The PDT Project: Beachbum
Although summer doesn't technically end until the autumn equinox on September 21, New Yorkers generally regard Labor Day as the unofficial end of summer. This week's cocktail, the Beachbum, is thus quite appropriate because I can't think of a better way to bid adieu to beach season than with this tikified tipple.
John Deragon, who still tends the bar at PDT a couple nights a week, created this drink during the speakeasy's early days, as a tribute to Jeff "Beachbum" Berry. For the uninitiated, Jeff Berry's books have almost singlehandedly resurrected tiki bar culture in this country. Painkiller, Lani Kai, Forbidden Island, Smuggler's Cove, and other quality tiki bars across the country practically owe their existence to Mr. Berry's research. In short, Jeff "Beachbum" Berry is to tiki drinks what David Wondrich is to punch and pre-Prohibition cocktails.
1 oz. Mount Gay Eclipse Amber Rum
1 oz. Flor de Cana Silver Dry Rum
1 oz. pineapple juice (fresh or don't even bother)
0.75 oz. lime juice (ditto)
0.5 oz. Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot
0.5 oz. Kassatly Chtaura orgeat
Orange-cherry flag and umbrella, as garnish
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: tiki mug
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice-filled tiki mug. Garnish with an orange-cherry flag and umbrella.
The Beachbum is everything you'd expect from a tiki drink: multiple spirits, multiple fresh juices, and multiple liqueurs and syrups that provide layers of refreshing flavor and complexity. The pineapple and lime juices provide the tropical backbone and necessary acidity while the apricot liqueur and orgeat provide balancing sweetness and underlying stone fruit flavors.
If you plan on throwing a summer send-off party this weekend, I nominate the Beachbum as the drink to serve your guests. It lends itself easily to large format batching so that instead of measuring the ingredients for each drink separately, you can simply make a large batch of the drink in a pitcher or carafe. From there you can shake individual drinks for guests, or better yet set out a bunch of shakers and ice and have guests shake for themselves--I've found people really enjoy getting in on the action. Prep your garnishes in advance and you'll be all set, so that the only thing sweating will be your tiki mug.
*This post is part of a series in which Payman takes on the task of making and writing about every cocktail featured in the PDT Cocktail Book, as well as providing an awesome photo of each drink taken by Vanessa Bahmani Photography.
**Got a question? He can be found on twitter @paystyle, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply drop him a comment below.