3 tropical cocktails that’ll make you feel a stone’s throw from a white sandy beach

By Sam Wylie-Harris,. Published 2020-05-09
BOLD-Food
The sun is out, lockdown is in, whilst we can't escape to a real desert island, these will taste like you’re there

If the recent heatwave put you in a summery mood, so will these tropical and tiki-inspired drinks.

From Caribbean classics to reinventions with a modern twist, award-winning bartender Georgi Radev, author of the cocktail recipe book Let’s Get Tropical, has taken the best elements of traditional tropical concoctions and tiki culture to create some innovative new mixes.

“In a world where almost any tropical ingredient is available in the local supermarket, the key is to capture the sense of exoticism evoked by the original tiki cocktails,” says Radev, who managed Mahiki London for more than 10 years and is the brains behind ‘tropical escape’ Laki Kane, which has an onsite micro rum distillery.

Here are three of his desert island drinks – each with a fruity twist – to get the juices flowing….

Margarita

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“Tequila gained popularity during the Prohibition era, when many Americans travelled to Mexico to satisfy their thirst for spirits. The first recipe for a Margarita appeared in the 1940s and used a simple combination of tequila, orange liqueur, and lime. The trend for adding salt on the rim of the glass came later, as did the vogue for frozen and fruity margaritas.”

The Classic Recipe Ingredients: 60ml white tequila, 20ml Cointreau, 20ml lime juice. Method: Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the ingredients, shake hard and strain into a chilled margarita glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime. To salt the rim: Rub the rim of the glass with lemon or lime. Pour the salt onto a small plate, dip the rim, twist to get an even coverage. Remove. Clean inside of the rim to prevent salt from falling in drink and offsetting the balance.

Margarita Reinvented – Orchidea

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“The sweet agave syrup balances the citrus flavours.” Ingredients: 35ml white tequila, 10ml Cointreau, 15ml mezcal, 15ml clementine juice, 15ml pineapple juice, 15ml lime juice, 10ml orgeat (almond) syrup, 10ml natural agave nectar. Method: Add all the ingredients to a brandy balloon or wide rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Swizzle, and top with more crushed ice. Garnish with an orchid and a mint sprig.

Daiquiri

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“This drink was invented in the early 1900s, when an American mine engineer, Jennings Cox, was serving drinks to his workers in the Daiquiri region of Cuba. Rumour has it, Jennings ran out of gin, so he started shaking cocktails with white rum instead – introducing the now iconic trio of rum, lime, and sugar. Everyone loved the combination of flavours, and the daiquiri was born.”

The Classic Recipe “The beauty of this classic drink is the simplicity of its ingredients.” Ingredients: 50ml white rum, 15ml sugar syrup, 20ml lime juice. Method: Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the ingredients, shake hard and fine strain into a chilled coupe glass. Balance an elegant lime wedge on the side of the glass.

Daiquiri Reinvented – South Seas Daiquiri

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“The traditional tropical liqueur, falernum adds a twist.” Ingredients: 50ml white rum, 20ml lime juice, 10ml passion fruit syrup, 10ml falernum liqueur (available from Master of Malt), Angostura bitters, 1 fresh pineapple ring. Method: Muddle the pineapple in the bottom of a shaker. Add the rum, falernum, passion fruit syrup, and lime juice. Shake hard with ice and fine strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lime twist and a dash of Angostura bitters.

Singapore Sling

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“One of the most delicious, refreshing and advanced cocktails for its time, the Singapore Sling was created at the Raffles Hotel’s Long Bar, Singapore, around 1915 by Ngiam Tong Boon. This drink predates tiki-style cocktails – but it’s often mistaken for one because of its complexity.”

The Classic Recipe

“A delightfully boozy cocktail that slips down easily – drink with caution!” Ingredients: 50ml gin, 15ml Cointreau, 15ml Cherry Heering, 10ml Benedictine, a dash of Angostura bitters, a dash of orange bitters, 15ml grenadine, 20ml lemon juice, 1 fresh pineapple ring, soda water. Method: Muddle the pineapple in the bottom of a shaker. Add the rest of the ingredients apart from the soda. Shake hard with ice and fine strain into a sling glass filled with ice cubes. Top with soda and garnish with a pineapple wedge, lemon wedge or fresh cherry.

Singapore Sling Reinvented – Tiki Sing Sling

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“The addition of rum gives the classic recipe a tiki twist.” Ingredients: 30ml gin, 20ml dark rum, 20ml cherry syrup, 25ml lemon juice, 1 dash Angostura bitters, 15ml Benedictine, 1 fresh pineapple ring, 30ml soda. Method: Muddle the pineapple in the bottom of a shaker. Add the rest of the ingredients apart from the soda. Shake hard with ice and fine strain into a highball glass filled with ice cubes. Top with soda and garnish with a lemon twist and a fresh cherry.

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Let’s Get Tropical: Over 60 Cocktail Recipes From Caribbean Classics To Modern Tiki Drinks by Georgi Radev is published by DK, priced £9.99.