Sometimes you get in a rut and need a break. We’re coming up on having done 5 years of Rated R Cocktails. So I guess you can call the past month of silence a vacation of sorts. It’s the longest break we’ve taken from publicly pontificating on drinking and Tiki in 5 years. I’ve actually penned and nearly posted a few articles during the impromptu break, but none of them felt perfect or fun. Even the best take breaks, but it’s time to saddle back up.
Recently my best bud and frequent idea contributor Dan messaged me with the notion of Tikifying the Long Island Ice Tea. I liked the idea for a lot of reasons, mostly because the nose in the air crowd have made this drink the icon of their disgust. I myself am just the kind of guy who enjoys offending the easily offended. I’ll be honest the variation and measurements remind me of a Trader Vic and Stephen Crane Frankenstien monster. The elite would forever banish the L.I.T from menu’s, but they never will. It’s simple, popular, and if made right really not bad. The real reason it’s so successful is that it has a perfect skeleton to customize. This is why every chain restaurant has their own version, our college favorite being the L.I.T. Bonanza that is Logan’s Roadhouse. They may not be excellent examples of craft mixology, but they could be if anyone took the time or effort. So we present for your jeers and entertainment a series of my efforts to improve the maligned Long Island Ice Tea.
To begin I go to the well. Coffee is one of my very favorite drink additions. While thinking on a way to turn our theme drink on it’s head I decided Iced Coffee would be a fun flip on “Iced Tea”. Now there’s no tea in a classic L.I.T., but the play on words made me laugh. I had recently seen a Polynesian coffee drink using coconut milk and ginger. I decided to bring one of my favorite pairings back for a bow. The combinations are rather inspired, finding liquor blends that don’t break up the marriage is the hardest part. Well enough gabbing, lets get down to brass tax.
Lost Island Ice Coffee
¾ oz Barbancourt 5 Star
¾ oz Appleton 12 year
¾ oz Camus VS Cognac
¾ oz wheat vodka (Or any vodka hell I won’t tell. But I got a giant bottle of Purus for free recently.)
¾ oz fresh lime juice
¾ oz dark roast drip coffee
½ oz coconut cream (Lopes or Coco Real)
dash of Bittermen’s Elemakule bitters
Shake ingredients together with ice and pour into a pilsner. Garnish with flowers, lime, or parasol. Serve with a straw
Sweet notes of orange, cinnamon, coffee, creamy coconut candy, and something faintly apricotish. The drink has a nice thick body and it does immediately draw thoughts of drive through ice coffee. The coffee beats back the coconut overtones slightly, but not so much they both don’t meet you arm and arm at the front. It dries out after that into rich rummy tones supported by the light round bite of cognac. I’m sure vodka is doing it’s job somewhere. The bitters really are crucial here for depth. So even if you don’t have Elemakule (Shame on you!) you should still add a hearty splash of Angostura.
So what do you think? Have I tempted you into giving this old rascal another try? No? Well hold on to your butt Aunt Matilda cause we’re only getting started. It’s nice to be back in the saddle, we hope your glad to see us. Until next time…
“You get Hammered America!” – JFL