Q&A: Daren Swisher of Hojoko
Blue Hawaii Five-O (Tiger Mama)
Vikram Hegde, the beverage director at all of Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette’s Boston restaurants—including Toro, Little Donkey, and Coppa—didn’t expect this inventive tiki cocktail at Uni to turn out the way it did.
“This drink tastes like cherry pie to me,” says Hegde. “I don’t know why—I put it together, and it doesn’t taste anything like I thought it would.”
But the fact that the drink shares its name with a common Brazilian tree is no accident. Two of its core ingredients, cachaça and Banane du Brésil, are closely associated with the South American country. It’s kicked up with Ancho Reyes, a spicy chili liqueur, and rounded out with lemon juice and maple syrup.
The Jatoba also benefits from something called a “whip shake.” This shaking method employs just a handful of ice instead of a whole shaker’s worth, and requires extra-energetic agitation. The goal? Maximum aeration with minimal dilution.
A finish of soda water makes it refreshing, and a float of Peychaud’s bitters lends an extra visual flourish and a pleasing aroma. As for the flavor, Hegde isn’t wrong: It’s deep and sweet but rich, like a pie that walked into a tiki bar.
2 ounces Avuá Prata Cachaça
1 ounce Ancho Reyes
½ ounce Banane du Brésil
½ ounce maple syrup
½ ounce lemon juice
Splash soda water
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Pickled cherries, for garnish
Add cachaça, Ancho Reyes, Banane du Brésil, maple syrup, and lemon juice to a shaker filled with a few ice cubes and “whip shake.” Strain into a clear tiki glass and top with soda and crushed ice. Garnish with float of Peychaud’s bitters and pickled cherries.