presented it is a bold masculine smokey cocktail ever seeking it’s “Christine”.

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If your curious to make the fresh coconut syrup combine a cup of hulled coconut with a cup of sugar. Then you must add a half cup of water, and a half cup of fresh coconut water. Bring to a boil on high then reduce heat by half and simmer for two minutes. Allow to cool and infuse for four hours before fine straining and bottling. You may want to make sure for coconut has a stable base below it as it is easy to tip over. We used the top of our Laphroaig 10 year container turned upside down to keep it steady. Unless you want Phantom-like scars be careful when using dry ice and never put it inside something your drinking.

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This Universal Monsters tribute was an early sample of what we have in store for next month’s Horror Tiki Fest. We look forward to giving you more unpleasant dreams. Until next time…

“You Get Hammered America” -JFL


About JFL

Joey or JFL as he is known by friends is a culinary trained mixologist from the Heart of Dixie Birmingham, Alabama. From a weekly column in the St. Clair News Aegis to his own experiments online JFL never stops doing work on Tiki and Cocktails. When he's not studying all things spirit, wine, and beer he's pursuing his own odd interests such as cartoons, cheesy old horror movies, horror punk, hair metal, and hockey
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6 Responses to The Phantom of the Luau

  1. Gotta try it.. love camus and cognac rum combo… really cool drink man!

    • JFL says:

      Thanks! They matched up really well together and changed the smokey flavor alot, the hardest part of this cocktail was controlling the smoke level.

  2. Pingback: Mixology Monday LXXVII Roundup: SMOKE! // Stir and Strain

  3. Jack says:

    I dig your balance, especially your fresh ingredients. Isn’t it a blast to taste a proper drink? Nicely done.

    • JFL says:

      We’re always striving for a well balanced Tiki drink. It’s so important in this style to have depth and character. Is certainly is a joy when you get it just right. Much thanks!

  4. Pingback: Evil’s abound at Whiro’s Whim | Rated R Cocktails

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