All This Rum! A New Tiki Bar Cocktail

Art of the Cocktail, Beer & Cocktails, Drink

This post comes to us courtesy of writer and mixologist Warren Bobrow.


Ever since I sat as a Rum Judge at the 2010 Ministry of Rum tasting competition in San Francisco, the whole direction of my spirits-writing career has changed. I used to only write about wine.


Then a flash went off: wine is so serious; why not write about something fun?


I’ve always loved rum. Rum appeals to me.


Rum is a spirit woven from history. Flavors exist within rums that don’t reveal themselves in other lighter-colored liquors. I’m a fan of rums aged in used wooden casks that formerly held bourbon or cognac. The caramelized notes of smoke, butter and bittersweet chocolate reveal themselves beautifully with the white flower aromas of freshly crushed cane sugar.


What is good rum, and how does it differ from all other rums? I’m not entirely sure. But when you’re out on a yacht, somewhere between Bermuda and the Virgin Islands, nothing tastes so delicious with some coconut water ice.


Over the past few years, Tiki Bar cocktail lounges have revealed themselves as funky representations of times gone past. Tiki gives credence to the easier times in America.


Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco faithfully reproduces a dream Tiki bar located down off a decaying pier, jutting out into a world of rotting boats and handcrafted cocktails. If a stage set of liquid pleasures could be created, Smuggler’s Cove fits the West Coast genre to a T. Over on the East Coast, on the Island of Manhattan — described as the Greatest Island in the World — PKNY – formerly named Painkiller (the name is another story for another day) has a knack for Tiki as well.


Here’s a Tiki Bar cocktail you’ve never had before.


The Yachtsman’s Demise

3 oz. Kōloa Rum from Hawaii (use their Spiced Rum for this cocktail)

1 oz. fresh mango juice

1/2 tsp. freshly chopped coconut meat

1/2 tsp. freshly scraped ginger

3 drops Bitter End Thai Bitters

6 ice cubes made with coconut water and freshly grated nutmeg (just a bit, it’s strong stuff!)

1/2 oz. Lemon Hart 151 Rum

Q-Ginger Ale to finish


Fill a cocktail shaker with fresh ice (reserve your coconut water ice for the glass). Add the Kōloa Rum to the shaker, then the fresh mango juice, coconut meat and ginger. Add the Bitter End Thai Bitters.


Shake and strain into a tall Tiki (ceramic) mug filled with your coconut water and grated nutmeg ice cubes. Float the Lemon Hart 151 Rum over the top, and finish with Q-Ginger Ale. Makes 1 cocktail.


About the authorWarren Bobrow is the Food and Drink Editor of the 501c3 non profit Wild Table on Wild River Review located in Princeton, New Jersey. Warren was an Iron Mixology Judge at the Charleston Wine and Food Festival 2012. He attended Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans in 2011. Warren has published over three hundred articles in fewer than three years since his reinvention from executive assistant in private banking to author. Warren writes with a unique free-form style. He is a writer/mixologist on everything from cocktail flavoring and Biodynamic/organic wines to restaurant reviews. He writes for Edible Jersey, Voda Magazine, Foodista, Tasting Panel, Beverage News and Total Food Service Magazine. Warren is the “On Whiskey” columnist for OKRA Magazine in New Orleans part of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. He was born and raised in Morristown, NJ on a Biodynamic farm.

9 comments about “All This Rum! A New Tiki Bar Cocktail

  1. julie

    I want to be on that yacht right now sipping one of those cocktails (may I have a little umbrella too?)

  2. Jesse Card

    I love the inclusion of frozen Coconut H2O ice cubes. They’re such a treat, even in non-alcoholic mock tiki drinks (you know, for the designated drivers)

    Cheers, Warren!

  3. Nelly Rodriguez

    Although not a huge rum drinker (shocking since Dominican Republic produces great rums!), I do appreciate a rum aged in a cask that has held bourbon or cognac. “White” or light colored rums are just …too much alcohol flavor, not enough anything else…Thanks for the recipe!

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