For those of you who don’t know; while I was starting Asgard Associates, I was also moonlighting throughout the summer working for the famous Julie Reiner at her new bar the Clover Club as a barback. If there’s a better way to learn about spirits, mixology and the bartending as one of the culinary arts I don’t know what it is. One of the things I love about Julie’s bars is that they are completely open and accessible to the public. I enjoy the secluded, speak-easy feel of the popular NYC cocktail dens too, but I appreciate the fact that anyone can stumble in and learn about fine spirits and classic mixtures. The openness of her bars are just the tip of the iceberg for what is (in New York anyway) a massive underground cocktail scene.
If you’ve been to NYC in the last couple of weeks, don’t let the rain fool you. It’s supposed to be summer in the northeast right now! So what better way to rebel against the weather than to make some tiki drinks with my good friend Gerry Corcoran, currently behind the stick at Please Don’t Tell, another wonderful, but considerably more exclusive joint.
The cocktail world is a funny place and like all scenes, this one suffers from fads too. Right now, it seems that everywhere I go there is a major push towards a dry palette. Dry and citrus-y mixes are fashionable and sweet drinks are frowned upon. When I went to see Gerry, I gave him a hint of my plans and I wasn’t too surprised to discover that I’d have to bring my own Coco Lopez. Damn-it I was committed to the idea of making some piña colada variations that rawked, so I popped into my local Mexican bodega and found a couple of cans in the back corner. Gerry and I put some pretty good drinks together that night, but the fact that PDT and most other exceptional cocktail lounges don’t keep some of the sweeter ingredients on hand is a sort of fashion related tradgedy. I suppose this phase will pass soon, then I’ll be complaining that no one has any decent bitters or some other inane ingredient. But for now if you’d like a good tiki drink, just remember to bring your own coco lopez.
For something on the drier, simple side, try a
2 oz Mount Gay Rum
1 oz Coco Lopez
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
shaken w/ cubed ice and served up in a coupe glass
or our unnamed variation – please feel free to improve on this recipe and post it as a comment
*Flaming Pina Colada (for lack of a better name)
2 oz Appleton Estates Rum
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Coco Lopez
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
2-3 dashes Angostura Bitters
(1/2 oz Wray & Nephew Overproof Jamaican Rum – en fuego)
shaken with crushed ice and poured directly into a highball
garnish with a half lime turned inside out, fill with the 1/2 oz Wray & Nephew Overproof Jamaican Rum and ignite with a match. Serve flaming.