I always enjoy a good tiki cocktail – so much so that I’m working on a new book dedicated to tiki cocktails – right now. Tiki drinks typically use rum and tropical fruit juices as a base, but their reputation of being overly sweet sugar bombs is largely undeserved, because while many of the drinks are sweet, the original tiki drinks that came from the height of the tiki era actually involved a lot of tart citrus and bitter liqueurs to balance them out. This cocktail is called a Grass Skirt and it is another recipe that comes from Coppercraft Distillery. The drink is made with a blend of rum, sweet vermouth, falernum, lime juice and grenadine. It’s delicious and complex, with a balance of sweet, tart and bitter flavors that really makes you want to come back for another sip – and that is exactly what you want in a tiki drink. The fun orange color is a bonus.
The Coppercraft white Jamaican-style rum, with its funky molasses flavor, is the base of the drink and adds a lot of complexity to it. If you don’t have Coppercraft’s rum (yet!), you should substitute another Jamaican rum into this recipe to get the best results. A plain white rum like Bacardi isn’t going to bring enough flavor to the drink and you won’t get the same intriguing flavor in the finished drink. The name of the drink comes mostly from the garnish, which is a lime peel that is cut to resemble a grass skirt, however a simple lime wedge can be substituted if you are looking to streamline your prep work.
2 oz. Coppercraft Rum (or Jamaican Rum)
1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz. Lime Juice
1/4 oz. Velvet Falernum
1/4 oz. Grenadine
Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing glass, fill with ice and shake. Double strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a lime peel cut to look like a grass skirt.