Here in Boston, we have a strange predicament when it comes to Tiki. We have a gorgeously kitchy Tiki palace called Kowloon in the suburbs. Kowloon is one of the largest Tiki palaces in the country and replete with waterfalls, boats, carved statues, bamboo, and palm trees. While the food is Polynesian and the drinks have authentic names, what is served to you in glasses, mugs, and bowls is unrecognizable as a Mai Tai or other. I remember wondering which Suffering Bastard recipe I was going to receive only to discover that the answer was "none of the above." On the other end of things, we have establishments like Drink, Eastern Standard, and Clio all offering classic Tiki drinks on their menus with an eye on authenticity and quality; however, those bars are rather Western and undecorated.
At least when we make drinks at our home bar, we can flip through the pages of Jeff Berry's books to get the proper visual stimulation. In searching Sippin' Safari, I was intrigued by Don's Beach Planter, a creation of Don the Beachcomber back in 1937. This Planter's Punch-style drink shared some similarities with one of the more famous ones, the 1934 Zombie, especially with the anise accents from the Pernod; however, the passion fruit syrup and brandy took the drink in an entirely different direction.
Don's Beach PlanterThe Don's Beach Planter began with fruit notes that were accented by fresh lime oils. While the lime and passion fruit flavors filled the sip, the rums and a hint of pineapple came through on the swallow that concluded with spice from the Angostura and absinthe. The combination of the fruits presented an almost mango note and helped to make this drink way too easy to finish.
• 1/2 oz Lime Juice
• 1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup (BG Reynolds)
• 1 oz Pineapple Juice
• 1 oz Amber Martinique Rum (JM Rhum)
• 1/4 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba)
• 1/4 oz Christian Brothers Brandy (Pedro Domecq Fundador Solera Reserva)
• 1 dash Angostura Bitters
• 6 drop (1/8 tsp) Herbsaint or Pernod (Pernod Absinthe)
• 4 oz Crushed Ice
Blend for 5 seconds and pour into a pilsner glass. Fill more crushed ice. Instead of blending, I shook with ice and strained into highball glass filled with crushed ice; I added a straw and garnished with a lime twist.