The Green Flash Cocktail is a Tiki drink that a buddy and I collaborated on. Some cocktails you find, others find you. The Green Flash Cocktail is one of the latter. Tim is one of my experimental cocktail buddies, he and his wife Katie have spent a lot of hours in Tiki bars with us. We have even built and taken full traveling Tiki bars to hotels to enjoy pool side.
Tim found something called a Green Flash Cocktail somewhere on the earth and made it. He reached out to me to clean it up and make it a bit better. The base recipe was odd, poorly written and had no measurements, just said “To Taste”. Like “Add white rum to taste”. That’s not really a recipe. So we did some experimentation and ended up with this Green Flash Cocktail which is a great Tiki cocktail that is based almost nothing on the original, except it is green. Hence the name. The Green Flash Cocktail is easy, and really good, give it a go.
Green Flash Cocktail
Cruzan Select Rum. Malibu Rum. Blue Curacao. Pineapple Juice. Lime. Grenadine.
Green Flash Cocktail
The Green Flash Cocktail is a fun Tiki style drink that brings together the TIKI vibe and amazing taste. Easy to make and fun to drink!
- 2 oz Cruzan Select Rum
- 2 oz Pineapple
- 1 oz Blue Curaçao
- 1 oz Malibu rum
- 1 oz Lime Juice
- Bar spoon grenadine
Add all except grenadine to cocktail shaker with small ice.
Shake very well strain in Hurricane or Highball glass (something clear to show off the color) full of ice.
Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a cherry on a skewer, lemon wheel on the glass.
Serve with a straw.
The Gods of Tiki
Here is where I need to apologize. Real Tiki drinks are not simple, they are not the “life hack” internet easy so common today. If you find a post that maybe says, “5 simple Tiki drinks”, they probably loosely based on the original concept. I am not saying are bad. In all likelihood they are great drinks, just not true to form Tiki cocktails. After making so many traditional Tiki cocktails, I will proclaim making them worth the effort. But make no mistake there is effort.
Rhums, Rums, Rons and What the Heck is Donns Mix?
Many Tiki drinks use 3 and up to 5 different rums. The call is oddly specific, so having all the rums is a real expensive pain. You can sub in other rums, but a black strap rum, sadly is not replaceable with a captain Morgan spiced. Also you will either have to buy or make things like Donns Mix, Orgeat, Allspice Dram, Fashionola, or Pearl Driver Mix. I’m a bit of a purist, but I cheat on this stuff too, so I’ll try to offer recommendations if there a riff or substitution. The difference in Rum, Ron or Rhum is the country of origin. It turns out in the rum world the flavor of a rum has almost nothing to do with the color, but nearly everything to do with where it is produced.
Luckily Tiki and tropical drinks are strong and the flavor profile is very forgiving, if you don’t have an ingredient and substitute, usually you will be okay. A substitute will usually taste great, and it will still suggest the flavor of the original. I riff Tiki drinks nine ways to Sunday, and within the reasonable bounds of the cocktail they are usually good, sometimes fantastic.
Tale of Two Bartenders
This is not my story, but it is well researched. In fact there are several cocktail books that do a fantastic job of explaining the story of Donn Beach (born Ernest Gantt) and Trader Vic (Victor Bergeron Jr.). The basic gist is these two very successful bar owners were also fierce competitors, and exceptional showmen in their own right. Each bar, Don the Beachcomber, and Trader Vic’s are iconic and legendary bars that created the Tiki culture. While they shared a style, they did not share recipes. Quite the opposite. Unlike today where a recipe is plastered all over the internet, (guilty as charged here) their recipes were fiercely guarded. But guarding a recipe can only take you so far.
In addition they had secret ingredients in their drinks. Little mixes and concoctions that had special names, and ingredients only a trusted few knew. These ingredients are not complex, but important. I will share how to make many, but some you may want to buy.
Why bother with these shenanigans? In the 1950’s a bartender with the knowledge to make their wildly popular yet proprietary drinks could make a lot of money elsewhere. Sadly these recipes were lost until a research author Jeff “Beach Bum” Berry spent years meticulously uncovering them. Only recently have all these ingredients been known.
This level of secrecy has its benefits, but it has its downsides too. As the actual ingredients were a secret, bartenders all over the world just made their version of the cocktails with the same name and passed them off as the real thing. Think about unless you have been to the actual bars, how would you really know.
Navy Grog, Mai Tai, & the Zombie
The most popular Tiki drink is probably the Mai Tai. Until I started making my own I thought a Mai Tai was just a rum punch. Basically, fruit juice and strong rum. It is also so much more. Once I had a real Mai Tai, I was hooked, the other big drinks were the Navy Grog and the Zombie. A zombie is my absolute favorite Tiki drink, if you were wondering. These three are the trinity of Tiki. There are many more but this is the holy three. You will find these secret elixirs from the past are amazingly delicious.
Try our other amazing Tiki and Tropical cocktails: