Weekly Cocktail #57: The Kona Castaway

The Kona Castaway.

The Kona Castaway.

More tiki here at the farm. Why? Well….why not? When is it a bad time for a tiki drink? In winter, tiki drinks remind you of summer. In summer, tiki drinks are a celebration of summer. And in spring or fall they are something to enjoy wistfully, or as a harbinger of the warm months to come. Besides, they give you an excuse to pull out that Hawaiian slack-key guitar CD that’s been gathering dust…

castaway1The other reason to enjoy tiki is that you get to play around with all sorts of crazy ingredients. Special rums, orgeat, falernum, pineapple, cinnamon syrup, grapefruit, absinthe, passion fruit and just about anything else you can think of. Not surprisingly, the ingredient list of some tiki drinks looks like a congressional appropriations bill (and the likelihood of you making one at home is about the same as the odds of that bill passing congress). We do mix tiki drinks at home, but  we can’t stop buying cocktail ingredients we are silly that way. Occasionally we actually find a simple tiki drink with just a few common ingredients. So what do we do? Add more ingredients, of course…

castawaycastaway5In this case we took the Castaway, a Beachbum Berry concoction of gold rum, Kahlua and pineapple juice, and decided to experiment. The Castaway is a good drink, as the pineapple and coffee play together way better than you might expect. A good sipping cocktail. But since we are often in Hawaii, and the local coffee is awesome, we decided to nix the Kahlua and use leftover Kona coffee as our base.

castaway3And after some (mostly) enjoyable trials, we got the Kona Castaway. The Kona Castaway combines aged Jamaican rum, light rum, coffee syrup, pineapple juice, Tiki bitters with crushed ice and a lime wedge for garnish. The main change here is making coffee syrup with a 1 to 1 ratio of leftover coffee and sugar. The coffee syrup is much smoother (and tastier) than Kahlua and gives you room to add more layers of flavor.

castaway6In this case, the aged Jamaican rum and Tiki bitters add spice and funk, and the lime wedge garnish (squeeze it into the drink) adds a nice citrus note to the coffee and pineapple. Overall you get a sweet sip with smooth, spicy coffee notes. The other cool thing you get is a nice frothy head from the pineapple juice. In some ways the Kona Castaway reminds us of a pint of Guinness with the frothy head and the coffee notes, but that only goes so far. It’s still a Tiki drink, after all….

castaway9The Kona Castaway:

  • 3 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 oz. aged Jamaican rum (Appleton 12 yr.)
  • 1 oz. light rum (Bacardi)
  • 3/4 oz. coffee syrup (see below)
  • 2 drops Bittermen’s Tiki bitters
  • Lime wedge

Assemble:

  1. Combine all the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with crushed ice. Shake until well-chilled and pour everything into a chilled wine glass or highball. Garnish with a lime wedge.
  • For the coffee syrup, combine a 1 to 1 ratio of coffee (preferably Kona coffee) and sugar. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer until it reduces by 1/3. Keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

The Castaway:

(From Beachbum Berry)

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 3/4 oz. Kahlua
  • 1/2 oz. gold rum (Virgin Islands or Puerto Rican)

Assemble:

  1. Shake well with crushed ice. Pour unstrained into a pilsner glass. Add crushed ice to fill, if necessary.
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4 thoughts on “Weekly Cocktail #57: The Kona Castaway

  1. “…add more ingredients,” I love that part. It never occurred to me that anyone would want to add more stuff to a tiki drink—a real whack on the side of the head.

    The kona syrup is an interesting idea, something I’d like to experiment with. Thanks!

    • …it’s because we drink too much…. ;-)

      As for the coffee syrup, it is good stuff as long as you start w/a smooth, bright coffee. You could even sub it for bitters in some drinks w/ interesting results.

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