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Daisy de Santiago

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I love a good tiki cocktail, especially when it’s served up in a cool tiki glass at a bar that’s covered with fish and water and tropical themed wallpaper. I’ve actually been to a few such bars like the Tiki Ti, the Purple Orchid and even the original Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach. But recently I visited a tiki bar unlike any of the ones I’d been to before. It’s called Smuggler’s Cove and it’s located behind a black glass door in San Francisco.

Smuggler’s Cove not only reproduces all the classic tiki drinks from both Vic and Don, they’ve created several of their own. Their menu is so large and they have so many stories behind the drinks and the history of tiki that they decided to put out their own book. The book is over 300 pages and includes not only all that history, but several of the classic recipes as well as their own creations. It’s a beautiful book of which I just can’t get enough. It’s so awesome in fact, that I’ve decided to devote this whole summer to tiki cocktails. So, every Friday from now until Labor Day there will be a tiki drink on this blog.

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Today’s recipe is called the Daisy de Santiago and like most tiki cocktails it uses rum. But while most recipes call for two or three different kinds of rum, this drink uses only one. It uses a clear rum, like a Bacardi silver. I like to try different liquors, though. I mean, Smuggler’s Cove has over 500 different rums lining their shelves, so why should I be limited to just one brand? Now, I don’t have the space for 500 bottles, but I could easily have six or seven.

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As a matter of fact I recently added another couple bottles to my bar thanks to the Greenbar Distillery in Los Angeles. They’re a distillery that makes several different kinds of liquor including a silver and a spiced rum. What makes this rum unlike others out there though, is that it’s completely organic. Greenbar ferments molasses in temperature controlled tanks with white wine yeast creating a richer, tastier rum.

Unlike those other silver rums, you can really taste the sugar and caramel flavors that come from the molasses, making the Crusoe (Greenbar’s name for their rum line) great for tiki cocktails. It’s perfect in the Santiago because that sugar from the rum enhances the float of Chartreuse on top, making this cocktail both sweet and bubbly and ideal for a summer on the beach.

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Daisy de Santiago

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons simple syrup
  • 2 oz. silver rum
  • 1/2 oz. yellow Chartreuse
  • 1 oz. club soda

Directions:

  1. Pour the lime juice, simple syrup and rum into a mixing glass. Stir to combine the flavors.
  2. Fill a high ball glass with crushed ice.
  3. Pour in the rum mixture. Float the Chartreuse and club soda on top. Garnish with mint and serve.

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Many, many years ago I had a summer job at a Mexican restaurant in Northern California. I was the hostess, so I didn’t learn many recipes working up front. I did however, get to taste several creations, including a delicious cocktail they called a Lava Flow. (Don’t worry, my version was sans alcohol since I was still in high school.) It was just a piña colada blended with fresh strawberries, but it was amazing. It was sweet and tart, had a subtle coconut flavor and I couldn’t get enough. It was so good in fact, I’ve never forgotten it.

So, when Melissa’s Produce sent me their sliced coconut and coconut hearts I immediately thought of those delicious drinks. Unfortunately, since I first tasted those cocktails, I have developed an allergy to pineapple so I can no longer enjoy a nice, cold Lava Flow or your standard piña colada for that matter. I can however enjoy one without pineapple juice. But I didn’t want to turn that coconut into a drink. I knew summer was coming and I remembered how nice those drinks were, but they never lasted long. I wanted something that would cool me (and my friends) off, but would last a little longer than your standard cocktail. I thought a popsicle would be perfect.

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What I really like about these popsicles is that they’re not all empty calories, they’re actually kind of healthy. It’s all just fruit and yogurt and of course a couple ounces of rum. Hey, you can’t have boozy pops without booze, right? But the rum isn’t the only liquid in these popsicles. There’s also a cup of fresh coconut water.

See, I used Melissa’s coconut hearts for the coconut and these hearts are so fresh, they still have all their water in them. So, before I chopped up the coconut flesh, I drained all the water out of it and used it as the base for these pops. In these hot days of summer, you’re not just getting something sweet and cold, you’re also getting something that will reduce your sodium, give you potassium and plenty of electrolytes. All that plus rum make these summer desserts the perfect way to beat the heat.

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Strawberry Piña Colada Popsicles

Ingredients:

  • 1 coconut heart
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 oz. rum

Directions:

  1. Take the heart and drain the coconut water into a measuring cup. Chop the flesh in a food processor until fine, little pieces.
  2. Place the coconut water, coconut flesh and remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a popsicle mold, add wooden sticks and freeze for at least 6 hours.
  3. When ready to serve, remove the popsicles from the mold and enjoy.

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. Melissa’s Produce provided me with the coconut hearts for recipe testing. As always, any opinion expressed is my own and is not influenced in any way by the manufacturer/PR firm as I only review products that I have personally tested and endorse.

The Hemingway Daiquiri

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I majored in English in college. As an English major I read my fair share of classics from Fitzgerald to Bronte to Hemingway. While Fitzgerald was (and still is) my favorite writer from the early 20th century, I’ve always appreciated the writings and stories from Ernest Hemingway. He wrote about expatriates, love and men making the best of bad situations. While he’s best known for his novels, Hemingway is also known for his drinking habits. He could supposedly put it away with the best of them.

Hemingway’s favorite liquor of choice was rum, probably stemming from the years he spent living in Cuba. He enjoyed many a rum based cocktail, but his favorite was the daiquiri. Unlike the classic though, Hemingway preferred his drink without sugar. Unfortunately that version of the daiquiri was, and probably still is, waaaaay too tart for most people. So over the years, Hemingway’s daiquiri has evolved into the version we all now know and love. Along with the lime juice and rum, maraschino and grapefruit juice were added, making for a delicious drink that has quite a bit of depth and is definitely worthy of the author’s name.

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What I love about this drink is the amount of fresh citrus juice in it. Unlike most sours out there which usually rely on one citrus, this drink uses two: grapefruit and lime. Now, depending on which type of grapefruit you use you could either get a more sour cocktail or a sweeter one. I prefer the sweet. But something tells me our famous author liked his on the sour side. As a matter of fact, Hemingway liked the daiquiri so much, he’d usually down five or six before the evening was over.

So, if this drink was good enough for one of the most famous men of the 20th century, there’s no reason it won’t be perfect for that very important man in your life. That man who taught you how to ride a bike, keep score at a baseball game and played catch with you in the backyard. (Ok… so that was my father, but you get the idea.) Besides, if he’s going to be manning the grill on his special day, the least you can do is give him a drink to enjoy while he’s standing over those hot coals; and if he’s a rum fan, believe me, he’ll thank you.

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The Hemingway Daiquiri

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 3/4 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/4 oz. Maraschino liqueur
  • 1/4 oz. simple syrup

Directions:

  1. Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for at least 15 seconds.
  2. Strain into a cocktail glass, add a grapefruit twist and serve.

 

Grilled Cherry Chicken Wings

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Cherry season is ending. I’m seriously bummed because I love cherries. Those delicious, tart, little red spheres are absolutely amazing. Yes, I’m a Bing fan. I’ll eat them straight out of the basket, baked into sweets or sauteéd with a savory dish. While I love those sweet cherry desserts, when I add cherries to a savory entreé, they turn the whole dish into something amazing. So, since the season’s coming to a close, I just had to get one more recipe on the blog.

I chose to share these Grilled Wings because two events are coming up in the next week: Father’s Day and the official start of summer. Both are prime grilling opportunities and these wings are great for a Father’s Day dinner or a summer barbecue. You know why they’re so great? They cook quickly and they’re a finger food. Those two things are absolutely necessary for summer and this holiday. I mean, what Dad (or person, for that matter) do you know who wants to man the grill all day? Certainly not anyone I know. What most Dads (or adults) seem to want, is to play with their children, or hang out and talk with the other adults at the party which makes grilled chicken wings the ideal summer food.

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While there are tons of grilled chicken wings out there, these wings, smothered in a sweet cherry sauce, will brings smiles to both children and adults. See, the adults get a scrumptious piece of chicken, but the kids get a sweet, fruity finger food that they can lick and chomp to their hearts content. The kids won’t realize their eating something that isn’t in nugget form and might even come back for seconds. In my book, that’s win, win, and I bet it’ll be win, win in your book too.

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Grilled Cherry Chicken Wings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 (1-inch) piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1-1/2 cups cherries, stemmed and pitted
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 pounds chicken wings, tips discarded and wings split

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and shallot and cook for a 3-4 minutes. Add the ginger and cook for another minute.
  2. Stir in the vinegar, syrup and cherries and bring to a boil. Stir in the salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. As you stir the sauce, crush the cherries on the side of the pan. Remove from heat and let cool. Divide the sauce between two bowls, one for the raw chicken and one for the cooked chicken.
  3. Preheat a grill to about 375°F. Season the chicken wings all over with salt and pepper. Baste the raw wings with some of the cherry sauce and grill over moderately high heat, turning and basting occasionally, until lightly charred and crispy, about 20 minutes.
  4. Once cooked, remove from the grill and baste again with the cherry sauce from the second, untainted bowl and serve.

Greyhound Cocktail

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When the weather gets warm, all I want are fizzy cocktails that have two things: a lot of ice and plenty of club soda. After that, I really don’t care what’s poured into the shaker. It could be gin, vodka or any other liquor for which I might have a craving.

There are several drinks that fit this bill: the Gin Rickey, the Mojito, and the Tom Collins just to name a few.  While all these drinks have club soda and ice, they also have sweet, juicy mixers. It’s those juices that make each one of these drinks stand out. I mean a gin and soda is great, but a gin, soda and lemon or lime juice is so much better.

While I love my cocktails with plenty of citrus juice, I was running low on lemons and limes. Luckily, Melissa’s Produce gave me some Ruby Red Grapefruit recently. I love grapefruit, especially the Ruby Reds. They’re so sweet. They’re great in fruit salads, on fish or all by themselves; and since they’re so delicious, I knew they’d be great with alcohol. As it turns out, I’m not the only one who thinks so.

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Lemons, limes and oranges may be the typical choices for gin cocktails, but there are a couple classics that call for grapefruit: the Salty Dog and the Greyhound. Although the origin of the Greyhound is a little hazy, I know it’s been around since the 30’s and was traditionally made with gin and no club soda. But as the years progressed the gin was replaced with vodka and club soda was occasionally added.

So, if you’re low on lemons and limes, give the Greyhound a try. It’s a nice change of pace and just as refreshing as the Gin Fizz or Gin Rickey.

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Greyhound

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. gin
  • 5-6 oz. fresh grapefruit juice

Directions:

  1. Pour the gin and juice into a mixing glass. Add ice and stir to combine the flavors.
  2. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with a wedge of grapefruit and serve.