Saturday, January 19, 2019

What's Jayme drinking?

As work has progressed on my tiki bar, the Lagoon of Mystery, I've been giving more thought toward the eventual cocktail menu of late. After hosting a number of events this past year, I realized I needed to include a selection of nonalcoholic mocktails for those who, for whatever reason, aren't imbibing. For a home tiki bar, a can of Sprite just won't cut it when everyone else is enjoying elaborately garnished rum rhapsodies. So I set about creating some original mocktails. This is the first:

By Jayme Blaschke
2 oz. Coconut milk
0.5 oz. Ceylon cinnamon syrup
0.5 oz. Orgeat
0.5 oz. Lemon juice
0.5 oz. Passion fruit juice
1 tsp. Powdered 100% cocoa
0.5 oz. Egg white

Combine coconut milk, cinnamon syrup, passion fruit juice, orgeat and cocoa in shaker with half a cup of crushed ice (don't overdo the ice—remember there's no alcohol to induce melting). Shake vigorously to combine. Strain to remove ice, add egg white and reverse dry shake to build a good froth. Serve in a chilled coupe, garnish with shaved cacao.

It's no secret most mocktail recipes default to an overly-sweet mix of juices and sodas. I wanted to avoid that, but still craft something that was recognizably tiki in its ingredients whilst simultaneously sporting a complexity of flavor and elegant presentation. Early on, I knew I wanted to make this one a flip. I've made a few flips before, and the foamy drinks have always gone over well and impressed guests. I also wanted to use coconut milk, which is readily available and versatile, yet under-used as an ingredient in cocktails in general. The idea of chocolate coconut milk suggested itself. I couldn't use any chocolate liqueurs for a mocktail, and I knew any syrup would make the drink way too sweet, so I went with Hershey's Special Dark powder, a 100% unsweetened blend of natural and Dutch process cacao. This added the chocolate flavor I wanted with a hint of bitterness without introducing additional sugar. The homemade cinnamon syrup is based on Martin Cate's recipe from the book Smuggler's Cove, although I prefer Ceylon cinnamon for its more delicate, floral flavor. Orgeat syrup is another tiki staple I knew would play well with the coconut and cinnamon (I used B.G. Raynolds), and I added passion fruit juice to bring a little brightness and just a touch of acidity to the drink (Sunberry Farms' passion fruit is what I used--it's technically a cocktail with white grape juice, but it's the only commercial brand I've found where passion fruit is the primary ingredient. It tastes authentic). Finally, I grated a bar of 100 percent cacao (baking chocolate, they call it) for the shavings used as a garnish.

The result is a non-alcoholic beverage that has a decadent, luxurious mouthfeel and multiple layers of flavor that play off of one another. It is a sweet drink, but not cloyingly so. I wanted something that would lend itself to a slow sipping experience, and I like to think this does just that. 

As for the name, unless online translators have lied to me, Kokoleka Wai Niu roughly means "Chocolate coconut juice" in Hawaiian. That's as perfect a tiki cocktail name as I've ever heard. Drink up!

All photography by Secrets By Miss Lisa.

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