Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Jamaica Mule


I think I've just covered all of the Jamaica-themed cocktail out there. I'm returning to this old stand by that I've made in the past to try it with fresh ingredients (I've been squeezing the pineapple juice along with the citrus) and a lovely ginger beer. Fentiman's is a spicy botanical ginger beer that tastes not only fresh but barreled and oaky. 

The cocktail departs from the standard Mule by being so large that it requires a Collins glass, but not crushed ice. There's a lot of booze in it too--between the 151-proof rum and the full measures of light and dark rum, you may want to wait a bit before having another one. 

  • 1 1/2 oz. light Jamaican rum (Plantation 3-Stars used)
  • 1/2 oz. dark Jamaican rum (Pusser's navy rum used)
  • 1/2 oz. 151-proof rum (Cruzan 151 used)
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • ginger beer (Fentiman's used)
  • pineapple stick
  • piece of preserved ginger

Combine rums and juice in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a Chilled collins glass full of fresh ice. Top with ginger beer and stir gently. Garnish with pineapple stick and preserved ginger.

J.P.'s Punch


J.P. must have been a bartender who worked at a beach bar. Anyway, he was good with a blender. I can imagine bar guests watching him slice a banana and tossing the pieces into the pitcher with all the spirits and juices that he hardly takes time to measure before blending up several of these cocktails at once. 

This might actually be my first single serving blended punch featured on this blog. I'm not a huge fan of beach hut cocktails and blenders in general. They water down the flavor and make a lot of the measurements of liquor imprecise as you struggle to fit all of the drink into a single glass. But for a punch, this isn't bad. Double or triple the recipe for friends and you'll be a hit just like J.P.

  • 1 oz. light rum (Rhum Barbancourt used)
  • 1 oz. dark rum (Pusser's navy rum used)
  • 2 oz. orange juice
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 sliced banana
  • maraschino cherry garnish

Combine all liquid ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled double Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with the cherry.

Jamaican Peach


I don't know why this Jamaican-themed drink includes peaches at all. It's not like peaches grow on the island or anything. In reality, it was probably a way to sell peach brandy, since the recipe doesn't include any actual peaches. The peach slice you see in the photo comes from my insistence on using fresh ingredients if you have them. Also, a garnish is a wonderful way to signal the flavors you are working with, even though the spirits may be artificially flavored.

In place of peach brandy, I used an equally artificial peach whiskey by Bird Dog. It's actually pretty good when used in tropical drinks and is probably my favorite cheap flavored whiskey purchase. Actually it was a gift, so it was very cheap--free.

  • 1 1/2 oz. Jamaica dark rum (Pusser's navy rum used)
  • 1 1/2 oz. peach brandy (Bird Dog peach whiskey used)
  • 2 oz. orange juice
  • 2 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz. guava juice
  • several dashes of falernum (homemade falernum used)
  • pineapple stick
  • orange slice

Combine all liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a double Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with the fruit pieces.

Javier Saavedra


Ask a soccer fan if they remember who Javier Saavedra is. The former San Antonio Scorpions midfielder has a pretty awesome cocktail to his name. When I saw the list of ingredients, especially the combination of dark rum and tequila, I had to give it a try. 

White tequila gives this tropical drink an herbal spiciness that is missing in a lot of Caribbean-themed cocktails. I really appreciate the direction it takes the cocktail from the typically sugary and sweet rum that is the focus of these kinds of drinks. Again, the orange slice on the cocktail is misleading if you are trying to guess the ingredients. The thing you can't identify: grapefruit juice.

  • 1 oz. Jamica dark rum (Pusser's navy rum used)
  • 1 oz. white tequila (Sauza %100 blue agave used)
  • 2 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 oz. grapefruit juice
  • orange slice garnish
Combine all liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the orange slice.

Jambo Jack


One of the things that makes tiki cocktails so much fun is trying to identify all the ingredients that make up their exotic flavors. The pineapple stick in the Jambo Jack is a red herring. There's no pineapple juice, so what is that unusual flavor?

Apricot brandy is a sneaky way to surprise guests with something unexpected in a tropical drink. That, and falernum with its overwhelming combo of spices and citrus, help to make the Jambo Jack stand out from other blended drinks. The recipe gives you the option to use orgeat, which will make the cocktail a little creamier and might tame it a bit. But I don't mind using falernum whenever I get the chance.

Dark rum, particularly if you use Jamaican rum, will also shine through with molasses and funky spirits notes. My bottle of Pusser's rum from Guyana will have to do in place of Jamaican. 

  • 1 1/2 oz. dark Jamaican rum (Pusser's navy rum used)
  • 1/2 oz. curacao (triple sec used)
  • 1/2 oz. apricot brandy
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. orgeat or falernum (homemade falernum used) 
  • pineapple stick. 

Combine all liquid ingredients with ice in a blender. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled Collins glass. Garnish with the pineapple stick. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Mobay Cocktail


This is another one of those internationally-styled club cocktails like the Clover Club or Pendennis Club. These cocktails tend to be brightly colored and easy to consume. They virtually advertise themselves at the clubs and advertise for the clubs when ordered elsewhere. 

The name comes from Mobay Club on Montego Bay, but there's not much of the beach involved here. No tropical fruits, no wild island-themed garnishes--besides the Jamaican rum, this cocktail is strikingly French. There's the mistakable ruby color of Dubonnet rouge and the rich candied orange flavor or Grand Marnier--a favorite ingredient of clubs and hotels worldwide. 

The only substitutions I've made (and they are minor) is that I'm using Pusser's dark rum instead of something from Jamaica, and that I use Royal Combier (another French orange cognac liqueur) instead of Grand Marnier. As my last drink of the day, I found it overly rich, however. I'm not sure if it was the ingredients or the fact that the Movay seemed incongruent with other Jamaican-themed cocktails with a lemon twist as its only fruit. 

  • 1 1/2 oz. dark Jamaican rum (Pusser's dark rum used)
  • 1/2 oz. Dubonnet rouge
  • several dashes Grand Marnier (Royal Combier used)
  • lemon twist

Combine all liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist a lemon zest over the glass and drop it in. 



Just a little bit of magic and a banana--not harmful magic, no not Hoodoo, and just a normal banana--and you have this bewitching frozen cocktail from Haiti. All the flavors blend nicely, giving off an overall tropical bouquet. Southern Comfort (replaced here with Bird Dog peach whiskey) is peach liqueur (not a whiskey). Here it reads as sweetness and something from the subtropic world. Just as Southern Comfort provides escapism in America's northern climes, so it lends exoticism to a tiki cocktail.

Banana adds richness here. You almost don't notice the flavor or the pulp of the fruit due to blending and the fact that there's no fat, as you have in smoothies with yogurt or cream. Instead, it too is an exotic texture and scent that augments the fresh pressed cane juice rum from Barbancourt. This spirit is golden in color and has a whiff of burnt molasses that finishes more like caramel.

  • 1 oz. Haitian rum (Barbancourt 4-year blend used)
  • 1 oz. Southern Comfort (Bird Dog peach whiskey used)
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. falernum or orgeat syrup (homemade falernum and a tsp. brown sugar syrup used)
  • 1/2 ripe banana sliced
Combine all ingredients in a blender with plenty of ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled Collins glass. Garnish at will with umbrella or swizzle stick.