You've probably seen a Jungle Bird or a Yellow Bird…
The Aku Aku is a refreshing cocktail that is a favorite for many tiki-lovers. Usually blended, the drink combines rum, peach, pineapple, lime and mint. It’s cold and goes down very easily, especially on a hot day. We don’t always want to get out the blender, however, so we often make aku drinks with the help of a muddle instead. This Cucumber Aku Aku requires no blender and offers a slight twist on the original recipe – a twist that makes it even more refreshing, if you can believe it!
We’ve seen lots of cocktails at craft bars and restaurants that combine cucumber and mint, often with gin. Cucumber always lends a nice element to a drink because it adds a flavor that is neither sweet nor acidic, but uniquely refreshing. Here, chunks of cucumber are muddled with mint and fresh (or canned) pineapple, then combined with the white rum, peach liqueur and lime juice used in a traditional Aku Aku. We do recommend that you double-strain the drink to get any particles of fruit and vegetable out of it as you transfer it to your glass. As tasty as cucumber is, it has a tendency to make a drink feel thicker than it should if you don’t strain it carefully.
The resulting cocktail is light and flavorful, but not overly sweet. Though there is a generous pour of rum in the mix, it goes down very easily. Very easily. Consider yourself warned – and enjoy!
Cucumber Aku Aku
2 oz white rum (we used Cana Brava)
1/2 oz peach liqueur
1 oz lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
4 1-inch chunks pineapple
4 slices cucumber
8-10 mint leaves
palm fronds and cucumber slices, for garnish
In a shaker, muddle mint, cucumber and pineapple with simple syrup. Add all remaining ingredients, then fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously until cold. Double strain into a large rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with cucumber slices and palm fronds.