The Shore Leave Cocktail (Shore Leave)

Alexis Jesup

Hear the word “tiki,” and you’re more likely to imagine Bali than Boylston Street.  But the tiki genre is weird: It’s never been about a real place, but rather the idea of somewhere that’s never quite existed.

So it’s entirely possible to make a drink that’s both tiki and uniquely local. Shore Leave in the South End has done just that, with a spicy, rummy libation dubbed … Shore Leave.

“We developed the cocktail for the name,” says beverage director Ryan Lotz. “We wanted to have a namesake cocktail that nodded to Boston’s history.”

It does so by featuring three ingredients that have played a big role in that history: rum (once widely distilled in Massachusetts); Madeira (a seized shipment of which led to pre-Revolutionary War riots); and molasses (the force of nature behind the 1919 Great Molasses Flood).

The result is familiar to tiki fans thanks to tropical fruit flavors, an Angostura spice kick, and a rum base (split between Jamaica’s Appleton Estate Reserve and locally made Privateer Silver Reserve Rum). But it’s made richer and rounder courtesy of molasses and Madeira.

There’s no literal cherry on top, but a chip of house-made Angostura sea-foam candy plays the same sweet role.

Shore Leave

The molasses and passion fruit syrups are easily made by mixing store-bought ingredients with cold water. As a shortcut for the passion fruit syrup, Lotz suggests using BG Reynolds Passion Fruit Syrup, which is sold at The Boston Shaker in Davis Square.

1½ ounces Privateer Silver Reserve Rum
1 ounce lime juice
¾ ounce passion fruit syrup*
½ ounce Appleton Estate Reserve Rum
½ ounce Madeira
½ ounce molasses syrup**
7 dashes Angostura bitters
Mint sprig and Angostura sea-foam candy, for garnish***

Add all ingredients except bitters and garnishes to a shaker filled with a small handful of crushed ice. Shake until chilled and strain into a tiki mug. Fill tiki mug to brim with crushed ice. Garnish with Angostura bitters, mint sprig, and Angostura sea-foam candy.

Passion Fruit Syrup* (yields about 6 ounces)
½ cup passion fruit puree (such as The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley Passion Fruit Concentrate)

½ cup white sugar

Add ingredients to a container and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Keeps, sealed and refrigerated, for 2 weeks.

Molasses Syrup** (yields about 8 ounces)
½ cup molasses

½ cup water

Add ingredients to a container and stir until molasses is completely dissolved. Keeps, sealed and refrigerated, for 2 weeks.

Angostura Sea-Foam Candy*** (yields about 20 1-inch pieces)
200 grams sugar

225 grams glucose
20 grams baking soda
¾ ounce Angostura bitters

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with food release spray. Combine sugar, glucose, and bitters in a pot and cook on stovetop over medium-high heat, monitoring temperature with a candy thermometer until mixture reaches 300-305 degrees F. Remove from heat and add baking soda, then whisk vigorously until baking soda is completely dissolved. Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet. Once it has cooled completely, break candy into 1-inch pieces. Keeps about 1 month, stored in a cool, dry place.

Brian Samuels

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