For April's third installment of "Your Weekend Cocktails," we're serving up a slice of 1950s Tiki culture, reinventing the Roaring 20s and celebrating our Mother for Earth Day. Get loose and enjoy!
Friday Happy Hour: Get Tiki-fied
We are getting all Atomic Aged up in this beast for Friday’s Happy Hour, a shout out to all our Tiki loving brethren down at The Hukilau festival in Fort Lauderdale this weekend. The Hukilau is part geek squad, part kitsch collectors, part Polynesian and Hawaiian pop culture enthusiasts rolled up into four days of plastic Tiki sippy cups, cheap leis, throwback surf and beach tunes, and classic cocktails; the annual event is simply like none other. To show our Tiki-chic support, here’s a few cocktails we expect to see down in Fort Lauderdale. And if one were so inclined, head on down for the festivities this year, it is one hula of a good time! (Held at Fort Lauderdale’s Best Western Oceanside)
Story has it that the Blue Hawaii cocktail was born on the tropical sands of Hilton Hawaiian Village in 1957. Developed by legendary island bartender Harry Yee, the Blue Hawaii gets its hues from Curacao liqueur, and even shares a name with the iconic 1961 Elvis Presley film. Here’s the original recipe by way of Hilton and Yee.
- ¾ oz. light rum
- ¾ oz. vodka
- ½ oz. Blue Curacao liqueur
- 3 oz. pineapple juice
- 1 oz. sweet and sour mix
Combine all ingredients and mix well. If using ice, mix the ingredients in a blender. Serve in a tall glass. Garnish with a slice of pineapple and a cherry.
*Recipe courtesy of Hilton Top Chef
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Perhaps no other cocktail is as indoctrinated in Tiki culture than that of the Mai Tai. Literally meaning “good “in Tahitian, the Mai Tai was all the rave in Tiki culture’s hayday of the 1950s. Coming by way of California’s Trader Vic's in 1944—though there are warring theories to its origin—Vic’s recipe is relatively straightforward, with a few rather peculiar ingredients: Orgeat syrup, which is made from almonds, sugar and rose water (or orange blossom water); and Trader Vic’s Rock Candy Syrup, which is easily substituted with simple syrup. Coming by way of Trader Vic’s, the original Mai Tai:
- 2 oz. Dark Jamaican or Martinique rum
- Juice from one fresh lime (about 1 oz.)
- ½ oz. Holland DeKuyper Orange Curaçao
- ¼ oz. Simple syrup (or Trader Vic's Rock Candy Syrup)
- ½ oz. Orgeat (almond) syrup
Pour all ingredients into a shaker. Add at least to cups of crushed (preferably shaved) ice. Shake vigorously. Pour into a highball glass and garnish with a sprig of mint and cherry.
*Recipe and image courtesy of Trader Vic’s.
For maximum cool, serve these Atomic Age classics in a Tiki head glass. Enjoy!
Saturday: History Revisited
This Saturday evening is reserved for a little introspective thought into the history of our nation. The Sidecar comes straight from the mean streets of Prohibition, probably the only deserving thing to come from those trying times. There are quite a few trains of thought for this classic cocktail, from the French Trinitarian philosophy (equal parts brandy, orange liqueur and lemon juice), to the English school of thought, which adds an extra dose of the Father, with two parts brandy to one part liqueur. Contentious debates no doubt, though the English version gives a little more bang for the buck.
For our proposes, we searched for a Sidecar that breaks from the historical chains and casts a ray of light on the Sunshine State. This led us to Bonefish Grill’s Caribbean version of this barroom staple, Sidecar with a Mango Twist. Swapping the lemon juice for mango and a break Cointreau for up start Patron Citronge, Bonefish has breathed new life into this 1920s throwback.
Sidecar with a Mango Twist
- 2 oz. Brandy
- 2 oz. Patron Citronge
- ½ oz. Fresh sour mix
- 2 oz. Mango juice
- 1 Lemon wedge
- ½ oz. Soda water
Squeeze one lemon wedge in pint glass or shaker and drop in wedge. Add brandy, Patron, sour mix, mango juice and ice until glass is 3/4 full. Cover and shake well, and then pour all ingredients (including ice) into a sugar-rimmed wine glass. Top with a good splash of soda water and swizzle stick. Cheers!
*Recipe and image courtesy of Bonefish Grill
Sunday, April 22 Earth Day turns 42. A celebration of all things green, this Sunday we expect all our readers to do their part by turning off the tap water while brushing their teeth, separate all their recyclables and plant a tree. If these simple tasks are not in your future, let a eco-conscious cocktail give you some green credence.
To show our Earth Day credo, we found one of the greenest libations out there in VeeV Açai Spirit, derived from super-fruit açai. VeeV has a distinct flavor, a bit tart and bitter with a sweet side, so the liquor can take some getting use to at first, but once you develop a palate for this açai infused medley, you’ll keep ordering more. Aside from the super-fruit credentials of açai, prickly pear and acerola cherries, VeeV is also a carbon-neutral company. The alcohol is made in a wind-powered distillery and for every bottle sold, VeeV donates a buck to Sambazon’s Sustainable Açai Project, whose mission is to protect the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest.
There is also a rumor floating around that antioxidants help prevent hangovers. If this is true, VeeV is the liquor of choice, with açai packing more antioxidants than any other super-fruit around. So kick back and relax this Sunday, and let VeeV do all the heavy Earth Day lifting with their signature cocktail, Spa Cooler.
- 2 oz. VeeV Açai Spirit
- 1 to 2 sprigs of mint
- 6 Cucumbers
- 1 oz. Fresh lime juice
- ¾ oz. Simple syrup
Shake all ingredients well with ice and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice and sprig of mint.
*Recipe and photo courtesy of VeeV Açai Spirit.
**Available at Crown Wine & Spirits
If you would like to nominate a cocktail recipe to appear in our latest series "Weekend Cocktails," email the online editor here.