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Lapu Lapu Drinks

Lapu Lapus are some strong rum drinks and it is said that they bring magic and makes you “see things on the other side” – whatever that means…

The term Lapu Lapu drinks comes from a legend that for some obscure reason happened to be the name sake of the drink Chief Lapu Lapu. The name is after the Filipino chief Lapu Lapu – who defeated Magellan in 1521 (you can read about the legend in Remixed)

And how that name so many years later was used to name rum drinks served in the polynesian restaurants during the great tiki era is one more of those mysterious things that belongs to the rum soaked tiki drink world..

There´s also a Disney version of a Lapu Lapu served at the Polynesian resort in a hollowed out pineapple (like the Boo Loo) containing rums, orange juice and sour mix.

The Lapu Lapu drinks mentioned in Jeff Beachbum Berry`s Remixed are the Chief Lapu Lapu, Aku Aku  Lapu and the lesser known Kikuya Lapu ( all are on page 61-63 in Remixed)

These three are all different incarnations of the same drink and it´s a drink large enough to serve two people but of course they can be enjoyed by one, it´s just a lot of rum!

I can´t say which one of these i like the most, they are all tasty and the Aku AKu Lapu packs a serious punch.

Chief Lapu Lapu 

3 oz orange juice

2 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 oz  sugar syrup
(1 part sugar, 1 part water, boiled and chilled)

1 oz passion fruit syrup

1 1/2 oz dark Jamaican rum

1 1/2 oz light Puerto Rican (or Virgin Islands) rum

Shake well with ice cubes in a large shaker and pour into a large snifter. Add more ice to fill.

Aku Aku Lapu

1 oz lemon juice

1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice

1 oz grapefruit juice

1 oz  orange juice

1 oz Falernum

1 oz  gold rum

1 oz  dark Jamaican rum

1 oz  Lemon Hart 151 Demerara rum (or 1 1/2 oz regular proof Lemon Hart)

16 oz crushed ice

Blend at high speed for about 20 seconds. Pour into large snifter or bowl and add more ice to fill. Traditional garnish is a gardenia.

This one is from the Aku Aku restaurant in Las Vegas cirka 1960. In Intoxica it says the Aku Aku once fronted the Stardust hotel along with two massive moais or Easter Island (Rapa Nui) statues. The phrase Te pito o te henua has been said to be the original name of the island.

Aku Aku was the book title of Thor Heyedahl´s bestseller – an author i have enjoyed over the years. His theory on how those giant moais were moved gave name to the word aku aku:

Aku Aku - To move a tall, flat bottomed object (such as a bookshelf) by swiveling it alternatively on its corners in a “walking” fashion. [After the book by Thor Heyerdahl theorising the statues of Easter Island were moved in this fashion.] source: LangMaker.com. Aku Aku also has another meaning to the islanders: a spiritual guide.

Kikuya Lapu

0.5 oz cranberry juice

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.75 oz orange juice

0.75 oz unsweetened pineapple juice

0.75 0z grapefruit juice

0.75 oz passionfruit syrup

0.75 oz honey mix

1.5 oz dark jamaican rum

0.5 oz caribbean 151 rum

Dash angostura bitters

6 drops pernod

3 drops almond extract

Shake with plenty of ice and pour unstrained into a snifter or tiki  bowl, adding more ice to fill. Traditional garnish is pineapple; cherry, mint and a paper parasol.

This is the third lapu lapu drink in Remixed and the least known. It´s also the only one not originating from the old tiki era, it was created in 1992 by Bob Esmino for the Kikuya restaurant in Huntington Beach CA. He provided most of the “lost” Kon-TIki recipes in both Remixed and Sippin`Safari.

Royal Hawaiian Lapu Lapu

Half fill a brandy snifter with shaved ice, if you can`t get shaved, try get it a fine a possible.

2 oz white rum ( use a good quality rum that has flavor)

Add 60 % pineapple juice and 40 % orange juice – to almost fill up the glass but leave some room for the floater.

Add a tsp each of orgeat, sugacane syrup and passionfruit syrup.

A 2 oz floater of dark rum – and use a rum that is really dark if possible.

Shake and strain and fill up with more shaved ice and float the dark rum on top.

Garnish with a thick lime peel hanging over the rim. Well i made a different garnish because my limes were finished and used pineapple instead.

So this was all the Lapu Lapu drinks i could find, in the next post i`m going to make Aku Aku drinks…and when a drink is called Aku AKu Lapu i guess it` s both a Lapu and Aku drink? i just love the tiki drink world!

Okole Maluna!

4 comments to Lapu Lapu Drinks

  • I really enjoy your articles, and cannot say enough about your fantastic photography of your lovely drinks. I agree with you whole-heartedly – Tiki drinks are so much fun.

  • Thank you Jack!

  • Sunny&Rummy

    Just finishing up a week off of work on ‘stay-cation’ while my school-0aged kids and teacher wife were on spring break. We have willed the week with a goodly number of Mai Tais, Hurricanes, ‘Ti Punches and Steve Crane Scorpion Bowls, and now rounding out the evening with a Chief Lapu Lapu.

    This is an old favorite and it usually gets spun up whenever I have fresh passionfruit syrup and Jamaican rum on hand. Coruba is tyoically my go-to, but I have been taling a page out of the Mai-Kai playbook and using Kohala Bay with more frequency, and it is very good in this drink. The wife and I have been going through Rhum Negrita like nobody’s business in our Hurricanes. Despite the Beachbum’s warning in the notes of Sippin’ Safari to avoid Negrita like the plague I finally couldn’t pass it up at $11 a liter, and as it turns out it makes an astoundingly good Grog Log style Hurricane. Matched with a good gold rum it also makes a very serviceable Mai Tai, and I bet it would be good in the Chief Lapu Lapu as well.

  • Sometimes a specific spirit just fits with a drink, i believe in my own tastebuds and what they tell me is good i use:-)

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