As much as we like El Dorado Special Reserve 15…
When you think of herbs and tiki drinks, you immediately think of fresh mint. Mint is not only a regular ingredient in tiki cocktails, but it is a standard garnish for all kinds of recipes, including a classic Mai Tai. As tasty as mint is, it isn’t the only herb from your garden that can make an impact in a tiki drink, as we’ve discovered from playing around with a more diverse selection of herbs (though mint is still right up there, of course!). We made a homemade thyme syrup for this cocktail. We actually use thyme syrup more regularly in gin based cocktails, where its herbacious sweetness really blends seamlessly with some of our favorite gins, but it can be just as delicious in a rum drink.
The thyme syrup is combined with lime juice, pineapple juice, apricot liqueur and white rum. We chose spicy Banks 5 white rum for this particular cocktail and the results were phenomenal. Rhum agricole also might make an interesting variation if you want to play around with it here. The cocktail is refreshing and has just the right touch of herbaceous sweetness, along with all the familiar elements that make it unmistakably tiki.
2 oz white rum (recommend Banks 5)
1/2 oz apricot liqueur
1 oz lime juice
1 oz pineapple juice
3/4 oz thyme syrup*
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously until well-chilled, then strain into a highball filled with crushed ice. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.
*Thyme Syrup: Combine 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water in a saucepan. Add handful of fresh thyme sprigs (approx 10-12 four inch long pieces of thyme). Bring to a simmer for 1 minute, then let stand until syrup reaches room temperature. Thyme can be removed from the syrup or steeped overnight for extra flavor.