Most people, when picturing a Tiki drink, imagine something like a Mai Tai or a Hurricane; crushed, pebbly ice is a hallmark of the Tiki tiki craft, often mounded up like boozy snow cones atop drinks. They evoke the luxury of resting on a tropical beach or, perhaps more accurately, a beach in California or Florida.
On the opposite side of the drink spectrum to Tiki craft is the Irish Coffee. A consummate winter drink, this warming elixir combines whiskey, sugar and coffee with a garnish of whipped or heavy cream. But with the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean bartender Paul McGee manages to combine the disparate elements of each drink into one, with rum and Tiki syrups mixed with dark roast coffee for a lush, dark, dreamy libation.
The drink is named for the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat, which gets its nickname from its location and its similarity to Ireland’s shape as well as many of its people’s Irish ancestry. McGee uses El Dorado Special Reserve 15-year-old-rum for it; despite its age, it’s on the affordable side, which makes it a nice rum for both including in cocktails and for enjoying over ice or neat. A house made cinnamon syrup, velvet falernum, and Don’s Spices #2 give the drink its sweetness and herbal complexity. For the Don’s, McGee uses B.G. Reynolds, a popular brand of Tiki syrups from bartender Blair Reynolds of Portland, Oregon.
It wouldn’t be a take on an Irish coffee without some fluffy whipped cream to finish it off. Rather than going with a simple cream chantilly, McGee makes a Tiki whipped cream, with St. Elizabeth allspice dram, Angostura bitters and demerara sugar. Once it’s made, there’s really no reason to avoid throwing it on anything else that could take whipped cream, including pinot noir brownies or another Irish Coffee variation.
Add all ingredients into a large mug and stir to combine.
Top with a dollop of Tiki whipped cream.
*Tiki whipped cream: Add 8 ounces heavy cream, 1/2 ounce St. Elizabeth allspice dram, 1/4 ounce Angostura bitters and 1 tablespoon demerara sugar into a bowl and whip with a stick blender for 30 seconds or until frothy and thickened.