Tiki Tree Viper

Inspiration comes from odd places when your making tropical themed drinks. Historically plastic “Polynesian” drinks came from a variety of inspirations. Some romantic, some action filled, some with strange words that drunks just enjoyed trying to say. Personally I love them all but I tend to be more inspired by the spirit of danger. This week’s drink is inspired by my love of snakes and the deadly beauty that venomous snakes embody. Like these emerald hunter’s the drink’s beauty veils it’s deadly bite.

TreeViper (6)

A lot of inspiration from this drink comes from Marcovaldo Dionysos before he was at Smuggler’s Cove the amazing Chartreuse Swizzle cocktail. We’ve never been to Smuggler’s Cove but we certainly want to visit, even work if Martin Cate would have us. The drink also has a bite of delicious Lemon Hart 151 and a body of delicious golden Jamaican rum. Orgeat pairs surprisingly well with Chartreuse adding nutty orangey notes to it’s herbal glory. The leaves of the mint and cherry remind me of the dense jungle trees that hide the ruby eyes of the viper.

TreeViper (4)

Tree Viper

1 ½ oz Appleton Special

½ oz Lemon Hart 151

¾ oz Green Chartreuse

¼ oz Senior blue curacao

1 oz fresh lime juice

½ oz fresh orange juice

½ oz orgeat


Combine in a shaker and give a nice hard shake to crack the ice and combine the ingredients. Then Pour into a footed Pilsner or tulip glass and garnish with a bushy sprig of mint and a brandied cherry.

The drink has a slightly savory nose of oregano, burnt sugar, and a distinct nuttiness. It’s flavor is rich in myriad herbal notes but never becomes bitter. Notes of demerera funk, molasses, and smoke marry well with a sweet and sour finish of lime, and orange. This drink definitely makes for a refreshing afternoon sip with just enough layers to keep it interesting. It’s sour but never to sour.

TreeViper (3)

After all that time as a roving reporter it’s nice to be shaking up Tiki treasures again. This cocktail marks one hundred posts for our little catalog of boozing. We hope you’ll stick with us for one hundred more. 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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12 Responses to Tiki Tree Viper

  1. Congrats on 100 posts, sir! Absolutely gorgeous cocktail and pics, too — the color viscerally evokes a viper for me.

    Would a 130pf white rum be an ok substitute for the Lemon Hart here? The orgeat/green chartreuse combo is holding my mouth hostage until I try it.

  2. Martin Cate says:

    Cheers, but credit for the Chartreuse Swizzle goes to my bartender Marcovaldo Dionysos, who invented it many years before he came to work at Smuggler’s Cove. Mahalo!

  3. ceccotti says:

    Is that home-made cocktail cherry?
    Have a recipe?
    Seems yummy!

  4. Pingback: The Pegu Blog

  5. Pingback: Rated R Syrups: Orgeat | Rated R Cocktails

  6. Pingback: Stocking the Tiki Bar: Rums | Rated R Cocktails

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