Island Hopper

Island Hopper
When you need to take a short flight between islands – whether you’re in Hawaii, the South Pacific or the Caribbean – you jump aboard a small plane or helicopter known as an island hopper. These light aircraft are designed for short flights, but every place they stop is generally a place where you’ll be able to find pristine beaches and, with a little luck, some amazing rum and tropical drinks. Our Island Hopper is a fun cocktail full of tropical fruit flavors that will temporarily transport you to somewhere a little more exotic. It’s fruity, but not overly sweet, and uses a blend of lemon, passion fruit and pineapple juices that come together seamlessly.

We sweetened this cocktail with a brown sugar syrup, made with dark brown sugar in place of standard white sugar. The brown sugar has a distinct molasses note that brings some extra flavor to the cocktail. Molasses and pineapple is always a good combination, so adding just a hint of it really enhances the flavor of the fresh pineapple juice. That molasses note also complements the rum in the drink. For this particular round, we used Plantation 5 year aged Barbados rum, but a Jamaican rum that has a bit of funkiness and additional tropical fruit notes, such as Appleton X/V or 12 year, is also an excellent choice. Since you want the drink to be fruity, don’t go too heavy on the rum or you’ll start to lose some of the floral notes from the passion fruit.

Island Hopper
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz passion fruit puree
1/4 oz brown sugar syrup
1/4 oz pineapple rum
1 oz pineapple juice
1 1/2 oz aged Barbados or Jamaican rum (such as Plantation 5 yr)

Combine all ingredients in a shaker, fill with ice and shake vigorously until well-chilled. Strain into a tall glass with crushed ice. Garnish with a few pineapple fronds (and a plane ticket to somewhere exotic).

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