Tiki Time: Zac Overman's Angostura Colada

Break out the lawn torches and rattan, and don a Hawaiian-print shirt: here's an original tiki drink recipe from bartender Zac Overman. You can ask Zac to make you one on Thursdays at Fort Defiance during Sunken Harbor Club, a weekly tiki night. American restaurateurs created this Polynesian-inspired class of cocktails––defined by rum and tropical juices, flowers and cocktail umbrellas––in the 1930s. While many of us have enjoyed an over-sweetened boat of (flaming) booze in a "Chinese" restaurant at some point, bartenders like Zac are reviving and reinventing the genre, and making some really good drinks. 

Photo: Vicky Wasik

Photo: Vicky Wasik

While playing around with different spice notes in 8- or 10-ingredient tropical drinks, I decided to simplify things and make bitters the star in a Piña Colada-esque cocktail. Angostura bitters have all the complexity and warm spice of a great tiki drink on their own! They needed a little rum to round them out––I'm using Smith and Cross, but any good aged Jamaican rum will do (think Appleton or Myers). After that, it's simply a matter of a little freshly squeezed pineapple and lime juice and cream of coconut. The result is a silky smooth, juicy, bittersweet drink that tastes like way more work than it is. 

ANGOSTURA COLADA

  • 1 1/2 oz Angostura Bitters
  • 1 1/2 oz Coco Lopez (or Goya) Cream of Coconut
  • 2 oz fresh Pineapple Juice
  • 1 oz fresh Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz Smith & Cross Navy Strength Jamaican Rum

1. Combine all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker.

2. Shake hard for 10 seconds and pour without straining into a snifter or tall glass––not a tiki mug––you'll want people to see the shocking red color. If needed, fill the rest of the glass with more ice.

3. Take a whole nutmeg and grate a little on top. Garnish with a pineapple chunk, a cocktail cherry, an umbrella, whatever you feel like jamming into it. It is a tiki drink, after all. 

 

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Clover Club Cocktail

clover club cocktail

Who would think that a fluffy pink cocktail takes its name form an exclusive turn-of-the-last-century mens’ club? The look of the Clover Club cocktail is froofy, the taste is clear and refreshing, and the history is macho–evoking dark wood paneling, secret handshakes and bawdy laughs. Legend has it that Yeats or Twain could be found sipping one with dinner. And unlike many of the overpowing concoctions popular today, it’s gentle enough (in taste, at least) to enjoy with a meal. The bar in Brooklyn named after this drink/club is a great place to enjoy one, but you can easily make it at home.

Clover Club Cocktail

  • 3/4 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3  to 1/2 ounce grenadine or raspberry syrup (depending on sweetness)
  • 1 1/2 ounces London dry gin
  • 1 ounce egg white (yield of one medium egg)

1. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker in the order listed (to avoid currdling the egg). Dry shake (no ice) to whip the egg white into a thick white froth. The spring from a strainer or a few small shards of ice can speed the process. It usually takes at least 60 second of hard shaking.

2. Open the shaker and add very cold ice, filling the shaker it nearly to the brim. Shake with the ice until the shaker is nearly too cold to touch, and strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass.

Hannah's Hint: The bacteria we worry about with eggs are mostly on the shell. To sanitize them before using raw, dip them in a bowl of vinegar water, then rinse. I splash about 1 Tablespoons of white vinegar per 2 cups of luke-warm water. (This is based on folklore and common sense, so do your own reserach if you are really worried).