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Oh, so you’re *not* swinging in a hammock on a ridiculously postcard-perfect beach right now? Never fear—tiki drinks are here to make it feel like you are. Sample enough of these most iconic ones, and you might even start seeing Polynesian mermaids. (Or a dolphin or two at the very least.)
1. Mai Tai
When the word “tiki” comes up in conversation (which should really happen far more often than it typically does), this magical concoction of rum, Curacao, orgeat syrup, and lime juice is likely the first beverage that dances into your head. And the origin of this staple of Polynesianness depends on who you ask—some say the creator was Donn Beach (a.k.a. the “father of tiki”) and others swear it was Victor Bergeron (of Trader Vic’s fame). Apparently only the island gods know for sure.
2. Rum Swizzle
First dreamt up in points unknown somewhere in the Caribbean, the Rum Swizzle eventually became the unofficial national drink of Bermuda. Made up of black and gold rums, orange and pineapple juices, grenadine, and bitters, this sunset-colored drink is just about as island-y as you can get without laying directly on a sand dune.
3. Planter’s Punch
Why consume a measly single type of rum when you could be sucking down four? Concocted with dark, white, spiced, and aged rums when in its purest form, this sure-to-get-any-party-started cocktail has been fuzzying-up memories in the Caribbean for more than a century.
4. Fog Cutter
When “Trader Vic” Bergeron invented this now-classic, he clearly felt that rum shouldn’t be the only booze having all the tiki fun. That’s why you’ll taste the rather unexpected sherry and brandy in this one—alongside the requisite rum and citrus juices, because obviously.
Legend has it that this hella-strong beverage first unleashed by Donn Beach in the ‘30s was given its name after witnessing the mental state of an unsuspecting imbiber who’d just downed three of them. Considering the drink is basically four different rums with a splash of a couple fruit juices (think pineapple and papaya), it’s no wonder that there’s typically a strict two-per-customer limit enforced.
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