Lei It On Me
1.5 oz Plantation Barbados Rum, 5 year
1.0 oz Clément Rhum Blanc Agricole
0.5 oz lime juice
0.5 oz Velvet Falernum
0.25 oz Liber & Co. Classic Gum Syrup
3 dashes Bittermen’s Elemakule Tiki Bitters
Pulp of 1 passion fruit
1″ piece of turmeric, 1/4″ in diameter, peeled, grated, wrapped in cheese cloth & juiced
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a 12 oz tiki mug filled with crushed or (preferably) pebble ice.
Serve with paper or metal straw and garnish with a tropical flower.
Every day, I get to work, wake up my computer and gaze at a landscape where I should rightfully be. Is Microsoft trying to taunt me with its breathtaking images of secluded, cliff-lined beaches, waves crashing against rocks warmed by the setting sun, and crisp white buildings with cobalt blue roofs hugging the Santorini coast? And why, for god’s sake, is no one in any of these gorgeous locales? I know, I know, photo releases, but it’s as if they’re saying, Go ahead, take it! It’s all yours.
Enough already, Microsoft! I get it. I should be anywhere but sitting at my desk, chugging coffee and churning through accounts receivable. And yet, that is today.
What to do when Microsoft and your friends’ Instagram feeds wantonly dangle summer vacation in your face? Tiki drinks, baby. They were made for this.
Basing my cocktail very loosely on PDT’s Luau, I grab my shaker and start with one-and-a-half ounces of Plantation Barbados Rum aged for 5 years. I picked the bottle up at a lovely cocktail boutique in St. Louis called Intoxicology. You should check it out if you’re in town. Next, I add an ounce of Clément Rhum Blanc Agricole which has a grassy freshness that I love. Then I add a half ounce of freshly-squeezed lime juice, half an ounce of Velvet Falernum, three dashes of Bittermen’s Elemakule Tiki Bitters, the pulp of one passion fruit, and a quarter ounce of Liber & Co. Classic Gum Syrup picked up at the aforementioned Intoxicology and substituted for simple syrup to add depth and body.
Ripe passion fruit should have a slightly wrinkled skin. Mine was quite wrinkled by the time I used it, and I found it delicious. To use, simply cut the fruit in half and gingerly scrape the pulp into the shaker, taking care not to remove any of the white pith, which is bitter.
Once all of my ingredients are in the shaker, I put a straw in my tiki mug, fill it with crushed ice and set it aside, then I add ice to the shaker and shake vigorously until the shaker is well frosted. Finally, I use a julep strainer to strain the cocktail into the mug, then mound fresh ice over the top, and taste.
It’s delicious, but it needs a little more bite. Turmeric leaps to mind.
I build my drink again, but as my final step, I use a spoon to scrape the skin off of a 1″ long piece of turmeric that’s about 1/4″ in diameter, then finely grate the peeled portion onto a small square of cheesecloth. I gently wrap the cloth around the turmeric and squeeze the juice into the shaker, shake, strain and taste.
I fire up my computer, stare at the screen and imagine myself on the other side of that palm tree. I think this cocktail is working.