Going Tiki: Demerara Cocktail

Darcy O'Neil :: September 2, 2007 9:30 PM

Demerara-cocktail-2The world of the Tiki drink is a very interesting one. It combines an interesting history, a bunch of unique characters, an exotic setting and cocktails. That is all good and well but the problem is that making a tiki drink can sometimes be a daunting task. Not only do you need to acquire a variety of fruit juices and flavourings, but you also need to get a wide variety of rums and at times you need to create a number of unique, commercially unavailable, syrup's. But for those that do Tiki, it is a passion and time well spent. Thankfully, I had a chance to see Jeff "Beachbum" Berry's Tiki session at Tales of the Cocktail, and his passion for all things Tiki is contagious. Luckily the symptoms don’t include itching or rashes, but may include a pounding headache and morning dry mouth if you decide to create drinks like the Zombie Punch or Beachcomber’s Rum Barrel. But as I rookie, I decided to go easy to start and picked the Demerara Cocktail as my first true foray into the Tiki world.

After getting the Tiki bug from Jeff Berry, I left New Orleans, well I tried but my plane was broken. When it comes to leaky hydraulic lines, I'm quite OK sitting in an airport for 7+ hours, waiting for a new plane. It just happens that I had bought Sippin' Safari at the TOC Cocktail Hour, so to kill time, I ended up reading Sippin' Safari from cover to cover, during the wait. Nothing like a little reinforcement to really get stuff stuck in your head.

Demerara cocktail

When I first decided to tackle some Tiki drinks I started browsing through the book and quickly determined that I needed to acquire, or make, a good number of ingredients before I could really tackle this subject. So I slowly started getting things together, but I still have a number of items on my list before before I can kick it into high gear.

For example, I still need to make up a new batch of Falernum and create my first batch of Pimento Dram. Then I’ll need to acquire some Lemon Hart rum, the 151 version, and a few other rums. Then I need to create a number of Beachcomber syrups and such, just to make a few more drinks. Now that I think of it, maybe I'll just drive over to Rick's (Kaiser Penguin) place and steal all his stuff. Well, maybe today I'll just steal his photography skills, but if I’m ever in Pennsylvania….

Anyway, today I picked up some Passion fruit juice so I could make the Demerara cocktail. This drink looked fairly easy. Since I’m a big fan of rum, this also looked like a good way to get all of the flavour out of my El Dorado rum. Sorry, no Lemon Hart currently in Ontario, but El Dorado is from Guyana, so it should do just fine.

Demerara Cocktail

2 oz El Dorado Rum
1 oz Puerto Rican Rum
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
½ oz Passion Fruit Juice
1 tsp Simple Syrup

Instructions: Shake all ingredients vigorously with ice and strain into a specialty glass or a rocks glass.

Created by Mariano Licudine. Served at the Mai Kai restaurant, Fort Lauderdale, 1956

The Demerara Cocktail is a nice simple drink that incorporates your standard sweet and sour rum combination, but adds a little Passion fruit Juice to give it an exotic twist. For the most part the Demerara rum comes through with the lime and just a hint of the passion fruit juice.


So that is my first intentional look at Tiki drinks. As I build up my inventory I'll start tackling more and more Tiki cocktails. Eventually I'll tackle the Beachcomber Rum Barrel. And if you haven't picked up Jeff Berry's books, please do, they are a great read. Check out Grog Blog to see what is new.

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