Summer is definitely here. It is stifling outside, when it is not raining, so the humidity is through the roof. This is just the kind of day that Mr. Carrier was thinking about when he decided we needed to get this air into some kind of condition. It seems like it is all rain showers followed by moments of intense sunshine. Pretty sure there is a metaphor in there somewhere, but it is obscured by the steam rising from the pavement. The point is, this is the kind of day when you need some shelter and something to help keep you cool, so why not have both, as we stand and make the Parasol.
Let me open with acknowledging the fact that there are two distinctly different version of this drink. Today we are going to make the Parasol, we will not be making The Parasol. Seriously, that’s the only distinction I can find between these two drinks with wildly different ingredient lists. We are going to make a nice rum, banana and pineapple Parasol, while making The Parasol requires honey, Lillet Blanc, St. Germain and prosecco. Our version is a riff on the classic daiquiri, actually a riff on my favorite version of that classic, the pineapple infused Corsair Daiquiri. This one was created for Glady’s Rum Bar in Brooklyn by Shannon Mustipher, author of Tiki: Modern Tropical Cocktails. Sadly, Glady’s was forced to close indefinitely due to Covid-19. Another of those famous spots that we lost over the last year and a half of quarantine. Even though we can no longer go there and enjoy the original, at least we can try it at home and this one ought to be rock solid. Let’s make it and find out.
Grab your tins and pop in 2 ounces of golden or dark rum, I chose El Dorado 5 Year; 3/4 of an ounce of Banane du Bresil, 1/2 an ounce of pineapple juice, 3/4 of an ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice and 2 drops of 18-21 Havana & Hide Bitters. Add ice and give it a good shake to the beat of “Feelin’ Love” by Paula Cole. This song has all the right words and definitely leans into the moist side of paradise. When your tins are as chilled as the music is hot, double strain into a chilled coupe till the condensation rolls down the glass like sweat on a hot summer afternoon. Traditionally, this one is garnished with a little fresh nutmeg, but I could not be bothered to find the microplane, so a dehydrated lime wheel it is.
Of course this is lovely. You knew that when you read the ingredients. A good rum with lime and pineapple was going to be great on its own, but slipping that banana in there to replace the simple syrup is a stroke of genius. Slipping a little banana in often is. Solid drink all the way around. This one is a nearly perfect way to get away from the heat when served ice cold.
Imagine yourself, wilting in the afternoon heat, the humidity slowly melting you into your clothes. That listlessness that comes when it is so hot that you can stand in the shade and sweat just thinking about trying to get somewhere else. Summoning your strength, you make your way to the door and step inside. Blinded for a moment as your eyes adjust from the bright sun to the dim neon lit bar, you note that Paula Cole is playing in here as well, how odd. The cold air hits the sweat, freezing what was melting just a moment ago. Goosebumps rise on your exposed skin in this air-conditioned oasis and more hidden parts respond to the sudden change as well as you become aware of the feel of linen on your body. This drink appears before you on the bar, a single bead of condensation runs down the chilled exterior, trapped forever in your memory. You raise the glass and take a cautious, almost tentative, taste. So sweet, so cool, so good. The outside world disappears as you follow that first sip all the way down till you feel its cool touch reach your core. That is a little bit of heaven on earth. Repeat as necessary until you begin to feel the heat rise inside and then… Well that’s entirely up to you, as long as you stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.