To finish off the month long look at Tiki warmers we turn our focus to mouth feel. Mouth feel might be the most overlooked element in many modern hot drinks. Whether thin like a regular cup of drip coffee or rich and creamy like most hot Tiki grogs it’s important the body fit the flavors. Classically this is achieved with butter and honey based batters stirred into the hot fill element. The ground I tread today however is something I felt was always missing from the classic hot Tiki portfolio.
Many delicacies have surprisingly humble origins, chocolate was never one of these. The first glimpse Europeans had of chocolate was likely seeing it be used as currency by native Caribbean Indians. The topic is covered in Jeff Berry’s new book Potions of the Caribbean, which also has a recipe for the way cocoa was drank back then. Chocolate is definitely an exotic tropical ingredient, so it’s odd you don’t see it used more in the Tiki world. Though I’ve never seen it done on classic Tiki menus I am a firm believer that hot chocolate can be worthy of a spot among the Coffee Grogs and Cafe Diables. Our White Sands Hot Chocolate achieves all the pillars of Tiki warmers while being very luxurious and decadent. This hearty treat might not be the kind of thing you’d enjoy every day, but it beats the pants off any instant mix.
White Sands Hot Chocolate
1 fine chopped 4 oz bar of premium white chocolate
1 ½ fl oz cup coconut milk or one 13.3 oz can
¼ fl oz cup fresh mango juice
1 fl oz cup heavy cream
¼ tsp powdered cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground allspice
2 – 4 oz dark Jamaican rum (we used Myers)
For the mango juice: We fine blend a chopped fresh mango in a food processor and the press it through a fine mesh strainer. One mango gave us enough juice for this recipe. If you in a hurry you can wring the puree through a cheese cloth or use the Ceres brand juice.
Heat mango juice, coconut milk, heavy cream and spices over medium high heat until very warm, just before it simmers. Add the white chocolate and whisk until it’s melted and combined. Then remove from the heat and whisk in the rum. Garnish if desired with a cinnamon stick. This serves four readily.
This thick, creamy, mouth coating belly warmer is filled with unctuous tropical flavor. The aroma is rich in cream, coconut, and cinnamon. The rum tickles your palate up front with burnt sugar that explodes into notes of coconut, mango, and banana. White chocolate fills the middle in a way that is gladly not cloying as white chocolate tends to be. The finish is lingeringly nutty and creamy with hints of bruleed sugar.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our look at hot Tiki drinks as much as we have. As the Tiki revival continues to grow these great drinks should not be forgotten. They’re also a great example of how Tiki can be relevant even in the colder months. Until next time…
“You get hammered America!” – JFL