Summers are short; why not celebrate them under a tiny umbrella with a Pain Killer or Eastern Sour? On Sundays all summer at Elephants Deli NW 22nd we are offering our classic Tiki Menu. We have scoured all the old-time Tiki classics for treasures like the Mai Tai and Test Pilot. All of our cocktails incorporate fresh squeezed juices and top flight rums such as Pusser’s, Barbancourt, Hamiltons, Pritchards and Clement.
Tiki cocktails are not about kitsch and small umbrellas. These libations have a rich history dating back to the Prohibition era. The revival of Tiki cocktails, as well its success, relay on fresh squeezed juices, a rich selection of rums and a bartenders ability to layer and create small nuances of flavor.
The history and popularity of Tiki cocktails began with one man, Don the Beachcomber, who crafted and cultivated 70-plus beverages during this cocktail trends 40-year golden era. Rum became popular during Prohibition. The imported nature of this spirit made it safer for consumers than some of the homemade hooch that was available. Rum, unlike other spirits, is distilled from sugar cane making it an excellent base for additional flavors. With the rise in rums popularity Don the Beachcomber opened up his first speakeasy in Hollywood.
In 1941 Don combined Angostura and Pernod bitters creating the popular Test Pilot cocktail. This combination of bitters became one of his many secrets ingredient combinations. For our Test Pilot we use a splash of absinthe to mimic the anise flavor found in Pernod.
Don’s Tiki cocktails inspired a national crazy. Trader Vic Bergeron, an admirer of Don the Beachcomber, opened up Hinky Dinks in Hawaii and began crafting Tiki creations like The Fog Cutter. A mixture of three popular base spirits: gin, sherry and rum. Trader Vic also insisted on using fresh squeezed juices and we couldn’t agree more- using fresh squeezed orange and lemon juice in our version.
Vic experiment with different sweeteners eventually working with orgeat- a delicious almond syrup and curacao. Thus was born the Mai Tai, possibly the most beloved of the Tiki cocktails.
Vic traded out the rum for whiskey and paired it with orgeat to create the deliciously simple Eastern Sour.
Our bartenders are keeping this trend alive with selection of Tiki recipes that would make Trader Vic and Don proud.
Tiki Cocktail List
Meyers Rum, Brugal Rum, St. Elizabeths Allspice Dram, fresh lime and grapefruit juice
Trader Vic’s Original Mai Tai
Meyers Rum, Brugal Rum, Curacao, orgeat syrup, fresh lime juice
Hell in the Pacific
Bacardi 151 Rum, Luxardo Maraschino, fresh lime juice, grenadine
Light Rum, brandy, gin, orgeat syrup, sherry, fresh lemon and orange juice
Bourbon, orgeat syrup, fresh lemon and orange juice
Light Rum, Meyers Rum, Cointreau, Falernum, fresh lime juice, and a splash of absinthe
Corn n’ Oil
Rhum Barbancourt, Falernum, bitters, lime wedges
Light Rum, Meyers Rum, Demerara 151 Rum, orgeat syrup, passionfruit and pomegranate purées, fresh lime, lemon and orange juice
Cachaça, fresh lime juice, passionfruit purée, and brown sugar
Pusser’s Navy Rum, Coco Lopez coconut cream, fresh pineapple and orange juice
Rum Matusalem, Hamiltons 151 Rum, Brandy, orgeat syrup, fresh lemon and orange juice