It looks like it’s a tropical drink weekend around here. This one comes, at least indirectly, from Jeff “Beachbum” Berry once again, by way of the Tiki Central forums. As Berry relates it in Beachbum Berry Remixed (another essential volume for anyone wishing to explore the true nature of tropical drinks), this is the brainchild of a guy named Ran Mosessco, and it won the Tiki Central Drink Contest in 2003.
I would suggest there are two kinds of tropical drinks: those where you can taste the alcohol, and those where you can’t. For many of us, we probably think of the latter when the topic of tropical drinks comes up – big, sweet, fruity concoctions with miles of garnish in oversized glasses. And indeed, once the golden age of tropical drinks fell by the wayside, it was into this category that most tropical drinks devolved, at least until the Tiki revival got underway in the late 1990s.
My broader point here is that those drinks in which you can taste the alcohol are the superior breed. And, by and large, the recipes that Berry has revived and rescued from obscurity fall into this category.
The Reverb Crash (sorry, Mosessco, but it’s a terrible name for a drink), however, does not.
4 oz. grapefruit juice (fresh-squeezed, as all your citrus juices always are)
3/4 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. orgeat syrup*
1 1/2 oz. passion fruit syrup
1 1/4 oz. white rum (Cruzan works well)
1 1/4 oz. dark rum (Meyer’s works well)
Shake with ice, strain into a Tiki mug, garnish with a mint spring (or, if you’re like me, a maraschino cherry)
The result tastes mostly like grapefruit juice and passion fruit syrup. The orgeat lends a little je ne sais quoi, and the lime lends a nice little sour touch. The rums are lost in a sea of juices and syrups. And, for once, that’s ok. Yes, it’s sweet. Yes, it’s fruity. And above all, yes it’s delicious! “That,” said guest taster Ian, “is delicious.” Told you. Good grief! I could drink these things all day. While I would normally suggest you steer clear of such drinks, this one is the exception that proves the rule. Five livers. Seriously. Just a stunningly good beverage. And for the kiddos, just leave out the rum. They’ll like it.
*Orgeat syrup is a spiced almond syrup essential for anyone planning to try their hand at tropical drinks. Torani or Monin are the easiest to find (as is the case with passion fruit syrup as well), and both have served me just fine for years, although some might suggest you make your own. I’m just not that DIY, but if you are, go for it.