Weekend Cocktails: Tiki Time

Tiki-themed cocktails - tropical drink recipes for South Florida   As the calendar rolls on to December (holy guacamole, time sure does fly), and winter officially grips the rest of nation on the 21st, the weather down here in Naples is just dandy. So instead of rolling out recipes for hot toddies and eggnog this weekend (fret not, they will have their day!), where tapping some summertime faves for a Polynesian state of mind. So don your best Greg Brady impression, bust out that tiki idol and rum bottle because these cocktails are distinctively tiki-themed. Å’kålè ma’luna! (That’s cheers in Hawaiian.)


Friday Happy Hour: Get Tiki with it!

   The Nui Nui is a classic tiki cocktail, originally hailing from Don the Beachcomber, circa 1937, with a solid infusion of tropical flavors. The key ingredient to this recipe is Allspice Dram, a spicy add that really gives the drink its character. This is a hard-to-find barroom addition, with St. Elizabeth’s making the best on the market. If you can’t come across Allspice Dram, try Don’s Spices #2 (made by B.G. Reynolds), a concoction that essentially boils down to equal parts vanilla syrup and Allspice Dram (or Jamaican pimento dram). If all else fails, below is a recipe for a DIY Allspice Dram but it is a time consuming project, needing a few weeks to settle for best flavor. But if you are serious about your tiki drinks, then Allspice Dram is a must for the bar—a strong and spicy counterpoint to rum and the typically sweet tropical ingredients.

Nui Nui cocktail - Tiki culture cocktailsNui Nui

   Serves 2

  • 4 oz. aged Virgin Islands rum
  • 1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice
  • ½ oz. cinnamon syrup
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla syrup*
  • 1½ tsp. Allspice Dram*
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 8 oz. crushed ice

*Or ½ oz. Don’s Spice #2 in substitution for both. 

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until frothy. Pour into two Collins glasses and crushed ice to fill. Garnish with an orange wedge or peel. Huli Pau! (Bottoms Up!)


DIY Allspice Dram (for the truly dedicated)

  • 1 cup light rum
  • ¼ cup whole allspice berries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1½ cup water
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar

Crush allspice berries to a coarse consistency. Put berries in a Ball jar, pour in rum, shake, seal and let the mixture steep for two to four days, agitating and shaking daily. After steeping, break up the cinnamon stick and add to the mixture; let sit for another ten days.

   After steeping, strain out allspice and cinnamon (a coffee filter will help remove the tiny pieces) into a jar.

   In a medium saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil over medium heat, dissolving sugar. Let cool, and then add to strained allspice syrup. Shake and let sit for another day or two before using. Makes about three cups.



Saturday is for Standards

For Saturday’s tiki-themed sip we looked to the cocktail trade’s standard-bearer, the IBA (International Bartenders Association) for a rum heavy IBA Official Cocktail. What we found was a classic fruit bevvy perfect for balmy Southwest Florida winters.
   Falling under ‘The Unforgettables’ category, the Planter’s Punch is a classic long drink (Collins type) with plenty of tropic flavors and a hearty dose of rum to keep the tiki times ticking along.

Planter's Punch - rum punch - tiki-culture cocktails

Planter’s Punch

  • 1½ oz. dark rum
  • 1 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 oz. fresh pineapple juice
  • 2/3 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 oz. grenadine
  • 1/3 oz. sugar syrup
  • 3 to 4 dashes Angostura bitters

Pour all ingredients, except bitters, into a shaker filled with ice and shake well. Pour into Collins glass filled with ice. Add Angostura bitters on top. Garnish with cocktail cherry and pineapple.


*Recipe courtesy of IBA



Sunday Funday: Ease the Pain

After two days of imbibing on rum, some might be on lookout for something to dull the pain. The Painkiller certainly earns its name, and as I said earlier, there is no reprieve from rum folks. Painkiller cocktail - tiki-tastic cocktailsBig on tropical flavors, this classic tiki cocktail is the perfect compliment to your hand this Sunday afternoon. Enjoy!



  • 2 oz. aged rum
  • 2 oz. fresh pineapple juice
  • 1 oz. Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut
  • 1 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice

Shake ingredients and pour over ice in a double Old Fashioned or Collins glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and grated nutmeg for a hint of spice.



If you would like to nominate a cocktail recipe to appear in our latest series “Weekend Cocktails,” email the online editor here.

Weekend Cocktails - Nui Nui - Planter's Punch - Painkiller - Tiki-Culture cocktails


Tools of the Trade

Become a master mixologist, or at least look like one, with the tools that make the trade.

Your Weekend Cocktails - Tools to Make a Pro - Williams-Sonoma


  • Muddler: This little tenderizing stick is a godsend and a must for any home bar. If fruity cocktails are in your future, the muddler is the only way to unlock fruits’ flavor.
  • Handheld Citrus Juicer: nothing beats freshly squeezed juice, but it be a pain. Invest in a handheld citrus juicer, they are cheap and do the trick tout de suite.
  • Cocktail Shaker: Don’t be a chump, stirring your martini like a noob; purchase a nice shaker and become a master home barkeep.
  • Jigger: This little apparati will make mixing the perfect drink as easy as pie, equipped with a 1½ oz. and 1 oz. cups for perfectly measured pours every time.

*Pictured available at Williams-Sonoma

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