Tiki Coquitonaut for the Christmas Holidays!

I just got the idea to mix together the Coquito with the Coconaut and thus the Tiki Coquitonaut was born. It`s a handy beverage for the holidays because it´s not only very tasty,  it`s so easy to make and to bring along when you visit friends and family.

I made this tikified Coquito in honor of the cool guys @ Los del Caribe in Peru! Los del Caribe are are two guys discovering the secret mixes of the Amazonas and the Caribbean. They are going to make a trip throughout the Amazon and the Caribbean to find new flavors, colors, cultures and traditions that they will bring into the art behind the bar. You can find them on instagram at @losdelcaribeloco

Tiki Coquitonaut (makes a small bottle)

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2 oz Alamea Spiced rum
2 oz Plantation OFTD overproof rum
2 oz Coruba Dark Jamaican rum
0.5 oz Alamea Hawaiian Coffee Liqueur
0.25 oz Alamea Pimento Rum Liqueur
2 oz sweet condensed milk
2 oz Cream of Coconut
12 oz Tahitian vanilla milk
6 oz Coconut milk

Add to blender and blend well, bottle and put in the fridge to get cold. Serve in a chilled glass with a dust of cinnamon powder and grated nutmeg on top.

*Tahitian vanilla milk – Pour 2 cups of milk into a bottle with 2-3 Tahitian vanilla beans, cut in half. Let sit for 2 hours or overnight.

Glass: Tiki split glass from Libbey
Moai mug: Maka Tiki
Tiki carving by Samuele de Vietro

You may substitute the rums if you cannot find them with others, try to keep it in the aged Jamaican pot still style kicked up with some overproof and something with natural spice for best result.

Aloha and Mele Kalikimaka!

“Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas day. That’s the island greeting that we send to you From the land where palm trees sway”

“Mele Kalikimaka” is a Hawaiian-themed Christmas song written in 1949 by Robert Alex Anderson. The song takes its title from the Hawaiian phrase Mele Kalikimaka, meaning “Merry Christmas”

White Lion Coconut Arrak

White Lion Coconut Arrak

Here´s a very interesting spirit – a Coconut Arrak made from fermented coconut flowers!

This Arrak should not be confused with Batavia Arrak which is distilled from fermented sugar cane and rice. The original word “araq” is Arabian and was associated with the distillation process when the knowledge of how to distill spirits spread in the Middle East and Asia during the 14th century.

In the US it cannot be called Arrak due to US laws. It’s White Lion VSOA – (Very Special Old Arrack)

There are three completely different categories of Arrak:

Arak – from the Middle East, distilled from fermented grapes, licorice-flavored with anise seed.

Batavia Arrak – from Indonesia, distilled from fermented sugar cane and rice.

Coconut Arrak – from Sri Lanka, distilled from naturally fermented nectar of coconut flowers.

In South East Asia Arrak is distilled from three different types of palm trees (Coconut, Palmyra and Kithul) and Sri Lanka favors the Coconut Arrak. Coconut trees lives 60 years or more and provides a continuous supply of Coconut flower nectar for a very long time and each tree provides 300 litres of nectar every year.

During the 18th century Arrak was used as a substitute for rum ratios for sailers in South East Asia by the British Royal Navy and Marco Polo mentioned Arrak in his 13th century diary Il Milione. Also Arrak was an ingredient in several recipes in Jerry Thomas original 1882 book The Bartender´s Guide. So it´s a very old spirit…

Arrak Toddy tappers

How Coconut Arrak is made:

It starts with the so called Toddy Tappers – young men scaling Coconut trees early in the morning before dawn balancing on tight ropes strung between 80 foot tall Coconut tree tops to harvest the yet unopened flowers of the trees.

They slice open the buds with machetes to release the fresh nectar into clay pots. Each tree yields 2 liters of nectar a day. The nectar is rich in natural sugar and wild yeasts and starts to ferment naturally into a mildly alcoholic syrup called toddy.This natural fermentation is unique to Coconut Arrak.

Arrak climbing

Within four hours of harvest the toddy is quality tested and transported to Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka where the toddy is distilled, a craft with 700 years of master blenders expertise and refinement. Initially the toddy is separated – a portion to be distilled in copper pot stills and the other portion in continuous column stills.

Then the two distillates are married together in casks of Halmilla wood to rest and mature for 24 months. And the result is VSOA – Very Special Old Arrak

And that´s what i have here now, to be tasted and used in a few cocktails. A quite exciting spirit to work with!

Arrak barrels

The color of the Arrak is a golden hue of amber and the nose is tropical floral with hints of vanilla and some nuttiness.

On the palate it´s mild and sweet, with the same tropical floral notes, hints of vanilla and with a nutty finish.

Conclusion:

I think it would be a great cocktail ingredient but can also be sipped neat with an ice cube since it´s mild and quite smooth. It`s not very complex but it has a mild balance of pleasant aromas and it`s somewhat like a blend of sweet rum and whiskey. It`s definitely a unique spirit!

Tropical Arrak Sling

Tropical Arrak Sling

1.5 oz White Lion Coconut Arrack
.5 oz cherry Liqueur (Cherry Heering)
.25 oz orange liqueur (Combier Grande Liqueur)
.25 oz Benedictine
.25 oz hibiscus grenadine
1 oz pineapple juice
.75 oz fresh lime juice
Soda to top
A couple dashes bitters on top of the ice

I used a combination of Angostura and Brazilian Zulu bitters.

Combine all ingredients except bitters and soda in a mixing glass with ice, strain into a tall glass wrapped in a banana leaf or napkin and top up with crushed ice, top with soda and fill up with more crushed ice.

Tropical Arrak Sling leaf

Top with bitters.

Garnish with cherry and piece of banana leaf.

Tropical and cherry forward, this sling which is as you can see from the recipe is inspired by the classic Singapore sling – makes me think of tropical porches in front of the sea…

Coconut Arrak Painkiller

Coconut Arrak Painkiller

A painkiller with Coconut Arrak…

4 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1 oz orange juice
1 oz Coco Real or Lopez coconut ream
1 oz White Lion Coconut Arrak
1 oz Pusser`s Rum or dark Jamaican Rum

Shake with plenty of crushed ice and pour unstrained into a tall glass or tiki mug.

Dust with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Garnish with pineapple leaf and cherry.

This is a perfect drink for the coconut arrak!

Happy RUM DAY!

national rum day

Today we celebrate the (Inter) National Rum Day and of course i must make something that contains this noble spirit and make a toast for everyone that have had any part in the invention and creation of this sugarcane spirit called rum, ron or rhum and all who enjoy it and promote it!

This is one of the most varied and versatile spirits on this planet and it´s no secret which spirit i enjoy the most of all – RUM!

So let´s toast for the Rum Day and enjoy a glass or two! i`m in a summer mood so i`m gonna make one of the most common summer rum drinks there is – the Pina Colada which – in my opinion is an underrated drink.

And i`m gonna use a rum that i just recently got to try and which i will review here in a while, the Koloa coconut rum from Hawaii which is made with real coconut.

Also the cream of coconut i`m using here, Coco Real is made with real coconut and not artificial flavorings same as Coco Lopez. If you can`t find cream of coconut (NOT the same as coconut cream which is the thicker coconut milk) the use of coconut milk as substitution or a coconut syrup won`t be the same thing – so try get cream of coconut, it´s a key ingredient.

The name ‘Pina Colada’ literally means ‘strained pineapple’ – a reference to the freshly pressed and strained pineapple juice used in the drink’s preparation. Three Puerto Rican bartenders contest the ownership of their country’s national drink.

Pina Colada

PINA COLADA

2 oz white rum (or you may use gold or dark rum…for a darker more deep flavored version)

2 oz cream of coconut (Coco Lopez or Coco Real)

2 oz pineapple juice (preferably fresh)

1 cup crushed ice

Blend or shake and pour into a suitable glass and garnish with pineapple and cherry. (i didn`t have any cherries on hand so i used a tropical flower instead)

There ya go! Happy Rum Day!

pinacolada instagram