The Black Magic Cocktail and How to sub a Defunct Rum

Black Magic 1

Oh how i wish sometimes that i could just for a day or two transport myself back to the time where the tiki drinks were served with rums like the 17 year old JWray, the quintessential Mai Tai rum or for example the Jamaican Dagger rums…

Well, there IS still some of those rums left…maybe a bottle or three? and these are kept by a few rum collectors..but i actually once did have a smaller bottle of one of the dagger rums. And yep i won`t forget that rum. Or the other vintage rums i`ve luckily been able to taste in various places.

Many of these rums had a flavor profile that of old jamaican pot still plus so much more…and it seems to me that more and more rum companies are trying to re-create that flavor profile again – a good example is Smith and Cross. But these – even though they are very good to my taste – haven`t been able to duplicate the flavor those vintage rums had. We the rum drinkers who are or have not been in a position to collect some of those elusive vintage rums must make do with substitutions.

I`m going to make an example here with a vintage tiki drink called the Black Magic. Dark rums and coffee is what gave this drink it´s name and it was made by Mariano Licudine while he was still working for Don the Beachcomber in the Don the Beachcomber restaurant in Chicago. He later moved on to Fort Lauderdale to work at the Mai Kai.

I have read that he had 48 drinks on his cocktail menu that called for 43 different kinds of rum…so he knew his rums and how to blend different rums to create new flavor profiles for his cocktails – much like Don the Beachcomber.

So when he went to work at the Mai Kai he brought with him many of the recipes of Don Beach drinks and made his own twist on them.

What made the Black Magic so distinctive was not just the blend of dark rums and coffee which is delicious – but it was also the rums used and in this drink one of the Jamaican dagger rums played an important part.

dagger-punch-jamaican-dark-rum

Dagger was a Jamaican dark rum brand which is now defunct. The one i tried had a dark mahogany color and dark tones of burnt molasses and dried fruits, and it was spicy and woody, balanced and complex with a vintage feel.

There are different dagger rums with different agings and here´s what the Bum wrote about one of Mariano´s old dagger rums he tried at the Mai Kai´s back bar, stucked away on a shelf as it was.

“It puts the current dark Jamaican offerings on the market to shame; nothing in the Appleton or Myers’s portfolio even comes close.”

So what to do? how do we sub rums like that?

Reading more on the Atomic Grog`s website thought me that the same company that made the dagger rums now makes a rum that is hard to find – but not impossible – the Kohala Bay.

Now i have no way of finding Kohala Bay so then what to do? i kept reading and found out that they suggested an equal mix of Smith and Cross and El Dorado 12 year old demerara rum.

And finally – i can do that. What i can say is that these rums made a nice drink, tasty and strong but if it comes anywhere close to how the original Black Magic tasted when made with the jamaican dagger rum – it surely ain`t.

And close to how it tastes with the Kohala Bay rum? i cannot tell…all i can say that it´s a tasty drink and that the Smith and Cross/El Dorado 12 yo combo is a good one.

Try it for yourselves..this recipe is the Tribute to the Dark Magic as found on the Atomic Grog.

On the Mai Kai menu it said –

BLACK MAGIC

The owner’s choice. A superbly smooth but forthright blending of fine dark rums and tropical juices, subtly laced with coffee and truly refreshing.

Read the rest of the review here.

Black Magic 3

Tribute to The Mai-Kai’s Black Magic

* 3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice
* 3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
* 3/4 ounce white grapefruit juice
* 3/4 ounce rich honey mix
(2:1 honey to water, mixed and cooled)
* 1 1/2 ounces strong Kona coffee,
freshly brewed, then chilled
* 1 1/2 ounces Coruba dark Jamaican rum
* 1 1/2 ounces Kohala Bay dark Jamaican rum
(substitution suggestion below)
* 1/2 ounce Don’s Mix
(2 parts grapefruit juice to 1 part cinnamon syrup)
* 1/2 teaspoon allspice dram (aka pimento liquor)
* 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Blend with up to 1 1/2 cups of crushed ice in a top-down mixer for around 5 seconds, or until frothy. Pour into a large snifter glass with more crushed ice to fill. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Something about the coffee…try to get real Hawaiian Kona coffee if you can but if you can`t try to get either Louisiana Community coffee dark roast or Jamaican Blue Mountain. I don`t think any other coffee will do. You need a full flavored and strong coffee like these.

Instead of a snifter i decided to let this drink christen my new awesome tiki mug created by Scott Taylor who lives on Maui, Hawaii. if you want to see the awesome and very detailed mugs he makes you can go and check out his pictures on instagram ( type the name tikipop )

Black Magic 4

His shop “Beach Bumz” is one of the stops of Maui Tiki Tours owned by another great tiki mug artist – Rob Hawes – who`s Kala mug i featured in this earlier post. You find his pics on instagram too, (type tikirob)

If you go to Maui make sure to stop by the shop, you will find tiki mugs by Scott, Rob and some other local artists, tiki farm, etc.

Also Gecko on Oahu will be releasing Scott´s new Ka’oha design mug in a much more affordable run than the others that have sold..most likely in July on his Southseaarts.com website.

The pics below (by Scott Taylor) are some of Scott´s tiki mugs:

Scott Taylor mugs 4 Coconut Beachcomber & Tapa Tri-Foota

Scott Taylor mugs 5 Marquesan Pineapple bowl

Scott Taylor mugs 2

Tiki Month – 2070 Swizzle

Third drink up for the Tiki Month hosted by the Pegu blog is a drink that was created by Martin Cate at Smuggler’s Cove – the nicely spicy 2070 Swizzle.

I`m serving it in my third mug from the Fireworks studio in Glagow, the coconut mug. I could have made a drink that contains coconut and the best one that comes to mind i the Coconaut but i have already had it on here so i went and searched for something else and found the 2070 Swizzle.

This swizzle contains Angostura 1919 and demerara rums, lime and honey, allspice dram, angostura bitters and what i believe is the secret to success . 4 drops of pernod which is an ingredient that was extensively used by Don the Beachcomber and which in very small amounts ( 4-6 drops usually) adds a third dimension to the drink by adding contrast, i really like it.

If you can`t find pernod you may use absinthe or herbsaint. The absinthe is less sweet than the other two which are not absinthes (pernod is a pastis and herbsaint is a brand name of anise-flavored liquor, originally made in New Orleans, Louisiana) – but since only only drops are used it doesn´t matter which one you use. Personally i used absinthe which are more to my liking in tiki drinks while i prefer herbsaint in say a sazerac.

2070 Swizzle (by Martin Cate)

1 oz Angostura 1919 Rum
1 oz 151 Demerara Rum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/4 oz Allspice Dram
4 drops Pernod
2 dashes Bitters

Swizzle and sprinkle nutmeg on top.

The 2070 swizzle is an awesome drink and there´s also a version of it called “2070 Swizzle Redux” created by Jim Hurricane Hayward over at the Grogalizer. Let´s try it:

2070 Swizzle Redux

1 oz Angostura 1919 or other quality Gold Rum
1/2 oz Lemon Hart 151
1/2 oz Smith & Cross
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz Cinnamon Infused Simple Syrup (If you use Trader Tiki/BG Reynold’s, you may need to cut it back. His syrup is extremely strong. Cut it in half)
1/2 oz Honey Mix
1/2 oz Strong Kona coffee (chilled of course)
1/4 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
4 drops Pernod
2 dash Angostura bitters
1 pinch freshly ground nutmeg on top
Cinnamon Stick swizzle

Here is instructions from Swanky that i found on the Tiki Central:

Use about 1/2 cup crushed ice, flash blended for a few seconds. Lately I prefer to put everything in the blender but ice, set it to the lowest setting, on mine it is “Stir” and get all the ingredients mixed.

Then I add the ice and hit it on high. I zap it for a second, let it stop and repeat. Do that maybe 3 or 4 times. Pour into the proper glass (collins/zombie, or the classic aluminum ones) and add ice to fill. Grate some fresh nutmeg on top. Add cinnamon stick as swizzle.

If you use an aluminum glass, or even a collins, take a napkin and unfold it, then refold it longways. You should have a good frost on the glass. Lightly wet one corner of the napkin and press it to the glass so it freezes in place. Wrap around and do the same to the other end. This makes the drink easier to hold since it is so cold.

I didn`t have any Angostura 1919 but i do have some left of the Caroni -97 single barrel rum so i used that with excellent results in both drinks, awesome actually…

And my blender has broken down so this one is swizzled the old fashioned way with a wooden swizzle stick.

The 2070 Swizzle Redux tastes to me like a coffee spiced cousin to the first one with a  little bit less demerara flavor and more of the Jamaican funk and (in my case) strong Caroni heaviness – and even though Caroni is a rum from Trinidad many of their strong rums does resemble Jamaican pot still rum.

Happy Tiki Month!

Wrath of the Zombie

Happy Halloween everybody, here´s a drink to wake the living dead! – or at least to make YOU become like a zombie if you make too many…

It´s a variety of the classic 1934 Don the Beachcomber’s Zombie with a blend of aged and overproof rums, plus rhum agricole and then cinnamon, grapefruit and lime..

I`ve had the zombie on here before but it´s a damn good drink! and if it wasn`t for one man namely “Jeff Beachbum Berry” we wouldn´t have this recioe today…he dug down the rabbithole of lost ingredients and recipes and un-earhted the original 1934 Zombie Punch.

And that you can read all about in his book Sippin`Safari.

But this time to make something different i have omitted the pernod and grenadine in this recipe and added grapefruit juice and then switched gold Puerto Rican rum for aged agricole.

Same same but different..but not less strong…

Wrath of the Zombie

0.75 oz fresh lime

0.5 oz Don´s Mix ( either use Trader Tiki aka BG Reynold´s excellent Don`s Mix or make your own by mixing 2 parts Grapefruit Juice with 1 part Cinnamon Syrup.

0.5 oz Falernum ( Get BG Reynold`s or make your own)

1.5 oz Jamaican rum ( I used – Blackwell rum, and 0.5 oz Smith and Cross)

1.5 oz aged rhum agricole ( i used Clément VSOP)

1 oz demerara rum ( 0.5 oz El Dorado 12 yo, 0.5 oz Lemon Hart 151)

Dash Angostura bitters

Top with grapefruit juice

Blend everything with 6 oz crushed ice, blend at high speed for 5 sek. Pour into a zombie glass (chimney glass) and add more crushed ice to fill if needed.

Top up with grapefruit juice and garnish with pineapple leaf and slice and cherry.

This is a strong rum drink…

Boooo!!!

Sugarcane bar

 

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Grilled Pineapple Curacao Daiquiri

Grilled pineapple syrup and dark rum….mix that together with a squeeze of fresh lime – and you get a Pineapple Curacao Daiquiri.

Here´s a tropical libation from St Croix in the Caribbean – made by my friend Jesse Card at St Croix Libation Society where he promote all things rum in the first place and all things booze related. He once also featured one of my drinks and now is the time for me to feature a good libation of his – and this one is a right up my alley because it contains grilled pineapple which is something i like a lot. Jesse also did feature this drink on one of my fav websites – Uncommon Caribbean.

Jesse is originally from Portland, Oregon and moved to St Croix about six years ago.

Trying to be honest & authentic behind the bar, he says it’s all about listening to the guest on the other side that matters – “Just because I love bitters doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t get that Cosmo they’re craving”

Jesse is the Beverage Director at the new Low Life Bar & Refuge, opening this summer on the Christiansted Boardwalk of beautiful St. Croix. And one more thing – he puts up a wicked karaoke show….trust me, i´ve seen it in New Orleans – last summer he made the Saint bar ROCK!

This grilled pineapple recipe comes in the form of a grilled pineapple syrup and since it´s grilled with slightly caramelized demerara sugar it really gives the drink that depth which takes a tropical drink to the next level and with a dash or two of angostura bitters – gives it complexity and some real exotic-ness – a real tasty drink!

I tried the grilled pineapple daiquiri with a good rum – St Nicholas Abbey 12 yo from Barbados (1 oz) and paired it with 1 oz of the strong Jamaican funky rum Smith and Cross – plus fresh lime and the grilled pineapple syrup  – hmmm………..it was good….

So here is how – and if you don´t have these rums you can use any GOOD aged dark rum, like Appleton Extra for example – but i really think the Smith and Cross adds some funk and punch to this drink!

A demerara rum would be very good too – try it with El Dorado 12 yo. Jesse used Cruzan rum – of course – he lives on st Croix after all – but i don´t have that rum so i used the others and the result was very good and as with any daiquiri for that matter – it´s REALLY important to use a good quality rum – skip cheap rums with this!

GRILLED PINEAPPLE CURACAO DAIQUIRI

1 pineapple
2 cups demerera sugar
1 cup water
a few limes
cruzan rum
clement creole shrubb (or cointreau)
angostura bitters

So start with the pineapple…peel and cut out 3 rings, two for the syrup and one for garnish.

Make a simple syrup by adding 2:1 ratio of sugar and water, use a dark demerara sugar and combine in a sauce pan over high heat. Stir it around for a few minutes until the sugar is pretty well dissolved. With the ratio 2:1 you`ll get a rich syrup.

Now to get some flavor, add 2 of the pineapple rings and coat them with the syrup so when we grill it we get a nice caramelization. Now, set the syrup aside for a while and start grilling the syrup coated pineapple rings on a hot grill and let them get that nice slightly charred look.

After grilling is done add them back to your syrup. Heat your syrup back up to a simmer and let it reduce for 15 minutes or so by about a quarter. Remove the pineapple and set the syrup aside to cool.

Combine over ice in a tall glass:

* 1 oz of your fresh grilled pineapple syrup
* 2 oz good dark rum
* 1 oz creole shrubb or cointreau
* 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
* 1 dash angostura bitters

Shake hard and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice.

Cedilla – Açai Liqueur from the House of Leblon

Here comes Brazil!

I just got my hands on Leblon`s new açai liqueur…

Açai is a new macerated fruit liqueur made by Maison Leblon and is made from Zambazon açai berries from the Amazon region in Brazil. Straight from the rainforest, exotic and purple – yeah…this really speaks to me.

I “sort of” knew what açai berriers were ( i have heard about them in the context of heatlh) but i didn`t really know what they were and as usual when i get a sample of something new i start doing my reserach – so what exactly is açai berries?

The word açai – means “the berry that cries” – they are glossy blue and purple berries from Brazil contaning LOADS of antioxidants. The berries are the fruits of a palm tree that grows slowly under the humid and shady rainforest canopy in South and Central America and take 4-5 years before producing fruit.

The berry has a rich flavor similar to cherry with a hint of chocolate. The liqueur Cedilla is made with handpicked Zambazon açai berries and Zambazon means that they are certified organic & fair trade.

The berries are macerated and blended with the highest quality alambique Cachaça from the Maison Leblon in Patos de Minas, Brazil. And what you get is a rich fruity flavor with complex chocolate, spice, and berry notes. It`s bottled at ABV 25%.

Sounds good? well, it does to me….I was actually quite curious about the flavor of this product and disappointed i was not – instead i was rather surprised. It´s really yummy – fruity, complex, distinct and very much reminding of a finer ruby port.

There´s great ways to use it too, it goes down nicely neat of course but my main interest is to use it in mixed drinks.

Usually a good rule of thumb when it comes to local products is that they most often goes best together with other products from the same area or climate. So i went and searched for Brazilian recipes to either use as is or tweak a little bit to create something new.

But you also need to step outside the boundaries sometimes how else shall you discover something different and exciting? and to me – of course you can use this in tiki drinks too – you can use it in everything – despite that not being very Brazilian…but believe me i`m gonna try that too.

But the first drink that comes to mind when thinking about Brazil just has to be the caipirinha and mixed with cachaça, sugar and lime how can it be anything but glorious?

Açai Caipirinha

2 oz Leblon Cachaça
1 oz Cedilla
½ oz sugarcane syrup or 1-2 tsp fine sugar
6 lime wedges cut in quarters (1 large lime)

Muddle the limes and fine sugar or sugarcane syrup in a mixing glass. Add Cedilla and Leblon Cachaça. Fill with ice, shake well and pour all into a rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Very tasty!

And here´s another recipe i found over at Leblon:

Salvador Sling

2 oz Leblon Cachaça
1 oz Cedilla
½ oz fresh lime juice
½ oz ginger liqueur (i used Domaine de Canton)
2 oz pineapple juice
Dash of angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients in shaker and shake vigorously with ice. Strain into a highball or other glass filled with cracked ice, and garnish with a pineapple slice.

Oh this is yummy…this cocktail has a quite mature taste, it´s semi-sweet and there`s lots of “port” flavor in it from the Cedilla but also somehow the ginger flavor marries into it and makes the impression stronger.

An interesting variety would be to muddle fresh ginger into this instead of the liqueur.

This is a sip and savor kinda cocktail.

And now it´s time for a tiki drink as well and since Cedilla has a taste of a light ruby port i think it would be interesting to make a twist of Martin Cate´s “Dead Reckoning” and switch the tawny port for Cedilla and the rum for aged cachaca and a high proof dark rum with attitude like Smith and Cross. And finally switch the angostura bitters for one – just one dash of Mozart chocolate bitters….

Brazilian Dead Reckoning

1 oz fresh lemon juice

1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice

0.5 oz Navan vanilla liqueur

0.5 oz Cedilla

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup

1 oz Leblon Reserva aged cachaca

1 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican rum

1 dash chocolate bitters (Mozart)

1 oz soda water

Well well well…..this was a DRINK!! very strong, very spicy…with that hint of chocolate…just the way i like it! when the ice dilutes it just a little bit it becomes perfect!

I have to say that Cedilla acai liqueur is a very good liqueur indeed…and you can do a lot with it – it fits in most styles of cocktails – go get it!

I don´t know where it´s sold right now outside of Brazil or if it even is but you may contact Leblon to find out.

I really like the Cedilla! it´s tasty, versatile, exotic and warm!

On a sidenote – the word Cedilla is from the Old Spanish name for the letter, ceda (zeta) A cedilla – also known as cedilha or cédille, is a hook ( ¸ ) added under certain letters as a accent mark to modify their pronunciation. In this case it becomes a “soft” c.

Pictures of acai berries at the plantation are courtesy the House of Leblon.

Tiki Month – Pieces of Eight and Dr Funk served in Ice Tower

So…the tiki month is coming to an end – well i guess not for me since it´s tiki month all year here on this blog! Doug really has cranked out TONS of great drinks and info and i haven`t yet been able to read it all – heck i have a normal job too!!

But there´s lots of great knowledge, funny anecdotes, history and teachings and for our convenience and for this i say THANK YOU Doug! all the posts are listed with links if you just click on “Tiki Month 2012” at the upper top right on his blog, and there ya go!

So i guess this is going to be my last post for tiki month of february at least, and looking around to find an interesting drink to make i found the “Pieces of Eight” in Remixed which is one i haven´t made before. I like the idea of using eight pieces of grilled pineapple as garnish as showed in the book.

I also happen to feel like making the ice tower again and so i made one yesterday, it´s been kept in my freezer overnight – it´s for Dr Funk. Who is Dr Funk? well, it´s a drink that was made by a German doctor in Samoa…

The ice tower was something i first saw years ago in a picture of the drink “Dr Funk`s Son” and thought it was so cool i went and made a few different ice-towers and wrote a post about Dr Funk and Dr Funk´s Son.

Also just now during the tiki month over at the Pegu blog, my epic friend Doug also wrote about this drink in an excellent post with no less than three versions of the drink.

Dr Funk was invented by a German doctor on Samoa as a cure for the world renown author Robert Louis Stevenson – sometimes in the beginning of the 20th century and if you haven´t read his book “Mystic Isles of the South Seas” and is interested in things Polynesia i think you should. It`s a great piece of history. Well – making those drinks was long ago and i haven`t made any new ice-tower until now…gonna be fun to make the Dr Funk again – also it´s a great drink containing a little bit of absinthe for your well-being.

As for the other drink “Pieces of Eight” – it was created at the Pieces of Eight restaurant in Marina Del Rey, California in cirka 1962. Seems llike the restaurant closed down sometimes in the 70s. It´s a light drink with just 1.5 oz of light Puerto Rican rum – and i`m not that much into light drinks….so i wanna pimp it up a bit – but if you prefer a lower alcohol content just stick to the original recipe which calls for 1.5 oz light Puerto Rican rum.

Moreover you don´t have to go and grill eight pieces of pineapple for garnish to do this drink, it´s just me wanna do it cuz i love those little things…

But now all this talk about grilled pineapple and rum has made me thirsty so i better get going, here are the recipes:

PIECES OF EIGHT


0.5 oz fresh lime juice

1.5 oz fresh lemon juice

1.5 oz passionfruit syrup

1.5 oz light Puerto Rican rum

1 oz Smith & Cross (extra)

4 oz ( 0.5 cup) crushed ice

Put it all in a blender and blend at high speed for 5 sec and pour unstrained into a tall glass or specialty glass and add more crushed ice to fill.

With the addition of Smith & Cross the drink was – to my taste – very nice!

DR FUNK ( 1948 trader Vic`s recipe)

2 1/2 oz. Dark Jamaican Rum

2 1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

1 1/2 oz. Club Soda

1/2 oz. Grenadine

1/4 oz. Absinthe

Shake all ingredients except club soda in a cocktail shaker with 1 cup of crushed ice. Pour into Fu Manchu mug or 12 oz. chimney glass – or ice tower… Top with soda and more crushed ice to fill

If you like the taste of absinthe you´ll like this drink! the taste of anise is distinctive but not overpowering.

HOW TO MAKE THE ICE TOWER

It´s easy – Just place the glass inside a larger plastic bucket-like cup or “glass” –  a bit bigger than the drinking glass filling the space in between with first crushed ice and then water and then into the freezer overnight.

IMPORTANT – After you added the crushed ice in the space between the glasses make sure to add a stone or something to hold it down when you pour in the water.

When you take it out hold it under warm water to get the ice tower to get loose from the plastic bucket, it doesn´t take more than a minute or two.

UPDATE – One more thing – in the comments i got the question if the ice tower melts fast and wet the table….well, i say – A couple of napkins is useful…and not to drink too slowly either but since this drink (or another) you make in it tastes so good that shouldn`t be a problem…just don´t make zombies.…

Aloha and Okole maluna!

 

A Tiki Drink for Valentines Day – Ma’ane’i No Ke Aloha ~ For love is here and now

Tiki month of february continues with a little something for the valentine`s day…i see more and more romantic cocktails for the upcoming Valentine´s day in the making but nowhere do i see a romantic tiki drink?  – looks like somebody has to do something about that and what can be better timing for that than now since it also is the tiki month?

When thinking of romantic-tiki i visualize polynesian tropical sunsets, palm fronds gently swaying in the soft breeze and flickering tiki torches – often two tiki torches are crossed together, like two lovers…and then we have the distant waves crashing against the reef and melodic ukulele music – the whole Hawaiian dream – so i think we´re going to Hawaii for this valentine´s tiki drink…

Hawaii means aloha and aloha is not just hello and goodbye, it also means love – The aloha spirit is a spirit of love. It’s a spirit of caring, sharing, and giving and it puts the needs of others first. Isn’t that what love is all about?

So here is a tiki drink for valentine´s day, with a Hawaiian name of love of course:

Ma’ane’i No Ke Aloha ~ For love is here and now

1 oz white rum (i used Tiki Lover´s white)

0.5 oz rhum agricole blanc ( i used La Mauny)

0.5 oz dark Jamaican rum – Smith & Cross – for a funky punch

1 oz Coco Lopez cream of coconut

1 oz Coconut milk

4 oz fresh pineapple juice

0.5 oz green chartreuse

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.25 oz sugarcane syrup (i used Petit canne)

Shake with ice cubes and pour into a wide large glass with a pink sugar rim and garnish with orchid and pineapple leaves. You may choose some other garnish…i decided to go for cerise-pink because that´s what i had at home and that´s also a color of love, it´s not just red. You may add some grated some nutmeg on top as well

This drink is inspired by the classic pina colada which becomes soooo much better if a golden or even dark rum is used (adding some character)

This drink isn´t exactly weak in the flavor since it contains both rhum agricole and Smith and Cross but i think these rums funks it up in a good way – and the lovely green chartreuse adds some herbal notes and mystery..

Me Ke Aloha! (with love)