Easy Tiki

$ 18.99

So much of tiki’s identity hinges on the appearance of extravagance. The very foundation of the genre is, after all, the willful complication of a simple punch recipe. But difficulty is by no means a prerequisite, and the aim of this book is to offer an approach to making tiki cocktails that feels accessible but not dumbed down.

“There’s no definition in the dictionary that says tiki has to be complicated,” says Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, tiki author, historian, and bar owner. “There are so many arbitrary things that people say define tiki: it has to have crushed ice in it, and it has to have twelve ingredients. . . . Does it really?”

When Berry opened Latitude 29 in 2014 in New Orleans’s French Quarter, it opened his eyes to the importance of simplification. Prior to owning his own bar, his objective had largely been to rescue extinct recipes and re-create them in their truest historic form even if it meant dipping into an $80 bottle of rum for a drink that took half an hour to build. Now there are other considerations to keep in mind. “There are three layers,” he explains. “The first layer is always ‘How do I make the best possible drink?’ The next layer is ‘in the least amount of time.’ And the third layer is ‘for the least amount of money’—because you’ve got to stay in business.”

To this end, Berry takes the famous Don the Beachcomber ethos “What one rum can’t do, three rums can” and flips it on its head, seeking out exceptional bottles of rum that can do the work of three. To maximize returns on the least amount of effort, the same considerations went into sourcing the recipes for Easy Tiki.

Across the sixty cocktail recipes within these pages—twenty classic and forty modern—ingredients clock in at six or fewer. What’s more, house-made syrups are kept to a minimum and are standardized across the board (so there’s no need to make one version of cinnamon syrup for one recipe and another version for the next), and most require little to no cooking. For the recipes that reinterpret classics that originally comprised more than six ingredients, I worked with top bartenders to capture the drinks’ essence in a home-bartender-friendly manner.