Thursday, May 12, 2016

Mari Koriko

Mari Koriko

Check it out, guys - I've gone full Tiki!

I've mentioned before how intimidated I am by Tiki cocktails, primarily because of how many different rums seem to find their way into a single cocktail. As anyone who reads this blog knows, my budget isn't unlimited, and I'm frequently guilty of substituting ingredients - Scotch for Japanese whiskey, dry vermouth for blanc, triple sec for Cointreau, etc. I would absolutely love to buy five or six different bottles of rum, but it's hard to justify. That said, I do love Tiki cocktails. They're fun, they're utterly drinkable, and they don't take themselves too seriously. And who doesn't love a fun cup and an elaborate garnish? So I hope to slowly ease myself into Tiki with some simpler recipes that use what I've already got in my bar. And in that spirit, I had to buy a Tiki mug. Check out this goofy guy I got from the Boston Shaker!

If you want some great Tiki recipes, check out Fred Yarm's blog Cocktail Virgin Slut. It's great for cocktails of all sorts, but the Tiki glassware and garnishes always catch my eye. It was here that I found the Mari Koriko, a Tiki cocktail that it seemed I could actually make. Dark rum, pineapple juice, Cherry Heering, Falernum, and lime. I know Cherry Heering and Falernum aren't things most people have in their bar, but it just so happens that I have both, and I'd say they're solid investments for your bar as well. Technically the recipe calls for Zacapa rum, an aged Guatemalan rum, but Fred used Gosling's, so that's good enough for me.

As you can maybe guess from the ingredients, the Mari Koriko is fruity and delicious. The dark rum is flavorful enough that it doesn't get swamped out by the other ingredients. I love the Cherry Heering, which gives it a beautiful, rich cherry flavor and, along with the Falernum, a hint of spice.

History: This cocktail comes from Sean Dumke at Knee High Stocking Co. in Seattle via Fred Yarm. There's a fantastic story behind its name. The word Tiki, it turns out, comes from the mythology of the Maori, the native people of New Zealand. In their tradition, Tiki was the first man. And Marikoriko was his wife, the first woman. They're basically the Maori version of Adam and Eve.

I think one reason I was particularly surprised by this is because I associate Tiki cocktails with Polynesia (a kitschy and Americanized version of it, but still), and I never thought of New Zealand as part of Polynesia. But it turns out that it is, both ethnically and geologically.

There's so much you can learn from cocktails!

Mari Koriko

1 1/2 oz. dark rum (Zacapa or Gosling's recommended)
3/4 oz. pineapple juice
1/2 oz. Cherry Heering
1/2 oz. Falernum (I used John D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum)
1/2 oz. lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass or an appropriately kitschy Tiki glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wheel and a cherry, or whatever else you can think of.

Recipe from Cocktail Virgin Slut.

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