You’ve mastered the Mai Tai . Trader Vic would be proud. Looking for the next big wave? Upgrade your tiki game with these advanced Polynesian potions, stocked with multiple rums, fresh juices and spice-infused syrups. Then invite a posse of hula-skirted companions over for a tiki party and let the compliments roll in—one booze-laden coconut at a time.
Heard of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific? The song Bali Ha’i’s opening lyrics inspired countless covers—including this cocktail. Created by Paul McGee, the mastermind behind Chicago’s tiki palace Three Dots and a Dash and the new Lost Lake, this towering glass houses a strapping trio of rums, backed by strong cold-press coffee and sweetened with pineapple and lime juices and Demerara syrup.
Tiki legend Beachbum Berry slings a gaggle of fresh juices into his namesake double-rum cocktail, including pineapple, lemon, orange and passion fruit. Then comes the ringer: a hearty glug of Licor 43, the fruity Spanish liqueur made with 43 aromatic herbs and spices.
Gin in a tiki cocktail? Martin Cate of San Francisco’s celebrated Smuggler’s Cove may be known for his rum collection, but his multi-layered gin Sling is no slouch. Bénédictine and Cherry Heering are sturdy supporting characters, lightened and lifted by the additions of Demerara syrup, lemon juice and club soda.
Donn Beach was notoriously secretive about the ingredients in his drinks and went to great lengths to keep them hidden from other bartenders. Fortunately, Beachbum Berry unlocked the recipe behind Donn's Nui Nui cocktail, which brims over with rum, allspice dram and vanilla- and cinnamon-infused syrups.
The humble banana gets top billing alongside aged Dominican rum and pineapple juice in this welcoming glass. With three creamy elements in play—Crème de Banane, Peanut Rum Crème Liqueur and cream of coconut—this silky golden potion will have party guests clamoring for seconds.
Mixing your cocktail