A Few of the Best Tropical Drink Recipes
Advertisement
CHECK OUT WHO'LL BE JOINING US FOR OUR NEXT ETHEL EMPOWER HOUR ON WED., SEPT. 29 FROM 7 PM ET TO 8 PM ET!!
Oh no!
It looks like you aren't logged in to the Ethel community. Log in to get the best user experience, save your favorite articles and quotes, and follow our authors.
Don't have an Online Account? Click Here
Subscribe
Lifestyle

Bring the Tropics to Your Backyard With These Cool Drinks

You're going to love these recipes.

Tropical Cocktails For Your Backyard
Emily Hawkes (Prop Stylist: Helen Quinn; Food Stylist: Molly Morrow Corrigan)

Growing up in an oceanside community, we spent most of our summers at the pool or picnicking at the beach. My mother would crack open coconuts from our trees and serve us the sweet milk mixed with fresh pineapple juice (a mock piña colada) to enjoy in the sweltering heat. I've been hooked on tropical beverages ever since and, as an adult, have spent many years experimenting with exotic concoctions that mimic my favorite fruit drinks from restaurant menus.

When the world went into lockdown, I especially missed dining out at one place in particular — a Polynesian restaurant serving specialty drinks that transported me to the islands with each sip.

After seeing so many people posting "staycation" ideas on social media during the pandemic, it occurred to me that I could bring the same sense of Polynesia to my own home. I bought a few outdoor patio furniture pieces, hung a strand of cafe lights for the trees, and added island music to my playlist. The only thing missing from my backyard oasis was the refreshing beverages from my favorite Polynesian restaurant. I researched tropical drinks and created my own embellished recipes. Most call for island rums, though I also incorporated nonalcoholic versions. The great thing about these recipes is that you can switch up the ingredients by adding different spices, and juices to make them more sweet or sour, depending on your preferences.

So, enjoy these cooling beverages and imagine you are transported to the tropics in your own backyard. Each recipe makes two drinks, but you can also make these drinks for a large party by adjusting the amounts of ingredients. Cheers!

Each recipe makes 2 drinks.

Tropical Cocktails For Your Backyard - Mai Tai
Photography by Emily Hawkes (Prop Stylist: Helen Quinn; Food Stylist: Molly Morrow Corrigan)

MAI TAI

2 oz. light rum

1 oz. orange curacao

1 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice

2 oz. pineapple juice

1 oz. orange juice

1 oz. orgeat (almond syrup)

Dash grenadine

1 oz. dark rum (for floater)

Mix the first seven ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Pour into a double old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Top off with the dark rum. Garnish with a lime wheel and a sprig of fresh mint.

For a virgin Mai Tai, use 1 oz. lime juice, 2 oz. pineapple juice, 4 oz. orange juice, a dash of grenadine and 1/2 oz. orgeat. Mix and pour the same way as the original recipe.

Tropical Cocktails For Your Backyard - Blue Hawaiian
Photography by Emily Hawkes (Prop Stylist: Helen Quinn; Food Stylist: Molly Morrow Corrigan)

BLUE HAWAIIAN

Not to be confused with the Blue Hawaii cocktail, which is usually made with vodka. This recipe is like a classic piña colada with the addition of blue curacao.

3 oz. light rum

1 1/2 oz. blue curacao

1 1/2 oz. cream of coconut

1 oz. fresh lime juice

4 oz. pineapple juice

Mix all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Pour into a hurricane glass filled with ice and garnish with a speared pineapple wedge and maraschino cherry.

To make a nonalcoholic Blue Hawaiian, use the same amounts of juices and cream of coconut, then add a dash of club soda and a splash of unsweetened blue Kool-Aid to mimic the blue curacao. Mix well and serve.

Tropical Cocktails For Your Backyard - Planters Punch
Photography by Emily Hawkes (Prop Stylist: Helen Quinn; Food Stylist: Molly Morrow Corrigan)

PLANTER'S PUNCH

3 oz. dark rum

2 oz. light rum

1 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice

2 tsp. grenadine

4 dashes angostura bitters

2 splashes soda water

A pinch of allspice

Mix all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain and pour into a collins glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and maraschino cherry.

For a mock Planter's Punch, mix 6 oz. pineapple juice, 6 oz. orange juice, 4 oz. lemon juice, 2 oz. grenadine and a pinch of allspice. Serve over crushed ice.

Tropical Cocktails For Your Backyard - Navy Grog
Photography by Emily Hawkes (Prop Stylist: Helen Quinn; Food Stylist: Molly Morrow Corrigan)

NAVY GROG

2 oz. light rum

2 oz. dark rum

2 oz. demerara rum

1 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice

1 1/2 oz. white grapefruit juice

4 oz. club soda

2 oz. honey mix (1 oz honey mixed well with 1 oz. water)

Dash allspice.

Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour into a double old-fashioned glass or highball filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wheel and a sprig of mint.

For a spirit-free Navy Grog, mix 1 oz. lime juice, 1oz. grapefruit juice, 1 oz. pineapple juice, 1oz. orange juice, 1 oz. orgeat, 1 oz club soda and a dash of allspice. Garnish the same as the regular recipe.

Tropical Cocktails For Your Backyard - Goombay Smash
Photography by Emily Hawkes (Prop Stylist: Helen Quinn; Food Stylist: Molly Morrow Corrigan)

GOOMBAY SMASH 

Although this is a Bahamian favorite, it is often seen on the menus of South Pacific-inspired restaurants.

2 oz. gold rum

2 oz. coconut rum

1 oz. dark rum

1 oz. apricot brandy

4 oz. pineapple juice

4 oz. orange juice

Pinch nutmeg

Pinch cinnamon

Mix all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Pour into a highball glass filled with plenty of ice. Garnish with a speared orange wedge and maraschino cherry.

For a nonalcoholic version of the Goombay Smash, mix 4 oz. pineapple juice, 4 oz. orange juice, 4 oz. mango juice (or passion fruit juice), 2 oz. coconut cream and a dash each of nutmeg and cinnamon.


Marcia Kester Doyle is the author of Who Stole My Spandex? Life In The Hot Flash Lane and the voice behind the midlife blog, Menopausal Mother. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, Country Living, and many others. You can find her at http://wwwmarciakesterdoyle.com

Editor's Picks
And how every earring somehow changed me.
, September 13, 2021
When alcohol consumption becomes a problem.
, September 13, 2021