Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Tiki Month followup.

Over in Peguville, U.S.A., the estimable Doug Winship was kind enough to link and comment on my Aku-Kapo Cooler, and gave it its first variation, a Don the Beachcomberesque "flash-blend." He also gave it its second variation, the omission of the coconut rim.

The first is what is known in parliamentary circles as "a friendly amendment" which neatly and elegantly -- and as one whose sartorial acumen approaches mine, Doug oughta know from elegance -- bridges the gap between the version (v. 1) generally preferred by, ahem, 51% of the imbibers within my sphere of influence and the version (v. 2) generally reserved for those who show up in waistcoats, Victorian facial hair, armbands, and bow ties, ready to fight to the death over blood insults (real or imagined) on the matter of whether Key Lime or Kaffir Lime bitters are preferable. (You know who you are.)

The second variation? Well...keep reading.

(If you make it according to the aforesaid rubrics, you now have what we in the trade call the Aku-Kapo Cooler "Dougie Style." ask for it correctly, lest you be humiliated.)

Incidentally, something that may have been lost in this discussion is the relative importance of the white rum. To many of the Serious Cocktailians, white rum is more or less one step above vodka on the evolutionary scale, where the latter is "primordial soup" and the former "the first unicellular organism." Partly this is due to the evolution of white rum itself, both in terms of white rum-qua-white rum, and also in how it's marketed to the general public (i.e. sugarcane vodka). It makes a goodly bit of difference to use something with a more visible flavor profile than the usual stuff. Flor de CaƱa 4 Year White is my go-to for a more intimate setting, and if I had to make these for a brigade* of people I'd opt for Cruzan. But you do whatever. Just try to avoid the blander whites, OK?

I also want to shout out to the very estimable Blair Reynolds, whose empire of Tiki cocktail adjuncts are the default go-to if you're not deranged enough to cover your entire kitchen surface area in a 3 micron-thick layer of sucrose-based adhesive film. Tell him I sent you and tell him to "show up to Hukilau this year, ya big pansy."


As a consequence of DW posting and linking, the lovely and gracious Tiare weighed in, taking my (i.e. "the sensible") side on the matter of the coconut rim. This rim operation was declared by DW - and I quote: "This is a pain in the ass to accomplish." Let us not hold it against DW that he does not consider it a PITA to do THIS to an orange peel. Stop and ponder that.

So that you, gentle and kind reader may decide freely on where it ranks on your PITA scale, I humbly submit the entire coconut rim process ("CRP") for your benefit, without comment, asking you merely that you compare its degree of difficulty with that of symmetrically and artistically excoriating an orange.


Ideally you'd toast the coconut flakes in a small, dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant -- they'll be slightly tan in color -- and then proceed.



* When Tiki-entertaining en masse, assuming your budget isn't quite what it was in 2007, but you still want to serve excellentness in potables, the white rum of choice is Cruzan and the aged rum Bacardi -- what? shut up -- 8.