Cocktail #42: Boo Loo (In a Pineapple)

Despite being a bit behind schedule, I'm in the final stretch! Forty-two down, ten to go!

This week, I wanted to do something easy, and something fun. How can you ever go wrong with a drink served in a pineapple? I've done a couple pineapple drinks in the past, and it never gets old. I found this recipe for the Boo Loo (in a pineapple) in Jeff Berry's Grog Log. He doesn't provide any attribution for this one other than "circa 1965."

Let's get right into it:

A few small chunks of fresh pineapple
2.50 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
1.50 oz. fresh lime juice
1.00 oz. honey
1.50 oz. club soda
1.50 oz. Demerara rum (I used Hamilton)
1.50 oz. gold Puerto Rican rum (I used Mount Gay, which is from Barbados)
0.75 oz. dark Jamaican rum (I used Plantation)
0.75 oz. 151 Demerara rum (I used Lemon Hart)

Heat the honey until liquid, then mix with juices and fruit in a blender. Stir in rums and soda. Pour into a 36 ounce snifter -- or a hollowed out pineapple -- that is filled with crushed ice.

I served mine in a pineapple, as you can see. I messed up the way I chopped the top off and it ended up not working as a cap, so then I just cut the leaves off right at the base and speared them into the pineapple core with a cocktail pick.

Now, you may notice that this sucker contains *a lot* of alcohol. I would encourage you to try halving this recipe in order to not imbibe so much in one drink. Then again, if you want to settle into a Friday night with this sucker, who am I to suggest you do anything differently - but you've been warned!

My first impression after taking a sip was that the honey, which was very noticeable, went really well with the darker rums present in this cocktail. Yes, this drink is very boozy. But, considering the amount of rum present, it actually was easy to drink and incredibly did not feel overpowering. The club soda and a little dilution once some of the ice melts surely helps - the 10th sip will definitely be different than the first. I enjoyed this drink a lot, but next time I'd probably halve the recipe and dial the honey back just ever so slightly.

I'll leave you with a little Andrews Sisters number, which I actually hadn't heard before: "Hula Ba-Luau." Cheers!


Cocktail #41: Jet Pilot

I've been wanting to try to make a Jet Pilot for a long time. It's one of the more complicated cocktails out of the previous 40 I've made, and it seemed to tick a lot of boxes on my "usually like" list - interesting history, a sort of dark/spicy flavor profile (with the cinnamon syrup, herbstura, etc.), and on top of that, a name inspired by the jet/space age.

The recipe comes from Martin and Rebecca Cate's Smugger's Cove. Cate credits the recipe back to Jeff "Beachbum" Berry's Sippin' Safari book, which I do not own, and from what I understand, the drink was created in 1956 by Mariano Licudine (who worked for Donn Beach at one point), and based the drink on Donn Beach's Test Pilot. The version below, Cate notes, comes from The Luau in Beverly Hills, CA.
Postcard from the Luau, via Critiki. From the personal collection of Tim Haack
Get your shakers ready ...

0.50 oz. fresh lime juice
0.50 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
0.50 oz. cinnamon syrup
0.50 oz. John D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum
1.00 oz. black blended rum (I used Gosling's Black Seal)
0.75 oz. blended aged rum (I haven't sprung for an aged rum yet, so I used my old standby, Plantation Original Dark)
0.75 oz. black blended overproof rum (I used Lemon Hart 151)
1 dash Herbstura (equal parts Pernod/Herbsaint [a licorice liqueur] and Angostura bitters mixed together)

Add all the ingredients to a drink mixer tin, or a shaker. Fill with crushed ice (and some "agitator cubes" if using a mixer), flash blend or shake, and open pour with a gated finish into a double old fashioned glass. No garnish*.

* Given the name of this blog, and the fact that my lovely wife Jen can create nearly anything in miniature form out of sculpy clay, I asked and she kindly agreed to sculpt a mini 1960s style fighter jet to be used as a garnish. I also couldn't resist using a blinking ice cube!

Astro ponders the limits of outer space
Verdict: Fabulous. As I suspected I would, I really loved this cocktail. It's pretty strong, but it has a wonderful spicy flavor profile, with a hint of sweetness. This may not be everyone's cup of tea (Jen made quite a face when she tasted it) but I found this to be really a lovely drink. Granted, there's a ton of ingredients, some difficult to make or find, but if you've already got a lot of this stuff in your bar, this one is a winner in my book, and worth trying out.


Enjoying a Jet Pilot on the patio on one of Chicago's first warm afternoons
Now, enjoy some Jazz for the Jet Age from Dave Pike:


Cocktail #40: Siboney

I just realized the other day that about one year has passed since I embarked on this little project. And here I am, only 40 cocktails in after 52 weeks. So it goes. I guess I need to pick up the pace!

The Siboney. Fresh Passion Fruit Syrup Makes this Drink

This week we have a very simple cocktail that's easy to make and very accessible -- and is now one of my new favorites. I found it in Jeff Berry's Potions of the Caribbean and he credits it back to Trader Vic, circa 1950s, but found in The Trader's 1974 book, Rum Cookery & Drinkery. Berry notes that the Siboney "is a good example of how Trader Vic took the Daiquiri template in interesting directions--and how he kept the inventory down at his bar. Double to Siboney, add a dash of Angostura bitters, and serve over crushed ice in a pilsner glass; now you have the Trader Vic Grog."

This cocktail contains passion fruit syrup, and readers of this blog will be familiar with my bad luck/incorrect use of Monin Passion Fruit Syrup. Well, this week I decided to bite the bullet on some expensive passion fruits at the shop and make my own. There's tons of recipes out there for this stuff, and Berry and Cate have their own variations that use passion fruit puree (which, for me has been harder to find than passion fruit), so I landed on this one from Episurious.com, which I halved:

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup passion fruit pulp (from about 7 ripe passion fruits)

Combine all ingredients in heavy small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low; simmer until syrup is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Transfer to bowl, cover, and chill. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.)

I added about an ounce of vodka to what I had leftover hoping to make this keep for a couple weeks.

Anyway, WHAT A DIFFERENCE THIS MADE! Instead of being totally overpowering, the fresh passion fruit syrup gave this just a hint of what the Monin stuff would have done with a similar amount. It was subtle and delicious, and didn't hit you over the head at all. I'm tempted to dump the Monin stuff down the drain after tasting a cocktail with the real McCoy.

To make a Siboney:

1.00 oz. dark Jamaican rum (I used Plantation)
0.50 oz. fresh lemon juice
0.50 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
0.50 oz. passion fruit syrup

Shake well with ice cubes. Strain into a tiki-stemmed (or regular old coupe) cocktail glass. I garnished with a slice of lime.

As I said, the verdict for this cocktail for me was fabulous - a new favorite! The most present flavor is pineapple when you first sip, followed by the rum and passion fruit. The lemon juice takes the edge off of the sweetless of the passion fruit syrup, and balances it all very nicely.

This is a cocktail I will undoubtedly come back to again and again this summer. Next time I might reduce the pineapple juice by a hair to let a bit more of the rum shine through, but all in all, this one's a keeper.

Cheers, and happy spring!