The Tropical Itch is a cocktail that was first poured…
Over at Baking Bites, I made a Candy Corn Simple Syrup out of real candy corn. Candy corn may be corn kernel-shaped, but they are made almost entirely of sugar and can easily be liquefied into a form that is more interesting than the candies are by themselves. Candy corn are also flavored with a touch of both honey and vanilla – at least, high quality brands like Brach’s are – so I added a touch of those to the syrup to boost their flavor. The syrup gave me a delicious and colorful ingredient for mixing drinks, especially when it comes to making drinks for Halloween.
I’m calling this one the Candy Corn Swizzle because the layered look of the cocktail is inspired entirely by candy corn – and, of course, it uses candy corn syrup as the base of the drink. It tastes a bit like candy corn, as well, if you can imagine what a candy corn produced in the Caribbean by tiki-lovers might taste like. The yellow layer is a blend of white Martinique rum, with splashes of Domaine de Canton, triple sec and fresh lemon juice. It has a great earthy, vegetal quality that keeps it from tasting too sweet. The sweetness in this drink comes from that orange syrup, after all. When mixed, the pineapple layer and the honey/candy corn layer blend seamlessly to create a drink that has a velvety texture, a distinctly sweet honey note and a complex funkiness from the rum. The finish is smooth, but has so many subtle flavors going on that you’ll come back for a second taste almost immediately.
The drink is perfect for Halloween parties because it both looks and tastes the part of a perfect Halloween Tiki drink. I’ve made this a couple of different ways now and find that it is also very good with a float of overproof rum, especially if you’re looking for a drink with a little more of a kick, but the dark rum looks better and always plays well with pineapple. Don’t forget to instruct anyone you serve this drink to to swizzle or stir it well before sipping, since those layers are all meant to be tasted together, not separately!!
Candy Corn Swizzle
1 1/2 oz Candy Corn Syrup (or honey syrup, orange coloring added)
4 oz pineapple juice
1/4 oz ginger liqueur
1/4 oz triple sec
1/4 oz lemon juice
1 1/2 oz white Martinique rum
1/2 oz dark Jamaican rum
Add a handful of crushed ice to a hurricane glass. Pour in Candy Corn Syrup.
In a mixing glass, stir together pineapple juice, white rum, ginger liqueur, triple sec and lemon juice. Fill the rest of the hurricane glass with ice and pour pineapple mixture in. Top with a float of dark rum.
Serve with a large straw (and perhaps some candy corn) and swizzle/stir to combine the layers before drinking.