Here`s one of those typically odd drink names again – so typical in the Tiki world..so who`s Chief Lapu Lapu?

Well, he was the tribal chef of Mactan, an island in the Visayas in the Philippines and lived in the years 1491–1542. So how come he´s got a drink named after him? well…if you beat Magellan – here`s the story:

Lapu-Lapu led his Mactan warriors armed with barong and spears on the morning of April 27, 1521 in a battle against Portuguese explorer and conquistador Ferdinand Magellan who with his Spanish buddies armed with cannons and guns decided to tour the Philippines in 1521.

In what would later be known as the Battle of Mactan, Magellan and several of his men were killed – and Lapu Lapu apparently got a cocktail named after him as well – but by who i have no idea.

And now there`s a statue of him that the Cebuano people have erected in his honor on Mactan Island and renamed the town of Opon in Cebu to Lapu-Lapu City. Another statue stands in Rizal Park in the national capital of Manila.

Seems like a great chief and likewise this is also a great cocktail:



3 ounces of orange juice
3 ounces of sweet and sour
1 ounce of passion fruit syrup
1 1/2 ounce of light rum
1 1/2 ounce of dark rum

Shake (or blend with crushed ice) with ice cubes and pour into a large snifter partly filled with more ice cubes.

The drink is sweet and tart, and really like the addition of passionfruit syrup. You can make your own – or use Trader Tiki`s.

I decided to try to make a twist with bourbon, and hibiscus grenadine – plus a topping of hibiscus tincture which has been taken back in use after a bit of dormancy on my shelf.



3 oz orange juice
3 oz sweet and sour (equal parts lemon and lime + simple syrup, 50/50)
0.5 oz passion fruit syrup
2 oz Bourbon
A tsp hibiscus grenadine
A few dashes hibiscus tincture on top of the ice

Shake with ice cubes (or blend with crushed ice) and pour into a tall or double old fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Add a few dashes hibiscus tincture on top of the ice and garnish with a speared pineapple chunk and brandied cherry.

To make a hibiscus tincture, take an ounce of dried hibiscus flowers (jamaica) and steep in about 5 ounces of alcohol (vodka or overproof white rum) for a couple of days, then strain and bottle.

They are quite similar in taste, its just that Pulaka Punch has Bourbon. After trying these out i can now say that the result of these drinks both depends on two things i think – the passionfruit syrup and the quality of the spirits.

My advice for passionfruit syrup would be – make your own – or use Trader Tiki`s. And for the spirits, well – use the best quality you can get – and also the one´s that you like the most of course, which doesn´t have to be the most expensive ones.

7 Replies to “MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG 11 – Chief Lapu Lapu”

  1. I have made many Lapu Lapus, but always one ingredient or the other has been subpar and the drink has suffered as a resuly. Either it has been packaged orange juice, or iffy commercial passionfruit syrup, or chemical-crapola sour mix, but one thing or another has kept the drink from being the best it could be when I have made it in the past.

    That has all changed for the better with the Chief Lapu Lapu I am currently sipping. Fresh squeezed local and in-season honeybell orange juice, homemade passionfruit syrup, and homemade sour mix in this one and it makes all the difference in the world. Very sweet but very very good (the honeybells are very sweet — may need to dial the tartness up just a bit next time). The dark rum, lemon juice, and passionfruit syrup make this one very reminiscent of a Grog Log Hurricane with a bit of simple added to smooth it out a bit.

    Dangerously tasty is an apt description.

  2. The Chief Lapu Lapu is a great tiki cocktail. It has a great story too. I really like tiki cocktails with bourbon. Bourbon and citrus go together good.

  3. Rowen, its easy to make, take only a few days. i forgot to add that to the post, its added now.

    To make a hibiscus tincture, take an ounce of dried hibiscus flowers (jamaica) and steep in about 5 ounces of alcohol (vodka or overproof white rum) for a couple of days, then strain and bottle.

  4. I’ll try the first one tonight, as I have oranges around from my recent Bronx Cocktail preoccupation. The remixed one would give me a chance to dig into that big bag of hibiscus that arrived in the mail, though I’m guessing that tincturing it will take a while.

  5. MixnSip – there are some good Tiki drinks with bourbon, one of my favorites is the good old Trader Vic`s Port Light. The Eastern Sour is also very good!

    Jordan – I used Maker`s Mark. the rwcipe calls for all 3 ounces of orange juice and i haven´t tried to take it down but that might be a good idea?

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