Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hu Hu Halakahiki

320 Main's Hu Hu Halakahiki

Tiki drinks are those lovely, tropical libations that make us think of the South Pacific and lying around on a beach – keeping cool while being cool.

Tiki has been with us for quite some time. Roughly stated, it was first created as a movement by Don The Beachcomber in the 1930s, improved upon by Trader Vic Bergeron, and then quickly spread across the US and – eventually – the world like wildfire as everyone bought flowered shirts and Tiki Torches for their home barbecues. Kitschy and fun, Tiki was accessible and helped Americans forget about things like the Cold War or even just having to drive to work on Mondays.

As all good things do, Tiki's heyday came to an end somewhere in the 1960s or 1970s as vodka pushed out the rum-soaked concoctions to make way for stark, simple, and significantly less flavorful beverages. Many Tiki palaces shuttered their windows and chained their doors. Others, like the Tiki Ti in Hollywood and the Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale, managed to persevere through much bleaker times for faux polynesian faire.

At the turn of the 21st Century the new-found interest classic cocktails from the 19th Century started to change the way a lot of bartenders and bar attenders thought about drinks. People became very serious about their drinks and they began to return to forgotten ingredients like rye whiskey and mezcal. Still, Tiki languished as “that foofoo stuff with umbrellas and too much grenadine.”

Thanks to the efforts of cocktail historians like Jeff “Beachbum” Berry (yes, Cocktail Historian, there's a job your guidance counselor never told you about), Tiki began the slow trek back to prominence. Cocktail nerds were looking for the new old thing that no one was doing and there was a general sense that some silliness and fun might not be bad for the cocktail world. Soon, Tiki started to make its comeback, taking center stage in some of the world's best bars, like Smuggler's Cove in San Francisco.

320 Main is no Tiki bar – but that doesn't mean that we don't like to have a little fun here and there. Drawing inspiration from the Tiki drinks of yore and making the ideas our own, we crafted the Hu Hu Halakahiki.

Hu Hu Halakahiki
1.5 oz Jalapeño-infused Tequila
.5 oz Mezcal
.75 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Pineapple Shrubb*

Shake with crushed ice and pour into a chilled Old Fashioned Glass. Garnish with jalapeño and candied pineapple.

Keeping in line with Tiki traditions, this drink has a Polynesian name. The name actually means “Angry Pineapple,” which with the spicy notes from the jalapeño anyone will agree is a very apt name.

Our pineapple shrubb is made by muddling pineapples, lime peels, and sugar and then combining the mixture with apple cider vinegar. The shrubb gives the drink a tangy, sweet, pineapply (that's a word, right?) taste to combat the heat from the infused tequila – though sometimes you'll want to fight the flames by having a second Hu Hu Halakahiki with some Baby-back Ribs.

Matt “RumDood” Robold is a bartender at 320 Main and, in his spare runs RumDood.com, where he writes about rum, rum cocktails, and rum history.

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