Our Tiki Creation: The “Rickey-Tiki-Tavi”

Our tiki creation: The Rickey-Tiki-Tavi

This will be our last tiki post for a little while, I think I need a Martini…;-)

It has been raining quite a bit on our tropical vacation, so our “kitchen and bar muscles” are getting a workout. We have been cooking very tasty fresh fish almost every night. This has been great, but searing Ahi and oven roasting Mahi-Mahi and Ono are pretty simple procedures, so not too many posts from this direction (Carolyn made a great coconut rice, that recipe soon). But we have worked on tiki drinks, and after some trial and error, we created our own: the Rickey-Tiki-Tavi.

The Rickey-Tiki-Tavi combines the basics of a Rickey (gin and lime) with the basics if a tiki drink (rum and pineapple). As we have mentioned in earlier posts, the point of a tiki drink is to add layers of flavors that add up to more than the sum of their parts. While different ages and varieties of rum usually fulfill this role, we decided to try a modern (read: not too much juniper) dry gin like Hendricks to add a new range of flavors. And after some experiments, we got a drink we really, really like.

The name for the cocktail is inspired by its similarity to the excellent Rudyard Kipling story Rikki-Tikki-Tavi from the “Jungle Book“. (It is worth noting that the Jungle Book stories are great, and we read them to our kids, but they are NOT the Disney material you might think. These are often harsh 19th-century tales of India, with many of the insensitivities of the times left intact- just an FYI.) The story centers on a very brave and loyal Mongoose that protects a family from vengeful cobras. Again, it is a classic story and I hope our drink lives up to the name.

To make the drink you combine lime juice, pineapple juice, simple syrup, gin, aged Jamaican rum and bitters. In the recipe you will note a heavy use of simple syrup. When building this recipe, it turned out the amount of sugar was the key to a good drink. As this drink has lime, more gin than rum, and unsweetened pineapple juice- you really need some sugar. We use a full ounce of simple syrup, if you like a more sour drink try 3/4 of an ounce, but it will be tart. As for bitters, we use Bitterman’s Tiki bitters, but a few dashes of Angostura will also work. As for the rum, we use Appleton’s V/X but any good, rich, aged rum is fine, the rum is almost a sweetener in the drink.

The final drink is a mix between a tiki drink and an uptown cocktail. The gin and lime start the sip with crisp, light flavors, then the sugar, pineapple and rum kick in with sweetness, finally the bitters give a clean finish. It may be a bit off the beaten path, but when you try the Rickey-Tiki-Tavi you will still think “tiki drink”, but also be curious what the “secret ingredient” is. And the answer, in this case, is “gin”.

Try out the Rickey-Tiki-Tavi and tell us what you think!

The Rickey-Tiki-Tavi:


  • 1 oz. Fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 oz.Pineapple juice
  • 1 oz. Simple syrup
  • 1 and 1/2 oz. Dry gin (we suggest Hendricks)
  • 3/4 oz. Aged Jamaican rum (we suggest Appletons V/X)
  • 2 Dashes of bitters (Bitterman’s Tiki Bitters or Angostura)
  • 1/2 Cup crushed ice


  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, shake vigorously and then pour into a goblet, lowball glass or tiki mug. Add more crushed ice if needed, garnish with pineapple, lime or mint, if you like. Serve.

6 thoughts on “Our Tiki Creation: The “Rickey-Tiki-Tavi”

  1. Say it ain’t so– the LAST (for a while) Tiki posting?

    Great book, great inspiration. I’m with Angela on that point. But not only does the drink sound delicious– it looks great. I’m salivating just looking at the photo. It looks like Summer in a Glass!

  2. Pingback: Weekly Cocktail #17: The Tahitian Postcard « Putney Farm

  3. Pingback: MxMo CVI: Rickey's Gin Dugout - The Pegu Blog

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