If you find that whole mustachioed old-timey know-it-all mixologist thing a little too self-serious, you’re in luck. The tiki bar is back in full force. Until recently, the dusty vestiges of the postwar tiki bar remained in our grandparents’ basements. But several years ago, modern tiki bars opened across the country and sparked a revival that combines top-quality ingredients and exacting technique. Today, bars such as Hale Pele in Portland, Three Dots and a Dash in Chicago and Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco are thriving thanks to talented bartenders and rum enthusiasts at the helm. We asked Martin Cate of Smuggler’s Cove to share his recipe for the expedition (pictured), a boozy delight that’s light on the fruit juice and inspired by Don the Beachcomber, founder of the tiki movement. Men, it’s time to embrace the finely crafted umbrella drink again.
2 oz. dark rum such as Coruba Original or Skipper
1 oz. bourbon such as Buffalo Trace
1 oz. fresh lime juice
½ oz. cinnamon syrup*
½ oz. honey syrup
½ oz. vanilla syrup
¼ oz. Bittermens New Orleans coffee liqueur
2 oz. chilled soda water
Combine ingredients in a blender with 12 ounces crushed ice and pulse for two seconds. Pour into tiki mug. Garnish with mint leaves, a pineapple wedge and edible flowers.
*Much of the complexity of this drink comes from flavored syrups. For the cinnamon syrup, dissolve two cups sugar in one cup hot water, add two cinnamon sticks and let soak overnight. Do the same for the vanilla syrup, using two chopped vanilla beans. For honey syrup, heat one cup honey with one cup water. Store extra syrup in the fridge for up to a week.