Friday, August 21, 2015


2 bottles Light Rum (1 1/2 oz Caliche, 1/2 oz Wray & Nephew)
12 oz Brandy (1/2 oz Pedro Domecq Fundador Solera Reserva)
12 oz Curaçao (1/2 oz Van der Hum)
12 oz Passionola (1/2 oz Ezekiel's Passion Fruit Liqueur)
1 quart Lemon Juice (1 1/2 oz)
1 1/2 pint Orange Juice (1 oz)
6 oz Grenadine (1/4 oz)

Blend with cracked ice and pour over one large piece of ice in a punch bowl (shake with ice and strain into a Tiki mug filled with crushed ice).

Two Saturdays ago after my bar shift, I was in the mood to make myself a Tiki drink. When I opened up Trader Vic's 1946 Book of Food & Drink, I spotted the Tonga in the punch section. Although it seemed intriguing as written, I needed to scale this recipe down 24 fold to make it more approachable to my small party.
Once prepared, the Tonga Punch offered a minty, orange, and floral aroma. On the sip, orange and tropical flavors were followed by funky rums and passion fruit on the swallow. In looking for history about this drink, I later found a recipe online from Stephen Siegelman's 2005 Trader Vic's Tiki Party! which appears to mirror the ingredients on modern Trader Vic menus for it lacks brandy and passion fruit liqueur, adds lime juice, and alters the proportions a bit. Probably more accessible since passion fruit liqueur is not as common (and some of the ones you can find are artificial crap like Cointreau's Passoa), but certainly not as complex of a flavor profile especially without the brandy:
Tonga Punch (Modern)
• 2 oz White Rum
• 1 1/2 oz Orange Juice
• 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
• 1/4 oz Lime Juice
• 1/2 oz Curaçao
• 1/4 oz Grenadine
Blend with 1 cup crushed ice. Pour unstrained into a glass.

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