Monday, September 2, 2019

polynesian paralysis

3 oz Okolehao or sub Bourbon/Rye (Old Grand-Dad Bonded Bourbon)
3 oz Orange Juice
3 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Blend 10 seconds with 12 oz crushed ice, pour into a Tiki bowl, and garnish with a gardenia (nasturtiums).

Two Mondays ago, I was flipping through Beachbum Berry's Remixed when I came across the Polynesian Paralysis. I had previously skipped over this 1960s recipe for it calls for okolehao; okolehao is Hawaiian moonshine made mostly from the root of the Ti plant and is rather hard to come by this way. Martin Cate must have felt the same way for he crafted the Norwegian Paralysis substituting aquavit as the base. Instead of continuing my wait for a bottle of okolehao from a craft distiller to make its way over, I decided to take Berry's advice and utilize an American whiskey in its place. As I learned from Matt Rowley in his history of okoleao, during the 1960s, instead of going through the effort of digging up these roots and roasting them for the mash, producers flavored whiskey with ti roots or extracts, and this was the era when the Polynesian Paralysis was crafted. True okolehao apparently has molasses, brown sugar, funk, root beer, and earthy flavors, but until I can experience that easily, I decided to give the recipe a go with my house Bourbon.
Berry provided a bit of history of the name via the 1960 book Waikiki Beachnik which described Polynesian Paralysis as, "a screaming desire not to do work, not to do anything that requires any substantial effort either physical or mental." Once prepared, the drink itself donated Bourbon, pineapple, nutty, and orange aromas to the nose. Next, orange and lemon mingled on the sip, and the swallow proffered whiskey, pineapple and nutty flavors that came across with a coconut note from a combination of the orgeat and Bourbon.

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