If you skipped CL’s HighBall last week, you missed many of the Bay area’s best bartenders showing off their skills with fine local spirits. One booze in particular wasn't part of the cocktail competition, but it did stand out on its own. I mean, literally, samples were served from a booth off to the side of the main room — straight or with a splash of pineapple juice. Nothing fancy, because it didn’t need to be.
Those in attendance probably know the spirit I’m referencing: Drum Circle Distilling’s Siesta Key Toasted Coconut Rum. That table was the first I returned to for seconds. Coconut rum is so widely popular that it makes you wonder why the bigger brands haven’t thought of doing a toasted variation. Luckily for us, Drum Circle in Sarasota has. And while we’re on the subject of familiar brands: Forget what you know about those coconut rums — Siesta Key is nothing like them. Notes of vanilla, toasted coconut, cream and a slight sweetness make for a more complex flavor profile than the straightforward versions offer.
I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the rum for my home bar; before I even left the event I was brainstorming ingredients that would pair well with a bottle (or four). But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was describing the formula for a classic Painkiller. Picture all the flavors you would normally associate with a beach drink and throw them together in a glass. The resulting mashup is magical.
This week’s cocktail is similar to the original recipe, only the toasted coconut rum adds that extra layer of flavor. Call it a placebo effect if you’d like, but a Painkiller and a waterside view does seem to cure what ails you — even if it’s only temporary.
Toasted Coconut Painkiller
2 ounces Siesta Key Toasted Coconut Rum
4 ounces pineapple juice
1 ounce orange juice
1 ounce cream of coconut
Whole nutmeg (optional)
Pineapple ring, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add rum, pineapple and orange juices, and cream of coconut. Shake until chilled. Strain cocktail into a hurricane glass filled with ice. Grate nutmeg over the top and garnish with a pineapple ring.
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