Bluau Bash: New year’s with the USBG

Ah a new year, full bad booze fueled decisions. We’re here to help fuel those decisions for you with every click of the keyboard and clink of ice. Recently my local United States Bartending Guild chapter called upon me to concoct some welcome punches for our members and their guests at our big year end bash. The punches were on point and more than one reveler found out the potency of the Tiki Gods at our blue themed luau or Bluau.

USBGPoseidonPunchMy personal favorite was a combination of Shellback silver rum and New Amsterdam coconut vodka. I kicked up the funk factor with a Chinese 5 Spice syrup I’ve been wanting to concot for awhile. Because of their backstory being associated with the mythical greek god Poseidon I dedcided to name the tipple after him. Wanna mix one up? Here’s how.

PoseidonPunch (4)
Poseidon Punch
1 oz Shellback Silver
¾ oz New Amsterdam Coconut Vodka
½ oz Bols Blue Curacao
1 oz lime juice
¾ oz five spice syrup

Shake ingredients with ice and pour unstrained into a chimney glass. Garnish with an orange peel, cherries, and a lime wedge.

PoseidonPunch (7)

Chinese 5 Spice Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 ½ star anise
2 cinnamon stick ceylon crushed
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
½ tsp whole fennel seeds
6 whole cloves

Roughly crush the spices in a morter and pestle, combine with water and sugar. Bring to a booil then lower to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Let sit, off the heat, and infuse for 4 hours before straining through a fine mesh.

Coconut is definitely in force here that New Amsterdam packs big flavor. Shellback comes through nicely with loads of vanilla and fashes of cane peppered in. An orange peel garnish is perfect here helping the curacao and lime make a heavenly nose. The coconut and five spice are graceful lovers dancing in your mouth. The lime and orange notes provide the step, and the shellback provides a lovely setting. This cocktail is on the sweeter side, but it still has a nice balance. Part of me wonders how this would be with an extra half ounce of orange or white grapefruit juice. I am digging that syrup to, but next time I make it I might try kicking up the amount of spices in the brew.

PoseidonPunch (8)

Poseidon Punch pack waves of flavor.

We had another punch filled with tequila goodness, sadly none of the pictures at the party turned out well and I’m out of product to make it. It must have been good since they drank it all. Filled with plenty of finery we present it to you below.

Maestro Mahina
1 oz Maestro Dobel
¾ oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz pineapple juice
½ oz Cuervo Cinge
½ oz Cappeletti
½ oz simple syrup (we dyed ours blue with food coloring)
½ oz blue curacao
1 dashes orange bitters.

Shake ingredients with ice and pour into a chimney glass, garnish with mint and pineapple.


This drink was rich and very full bodied, pineapple, cappeletti, and cinnamon are always a winning combo. The tequila added a really lovely herbal note to the party and kept it boozy and refreshing. I just regret all the pictures turned out so blurry, it was really a lovely bluish purple.


I’d like to thank all our sponsors for helping us reward our members with a great night of drinks and revelry. It’s nice to see the companies we pour every night support us this way. I’d also like to say if you have a local USBG chapter and your not a part of it your missing out. There’s no better organization for a beverage professional to join. 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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