Tiki Lovers Pineapple Rum, the Circle of Tiki & Rum Camp Booklet

It`s time to talk about Tiki Lover`s rum again, I can`t believe it was eight (!) years ago that the first Tiki Lover`s rums was launched and I wrote about them. Where did the time go? scary! Anyway, I have noticed that people are talking about them on social media and since the last time they have also launched a pineapple rum, similar in style to the one from Plantation, the Stiggin`s Fancy. it`s similar but not quite the same, and the production methods, type of pineapple used and the flavor differ.

Curious as I am I did  taste them both side by side and noticed the differences but also some similarities. My conclusion is that one of them might be better suited for one specific drink and the other for another. Overall, I find the Tiki Lover`s to be very strong on the pineapple flavor, which makes it maybe more suitable for strong Tiki cocktails, while the Stiggin`s Fancy is lighter in flavor, more complex and refined.

Not sure how exactly the Tiki Lover`s team make their pineapple rum, all I know is that they use natural extracts from pineapples from South America. I`m not sure if the pineapples are fresh or baked before added to the rum, the description says “The  juice is extracted and some of its water content is reduced in order to not water down the rum.”

The rums used in the blend are aged and un-aged pot still rums from Hampden and Worthy Park, then 3 year old Barbados rum from Foursquare aged in former bourbon whiskey barrels (thumbs up for these rums!) and then some younger column still rums from Guyana and Trinidad and it`s a no-brainer which distilleries they must come from, namely DDL and Angostura.

In my opinion after I tried it in two Tiki cocktails – it`s a good start, but the pineapple flavor is strong and becomes a bit overpowering in the drinks and so you need to use it in small amounts. But it also depends on what you use with it. I haven`t tried it with a lot of different rums yet, it`s an ongoing process. But for what I used in these drinks, a small amount worked best and that`s when it did shine best, adding just enough of the flavor to stay balanced with the other ingredients.

The two drinks I made are these:

Hala Kahiki

1 oz Appleton Rare Blend, Jamaican rum
0.5 oz Coruba Dark, Jamaican rum
0.25 oz Tiki Lovers Pineapple rum
0.5 oz Alamea Hawaiian Coffee liqueur
1.5 oz fresh pineapple juice
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz banana syrup

Add all ingredients to a blender and flash-blend for 5 seconds with 1 cup of crushed ice. Pour into a Tiki mug. Garnish with a mini pineapple and a flower.

To make banana syrup: Add 2:1 amount of sugar to water, I used a light brown muscovado sugar. Add to a pan and heat up and stir until the sugar dissolves. Then add one banana that you mash a bit with a fork, cook the syrup a little bit for about a minute on medium heat. Take off the heat and let sit for an hour, then strain and bottle. I used 1 banana for about 1 cup of syrup.

I had a taste tester to help me give feedback on the drinks and his reaction to this drink was that “it tastes very exotic, the drink has layers and layers of flavor coming up and there`s something there I cannot really put my finger on… yeah, it´s exotic.”

Alamea Star

1.5 oz Clairin Sajous Haitian rhum
0.25 oz Tiki Lovers Pineapple rum
0.25 oz Green Chartreuse
0.5 oz Banana/Lemon Oleo Saccharum
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
Top with a little bit of Ting

Flash-blend with 1 cup crushed ice and pour into a double old fashioned glass. Top with a little bit of Ting (Jamaican grapefruit beverage) and garnish with pineapple chunks, lime slices and cinnamon dust on top.

For the Banana – Lemon Oleo Saccharum, there are plenty of recipes online. I used 1.5 oz superfine sugar per peeled lemon and banana. Cut the banana peels in smaller pieces.

My taste tester friend`s reaction to this drink was first a big smile on his face  🙂 then “yeah I like it, I like it a lot” –  it reminds me of a vacation to a special place, when we used to be sitting at the beach at sunset.

Glassware: Kahiko, designed by Daniele Dalla Pola for Libbey.

Tiki Lover`s Rum also have made a booklet called “Tiki Lovers Rum Camp” together with some very talented people. The booklet contains information about their rums, then there´s 27 “rum rhapsodies” recipes, aka “Exotic/Tiki Cocktails” both classic and new, with GORGEOUS garnish works and photography!

The Tiki Lovers brand is created band produced y Stephan Berg and Alexander Hauck. As well as the layout and design of the book, together with Jochen Hirschfeld, who also did the art direction and gorgeous photography. The illustrations were made by Anthony Carpenter, Tanja Hirschfeld and Rudi Skukalek, and the Tiki charts were made by Sven Kirsten.

They also made a collaboration with  Sven Kirsten who made a chart called the “Circle of Tiki” which is a guide showing which elements make a bar a Tiki bar,  using the Tiki figure as its main element. Around this main element, are supporting ideas circling around the main focus, the Tiki. The supporting ideas are up to personal preference, some like the rockabilly stuff, while others like the monsters and etc. You need to see the chart to fully get this!

One thing though, when I say “it´s up to personal preference” I don`t mean that with Tiki, anything goes! it doesn`t. The circling elements need of course to have a connection to the Tiki culture and what those circling elements are is written in the chart.

There´s also a simplified version of the “The Evolution of Polynesian pop” chart which was first put into the Book of Tiki which was published in the year 2000.

The Tiki Camp booklet can be downloaded on Tiki Lovers website but the pdf version lacks the “Circle of Tiki” and the “The Evolution of Polynesian pop” charts. The Circle of Tiki can be found on the webpage though. The booklet was part of a Tiki Tour in California called The Californian “Van Hagen Punch” Tour visiting various Tiki bars during november. How I wish I could live in a country where things like that happens! but i`m really glad to have this Tiki booklet.

 

 

TIKI LOVERS RUM

Ever heard about Tiki Lovers rum?

I first heard about this rum at the UK Rumfest but i never got a chance to try it out..Luckily now instead it found its way to me and you don´t need to ask me twice if i wanna try out two new rums especially designed for exotic Tiki cocktails.

The lables looks exotic and very Tiki – but does the rum itself  live up to what the labels suggest? and what are the rums in the bottles?

TIKI LOVER`S WHITE RUM

The folks behind this rum are the Bitter Truth under the label Tiki Lovers and there´s a white rum and a dark rum. The white rum is made from pot stilled Jamaican rum that is aged 3-5 years, charcoal filtered and blended with column still rum from Trinidad.

The result is very good, it`has a nose that is a mix of floral, fruit and sugarcane and then i detect some subtle notes of the same flavor that you find in JWray overproof but this one is so subtle, maybe more like a slight hint of RumFire which is like a light JWray if that makes any sense.

The flavor is like the nose but stronger, sweet, floral, smooth with a slightly sharp edge, and it does have character, it won´t disappear in a mixed drink. That is one thing they have got just right, both rums stand up against all those mixers beautifully.

The white rum is not like a little brother to RumFire though – don´t get me wrong – this is a rum of it`s own. This is a white rum that is smooth and nice yet with character with those subtle hints of the flavors you find in JWray and RumFire but with it´s own personality.

It´s a good rum for Tiki drinks that´s for sure! the white rum is 42% alcohol or ABV 84. At the back of the labels are recipes and i`m gonna make one of them with the dark rum.

But let´s move on to the other bottle.

TIKI LOVER´S DARK RUM

The dark rum is much stronger, it´s 57% or ABV 114. My first thought was – is this made to be like the style of Smith and Cross? It`s also Jamaican pot still rum but this one is blended with Barbados rum (most likely Foursquare) as well with a final touch of column still rum from Trinidad and Guyana.

The nose has woody character with burnt sugarcane and dried tropical fruits. The flavor is strong, full bodied and spicy. There`s a slight alcohol burn but not unpleasant and it´s an overproof rum after all.

It´s spicier than Smith and Cross but less funky since Smith & Cross is unfiltered pot still which i find great for mixing but less suitable for sipping unless you have a palate for that, while this rum is more sippable even though it´s overproof. I`m not planning to sit and sip it though, this is made for mixing – specifically tropical/exotic/Tiki drinks.

Tiki Lovers Dark Rum won gold medal recently at the 2011 German Rum Festival as the best overproof rum and i heard some very famous rum experts loved it – well I join that bunch… I think I have two winners here!

The first drink I made was a boozy Planters Punch with the two rums and homemade hibiscus grenadine.

TIKI LOVERS PLANTERS


1 oz Tiki Lovers White Rum

1 oz Tiki Lovers Dark Rum

1 oz fresh lemon juice

1 oz sugarcane syrup

Dash Angostura bitters

1/4-1/2 oz hibiscus grenadine (use homemade or B.G Reynolds) adjust the ratio to your own preference since various grenadines tastes different. A rule of thumb is too much will ruin a drink.

Shake with ice and strain into a zombie glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a pineapple leaf, speared pineapple chunk and cherry.

The hibiscus grenadine really adds a tropical tang to this drink perfectly in harmony with the lemon juice and the high proof spicy dark rum adds punch while the white rum plays nicely in the background with the bitters.

A simpler more straight forward taste description – this is a damned good and strong tropical drink with two perfect rums in the glass! get your asses to the kitchen or bar and start mixing!

The next drink is made with the white rum:

BITTER END


2 oz Tiki Lovers white Rum

1 oz grapefruit juice

1/2 oz fresh lime juice

1/2 oz falernum

4 dashes angostura bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a tiki mug or glass  filled with crushed ice and garnish with mint and lime.

I found this drink a bit too sour so i added an extra 0.5 oz demerara syrup. Not sure if the Bitter End is a real Tiki drink or not but it doesn`t matter, these rums suits any tropical style drinks.

Then I made the one at the back of the dark rum label, the Waikiki Punch. There´s many more drinks I wanna try with these two rums which I cannot find space for in this blog post.

WAIKIKI PUNCH


50 ml Tiki Lovers Dark Rum

10 ml Pimento Dram

10 ml Orgeat

20 ml fresh lime juice

60 ml passionfruit juice

Shake with ice and strain into a tiki mug (or glass) filled with crushed ice

This drink just goes down as easily as the Mai Tai…this dark rum blends WELL! oh my YUMMY!

Gotta try a type of Daiquiri too:

TIKI LOVER´S DAIQUIRI


1 oz Tiki Lovers White Rum

1 oz Tiki Lovers Dark Rum

0.75 0z fresh lime juice

0.5-0.75 oz sugarcane syrup, adjust to your taste

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupe.

This is a dark boozy daiquiri… suits those who like the flavor of strong rum.

Conclusion: Here´s two excellent Tiki and exotic/tropical drink rums, flavorful and strong enough to stand up against the mixers. That these rums are designed for this type of drinks is evident.

As soon as you can lay your hands on the Tiki Lovers rum you should.

You can get them here.