If you`re into tiki and exotic cocktails you might already be familiar with the Tiki Cocktail Challenge by “El Nova” (@el_nova55 and @tikicommando (Tacoma Cabana & Devil`s Reef) on instagram) which are weekly challenges to re-create or make a twist of, or go to a bar and order, a specific tiki cocktail and then post up a nice picture of it. The best picture wins. It`s all for fun and challenge your creative mode. It was a while ago (2015) but the Tiki cocktail challenge is back again and in full swing!
The pictures and recipes are posted in the “Tiki Recipes” group on Facebook and on Instagram with the hashtag that is set for each specific challenge for example #demeraradryfloatchallenge2019″ etc.
We are three weeks into it already and I made these drinks so far, my first entry, was for the “151 Swizzle” Challenge:
151 Tribute Swizzle Number Five
The recipe is based on the “Tribute to The Mai-Kai’s 151 Swizzle”v.4 by The Atomic Grog, my favorite tiki blog on this planet! but the grenadine is switched out for fassionola (homemade) and the ratios are upped as well while the sugar syrup is omitted. Then 0.5 oz Batavia arrack is added for a subtle layer of extra funk.
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz fassionola (BG Reynold`s, homemade or other quality fassionola)
0.25 oz falernum
0.25 oz cinnamon syrup
1 oz Lemon Hart 151 overproof rum
1 oz Dr Bird jamaican rum
0.5 oz Batavia arrack (By the Dutch or Batavia Arrack van Oosten)
1 dash Angostura bitters
2 drops Absinthe
Pulse blend with 1 cup of crushed ice for 5 seconds and pour into a chilled metal swizzle cup, other swizzle glass or pilsner glass, adding more crushed ice to fill. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
My 2nd entry was for the “Beachcomber`s Gold” Challenge, I changed the recipe a bit and it became a darker more “secretive” take on the gold.
1 oz Coruba Dark
1/4 oz Lemon Hart 151
1/4 oz Barbancourt 8
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/4 oz demerara syrup
1/4 oz Hibiscus grenadine
6 drops Pernod or Absinthe
2 drops almond extract
2 oz (1/4 cup) crushed ice
Flash blend for 5 seconds and strain into a saucer glass lined
with an ice shell forming a hood over the glass. Serve with short straws.
2.5 oz fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1.5 oz passion fruit syrup
0.25 oz sugar syrup
1 oz Demerara rum
0.25 oz 151 Demerara rum
0.25 oz maraschino liqueur
Shake everything, except 151 rum, with ice cubes. Strain into a double old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice (or lined with an ice shell). Carefully float 151. Do not stir.
By Don the Beachcomber, circa 1941.
The ice shell creation in the “Demerara Dry Float” is a bit different from the one in “Beachcomber´s Secret, with an ice shell that is not tilted to created a “hood” over the drink. It just sits upright and is also a little bit smaller or lower than the classic tilted ice shell you can see in the “Beachcomber`s Gold”. Drinks with these types of ice shells are usually served in a flaired glass,
In the old days of Don the Beachcomber these ice shells was a marvel to behold. They were made to perfection with very finely shaved ice creating very thin “walls” and the walls were not “buckled” in the way you see them today with crushed ice, instead they were smooth like silk! at least that`s what I`ve seen in a video.
I have yet to accomplish an ice shell that look that way, that`s partly due to me not having an ice shaver and partly that a lot of training is needed. It`s not easy to get them to look so perfect. When you make a hooded ice shell you need to consider the temperature of the ice. it need to be a little “soft”to easily mold, but not too soft and melting. Then it need to be as fine as you can get it.
You need a flaired glass and you fill it up with the shaved (preferably, and if not, crushed) ice and with your hands (or with something round) form a hole in the bottom that you press with your fingers and slowly tilt upwards on the side of the glass until a hood is formed. Add a little more ice to the bottom to”hold” the hood.
Then you put the glass in the freezer for at least 1 hour before pouring the drink in it. When you make the non-hooded ice shell you just make the hole in the bottom pressing the ice upwards on all sides around the glass and put it in the freezer and that´s it.
That was all for now, if you want to join in on the challenge or check out all the other amazing drinks go to the Facebook group “Tiki Recipes” and also check out the hashtags #151swizzlechallenge2019″, “beachcombersgoldchallenge2019” and “demeraradryfloatchallenge2019” on Instagram.
Mixology Monday lives on…..this is the 107th MxMo! This cult event is still going strong…since 2006 when it was first created by Paul Clarke, publisher of The Cocktail Chronicles, who ran the event for 6 years, and now as of August 2012, Frederic Yarm, one of the authors of the Cocktail Virgin blog, has taken over as moderator.
The theme is overproof and how you use overproof spirits whether it be as floats or as base spirit or something to flame up a cocktail with etc. This MxMo is hosted by Dagreb over at the Nihil Utopia blog.
I started to bring out anything I had that was above 50% since that`s the proof mentioned as criteria for what`s considered overproof in this MxMo event. I got quite a few overproof rums, I use them both as part of the drinks, as floats or as fuel for flaming drinks, that´s what I use my Stroh for…
A little about proof
The word overproof means “Containing a greater proportion of alcohol than proof spirit”
The term “proof” dates back to 16th century England, when spirits were taxed at different rates depending on their alcohol content. Spirits were tested by soaking a pellet of gunpowder in them. If the gunpowder could still burn, the spirits were rated above proof and taxed at a higher rate. Gunpowder would not burn in rum that contained less than 57.15% ABV.The gunpowder test was officially replaced by a specific-gravity test in 1816. The proof system in the United States was established around 1848 and was based on percent alcohol rather than specific gravity. 50% alcohol was defined as 100 proof.
So that`s what we are playing with, overproof spirits! in my case it gonna be overproof rum…
The first overproof rum I`m picking from my collection is Rivers Royale Rum from the River Antoine distillery, a very interesting rum from Grenada which is made in the a very old fashioned way, actually the River Antoine Estate distillery is unique on this planet and that´s what makes it so special.
They have produced their legendary high proof Rivers Rum since 1785 with unchanged age-old techniques and their antique equipment is still used today! for example their two potstills are both heated using locally cut hardwood and parts of the distillery´s machinery are over 200 years old…The crushing mill dates back to 1945 and is powered by water from the river.
And the the rum? – I just got a whooooole load of funky slightly grassy flavors in my mouth….Rivers rum…painstakingly handmade with ancient methods from fermented sugarcane syrup – a very special rum indeed. The flavor reminds about the more well known JWray overproof but more balanced and subtle. So it lends itself well in citrusy cocktails.
The one I have is the ” lower strength, export” version (69%) and there´s also one at 75% and yes there´s supposed to be even stronger local versions too…so strong it cannot be exported. The label of the 75% version is funny, it says “slightly overproof rum” 🙂 This rum is hard to come by…you can sub it with RumFire or JWray overproof, but the RumFire is closer to this.
I was thinking of Rivers and Ting, but right now I can`t find Ting anywhere so I settle for a daquiri instead, which is equally good!
Rivers Royale Rum Daquiri
1.5 oz Rivers Royale rum (or RumFire)
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz cane syrup
That´s a nice starter! the rum is so smooth despite being overproof and this drink went down too easy….
Now let´s move on to tiki….
There´s a drink called the “Tasman Sea” in Remixed, it´s the Bum`s version of an old drink called the “Lady Love” which was served at various bars in Oahu in the late 60s. The Bums version uses 151 Lemon Hart. But the drink also uses another 151 proof Caribbean rum (of your choice) so I thought this drink would fit into this post.
1 oz fresh lime juice
0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
0.25 oz orange curacao
1 oz demerara sugar syrup
1 oz amber 151 proof Caribbean rum (such as Cruzan or Bacardi, I used JackIron)
0.5 oz Lemon Hart 151
10 ounces crushed ice
Put everything in a blender and blend for up to 10 sec.
Pour unstrained into a large snifter or tiki mug.
Next up is a version of Martin Cate´s 2070 Swizzle called the 2070 Swizzle Redux made by Tim “Swanky” Glazner. The cool thing about the Redux version is that is uses coffee….and I really do love tiki drinks with coffee!
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.
So here`s Tiki month again! you know february is tiki month right? at least it is on the Pegu blog which every february since 8 years, turns into a tiki blog for one month. And I always follow suit even though every month is tiki month for me 🙂
The other day I read his first post where he talks about the tiki-transformation of his basement bar where he have installed a freakin`VOLCANO! it erupts too….you can see it here in this video, I think this volcano is brilliant! and he built it himself. That`s pretty freakin`cool isn`t it?
So since we are in the tiki month that requires me to post up something…and I have a drink that seems to keep living on despite it was back in 2009 I made it for the Mixoloseum TDN (Thursday Drink Night) when the theme was Zombie, so I posted it and then forgot about it, until years later I heard it was served at the former PKNY in New York.
Then a couple years after that it was found in the book the “Zombie Horde” by the Professor Cocktail (David J Montgomery) a whole book dedicated ONLY to the Zombie drink with no less than 86 different Zombie and Zombie style recipes included, spanning from Don the Beachcombers 1934 Zombie Punch and over the years to more modern takes in 2013.
Now in 2016 a new version of it has emerged…a fabulous take on this drink elevating it to new levels of booze heights – or rather 2 new versions has emerged, because there´s also a version of the 2016 which transforms the focus from coconut to banana…
Yeah we are geeks here…
This is obviously a drink you can have fun and tinker with a lot! it`s not a traditional Zombie per se, not really, because ther isn`t much it has in common with say the 1934 Zombie Punch but it´s more a “Zombie-like” drink and the name “Guyana Zombie” due to the demerara rum content has stuck with it.
The 2016 version is made by none other than Tacoma Cabanas tiki master and fire wizard, Jason Alexander and he has invented a fantastic thing called “Spiced Coconut Honey” which is crazy good! so what i`m gonna do for this tiki month is posting up these drinks including pics of Jason`s earlier takes on this drink which he made at the Tacoma because I think they look beautiful.
Then there´s another drink worth a mention, Jason`s Colada Noir…
Guyana Zombie (my origial version from 2009)
2 oz demerara rum
1 oz pineapple juice
1 oz honey-mix
1 tsp cream of coconut
0.5 oz fresh lime
A decent float of 151 demerara
Serve in goblet or other glass (or tiki mug) with crushed ice.
Blend with crushed ice at high speed for 5 sek. Pour into goblet with more crushed ice. Garnish with a little pinch of sprinkled demerara sugar, lime wedge and brandied cherry.
It`s boozy and full flavored in that kinda way that makes you feel satisfied but you still want more…
Next up is Jason`s brilliantly updated version, and now the cream of coconut and honey-mix has given way to “spiced coconut honey” and a dash of falernum makes it`s way with some extra zest:
2016 Guyana Zombie
A dash or two of Angostura bitters
3/4 oz lime
3/4 oz pineapple
1 oz Spiced Coconut Honey*
1/4 oz falernum
2 oz demerara rum
1 oz float of demerara 151
*Spiced Coconut Honey
9 oz Cream of Coconut (Lopez or Real)
9 oz Honey (not syrup!)
6 oz cinnamon syrup
3 oz Spices #2 (equal parts vanilla syrup and allspice liqueur)
Blend at high speed 5 sek or shake with ice, Pour into a snifter or fancy tiki glass or mug.
It´s a very tasty drink, no doubt!
I also made a version of this with banana syrup switching the flavor focus from coconut to banana. It turned out great! coconut, banana and pineapple they go very well together….
Guyana Banana Zombie
Served in one of Wim Thieleman`s fantastic tiki mugs the Marquesan Coconut!
A dash or two of Angostura bitters
3/4 oz lime
3/4 oz pineapple
1 oz Banana syrup
1/4 oz falernum
2 oz Hamilton Guyana
1 oz float of Cruzan Blackstrap
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a glass or tiki mug filled with crushed ice and garnsih with a piece of pineapple and tropical orchid.
And here is two of Jason`s takes on the original Guyana Zombie, made at Tacoma where this drink was very appreciated and no wonder when not only does it taste good, he makes them so pretty!
Also at Tacoma Cabana, Jason created a stunning version of the Pina Colada calling it Colada Noir…it´s the darker side of the normally so innocent Pina Colada…
1/2 oz lime
3/4 oz Cream of Coconut
3/4 oz Swedish Punsch
2 oz Pineapple juice
2 oz Rational Spirits Santeria (or Smith and Cross rum)
Shake with ice and strain into a tiki glass – and you may set it on fire too!
Which Jason did….and here´s a video in slow motion when Jason makes the flames filmed by Matt Pietrek aka Cocktailwonk. I`m totally mezmerized by this video…..it´s something hypnotic over fire filmed in slow motion and where the sound is like it´s coming from some mystic underworld…
And finally…I made a version of the Colada Noir but using banana syrup because I wanted to see how it tasted, i`m in love with banana syrup! I nowadays find myself “bananaize” a lot of drinks…good drinks to use banana syrup in are the Coladas, Boo Loo, Coconauts and drinks with citrus and tropical fruit juices as well as tiki drinks containing coffee which I shall post about soon.
Colada Noir Banane
0.5 oz lime juice
0.75 oz Cream of Coconut
0.5 oz strong Kona coffee (or Blue Mountain (Jamaica) or Community Coffee (New Orleans) brewed then cooled.
0.5 oz banana syrup
2 oz Rational Spirits Santeria (or Smith and Cross rum)
2 oz Pineapple juice
Blend in blender at high speed 5 sec with 1 cup crushed ice and pour into a snifter.
Fill up with more crushed ice if needed and garnish with a pineapple leaf and tropical orchid.
You can shake it too of course, but it gets more froothy with a blender.
Disclaimer – I may be the brand ambassador for Rational Spirits but this specific post is a post for the Tiki month as A Mountain of Crushed Ice.
Here´s an old favorite again, the Penang Afrididi #1. It`s a “forgotten” tiki drink from 1937 and it was created by Don the Beachcomber. I like Donn`s drinks and I like this one! it was served at Don the Beachcomber’s Caberet Restaurant in the International Marketplace in Honolulu, circa 1958.
I`m curious about the name of this drink and wonder how it came to be and where it comes from…? if anyone knows please write in the comments.
There´s vibrant old dusty magic tasty tiki history here!
There´s also more versions of this drink, for example the #2 which simply cuts the same ingredients by half, blend and strain into a cocktail coupe or glass. Also Jason Alexander at Tacoma Cabana made his version of this drink and called it Penang Afrididi #3.
Penang Afrididi #3
2 dashes of Horror in Clay Tropical bitters, 1/2 oz each lime, orange, pineapple juices and 1/2 oz passionfruit syrup, 1/4 oz each falernum and fassionola, 1 oz ginger beer, 1 1/2 oz light rum, 1 1/2 oz Deep Ones Gold Blend (a house blend of three rums he makes), flash blend all ingredients.
Here´s the fassionola again, I need to try to make my own someday and I need to get the commercial version as well (the red one) I`d love to compare them, something I`ve had in mind for a while but that gonna be another post, and I also wanna try Jason`s version.
There´s also an interesting descendent of this drink that was dates back to the Mai Kai opening in 1956 and they had two versions of it, that drink is called the Zula and it`s flavor profile has only three ingredients, Herbsaint (or Pernod), pineapple, gold rum. You can read about the Zula over at the Atomic Grog.
From “Sippin’ Safari” page 95 by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry
1 1/2 oz. Light Puerto Rican Rum
1 1/2 oz. Amber Virgin Islands Rum
1/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Unsweetened Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz. Orange Juice
1/2 oz. Passion Fruit Syrup
1/8 tsp. Pernod or Herbsaint
Put everything into a blender and add six ounces of crushed ice. Blend it at high speed for five seconds.
And I couldn`t resist to add some of the liquid from my jar of Maraschino cherries..and that´s what gave the drink that wonderful shades of red.
This is one of the typical old Don the Beachcomber drinks where he used his fantastic imagination to create types of drinks that at the time had never been seen before with multiple rums, juices, spices and “secrets” (like drops of Pernod)
His Rum Rhapsodies as he called them!
Next time I want to try the Atomic Grog`s Tribute to The Mai-Kai’s Zula…and i`d love to make a twist on it as well.
But until then i`ll make this – a twist on the Penang Afrididi using an aged rhum agricole sweetened with a mix of 50/50 passionfruit syrup and hibiscus grenadine.
Afrididi Martiniquaise (or Penang Afrididi #4)
2 oz. Rhum agricole vieux (I used St James 12)
1.5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Unsweetened Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz. Orange Juice
0.25 oz. Passion Fruit Syrup (homemade)
0.25 oz Hibiscus Grenadine (homemade)
1/8 tsp. Pernod or Herbsaint
Put everything into a blender and add six ounces of crushed ice. Blend it at high speed for five seconds. Pour into a snifter and add more crushed ice to fill. Garnish with a palm leaf and sugarcane stick.
It turned out to be a fruity and distincly rhum agricole forward drink….not strong, just fresh! the day I have my own fassionola made i`m gonna try that in this drink!
And so finally I got to go the Latitude 29! I´ve been waiting since they opened with great anticipation and (high) expectancy…..well…I try to not have too high expectations whatever it is, better to have an open mind, but with this one i`s a bit different….because this is the BUM`s place….this is the man who uncoded all the secret codes and brought us all these lost drink recipes and who wrote no less than six stellar books on the subject if you count in Taboo Table.
His books have been my to go tiki drink (and history) books for years and so now he and his wife Annene Kay aka Mrs Bum opens a real tiki bar in my favorite city New Orleans!
And I wasn`t there when they opened….and had to wait all the way until this year´s Tales before I could finally go and see it – and in the meantime I`ve been drooling over all the food and drink pictures (can you say Tahitian Steak Frites?) and the drinks…..oh the drinks….
I`ve seen so many beautiful pictures of these drinks that I didn`t know what to start with….but I ended up ordering a Pontchartrain Pearl Diver as my first drink – in the NEW Pearl Diver`s glass! 🙂
The Pearl Diver`s glass, the Swizzle cup and the skull barspoons are all new for this summer in collaboration with Jeff Berry and Cocktail Kingdom and they were sold at the Tales but are also available online. The vintage Pearl Diver`s Punch glass is more or less impossible to find anymore so I`m really happy they are re-making them and same for the cool swizzle cup! I hope to see more re-making of these type of vintage tiki drink glasses….
And not only are the glasses really cool they come in beautiful vintage looking packages too!
The Pontchartrain Pearl Diver was good…..very very good – well balanced and oh so tasty! I didn`t try so very many drinks during the Tales because it was so incredibly busy….and so was I…so I decided to wait until after Tales and THEN go there for some serious drink tasting!
So last friday I went there early and I sat there and happily indulged Tahitian Steak Frites with luscious Coconut Butter and later a Mahi Mahi Bahn Mi accompanied by a whole array of drinks until in the evening, I actually spent a whole “working day” in the place!
And I had a nice chat with the Bum, about rums and rums and rums…and of course, tiki drinks. I was indeed a very good day….The place is so cool and relaxed, beautifully decorated and the music is great! with everything from real good and cool old style Jamaican reggae to surf music! and the co-bar manager Steven Yamada and his staff are very attentive, friendly and nice.
It`s really a place to go not only for the great drinks and food but also to escape from the world outside and it doesn`t matter if there´s big windows to the outside world…..because this is New Orleans! and the view from the beautiful arched windows is nothing but beautiful….over the pool and the tropical plants in the courtyard of Bienville House Hotel.
This used to be housing the former Iris restaurant, I went there in 2009 with all the Tales bloggers and now I cannot recognize the restaurant and bar anymore, it´s a total different world! quite the transformation….the only things that looks the same is the courtyard and the hotel lobby.
Take a look:
Back in 2009…Alan Walther tends the bar at Iris…..and he did serve some amazing cocktails! he later moved on to Loa, this was long before the Iris became what it is today – a true tiki haven!
The Tales Blogger Dinner in 2009 in the former Iris restaurant, the same view today of the beautiful courtyard and pool but the dining room has dramatically changed…..
This is such a tranquil and peaceful place….if staying at this hotel you get both all this plus the Latitude29 in one place…..
Eat Drink and be Merry!
Hurricane, Kea Colada and Royal Hawaiian Cocktail.
The food menu has something for everyone! executive Chef Chris Shortall and his staff creates their own take on modern Tiki Cuisine which is playful and tasty and there`s something for everyone including options for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free guests.
First thing I opted for was the Tahitian Steak Frites which I`ve been dreaming about since they opened…..
The Tahitian Steak Frites are tender, luscious and juicy (I ordered mine medium-rare) served with hot crispy thin fries and a tasty dipping sauce plus a dollop of coconut butter on top! the Bum told me that in Tahiti they add coconut to the cow´s diet and therefore everything the cows are producing have a touch of coconut flavor…heavenly….and so they wanted to re-create that idea here with the coconut butter.
I LOVE it!
I`m not joking, I think I could eat this almost every day….the meat is so tender and melts in your mouth together with that lovely coconut butter….
The Mahi Mahi Bahn Mi is wild caught Mahi poached in coconut oil, jalapeño, sriracha, and shallot….and at a Chef`s Challenge before the Tales I tried the ribs which are very tasty too….and not to forget the crispy green beans!
Another nice dish is the Shrimps in Blanket, the gulf shrimps here really are something special. They are big and juicy….and have more shrimp flavor than shrimps I`ve tasted anywhere else.
Shrimps in Blanket
These green beans were amazing…..
An array of seductive tropical tiki drinks…..
When you enter a tiki bar you want to be seduced….you want to forget the daily struggles and take a “trip to the South Seas” with exotic tropical drinks! (inspired by drinks in the Caribbean….) 🙂
So I started with the Pontchartrain Pearl Diver….it`s such a good drink!…..balanced, fruity and rummy! The Pearl Diver is a mix of honey-butter-spice mix blended with passion fruit, lime and Jamaica rum. The butter adds a wonderful slightly viscous mouth-feel, if you didn`t know it was butter in the mix you wouldn`t know what it was but you would know there was something there….
After the Pearl Diver I had the namesake drink of this bar – the Latitude 29…..it comes in a tall glass wrapped in banana leaf for that real tropical feel – and you get that cool gorgeous swizzle stick! – made after the wall art by Bosko! The drink is made with eight-year Demerara rum, passion fruit purée, house made Madagascar vanilla syrup, orange, pineapple and lemon.
They are both gorgeous in their presentations with the Pontchartrain Pearl Diver in the new re-made super cool Pearl Diver`s glass.
The Latitude 29
The Rum Barrel is according to the menu a communal drink but it says “For 2 to share, or 1 thirsty pirate to hoard. A kill-devil’s brew of 3 rums, 4 juices, multiple herbs, spices and sweeteners …” – so apparently I`m a “thirsty pirate” since I had no problem drinking it all by myself….
It sure makes you feel like a rummy pirate! 😀
It`s presentation is BEAUTIFUL! and fun! see the picture….they really take time to garnish up these beauties….and the drink itself is strong and rummy/fruity/spicy. One of my favorites!
Rum Barrel, complete with pineapple peel, cherries, orchid, swinging monkeys and umbrella! superfun garnish 🙂
And so is the Coffee Bongo…..also incredibly nicely garnished….with a pineapple leaf cut out to look like a palm tree frond…..topped with two coffee beans….stunning! the drink is also strong/spicy and rummy with lots of character and if you like coffee and pineapple together, you find it here.
Every drink is not rum though….there´s a drink called “Outcast of the Islands” which was amazingly tasty and is a mix of London gin and Persian lime…with cinnamon, ginger, almond and anise, heavenly….
And it LOOKS heavenly too! it comes served with an ice shell…..how cool is that? and the Navy Grog comes with the iconic ice cone which is made with the Bum`s ice cone device sold by Cocktail Kingdom (as well as the Pearl Diver`s glasses, the swizzle cup and the skull bar spoons)
And there are drinks with bourbon, brandy, tequila, beer and vodka….but I haven`t tried them all yet….there`s something for everyone in the drink menu too. Me, I tend to mostly stick to the rums….
Outcast of the Islands and the iconic Navy Grog
The Professor Remsberg`s Punch is a very interesting drink and very tasty too, the drink contains “Fine old Guadeloupe rum, gently stirred with lime and a Caribbean spiced syrup discovered over 30 years ago in San Juan by the Professor himself”…….I wonder what is in that syrup? If you didn`t know, Stephen Remsberg is the world´s biggest rum collector.
Professor Remsberg`s Punch
All the drinks at Latitude 29 are good and well balanced, from the (real, no chemical-mix) Hurricane, Mai Tai, TOTC Swizzle, Nui Nui, Kea Colada, Royal Hawaiian Cocktail, Lapu Lapu, Hawaii 504, Missionary`s Downfall and the Paniolo….which is Kentucky bourbon and Hawaiian macadamia nut liqueur shaken with lime, house made cranberry syrup and a dash of molé bitters.
It`s evident to me that they pay as much attention to the garnishes as the drinks themselves because some of these drinks ar off the charts when it comes to beautiful presentations! you get a little work of art in your hand!
And the drink names alone takes you on a exotic journey…..a lot of them created back in the heydays of tiki.
Tasty, exotic and beautiful.
The Hawaii 504
You know, you need to go there and just try all these heavenly things! btw….between 3 and 6 pm every day it´s Happy Hour with a special menu….where among the drinks you`ll find the Banana Banshee and the Royal Hawaiian Cocktail….both perfect to cool you down when it´s hot outside which is a guaranteed thing in New Orleans during the summer.
And the best thing of all….you get the Steak Frites for half the price! what is there not to love?
The Banana Banshee is a frozen cocktail with Jamaican rum, lime, coconut milk and coconut cream, fresh banana and aztec bitters and topped with grated chocolate!
I also ordered a few off-menu drinks with the help of Jeff Berry`s Total Tiki app, such a handy thing to have! and they were delivered top notch! I think Steve outdid himself with the Coconaut….coming beautifully garnished with a Cruzan Blackstrap float on the side. It tasted absolutely heavenly…..it was a mix of Hamilton 151 Demerara, El Dorado 5, for the rums plus that lovely float of blackstrap to pour yourself 🙂
This Coconaut was incredible!
The Zombie was spicy and nice just as I expected, and just about right with the strength, and the Kamehameha Rum Punch did live up to it´s name…..
Kamehameha Rum Punch and the Zombie…..
This interesting drink recipe is from Sippin`Safari and originates from the Hotel King Kamehameha in Kona, Hawaii, as the origin of the drink around 1960.
So who was King Kamehameha you might ask? Kamehameha – also known as Kamehameha the Great was the head of a dynasty ruling the Hawaiian islands for more than a century. The name Kamehameha (pronounced kuh-may-ha-may-ha) means “the one set apart.” He conquered the Hawaiian islands and formally established the Kingdom of Hawai`i in 1810.
This drink is actually named after the Hotel King Kamehameha in Kona, Hawaii who took the name after the great Hawaiian King – Kamehameha.
Every year on Kamehameha Day (June 11, a state holiday in Hawai’i), National Statuary Hall is the scene of a ceremony in honor of the king and the statue of Kamehameha the Great is draped with lovely (and loooong) leis of fragrant flowers from Hawai’i. The Festival continues to pay tribute to Kamehameha and acts to preserve and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture.
And as every tiki bar should, there:s also a couple of different communal drinks on the menu, the newest one is a monster drink called the “Plantocracy Punch” for 6-8 people but we were only three so we tried the Lapu Lapu which uses a recipe which according to the menu is a Don The Beachcomber’s “lost” unpublished 1964 recipe, recently discovered by the Bum and presented here for the first time in over 40 years.
And of course it`s appropriately garnished with little mermaids taking a rummy ice bath…..
Fruity, spicy, rummy Lapu Lapu and little mermaids swimming in the bowl….
While sitting in the bar I spotted two Samaroli rum bottles….and so of course I ordered a sample of each….and with the rum samples you get a small shot glass with water and a dropper, neat.
One was the 13 year old Guadeloupe 1998 Rhum Agricole and the other 1988 Demerara Dark Rum. The Guadeloupe is spicy and a touch smokey, with a strong character but at the same time, not too aggressive, it´s fruity, peppery, balanced and picky but also smooth.
A few drops of water brings out a whole array of tropical fruits flavors! this rum is incredible. I REALLY liked it!
The 23 year old 1988 Demerara rum had flavors of wood, macerated tropical fruits, apricot, vanilla, banana peel, mango and something else I couldn`t define…..but here a few drops of water didn`t bring out much change….still very woody, strong and fruity. Also a very good rum! Both of these rums are distilled in the Caribbean and then matured in Scotland.
They are not cheap but they are unique rums and they give you something to remember.
Then I saw a curiosity on the menu….it had a sort of mellow toasty coconut flavor…interesting….and I think it also could be used as ingredient in some of the drinks maybe? how about a Toasted Coconut Daiquiri?
The Interior Decor…..
Here is top crafts….the first thing you notice is of course the big centerpiece which now is in the same spot as the huge mirror was when it was the bar at Iris. The centerpiece is a huge carving of the Pacific Islands in a map in the forms of small tikis made by Daniel Gallardo aka Tiki Tiablo, and it`s a stunning work of art!!
Here is a collage of close-ups of the “Islands” in the map and there´s a nod to New Orleans too….do you see the fleur de lis on top?
Bosko Hrnjak did all the new (non-vintage) light fixtures and all of the new (non-vintage) tiki carvings, wall panels, etc, over 50 of them in total. And Dave “Basement Kahuna” Wolfe did 8 Easter Island carvings on the hut wall-dividers.
It`s all beautiful….
Another (practical) thing I greatly appreciate are the power outlets with USB ports located on each side of the tables, I wish more bars had that, it should be standard everywhere.
Tiki glasses, Barspoons and Orgeat
All tikiphiles already knows about the Pearl Diver`s glass, the swizze cup and the cool skull bar spoons which you can find at the Cocktail Kingdom which I mentioned above….but a new thing is the Latitude29 orgeat which comes in a heavy round glass bottle and is sold in the bar.
I haven`t tried the orgeat yet even though I bought a couple of bottles (USD 15 each) but i`m out travellling so that will have to wait.
So to sum it all up, what I was looking for was how the food and the drinks tasted and were presented and if there´s consistency….(and yes I have returned) and how the decor and the feel of the place was, what music did they play and how loud? is it possible to have a conversation or do you have to scream? and how I was treated as a guest.
Personally I have nothing to complain about, the food and drinks are top class, the decor tasteful and genuinely tiki, it`s a laid back and relaxed feel, the staff attentive, professional and very sweet and so I`ll keep coming back, this is now my primarily watering hole in New Orleans :-).
That said there´s a lot of very good bars here, I just happen to really really like well made tiki drinks and in the relaxed vibe and environment of a real good tiki bar, there I feel the most at home.
If the Bum had not cracked the code of the 1934 Zombie we would not have known it……
……and WHO can resist a Zombie? ………not me……….. 🙂
So here we go again with the next tiki drink challenge, the one and only, the Zombie! oh how I love that drink! and not only does it taste fabulous, it was this very drink that started the tiki craze and put Don the Beachcomber on the map! But tiki is so much more than just the drinks – which are just one piece of the puzzle that makes up the colorful and exotic “Tiki fabric” – but a very important one! and the Zombie is one of the most important of the drinks.
The Zombie is so popular that there´s even a whole book dedicated to just the Zombie, it´s history and what must be the worlds biggest collection of Zombie recipes! and in Sippin`Safari there`s a whole chapter about it´s history and how the Bum cracked the code. Because the original recipe was written in code. There´s tons of Zombie recipes out there, some good, some worse….but the best in my opinion is the original, the 1934 Zombie Punch by Donn Beach, which btw he kept tinkering with his whole life.
If you don`t know already, the Tiki drink challenges are taking place on Instagram where you post up a picture of the drink in question whether you make your own or order one at a bar! and feel free to play around! you can find all the submitted Zombies on the hashtag #zombiechallenge2015 and make sure to follow @el_nova_1 for updates.
Here`s a few recipes:
For my submissions I first picked the recipe from the 1950s at the Luau Room at Hotel Del Coronado and used rums that i had on hand:
1 oz fresh lemon juice
2 oz passion fruit juice
2 dashes orgeat syrup
1.5 oz Boston Rum (whatever that is? I replaced it with Denzien Merchant`s Reserve)
0.75 oz Gold Puerto Rican Rum (here I used Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired Rum)
0.75 oz Martinique Rum
1 dash 151 Demerara rum (float)
1 dash Pernod (I used Herbsaint)
Shake everything except the 151 demerara with ice cubes and pour into tall glass. Float 151 demerara on top and garnish with 1/2 slice pineapple, orange slice, cocktail cherry, pineapple leaf and mint.
Let the Zombie take over…..
Saving my favorite Zombie recipe for last, the 1934 Zombie Punch by Don the Beachcomber, it´s originally served in a chimney glass but since I used that for the first drink I decided to use one of the cool mugs I have that are made by Wild Thing Creations.
Now, the 1934 Zombie Punch…..this IS a drink!
Served in a cool mug made by Wayne Hoareau, owner of Wild Thing Creations……..! recipe for the 1934 Zombie Punch below:
Last weekend was the Fogcutter Challenge…..and this weekend we continued the boozy activity with the Jet Pilot Challenge! you were supposed to make a Jet Pilot or a variation of it and post up the picture on Instagram with the hashtag #jetpilotchallenge2015 and best picture wins a prize! you don`t even must make a drink yourself you can take a picture of a Jet Pilot in a bar too.
Follow @el_nova_1 on Instagram for updates and check the #jetpilotchallenge2015 for more boozylicious pics! there will most likely be more Jet Pilots posted there as I write and post this as well as the next challenge coming up being announced.
The Jet Pilot was one of the most copied drinks during the hey days of the tiki era, and the drink had many names – the drink was known as the Ace Pilot, Space Pilot and Astronaut…and at the Mai-Kai, it became the Jet Pilot created by Mai-Kai’s original mixologist, Mariano Licudine who before coming to Mai Kai to design their original tropical drink menu, worked for Donn Beach who btw was a decorated World War II veteran.
The Jet Pilot is a strong, spicy, rummy and intense drink which dates back to the Mai-Kai’s original 1956 menu and is based on Don the Beachcomber’s Test Pilot cirka 1941.
And Stephen Crane`s Jet Pilot from Jeff Berry`s “a must have…” – Total Tiki App!
And like I did in my last post about the Fogcutter Challenge, i`m posting up a few of the pics that were submitted, and let me tell you I had a lot of fun with this! not only do you get to imbibe some superlicious tiki drinks, you also learn something about each drink since you (hopefully) make a couple of different ones and so by doing that you try different rum combos and recipe tweaks and learn a lot about how flavors comes together.
It takes a lot of practise to get the tiki drinks right and things like this, different tiki drink challenges inspires you too experiment and learn….it`s fun and educational.
Also by looking at pictures and reading recipes of tiki drinks you learn something about what a tiki drink is and how it looks like, that for example, it´s not about adding as many ingredients as possible in a big mess where all the various flavors clash with each other or melt together into an undefined mess instead of being harmoniously layered…..
Tiki drinks are tropical and the roots of tiki drinks are in the Caribbean….that`s where most of the rums came from and some of the mixers, like the falernum and pimento dram, even though a lot of the tiki inspiration came from the South Seas.
And here are my three versions, they are all made from the same recipe the Stephen Crane version but they just contain different rum combos starting out the Jet Pilot night with a double drink in a huge goblet because I was thirsty….
Lost Pilot – made with Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Inspired and Polynesian Rums and Rum Nation Jamaica 8 year plus Wood`s 100 for the demerara flavor. Both the Lost Spirits and Wood`s are strong rums while the Rum Nation Jamaica 8 mellows the strong flavors out and keep them balanced adding “sweetness” to the drink, but not sweetness as in sugar sweetness….more like making it nice.
The next up were two drinks, yes both for me… 🙂 and I called them the Co-Pilots…they had slightly different rum combos in them. I decided to make two drinks (and yeah…after imbibing a strong double, don`t judge…) because I have these two ubercool pair (called The Royal Pair) of tiki mugs made by Wayne Hoareau, owner of Wild Thing Creations in Australia, maker of awesome tiki mugs and I wanted to feature this sweet pair together.
One has Rum Nation 8 and Coruba overproof, touch of Wood`s 100 demerara and then Rhum Barbancourt and that rum combo was nice, kinda mellow and not as strong as the double and maybe that was a good thing? because….
– The next had a strong wicked rum combo full of flavors, mostly in the blackstrap route….yes I´m there again…It had Blackwell Jamaican Rum, Rougaroux Fullmoon dark, Wood`s 100 and Cruzan Blackstrap float – and a generous one, just poured….
The last drink I made was….the PINEAPPLE Pilot!! flying pineapples all around!! with the cooolest pineapple Tiki mug on the planet!! made by Scott Taylor!! the pineapple was brimming full with Blackwell Rum, Lost Spirits 151 Cuban rum and Gunroom Navy Rum!
Tasty rum combo as well, the Blackwell rum and the GunRoom navy rum paired well together and the strength and slight fruity pineapple notes came from the ever so smooth but oh so deadly Lost Spirits 151 Cuban….
The Pineapple Pilot
So why not join in on the fun next weekend or whenever the next tiki drink challenge happens? head over to Instagram and follow @el_nova_1