I was going to take the evening off, not make a drink at all, not write about it, not even take any pictures of that drink I was not going to make. My wife and I are celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary, so I figured no one would mind if we took the night off. We enjoyed a lovely bottle of mead I picked up a couple of years ago that we never got around to opening. I was ready to curl up on the sofa with some soft music and a book to wait out the child falling asleep, but she had other plans. Soon I was back in the kitchen, using some new tools to fill some new glasses, cause that’s my job. So, please join me now, as we stand and make the Tiki Peat.
I’m still chasing that Bananakin Skywalker. We aren’t there yet, but each drink brings us a step closer. The Tiki Peat is a lot closer, I think. Honestly, I am chasing a drink that I had twice a couple of years ago, and it is not like I was making careful notes on the flavor profile. I was laughing, drinking too much, helping Jenn celebrate her birthday, manipulating fellow bar patrons into buying drinks for us and other people and then shaming them into higher tips for the bartenders; you know, the usual. This drink is awfully good though. I discovered this one over at Huckberry and I assume it was created by their Elliott Clark, because he is the one who wrote about it and didn’t mention where he found it and I cannot find this recipe anywhere else, so he gets the credit till I learn better. Let’s make it and you can enjoy the magic while we philosophize.
I’ve been on a stirred drink kick lately, so I am very happy to switch back to the shaker tins. Grab your tins and pop in 1 ounce of a peated smoky scotch, I chose Laphroaig Quarter Cask; 1 ounce of aged rum, I opted for Doctor Bird, because it is nice and I just love their packaging; 1/2 an ounce of orange liqueur; I used Cointreau; 1 ounce of pineapple juice, and 1/2 an ounce of lime juice, you can use the swanky new hand juicer your partner got for you on this, or not, your call. The recipe calls for 1/2 an ounce of brown sugar banana syrup here, but we recently made some of our own banana liqueur which was essentially this syrup in a dark rum base, so I subbed that in, trust me the extra rum doesn’t hurt. To all of that add, 2-3 drops of aromatic bitters, I went with 18-21 Prohibition and 3-4 stabs of chocolate bitters, I used El Guapo’s Spiced Cocoa Tea Bitters. Add ice and shake to the beat of Lila McCann’s “To Get Me to You“. You should probably start it while you are pouring up, cause that’s a really slow shake till you get to the chorus. You are still probably gonna want to shake on the back beat as well. What can I say, it’s not a great shaking song, but it’s a damned fine song for celebrating 18 years of marriage, especially if it was on the first mixtape you ever made your partner. Yeah, we have been together long enough that mixtapes of songs actually recorded on a cassette tape were a thing. Give it a good, rhythmically creative shake till your tins are chilled and double strain into one of the beautiful Reidel Nick & Nora glasses that same partner just presented to you, that would be thoughtful on both of your parts. Grate a little fresh nutmeg on top and garnish with a pineapple frond. If you planned ahead, you could even pour up two of them and do a his and hers garnish. Pineapple frond for her, pretty flower for me.
Of course, this is just lovely. That smoky base just does it for me. When Laura took her first sip, she just smiled and said it was good and that she knew I would love it, and I do. This is modern tiki at its best. The thing that gets lost sometimes is how cool it is to make a drink with a bunch of elements, where none of them are lost. You can taste every ingredient in this. The chocolate bitters build on the smoky base, the banana liqueur and the rum give a great top note, while the brightness of the lime shines through tempered by the pineapple. It all just works. It is a complex flavor, but oh so good. Don’t skimp on the nutmeg either, it’s the Dude’s rug, it really brings the drink together.
Yeah, we are going to make this one more often. This would also batch really well for a party or would probably even work as a punch. It is really good. The other thing that is really good is having a partner that looks out for you. My phone is having a bad day stemming from a late afternoon hard restore and I decided to not bother with fighting it and to skip the drink entirely, I deserve a night off, right? She’s was correct though, as usual. She asked me to make something and it did make my evening better, to go through the steps. Then she handed me that new juicer I had been eyeing, some cocktail books and these amazing Nick & Nora’s I had coveted, despite scriptural prohibitions, working on the assumption that somewhere in the global community I have a neighbor with the same ones. As a guy who will buy damn near anything, any time, I have this weirdness where I sometimes refuse to buy a thing for myself. I have wanted these glasses for months, they were not expensive, but we didn’t need them and definitely don’t have places to store even more fancy cocktail glasses. Same thing with the juicer, I wanted it, loved the design, could tell it was measurably better than my others, but I have too many juicers already. She knows my quirks and gave me the things I wouldn’t give myself, always. This wonderful life. Our son. Confidence and support. All the things. That’s good enough for me and far more than I deserve. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.