Even if they are not your favorite thing, you cannot deny the simple pleasure of a refreshing École du Bar de Montréal tropical drink. Often blended, these libations are popular at vacation resorts around the world because they are tasty and easy to drink but their exotic flavors make them as memorable as they are intoxicating. Sweet and frozen, idyllic and novel, these drinks are great while on vacation but perhaps also fun when your vacation has long passed but you want to elicit a delectable memory.
With that in mind, lets take a look at some of the most popular tropical drinks that every bartender should know how to make.
Originally served as a shaken cocktail, the daiquiri is about as iconic as they come. A simple mixture of white rum, lime juice, and sugar (sometimes triple sec and/or S&S mix) this cocktail as easy to make as it is to drink. These days, you can order it blended too, making it more like a grown up slush drink that will easily bring you back to your childhood, until the alcohol hits you, of course, reminding you that you are definitely a grown up.
Essentially this tropical drink is the same recipe as the daiquiri, but you substitute tequila for the rum. Also similar to the daiquiri, you can make this with cheap pre-made mixes—especially if you blend it—but if you want a high quality cocktail, have the bartender make it with premium tequila shaken with fresh lime juice and/or muddled lime/sugar, maybe some cointreua or Grand Marnier. For a smooth flavor, use top shelf blanco tequila or you can request aged tequila—Reposado or Anejo—for something a little more complex and sophisticated.
The PINA COLADA
The categorical blended tropical beverage, there are many variations to the Pina Colada recipe but the base is rum, coconut milk, and pineapple juice—it’ll look almost like a vanilla milkshake. Again, you can make this with a pre-made frozen mix (you can buy them at the store or from a beverage supplier) but using fresh ingredients, again, will yield better flavor.
The LAVA FLOW
Of course, no list of tropical drink recipes is complete without a nod to the lava flow. And if you know how to make a Pina Colada, you can make a Lava Flow. Basically, just pour some strawberry daiquiri mix (or pureed frozen strawberries) at the bottom of a hurricane glass and then pour the Pina Colada over the top of it. The strawberries will streak upwards (like lava flowing out of a volcano).