Monday, May 23, 2011

beach cruiser

1 oz Zaya Gran Reserva 12 Year Rum
3/4 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz Falernum
1 oz Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut
1 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with 4 mists of Tiki Bitters and add straws.

For my next drink at the Citizen Public House, I asked bartender Tony Makayev about the Beach Cruiser which seemed like a good transition from the 19th Century Swizzle. I assumed that the name of this Fernet Branca-laden Tiki drink was related to the beach cruiser bicycles that bar manager Joy Richard and Tony both acquired for attending a recent Fernet Branca focus group. Several days later, I spoke to Joy Richard about the drink's history; Chad Arnholt created the drink with the Fernet Branca and the Fernet bicycle in mind (I am not sure if he got one too). Chad mentioned that he was quite pleased how the coconut and dark rum interacted with the botanicals in Fernet and soon realized that he had a winner. With rum, cream of coconut, and orange juice, the Beach Cruiser reminded me of the Painkiller, but with the spice of the Fernet Branca and falernum, the Beach Cruiser took a different direction.
The spice notes started early for the aroma contained clove and cardamom notes from the bitters misted on top of the drink. The coconut and fruit notes filled the sip, and the dark rum and Fernet Branca came through on the swallow. Despite the large portion, the Fernet Branca notes were not overwhelming; moreover, Fernet's menthol note worked well here as it complemented the coconut cream surprisingly well. Indeed, the Beach Comber turned out to be rather balanced by not being overly fruity, strong, or spiced.

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