Monday, September 5, 2011

The Tiki-Ti Five-0 Cocktail (and farewell to summer's glories)

When you reside in the northeast, summer is a privilege, enjoyed (if you're in luck) for three or four months out of the year. When September arrives, psychologically it means the summer is about over - even if you have hot weather through the month. With the descent of September - and the accompanying throngs of college students that infest Boston for the school year - we realize that the privileges of summer will gradually be withdrawn. And following the magnificence of autumn in New England (really the best season we have), the cold, hard reality of winter arrives with steely skies and stray snowflakes. After that, hibernation.

Alas, though September is here, and Labor Day weekend is drawing to a close, the weather is still hot and muggy. Perfect for perhaps the final tropical cocktail of this summer. Let's bid the season farewell with the tangy flavors of lime and Chinese five-spice, rum, and orange. Let's send it off with the Tiki-Ti Five-0.

This laboriously named cocktail is courtesy of the ever-entertaining Imbibe Magazine, and the concoction's creator, "tiki scholar" Jeff "Beachbum" Berry. His recipe is in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the Los Angeles watering hole Tiki-Ti, hence the Five-0. It's very good. It requires a little advance work, in the area of "Five-0 syrup."

To make Five-0 syrup, mix one cup of clover honey with one cup of water and one tablespoon of Chinese five-spice powder. I found this powder easily at Whole Foods in Boston. I am sure it is readily available at your local market, in the spice aisle. You can also find the recipe here.

Without further ado, the last tropical drink of summer:

The Tiki-Ti Five-0

2 oz aged rum (I use Smith & Cross, which is quite distinctive... you could also use the more readily accessible Cruzan aged rum)
1/4 oz ginger liqueur (G.E. Massenez Crème de Gingembre, Stirrings, or, in a pinch though it might be too sweet, Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur)
1 oz Five-0 syrup
1 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz fresh orange juice

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake furiously.  Pour contents, including ice, into a highball  or collins glass. Add more ice if necessary.

Garnish with an orange wedge (and a piece of candied ginger, if you are so disposed). As you can tell from the picture, I used lime. So obviously it's a free for all. Bottoms up!

And, as a closing note, while summer may be on the wane, we are about to enter one of the most fruitful and decadent cocktail seasons ever: autumn. Coastal New England is the best place to be in October and November. Following that truth, this blog will encompass whiskey cocktails, a range of satisfying Manhattans, and other deeply pleasing autumnal drinks. So do not despair, my friends, and remain in hope: the weather may change but the cocktails will still satiate your yearnings.

Let's clink glasses to the future... To hell with bad weather.


  1. Looking forward to kicking off Bourbon season with my favorite drinking buddy next week!

    ...Ahem...and if you don't mind I prefer to keep my bottom down, thank you. :)

  2. I must say, I would be proud to be referred to as both a "tiki scholar" and a "beach bum."


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