A TikiCat cocktail recipe to chase away winter blues

TikiCat bartender Trenton Bottles.
TikiCat bartender Trenton Bottles.

As the February doldrums set in, it’s easy to let one’s mind drift to more pleasant locales—Bora Bora, the Caribbean, or Hawaii. For those of us without the snowbird lifestyle, TikiCat is here to transport us to the tropics in a glass. Trenton Bottles, one of the bartenders better known by his tiki name, Puka Pumba, has the cure for what ails you in his own tiki creation, the Puka Pumba’s Paradise Punch.

The cocktail, while an original recipe, is based in the tradition of Don Beach, the father of tiki drinks. And though many think of tiki drinks as simply a mélange of fresh juices and rum, Pumba says there’s more to it than that. In fact, Pumba says that a rhyme taught to him by tiki master Martin Cate guided his ratios as he created this cocktail.

One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, and four of weak. Five of

spice to make it nice.

This version includes flavors of apricot, coconut water, pineapple and lime juice, and allspice dram perks it up. Freshly squeezed juices make this cocktail standout, so use the best quality you can find. But beware, the strong in this drink is, well, strong as it finishes with a floater of Lemon Hart 151. Sip carefully, friends, or you may find yourself shanghaied.


Puka Pumba’s Paradise Punch

1/2 ounce of demerara syrup (a rich simple syrup made with demerara sugar and white sugar)

1/2 ounce of orgeat syrup

1 ounce of coconut water

1/2 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice

1 ounce of freshly squeezed orange juice

1 ounce of freshly squeezed pineapple juice

1 ounce of Gifford Abricot du Roussillon

1/4 ounce of allspice dram

1 ounce Plantation Three Star Rum

1 ounce Coruba Dark Rum

1 ounce of Lemon Hart & Son 151

Cubed ice (for agitation)

Pebble ice (for instant cooling)

Combine all ingredients except for 151 in a shaker. Combine by using either a hand mixer or by shaking vigorously. Pour into a tall tiki glass or Collins glass. Carefully pour one ounce of 151 on top of the drink as a floater. Garnish with a quarter banana on the rim, as well as a long straw. Pumba recommends stirring the drink once about halfway through drinking to avoid a concentration of 151 at the bottom of the glass.