The Bali Bali was an offering unique to the Bali Ha’i in New Orleans, the Crescent City’s premier Tiki bar during the heyday of such things, the 1950s and 1960s. (Jeff Berry will be bringing Tiki back to the city soon in a big way – might be time for a road trip soon!) A lot of Tiki drinks have fairly complex recipes, or at least lengthy lists of ingredients, but few go as far as the Bali Bali – 10 ingredients. That’s crazy talk.
1 ounce lime juice (fresh-squeezed as always)
1 ounce orange juice (ditto)
1 ounce unsweetened pineapple juice
1 ounce dark Jamaican rum (Meyer’s)
1 ounce light Virgin Islands rum (any decent white rum should do)
1 ounce gin
1 ounce Cognac
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce falernum
1/2 ounce passion fruit syrup
Shake well with plenty of ice, and pour, unstrained, into a tall glass.
I garnished with a cherry, as I am wont to do.
It’s a long row to hoe, but well worth it, as the Bali Bali is a pretty fantastic beverage. A good tart-sweet balance, and lots of kick without being at all too strong. I had considered using the Tanqueray Malacca here, given its fruitier notes compared to standard London Dry gin, and wish I had, because I think it would have been just a touch better, with the gin blending a tad more with the rest of the drink. I’ll try it that way next time, because this is going to be a regular. It’s fantastic. Five livers. Local character Guy McClellan called it “one of the best drinks you’ve ever made for me.” And there have been at least ten.