All About Flavor
10 Tropical Tiki Cocktails
Sit back, relax and take a sip of a Tiki cocktail to transport yourself to the warm, sunny shores of the tropics. Famous for carved wooden masks, brightly lit torches and coconut cups, the Tiki cocktail certainly has a unique flare. These rum-based cocktails are layered with sweet and fruity flavor, and often chilled with ice. Perfect for hot summer days, the spiced ingredients build upon themselves for a delicious tropical drink.
While many think the festive drink originated somewhere in Polynesia, Tiki cocktails actually originated right here in the United States of America—Hollywood, California to be exact.
Eighty years ago, a man by the name of Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt—later to rename himself Donn Beach—came back from an extended trip in the Caribbean and South Pacific. Gantt had a suitcase filled with souvenirs and a head filled with ideas of bringing paradise to the people.
Soon after his return, he opened Don the Beachcomber, a restaurant that served drinks with rum, flavored syrups and fruit juice—all garnished to catch the eye. Thus, the Tiki cocktail was born.
While each drink is unique, Tiki cocktails have a few loose rules:
- Rum is number 1—Not every Tiki drink contains rum, but the majority do. Tiki cocktails are inspired by the tropics and rum rules that region.
- Fresh juice is the best juice—Tiki bartenders set the standard by making their drinks with freshly squeezed juice such as grapefruit juice, passion fruit juice, pineapple juice and orange juice.
- Layer the flavor—It’s hard to nail down the exact flavor of a Tiki cocktail because the flavors are layered. Often times multiple spirits are used, particularly light, dark and spiced rums. Fruit juices are just as plentiful, with many recipes calling for more than one freshly squeezed fruit. However, there’s another layer of flavor that keeps many people guessing…spices. From cinnamon to nutmeg to ginger, many Tiki recipes call for syrups or spirits infused with aromatic spices.
- Garnish with a flare—From brightly colored paper umbrellas to freshly cut fruit, Tiki cocktails always wow with their appearance.
Add a tropical flare to your day with these Tiki cocktail recipes: