Can You (Ever) Use Too Much Angostura Bitters?

“Hey Matt, I think I found a bug in your book,” began a recent message from my friend, Mike. ”The Trinidadi Issues recipes calls for 1.5 ounces of Angostura bitters…seems like that can’t be right (?)”

I chuckled. Mike wasn’t the first person who’d messaged me about this recipe, certain they’d found a typo.

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Passion Grove Swizzle – A Summer Tiki Cooler

Early in my Tiki education, which at that point was primarily Beachbum Berry’s Sippin’ Safari and a scattering of blog posts, I learned a mantra: Always fresh squeeze your juice! It’s not so hard with lemons, limes, and oranges, but pineapples are always a challenge. They’re cumbersome and not easily juiced with normal kitchen gadgets. Even after a budget centripetal juicer appeared, juicing pineapples was still something I sought to avoid – the juice was too frothy and the yield too low. It always felt like I was forsaking too much product in the wet, pulpy remains.

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Jungle Doctor – The Jungle Bird Goes to Med School

As an avid Tiki-hound home bartender, I am always seeking out the next unusual recipe twist that gets me excited. And while Tiki draws from a very broad palette, there’s really only so many combinations of citrus, syrups, spices, and rum you can concoct before you’re essentially riffing on variations of the classics. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

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The Banana Life – A Pagan Idol Original Tiki Recipe

At this point in my Tiki journey, it’s much harder to come across a flavor combination I haven’t encountered before and which knock my socks off. The Banana Life, from the crew at San Francisco’s Pagan Idol, is the first drink I’ve had in a while that accomplishes this feat.

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Apricole Swizzle

The vast majority of cocktails from the Tropical/Tiki pantheon derive from a relatively small set of ingredients. At the end of the day, most recipes within the genre lean heavily on some combination of basics – rum, sour citrus (lemon or lime), and flavored syrups/liqueurs like orgeat or falernum. With so many imaginative bartenders constantly creating new libations, it’s challenging to craft a compelling recipe that’s not a twist on something already invented. My Apricole Swizzle is that rare bird.

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Tonga Thunder! A New Adventure in Tiki

If you’ve been around these parts or the Cocktail Wonk Instagram feed for any length of time, you know Tiki drinks play a big role in the Wonky lifestyle. I revere the classics like the 1944 Mai Tai and the Jet Pilot, while celebrating modern recipes from my Tiki Monster friends like Jason Alexander, Martin Cate, Justin Wojslaw, and Zac Overman. Every so often I dip my toes into crafting my own concoctions using elements of the Tiki pattern and Minimalist Tiki principles. So hereby I present an original Tiki recipe that we’ve been enjoying the hell out of lately: The Tonga Thunder.

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