Anyway, today I've got an excellent drink for you, and one that I can finally make properly thanks to a little bit of luck. A while back, I entered a giveaway that Blair "Trader Tiki" Reynolds was running on Facebook...one lucky winner would get a care package with all of his currently available syrups. Lady Luck was on my side, as I'd picked up her bar tab the night before (man, that girl can drink!) and I soon had seven bottles winging their way to me; Don's Spices #2, Don's Mix, Vanilla Syrup, Cinnamon Syrup, Orgeat Syrup, Passion Fruit Syrup, and Hibiscus Grenadine. So yes, for those keeping track at home, these were a freebie, but not because I'm awesome, or because the Trader was trying to butter me up, but simply because I'm lucky. Trust me, I'm nowhere near a big enough fish in the booze-blogging pond to merit freebies from anyone. All that being said, let's get on to the drink, shall we?
I went with one that would let me use a couple of the Trader's syrups, the Passion Fruit and the Hibiscus Grenadine. This is a cocktail that dates from about 1961 or so, at the Kahiki in Columbus, OH, and it's a blender drink (gasp!) called:
The Port LightOh man, this is a beautiful drink. Tart, sweet, ice cold, what more could you ask for? The passion fruit syrup just punches you in the nose with a ripe fruit flavor when you open the bottle, and the grenadine is sweet and bright, with an additional floral tartness from the hibiscus. I used rye in this drink, because it's what I had on hand, but even so, the syrups and lemon juice more than hold their own against it. It's kind of a Polynesian Ward Eight, and sipping one of these on a summer night with fireflies twinkling and Martin Denny or Arthur Lyman on the HiFi is going to be a little slice of heaven by way of some exotic port of call.
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz passion fruit syrup
1/4 oz grenadine
1 1/2 oz bourbon (I actually used rye, but who's counting?)
8 oz (1 cup) crushed ice
Put all ingredients in a blender and process on high for 5 seconds. Pour it, without straining, into a tall glass, adding more crushed ice if necessary to fill.
(recipe adapted from Jeff Berry and Annene Kaye, Beachbum Berry's Grog Log, p.66)
I'm very much looking forward to trying the other Trader Tiki syrups when I can get enough varieties of rum to do them justice in all sorts of Tiki drinks!