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Chris Amirault

Seeking Tiki Ingredients and Worthy Substitutes

72 posts in this topic

Yes, though I (and most others I know) make it 2:1 and not 1:1. That's more my addition than something listed in Berry or Bergeron, though; I've found that it makes more sense than simple syrup in a few tiki drinks.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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I definitely agree. I keep turbinado- and demerara-based simple syrups around at all times, and some turbinado-based rock candy syrup for the extremes. I haven't used white over-processed sugar for SS in quite some time.

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This list is pretty comprehensive and will get you through most of the classic Trader Vic and Donn Beach drinks, as well as the drinks by those two gentlemen and others as printed in the four Jeff Berry books.

One note, Okolehao is no longer made.

And (perhaps it was such a given that you didn't feel the need to list it) you skipped the single most important thing possible on this list: RUM.

Now, the various varieties of rum needed are a whole other list in themselves...!


-James

My new book is, "Destination: Cocktails", from Santa Monica Press! http://www.destinationcocktails.com

Please see http://www.tydirium.net for information on all of my books, including "Tiki Road Trip", and "Big Stone Head", plus my global travelogues, and more!

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Found some ripe papayas, so I made some papaya "syrup": -- not exactly nectar: 1:1 fruit pulp:simple syrup, strained, a bit of overproof rum. It's not the most flavorful syrup I've ever tasted, but the texture is very interesting.


Chris Amirault

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The syrup has gotten better, a little thicker, a little more flavorful. I whipped up a basic tiki drink using it tonight to see what it was like in a beverage, and it turned out pretty good:

  • 2 oz white rum
    1/2 oz 151 demerara rum
    3/4 oz lime
    3/4 oz lemon
    1 oz papaya syrup
    scant 1/2 oz demerara syrup (careful: you may need only 1/4)
    2 dashes Angostura

Meanwhile, I spent a good hour trying to find passion fruit in any form. Even the nectars had been cut with pear or orange. I'll keep trying, but, damn.

edited to add the info about passion fruit. -- ca


Edited by chrisamirault (log)

Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Chris - check the Latino section of the supermarket. Goya has a Passionfruit nectar in cans that has served me well in the past.


Edited by KatieLoeb (log)

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

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Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I live in a Latino neighborhood and hit several stores. The Goya products are all mixed with something else, or so it seems. More searching to come!


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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I live in a Latino neighborhood and hit several stores. The Goya products are all mixed with something else, or so it seems. More searching to come!

I've got some Goya Passion fruit juice in a bottle, lists water, sugar, passion fruit pulp, citric acid, ascorbic acid, and acacia gum. I think that's about as pure as you're going to find the stuff. It works really nicely in drinks, and the bottle helps it keep better than the canned by virtue of being recloseable. I think it costs about $1 for a 16 oz bottle.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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I live in a Latino neighborhood and hit several stores. The Goya products are all mixed with something else, or so it seems. More searching to come!

I've got some Goya Passion fruit juice in a bottle, lists water, sugar, passion fruit pulp, citric acid, ascorbic acid, and acacia gum. I think that's about as pure as you're going to find the stuff. It works really nicely in drinks, and the bottle helps it keep better than the canned by virtue of being recloseable. I think it costs about $1 for a 16 oz bottle.

but how tart is it? its probably balanced as a drink not as a modifiable kitchen product... your getting "passion fruit cocktail" like "cranberry cocktail" not nearly unadulterated passion fruit juice...


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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I know you can sometimes find fruit concentrates for making juice drinks in Latino groceries. I've seen passion fruit (Maracuja) and other interesting things from time to time.

Also, if you don't mind the shipping from Hawaii, Aunty Lilikoi sells pure passion fruit juice and passion fruit syrup:

Aunty Lilikoi, Passion Fruit Products

Some of the fruit puree people who target restaurants and pastry chefs also make pure passion fruit puree. For example Perfect Puree of Napa:

Passion Fruit Concentrate

And, oh yeah, funkin has recently been making an effort to get into US bars with their products, including passion fruit puree:

funkin website

I dunno if they are also targeting retail outlets.


Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I live in a Latino neighborhood and hit several stores. The Goya products are all mixed with something else, or so it seems. More searching to come!

I've got some Goya Passion fruit juice in a bottle, lists water, sugar, passion fruit pulp, citric acid, ascorbic acid, and acacia gum. I think that's about as pure as you're going to find the stuff. It works really nicely in drinks, and the bottle helps it keep better than the canned by virtue of being recloseable. I think it costs about $1 for a 16 oz bottle.

but how tart is it? its probably balanced as a drink not as a modifiable kitchen product... your getting "passion fruit cocktail" like "cranberry cocktail" not nearly unadulterated passion fruit juice...

I've never had straight passion fruit, but yeah, it's roughly analagous to cranberry juice. However I think in both cases those juices are made into sweetened cocktails due to excessive acid levels in the fruit. With the possible exception of the various purees (particularly the Perfect Puree one) I doubt that any of the products mentioned here are pure, unadulterated passion fruit, which I think would probably be prohibitively expensive.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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I live in a Latino neighborhood and hit several stores. The Goya products are all mixed with something else, or so it seems. More searching to come!

I've got some Goya Passion fruit juice in a bottle, lists water, sugar, passion fruit pulp, citric acid, ascorbic acid, and acacia gum. I think that's about as pure as you're going to find the stuff. It works really nicely in drinks, and the bottle helps it keep better than the canned by virtue of being recloseable. I think it costs about $1 for a 16 oz bottle.

but how tart is it? its probably balanced as a drink not as a modifiable kitchen product... your getting "passion fruit cocktail" like "cranberry cocktail" not nearly unadulterated passion fruit juice...

I've never had straight passion fruit, but yeah, it's roughly analagous to cranberry juice. However I think in both cases those juices are made into sweetened cocktails due to excessive acid levels in the fruit. With the possible exception of the various purees (particularly the Perfect Puree one) I doubt that any of the products mentioned here are pure, unadulterated passion fruit, which I think would probably be prohibitively expensive.

the puree i get for the bar is excessively tart and quite a lot of fun to mix... its only on the verge of being prohibitively expensive but so worth it... i can't quite recall the brand, its some kind of french puree company, but i highly endorse it... turning it into a syrup would only limit your options... i like it best contrasted with kola nut tonic...


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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Success:

gallery_19804_437_444727.jpg

The ingredients in this Paraguayan passion fruit drink are passion fruit, sugar, and water. It's tart and not too sweet at all. I've got to figure out how to balance it out in drinks, because the recipes I'm working with all call for syrup, and it's more tart, I think, than whatever Jeff Berry used in his books.

Of course, now that I finally have passion fruit, I had to grab my Intoxica! and experience what Berry compares to the Rosetta Stone of tiki drinks: the original Beachcomber zombie.

gallery_19804_437_385179.jpg

Cheers.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Just back from Thailand, where someone really should set up a tiki bar worthy of the astonishing fruit there. You'd also have access to Havana Club rum, though a lot of other needed ingredients seem impossible to find. Freshly extracted coconut milk is a wonder, and though it took some searching, one can find passion fruit juice (though no passion fruit).

I post mainly to share a tale of woe, however. I bought a bottle of passion fruit syrup from a remarkale baker in Chiang Mai and was dying to try it. Out of fear that it'd leak, I didn't open it to taste it before our flights back, and the fine gentleman responsible for protecting Thai airways safety deemed it illegal and tossed it. :hmmm:


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Just back from Thailand, where someone really should set up a tiki bar worthy of the astonishing fruit there.

[...]

Sadly, the same can be said of just about everywhere else on the planet.

But, like they say, Tiki Bars aren't really about the drinks. More about escaping from your every day life.

As someone who enjoys both good drinks and escapism, I think that's a cop out. But such is life.

If yer looking for good drinks, most Tiki Bars are not the place to look.


Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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But, like they say, Tiki Bars aren't really about the drinks.  More about escaping from your every day life.

As someone who enjoys both good drinks and escapism, I think that's a cop out.  But such is life.

If yer looking for good drinks, most Tiki Bars are not the place to look.

Back in the day, Tiki bars WERE the place to go for both escapism and excellent drinks.

Although it is true that most Tiki bars serve crappy drinks these days, it is also true that most regular bars serve crappy drinks too.

I feel that percentage-wise, your chances of getting a good drink in a Tiki bar are about equal to your chances of getting a good drink in any other bar.

In other words, maybe one bar in twenty can make a good Sazerac or Sidecar, and maybe one Tiki bar in twenty can make a good Mai Tai.

The problem isn't Tiki bars in particular lowering their standards, it is ALL bars lowering their standards.


-James

My new book is, "Destination: Cocktails", from Santa Monica Press! http://www.destinationcocktails.com

Please see http://www.tydirium.net for information on all of my books, including "Tiki Road Trip", and "Big Stone Head", plus my global travelogues, and more!

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Well, there is the volume/percentage problem, which makes it hard to judge.

In San Francisco, for example, there are probably several hundred bars, but only maybe 3 tiki bars.

So to get a good Mai Tai, you might have to go to tiki bars 6 cities (well, Alameda, unless you ask them to make you a Mai Tai at Slanted Door, Beretta, or Flora)?

But the second point I'd make is that it seems like Tiki bars have very heavily bought in to the "mix" idea. Very few are embracing the idea of fresh fruit. Even freshly squeezed lime or lemon.

As Chris is pointing out, how weird is it that there is this plethora of fresh juice and fresh fruit, but you can't get a drink made with it. It is the same in Hawaii. There is a ton of fresh fruit stands and smoothie stands, yet the moment you step into a bar, all they serve are premade mixers.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Funny; I'm veering towards obsession with the idea of making a cream of coconut substitute for Coco Lopez that can do justice to the tiki cocktail recipes I love so much. I'm having trouble with the coconut milk going off too quickly.

Damn if I don't love a fine tropical libation.


Small Hand Foods

classic ingredients for pre-prohibition era cocktails

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But the second point I'd make is that it seems like Tiki bars have very heavily bought in to the "mix" idea.  Very few are embracing the idea of fresh fruit.  Even freshly squeezed lime or lemon.

As Chris is pointing out, how weird is it that there is this plethora of fresh juice and fresh fruit, but you can't get a drink made with it.  It is the same in Hawaii.  There is a ton of fresh fruit stands and smoothie stands, yet the moment you step into a bar, all they serve are premade mixers.

Its really sad when quality is cut down for instant profit.

In our Tikibar (TikiRoom) luckily fresh fruits are used, also fresh egg whites. Mixes are banned. And at bestbars.se, TikiRoom has no 1 position in the category drinks.

I believe strongly in in the use of fresh produce, better ingredients makes better drinks, simple as that, whether its a Tiki bar or other bar.


www.amountainofcrushedice.com

Tiki drinks are deceptive..if you think you can gulp them down like milk you´re wrong.

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Meanwhile, I spent a good hour trying to find passion fruit in any form. Even the nectars had been cut with pear or orange. I'll keep trying, but, damn.

You might have luck at your local Chinese grocery.

57622_l.jpg

Best passionfruit syrup I've ever tasted. Labeled "Condensed Passion Fruit Drink" and imported from Taiwan by the Summit Import Company.


Edited by mbanu (log)

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Great tip. I'll hit my sources here.

Meanwhile, I believe that it's Florida passion fruit season, so I grabbed one and made a basic syrup by whizzing the pulp of one baseball-sized fruit with about 1/4 c 1:1 simple. Still fiddling with it: it's very easy for it to overpower everything else, and the balance of sweetness is even more challenging. I'm wondering if infusing some white Jamaican rum with it would make more sense....


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Meanwhile, I spent a good hour trying to find passion fruit in any form. Even the nectars had been cut with pear or orange. I'll keep trying, but, damn.

Making your own Passion Fruit syrup is insanely easy.

I get Goya-brand Passion Fruit pulp at my local ethnic grocery for about $2.50.

I mix that with simple syrup in a 1:1 ratio (and my simple is 1:1 sugar to water... so in other words we're looking at 1 part sugar, 1 part water and 2 parts pulp).

Shake it up real good, add a spoonful of lemon juice, and add a shot of clear rum or vodka as a preservative and you're ready to go.

Beats the hell out of anything in a bottle.


-James

My new book is, "Destination: Cocktails", from Santa Monica Press! http://www.destinationcocktails.com

Please see http://www.tydirium.net for information on all of my books, including "Tiki Road Trip", and "Big Stone Head", plus my global travelogues, and more!

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Andy, where do you buy this 1883 orgeat?

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Andy, where do you buy this 1883 orgeat?

I used to buy it at a local coffee shop, which is where I found out about them; Sweet Eugene's on Harvey Rd here in College Station. Last time I went in there to get raspberry syrup (about 6 months ago), they had all Monin products instead. Nothing against Monin, which is generally of acceptable quality, but they can't really compare to the 1883. I asked them what the deal was and the guy said the company went under or something to that effect and that they were disappointed by the forced switch. A little poking around on the internet yielded this page which seems to have a pretty complete selection of their line. I haven't tried ordering from them but the 1883 site is still up so it may have been a matter of distributor changes or something that forced the local guy to switch.

If anybody successfully orders from that link I'd love to know if it works.

-Andy


Edited by thirtyoneknots (log)

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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