Aku Aku Drinks

After drinking all those lapu lapu drinks i wrote about in my previous post i`m now gonna make drinks that has the word aku or aku aku in the name and there`s no other reason for doing that other than tiki drink research..and because i like rum drinks.

In my previous post about lapu lapu drinks there was the Aku Aku Lapu and that one is a lapu style drink with the word aku in the name – which made me feel it`s maybe an aku aku drink but lapu lapu style…if that makes any sense…but if not, just enjoy a good rum drink!

What a lapu lapu drink is – go read here – but what is aku aku?

Well it`s many things – for one there was the Aku Aku restaurant in Las Vegas in cirka 1960 and it says in Intoxica that the Aku Aku once fronted the Stardust hotel along with two massive moais or Easter Island (Rapa Nui) statues. 

The restaurant took it`s name from Thor Heyerdahl`s book Aku Aku – which was the book title of his bestseller – Aku-Aku, the Secret of Easter Island – a 1958 book that described his research on the many giant stone statues or moai found on Easter Island and the culture that created them.

Thor Heyerdahl also wrote the world famous “Kon-Tiki”  – which is the record of a journey of 4,300 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean by raft. Thor Heyerdahl suspected that the South Sea Islands had been settled by an ancient race from thousands of miles to the east, led by a mythical hero, Kon-Tiki. He decided to prove his theory by duplicating the legendary voyage.

And he also wrote the very interesting book “Fatu Hiva” or “Green Was the Earth on the Seventh Day”.

Fatu Hiva was written In the late 1930s, Thor Heyerdahl ( 22 year) left his home in Norway and set off with his new wife for paradise. Fulfilling a long-held ambition to return to nature, the couple sought, and to a degree found, a natural and unspoiled world on the remote island of Fatu-Hiva in the South Pacific.

Yes Thor Heyerdah was quite the adventurer…

But back to Aku Aku:

His theory on how those giant moais on the Easter islands were moved is what 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.

There`s also a tiki bar in Norway called Aku Aku, check it out!

And in the tiki drink world there`s of course drinks named after aku aku and that´s what i´m gonna deal with now, the drinks!

First drink is the Aku Gold Cup (Sippin`Safari) and it was served in a glass with a ice mold at the Aku Aku restaurant. There`s a picure of the menu and it says it was a mixure of Mexican limes, Cuban syrup, Jamaican rum, Puerto Rican rhum and dashes of almond and herbsaint.

Quite different from the recipe which makes me wonder if the drink was changed at some point? Lime is replaced with lemon, almond for falernum, Cuban syrup for powder sugar and herbsaint omitted.

So i went and asked the Bum about it and he said the menu photo was from the original 1950s menu, while the recipe was a later, modified version of the drink (Tiki places changed recipes regularly over the years, usually so they could make the drinks more cheaply or more quickly, which was probably the case here).

I`m using the later recipe here.

Aku Aku Gold Cup

0.75 oz fresh lemon juice

1 tsp powdered sugar

0.5 oz falernum

0.5 oz Myer`s dark rum

1.5 oz light Puerto Rican rum

Dissolve powder sugar in lemon juice and shake with the rest of ingredients and strain into a saucer with a “spanish comb” ice shell.

To make it simpler i used simple syrup instead (0.5 oz) and took down the lemon juice to 0.5 oz to suit my taste. And i really liked the drink, i found it very refreshing.

But making an ice shell is a lot of work…and unless you wanna do it, i think since this drink has the words “Aku Aku” in the name it`s perfectly fit to be served in a moai mug.

The moai mug uses the power of silence and has an air of mystique – the expression of the face of the moai makes you wonder what thoughts and powers are inside….

OK, its just a mug but still…at least the drink served has the power of making you drunk! So therefore, enjoy all booze in moderation, especially certain strong tiki drinks – because tiki drinks are seductive…

But if you wanna make the ice shell here`s how:

Place finely crushed ice in a large and wide glass, spread the ice along the bottom and sides of the glass gently tapped it pushing the ice up, and then finally pushed the whole ice shell up a bit on one side of the glass and then into the freezer to stay there for at least 1 hour.

The key to a nice ice shell is shaved ice and since i don`t have any ice shaver i´ll just have to do with the clumsier shell you get from an ice crusher. But if you look in the Bum`s books you`ll see how they are supposed to look.

The next drink is a very tasty twist of the Astro Aku Aku from Grog Log. It came to be one day when i didn´t have the papaya and apricot nectars the recipe calls for – so i used mango and guava juices instead and that was right on, oh so tasty… I also added a spoon of creamed coconut but it´s equally tasty without. And i switched the gold Puerto Rican rum for dark Jamaican.

Silent Aku

1.5 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz mango juice

0.5 oz guava juice

0.75 oz sugarcane syrup

0.5 oz falernum

1 tblsp creamed coconut

Dash Angostura bitters

1 oz 151 demerara rum

1.5 oz dark jamaican rum

Blend everything with half cup of crushed ice aqnd pour into a Moai mug (or other vessel or tiki mug) filled with cracked ice. If i`ve had a moai mug i would have used it for this drink, it would´ve been a perfect fit but since i have none (yet) i took one of my coconuts.

This twist of the already tasty Astro Aku Aku is so tasty i made it several times already both with and without the creamed coconut and switching out the rums. I found for example that it tastes very good with Tiki Lover´s dark rum. I´m out of Coruba unf but i can imagine it would be great in this drink.

I wish i had some left of the Caroni but alas…

The Boo Loo – Beware of it`s quiet strength

Here` s a quick post on one of the more well known tiki drinks the Boo Loo. A while ago i had a Boo Loo weekend together with a few people on instagram, yes really…there´s quite a bit of tikiphiles and other tropical drink lovers out there..and it´s fun when everybody post up their Boo Loo pictures.

The Boo Loo is usually served in a pineapple but i think it also looks fantastic in a goblet a la Forbidden island style – or other cool glass. I made a traditional one served in the pineapple and then another in a glass that night and only switched out some of the rums for variety and there´s quite a lot of rum in this drink…

Speaking of which – as in all rum forward drinks make sure to use good rums!

This is a Lapu Lapu type of drink, and it`s  enough in the pineapple or glass to be shared by two but can of course be good for one as well, heck i had two myself… It´s a polynesian restaurant style drink and similar to the Chief Lapu Lapu, Aku Lapu Lapu and the lesser known Kikuya Lapu ( all are on page 61-63 in BB Remixed)

These three are all different incarnations of the Chief Lapu Lapu which got it´s name after the Filipino chief Lapu Lapu who defeated Magellan in 1521 (you can read about the legend in Remixed) and how a rum drink served in tiki bars can get it´ name after that event is part of the mystery..

And so the Boo Loo is that kinda drink, boozy in a quiet way…and very relaxing.

Try it!

BOO LOO

  • A few small fresh pineapple chunks
  • 2 1/2 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz honey
  • 1 1/2 oz club soda
  • 1 1/2 oz Demerara Rum
  • 1 1/2 oz gold Purto Rican rum
  • 3/4 oz dark Jamaican rum
  • 3/4 oz 151 Demerara Rum

Put pineapple chunks, honey and lime and pineapple juices in blender and blend without ice until liquefied. Pour unstrained into a hollowed out pineapple filled with crushed ice (or goblet) Add rums and soda and stir until well chilled.

As for the honey – heat until liquid and lightly cool it before adding to the blender. I always use liquid honey to make it even easier to mix.

I know the drink was created around 1965 but by whom i have no idea but it`s on the menu at the Fobidden Island. The Boo Loo is in Beachbum Berry`s Grog Log and Remixed.

This drink is quite rum forward and don`t be tricked by the honey and pineapple smoothness – this drink will creep up on you. But i like boozy drinks especially if the booze is rum…

If you add some coffee and mole bitters you get a Princess Kalakau which is a twist i made and you can call it the Boo Loo`s spicier cousin.

MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG 21 – Eastern Sour

Here`s and old favorite…the Eastern Sour. Orange and lemon juices, sugarcane syrup, orgeat and then rye or bourbon.

It´s drink number 20 in Grog Log and is also featured in Remixed where i also found the Western Sour which contains grapefruit juice and falernum. I find yellow grapefruit juice much tastier in mixed drinks than the pink one, it´s simply fresher and has that sourness which balances so well with sweeteners yet still contains that sour freshness.

The Eastern Sour was made sometimes in the 50s by Trader Vic. He also made the London Sour (sub scotch for the bourbon) and Munich Sour ( cognac) These sours were made for the various Trader Vic`s restaurants.

The Western Sour was featured at Steve Crane`s Kon-Tiki restaurant chain operating in Sheraton hotels across the U.S. Steve Crane and Trader Vic did really compete and in the end Vic did outlast Steve and the Kon_Tiki`s.

So…bourbon or rye?

I like both..but shame on me! –  i`m out of bourbon…so it´s rye to go in both drinks, and i`m using Rittenhouse bonded.  Also i found a few fresh kalamansi limes so i`m gonna use them in both drinks to see what happens.

EASTERN SOUR

Juice of 1/2 orange

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 oz orgeat syrup

1/4 oz rock candy syrup (well, i didn´t have that, so i used Petit Canne´s sugarcane syrup)

2 oz rye or bourbon

Now i added: juice of 1 kalamansi lime and garnished also with a sugared rim

Shake well with plenty of crushed ice. Pour unstrained into a double old fashioned glass or short stemmed goblet. Sink spent orange and lemon shells into the drink.

Since the kalamansi is both sweet and sour but a bit more on the sour side i decided to make a sugared rim on the glass to add some extra sweetness. I think it was very tasty with some tangy kalamansi juice in the Eastern Sour even though it doesn´t make itself very much noticed in this drink – just subtle. That said it was very very tasty.

WESTERN SOUR


1 oz white grapefruit juice

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz falernum

0.25 oz sugarcane syrup

2 oz Bourbon (or rye)

Shake well with ice cubes and por unstrained into a double old fashioned glass.

As i suspected, white grapefruit juice and kalamansi limes like each other and plays together very well..and here the two together is da bomb! this drink is so tasty!

The kalamansi transforms the drink from quite average to one step higher. Otherwise the Eastern Sour is in my opinion better than the Western but when kalamansi is in the game it`s slightly the contrary.

Interesting how the addition of just one thing can change things around!

I think i need to go and get me a kalamansi plant so i can have fresh kalamansi limes and make these  drinks all summer!

MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG 20 – Don´s own Planter´s

Time for a planter´s again! drink number 20 from Grog Log is Don`s own Planter´s. These are what i would call comfort drinks.

The history of the old Planter´s punch has been told many times and it´s not that long ago i did a post on it with eight different variations where Don`s own is one of them. Now i`m back with the planter`s again since it`s one of the drinks i need to try and post from Grog Log since i`ve taken upon myself the task to do that inspired by Erik`s stomping through the Savoy – a real heroic effort since that book is not a small one.

Well, mixing through Grog Log is both great fun and educational!

This Planter`s punch was made by Don the Beachcomber in Honolulu in the 50s. It must have been nice to be around in the great tiki era when it comes to tasty drinks.

DON´S OWN PLANTER`S


1 oz fresh lemon juice

1 oz soda water

2 dashes Angostura bitters

1 oz honey-mix (equal parts honey and water, heated up to dissolve and mix, then cooled to room temp. Can be stored in fridge and will stay liquid)

1.5 oz dark Jamaican rum

1 oz Light Puerto Rican rum

Shake with ice cubes and pour everything into a pilsener glass and garnish with mint, cherry and pineapple finger.

I didn´t have any pineapple at home, so i used an orange peel for garnish instead plus a cherry and some fresh mint. Then i topped with a few extra dashes Angostura bitters on the ice.

This drink is what you put in it, you can play with various rums and get different flavors. For example i made one with 1 oz aged cachaca and 0.5 oz Smith & Cross. An aged rhum agricole would make it yet different and add some grassy notes.

But to entirely change things around i decided to make a Planter´s punch with bourbon instead of rum,

PLANTER´S BOURBON PUNCH


0.5 oz lemon juice

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup

1.5 oz Bourbon

0.5 tsp hibiscus grenadine

0.5 tsp falernum

1 dash Angostura bitters

6 oz crushed ice

Blend everything in blender for no more than 5 sec. Pour everything into a tall glass and garnsih with pineapple and cherry.

It was tasty with bourbon too! and very refreshing. Yeah me loves me some Bourbon!

This is a lazy drink..meant to be sipped and savored in a rocking chair on the porch..watching the tropical sun go down.

MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG 18 & 19 – Derby Daiquiri and Don`s Daiquiri

I love the daiquiri! it´s so simple and tasty and the base of so many cocktails..

Since there´s two daiquiris in the Grog Log with just one drink in between (the Don`s own Planter`s) i put them together here in the same post.

The first is the Derby Daiquiri – a tasty daiquiri that also contains orange juice. It was created by Mariano Licudine from Mai Kai who also had been bartender at Don the Beachcomber’s in Chicago and Hollywood before being hand-picked for Mai Kai.

He created this drink for a Rums of Puerto Rico cocktail competition in 1959 and the drink has also been named the signature drink of the Gulfstream Racetrack’s Florida Derby.

Originally it was served with crushed ice and an ice shell, (must have been fabulously stunning) but since i recently did a post on ice molds i`m not into making an ice shell right now and so i make the drink the way it´s described in Grog Log – which goes just as well and is something you can serve daily if you wish.

DERBY DAIQUIRI

1 oz orange juice

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup

1.5 oz light Puerto Rican rum (didn´t have that so i used Havana Club blanco)

Blend with a handful of crushed ice for 15 sec. Serve in small wine goblet.

I really like the daiquiri and this version with orange juice is tasty. I had such a large glass that i made a double. Its simple, tasty and easy to make.

The next daquiri is Don´s daiquiri which uses honey-mix as sweetener.

DON`S DAIQUIRI

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

0.75 oz honey-mix

2 0z light Puerto Rican rum

Shake like hell with ice cubes and strain into saucer champagne glass.

Made by Don The beachcomber in Honolulu, Hawaii cirka 1950.

Clean, tasty…and very nice! yep the daquiri is one of the cocktail icons and forefather to many great cocktails. One of my absolute favorites together with the Mai Tai, Sazerac and Julep.

MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG 17 – Cruzana

Cruzana is the 17th of the drinks in Grog Log and the name does of course come from the rum that the recipe calls for, Cruzan Gold rum.

It also says “or use Barbados rum” – and since i have no Cruzan but do have a rum from Barbados (Plantation) i`m using that instead. So maybe it should be called Barbadiana..

When it comes to maraschino cherries i prefer to use real cherries and let them soak in maraschino liqueur, brandy or mezcal – rather than using the commercial cherries which are stripped of all flavor and dyed bright red. (or green or black) the dyed ones does look good in drinks but they aren´t tastier! I only use them when there`s no fresh cherries to get and my jar is finished.

This drink was created by the Cruzan rum company in cirka 1960s.

CRUZANA

cruzana

2 oz grapefruit juice

0.75 oz syrup from maraschino cocktail cherry jar

2 oz Cruzan gold rum or Barbados rum

Shake with ice cubes and pour into collins glass.

Tastes nice but it´s nothing special..

In my twist of this drink i decided to punch up the strength a bit, i happen to like strong rum drinks, so i also added a float of Lemon Hart 151 and used Pusser`s red label and some coffee liqueur and hazelnut orgeat instead of maraschino syrup from the jar.

Now this entirely changes flavor profile of the drink of course. I took away the maraschino cherry syrup mainly because i believe mine is a tad too old, it`s fully usable but have lost its spark.

Freshness of ALL ingredients is important! apart from aged alcohol..to an extent..but even that becomes not so good after too long a time. So when you open your bottle of rum you better drink it..

In this drink, the pineapple juice gotta be a good one, either fresh or a good quality juice, NOT from the can! a bad pineapple juice will ruin this drink.

SCOONER


2 oz unsweetened pineapple juice

2 oz Pusser`s rum

0.5 oz fresh lime

0.25 oz coffee liqueur

0.5 oz Trader Tiki`s hazelnut orgeat

Float Lemon Hart 151

Shake and strain into a snifter filled with crushed ice, garnish with mint and flower ( i used a spider lily)

I like the addition of coffee and nuts in this drink plus some more potent rums.

Tastes like a tiki drink….looks like a tiki drink and i love me some tropical tiki libations! what more can i say?

Next drinks up from the Grog Log will be two lovely daiquiris..

Sugarcane bar

 

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MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG 16 – Coronado Luau Special

coronado-luau-special1

A sumptuous mixture of lemon, lime and orange, delicious rums, brandy and orgeat – here´s a true tiki classic.

This was once the signature drink of the now closed down Luau Room at the Hotel del Coronado in Coronado, CA.  The Hotel del Coronado operated between 1940 to 1070. This drink is still served but now at the Forbidden Island Tiki bar as one of their specialty cocktails.

CORONADO LUAU SPECIAL

4 oz Orange juice

4 oz Sweet and sour ( 4 oz lime/lemon juice + 4 oz simple syrup

1/4 oz Orgeat syrup

1 oz Dark Jamaican rum

1 oz Light Puerto Rican rum

1/2 oz Grand Marnier orange liqueur

1/2 oz brandy

Blend with 1 cup of crushed ice for several seconds. Pour into a large tiki mug or tall glass.

Actually i did change the ratios in this, i took down the orange juice to 3 oz and the sweet & sour to 1 oz. The drink turned out very nice, a bit on the sour side but not too much. Then i added a small float of Pusser´s overproof – couldn´t resist.

I have also dug up a few links to other posts about this drink

Then i want to mention another drink that was served at that hotel that can be found in the Bum`s Intoxica and which was served with a thin ice mold in a pilsener glass. A tiki drink when served in an ice mold looks magic, especially if its dark and there´s light from candles around. It`s like a magic potion from an ancient time or something.

DEL CORONADO

del-coronado-22

1/2 oz Unsweetened pineapple juice

1/2 oz Passion fruit syrup

2 1/2 oz Orange juice

3/4 oz Fresh lemon juice

1/4 oz Fresh lime juice

1/2 oz Papaya nectar

1 oz Gin

1 oz Dark Jamaican rum

Shake well with ice cubes and pour into tall glass, or strain into pilsener glass coated on the inside with a thin ice mold.

Here`s stuff for ice molding! i don´t do that very often due to its quite a bit of work and i don´t have any ice-shaver, only a hand cranked ice-crusher.

So you need to first crush the ice, then either use a hand-mixer or beat the hell outta it with a huge wooden mortar before quickly and carefully molding it. Then finally freeze it for at least an hour or two before using the glass.

But for this drink i will do it – despite the fact that i cannot get that powdered ice and instead get roughly crushed ice, not even my ice-crusher is in good shape anymore. and my hand-mixer is broken down so i`ts the mortar way for me…Nevertheless, i get an ice mold.

Really, after you`ve got going into it it`s not that hard, you just need to have the time. In any case, the reward is great and it`s worth the effort every now and then to do it.

I haven´t yet experienced being in a tiki bar and having a few different ice molded drinks served, that would be a very cool experience but i dunno if there`s any bars today that serves them that way, i doubt it – unless there`s a special occasion or something.

We know that we drink with our eyes too and how a drink is presented whether it has garnish or no garnish is very important and affects the whole drinking experience.

The magic and power of the ice molded tiki drinks…have such a drink in front of you and it`ll make you feel special!

And finally, the usual twist which contains pineapple juice instead of orange, brazil nut orgeat, Smith & Cross and Rittenhouse bonded rye, sweet and sour (2:2 lime-lemon and sugarcane syrup) a hint of coffee and then a little pure vanilla flavor from Navan.

SWAYING TIKI HEAD

swaying-tiki-head3

2 oz unsweetened pineapple juice

1 oz sweet & sour (fresh lemon and lime juice, sugarcane syrup 2:2)

0.25 oz brazil nut orgeat (use 2:1 brazil nuts to almonds and make your own orgeat)

0.5 oz Navan vanilla liqueur

1/4 oz coffee liqueur

1 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican rum

1 oz Rittenhouse bonded rye

Shake with ice and strain into a tiki mug or tall glass. Garnish with something cool.

Well, i had an unripe carambola fruit which had a gorgeous green color.

So i took a chop-stick and you stick through the fruit. Stick it through from the bottom to the top and then you cut in a spiraled manner around the stick. Then take out the stick.

If you had a lime you would be able to stretch it and get a long spiraled lime to adorn your drink with and it`s a quite stunning garnish, but with a carambola you cannot stretch. So instead i twisted each cut piece and the result you see here below.

Its fun to play with fruits and make weird garnishes (and beautiful) sometimes, just ask Kaiserpenguin.

The drink tasted like a typical tiki punch, the coffee and pineapple will forever be friends in the glass and have a few of these and your head will spin.

swaying-tiki-head-garnish1