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:
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.”
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.