(Z. T. Bitzer 2015)
A tiki drink sits comfortably in your hand, a furious visage of a tiki carved carefully into the ceramic; it looks a bit like if Bane found a penguin in an darkly-lit alley and they became friends. The mug is so frosted that even your most careful grasp could slip and leave your gloriously-crafted mug of rum perfection shattered and glistening on the floor.*
Circa present day, KP is posting again, in small part due to a recent visit to Portland that led me, quite precariously, to the darkened halls of Pépé Le Moko and The Monkey Hut, where I learned not only that I had forgotten how delicious bad 80’s cocktails were, but how much I had forgotten about how hifalutin you could be about quality, seasonal citrus.
I subtly mentioned to both respectable gentleman (Jeff and Craig) that I had been working on gin-based tiki drinks, and their eyes lit up like an flickering, rum-filled lightbulb on the verge of exploding.
And so, I present the first cocktail (and post) on Kaiser Penguin in over four years.
- 2oz Anchor junipero gin
- 1/2oz Bols genever gin
- 1/2oz Hayman’s old tom gin
- 1/4oz Krogstad aquavit
- 1oz lime
- 1/2oz white grapefruit
- 2t lemon
- 1/2oz cinnamon syrup
- 1/4oz falernum
- 1/4oz demerara syrup
- 1/4oz orgeat (note: I have an upcoming recipe for the best orgeat ever.)
- grapefruit peel for garnish
Does this drink look like it has too many ingredients? Yes. But it somehow musters the intensity to be complex, refreshing, and leaves you digging for clues.
- What’s your favorite gin-based tiki drink?
- And more importantly, the first (3) people who post an original gin-based tiki drink will receive a bottle of my new Orgeat in the mail.
Important Notes for Those Involved:
- Thank you Jeffrey for letting me basically take over your bar.
- Thank you Craig, for being perfectly pompous and a great host. And fuck, that Corn and Oil was the best I’ve ever had.
- Hele Pele has the best Hawaiian bread I have ever tasted, irrespective of the Zombie I ordered after having 10 cocktails at Pépé Le Moko.