Sail Away Social Distance-Style with These Five Tiki Cocktail Recipes

Shore Leave
By Eric Twardzik · 03/19/2021

After a winter like no other, who doesn’t want to escape to some far-off tropical paradise? Getting there is easier said than done but sipping on a well-made tiki drink is the next best thing. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of approachable tiki cocktails—a school of drinks defined by layered flavors like fruit, florals, and spice—which you can make at home, thanks to some of our Boston industry friends (aloha shirt and sunglasses not included). 

Blue Hawaii Five-O
Tiki drinks don’t get much cheesier than the Blue Hawaii, a classic concoction that derives its signature hue from blue Curaçao. This version from
Tiger Mama is classed up by using high-quality, locally made Privateer Rum; swapping out coconut cream in favor of drier orgeat; and introducing lemongrass shochu for greater complexity. The drink is still unabashedly fun, and at the bar, it comes garnished with a miniature photo of Magnum P.I. (That’s definitely optional at home.)

The creator of this tropical cocktail likens its flavor to cherry pie, though that wasn’t necessarily the intention. It was a happy accident of combining cachaça with banana and chili liqueurs, plus lemon and maple syrup. The key is to give it an energetic “whip shake” with only a few ice cubes, to cut back on dilution while boosting aeration. At Uni, this drink arrives beautifully layered in a tiki glass, but you won’t be penalized for serving it in your go-to coffee mug.

“Maitalia,” a portmanteau of “Mai Tai” and “Italian,” updates the classic tiki drink using two Italian-made liqueurs: citrusy Borducan and herbaceous Galliano. Yet the heart of the drink remains the rum, which in this case is the surprisingly affordable Appleton Estate Reserve. At Benedetto, where it was created, the drink would likely be served with a hearty helping of pasta—we recommend you do the same at home.

Nordester may have been created at Variety Bar, a cocktail lounge attached to The Comedy Studio at Bow Market, but this easy-to-make tiki drink is no joke. It starts with a base of spiced rum, and adds grapefruit, lime juice, cinnamon simple syrup, and grenadine for layers of juicy, spicy flavor. Add a few pineapple leaves and pansies for garnish if you really feel like getting fancy.

The Shore Leave Cocktail
The namesake cocktail of this South End tiki lounge is really an homage to its home city. The Shore Leave combines three ingredients that play an outsized role in Boston history—rum, madeira, and molasses—along with lime juice and a whopping seven dashes of passion fruit syrup. It comes in a signature coconut mug, which you can add to your own glassware collection, and it’s garnished with Angostura sea foam-candy. The recipe includes the crunchy confection, which you can make in the oven and snack on for the next couple of weeks, until Shore Leave reopens The Life Raft (its outdoor patio).

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