Trader Joe's Rum of the Gods has a great name…
We love rum, but it’s not the only spirit in our bar – not by a long shot. There are plenty of tiki cocktails that use gin, whiskey and other spirits as a base, and there are many tiki cocktails that can have new life breathed into them by mixing things up with new spirits. The Tradewinds is a refreshing summer drink – a drink with plenty of tiki flavor – that is made with gin.
The cocktail is reminiscent of a mai tai, but made with gin. This drink is so simple to make and uses just four ingredients: gin, Velvet Falernum, orgeat and lime juice. The falernut and orgeat add some of those classic tiki flavors – such as allspice, almond and orange blossom – while the lime gives it a bright citrus finish. Since the ingredient list is short, we recommend using our favorite orgeat, Giffard, for the best results. It brings a creamy sweetness and a lovely floral flavor to the other ingredients. If you don’t have Giffard, add in a drop or two of orange flower water to give the drink a bit more complexity.
If you like gin – like us – you’re going to love this cocktail. Even if you’re not a big gin drinker, we would encourage you to give it a try because the gin is not overwhelming. The key to the cocktail is to use an herbacious, modern-style gin, such as Hendricks or the Botanist, rather than a London-Dry style gin that is likely to overwhelm the other ingredients. If you are stuck with a London dry (and there is nothing wrong with it in other drinks), you may want to play around with the ratios and up the falernum and orgeat to bring their flavors forward more. The cocktail, simple as it is, is fantastically refreshing.
1 1/2 oz gin (such as Hendrick’s)
3/4 oz Velvet Falernum
1/4 oz orgeat
1/2 oz lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker, fill with ice and shake vigorously until very cold. Strain into a Poco Grande (or similar) glass filled with crushed ice and serve.