Take leave of the heat with this Tiki refresher
It’s still hot in our part of the Northern Hemisphere. But this weekend we celebrate Labor Day in the US, which signals the end of summer. And that calls for a tall, cool drink.
Our friends down under are just moving into their warm season. Why not welcome it with one of these?
We can’t change the weather. But we can drink to it.
Recipe: The Paradise Cooler Cocktail
The Paradise Cooler was the house drink at the Denver Hilton Hotel circa 1960.
That was during the height of the Tiki craze, when Polynesian-themed restaurants and bars were popping up all over the US. Most of them served similar drinks – the Mai Tai and the Zombie, for example. But many places also developed their own signature drinks, like this one.
We learned about the Paradise Cooler from Tiki expert Beachbum Berry.
This drink takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and serves 1.
- 1 ounce light rum
- ½ ounce Cherry Heering
- 1 ounce orange juice (fresh-squeezed is best, but bottled will work)
- ½ ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
- ½ ounce falernum
- garnish of a mint sprig, orange wheel, apple slice, or maraschino cherry (optional; see Notes)
- Combine all ingredients (except garnish) in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice. Shake until the contents are well chilled – about 20 seconds.
- Strain the mixture into a tall glass (8 to 10 ounces is ideal) filled with ice cubes or crushed ice. Garnish, if you wish, and serve.
- If you prefer, you can shake this drink with crushed ice, then pour unstrained into a tall glass.
- The traditional garnish for this cocktail is an apple slice and maraschino cherry speared on a cocktail pick, plus a mint sprig. That’s too much, in our opinion. We like to use just a sprig of mint. And a little paper umbrella (we’re talking Tiki, after all).
- We’ve used falernum in several drinks this summer. Just to refresh your memory: Falernum is a thick, sweet syrup with spicy flavor. You can find it at many liquor stores, or online.
- Cherry Heering is a sweet, ruby-hued, cherry-flavored Danish liqueur. It makes a wonderful cocktail ingredient, but you can also enjoy it straight (in a cordial glass) or on the rocks. BTW, if drinking it straight, refrigerate the bottle for a few hours first; it’s better when chilled.
- Cherry Heering is made from all natural ingredients. It’s sweeter than Maraschino liqueur (also cherry flavored) or kirschwasser (ditto), so those aren’t substitutes.
- Another cocktail that requires Cherry Heering is the Singapore Sling.
- Don’t confuse the Paradise Cooler Cocktail with the Bird of Paradise. The latter is a gin-based cocktail (and has a very different flavor).
This Side of Paradise
“Summer’s almost over,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Good thing, too. It’s been hotter than a Tiki torch around here.”
“Thought we’d have a break from the heat by now,” I said. “Guess I was living in a fool’s paradise.”
“Cooler temps are coming though,” said Mrs K R.
“Cooler cocktails, too,” I said. “Shall we have another?”
“Yes, indeed,” said Mrs K R. “But just one. We don’t want trouble in paradise.”
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Suffering Bastard Cocktail
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Ha! It has been hotter than a Tiki torch here also, although this morning it is a bit cooler. This drink would be perfect any time!!! Love rum drinks and have to check out the Cherry Heering, sounds really good! I've drank more than one Singapore Sling and know now why they're so good too. :-)
It has been hot here as well, but I don't mind it. It's better than the winter that is coming . This is totally my kind of drink. Colorful, fun and secretly loaded with alcohol !!
Hi Pam, Cherry Heering is interesting stuff -- bet you'd like it. And I know you'd like this drink! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Ansh, really like fall, but not that fond of winter. So I view the change of seasons with mixed fillings. But we can always drink one of these in a snowstorm to remind us of summer! Thanks for the comment.
Oh this sounds lovely! Take me away to a tropical paradise, or at least on the back deck with this delicious drink. So tired on the heat and now we're in the middle of a dry spell. Everything is turning brown :(. The color is wonderful.
Hi Tricia, I'm always happy to see cooler fall weather, but a bit sorry to see the end of summer. But I'm done with the heat! :-) This will cool us off, though! Thanks for the comment.
Well you know it is summer officially till the 21st ish of September ;-) It has been amazingly warm indeed. Another great Tiki cocktail, looks really wonderful and now I need to get my hands on some Cherry Heering!
Hi Evelyne, technicalities! In the US Labor Day always seems to be the end of summer (just as Memorial Day at the end of May always seems to be the beginning). Of course in Australia Sept 1 is the first day of spring (they start their seasons on the first of the month). This all gets so confusing! Need to have one of these swell drinks to relax. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Ooh this sounds delicious John and sweet which I love. I haven't heard of falernum or Cherry Heering they're new to me but sound like something I should try. Plus the color is beautiful! Don't ask my why but I'm all about that when it comes to drinks.
Hi Vicki, we love the color of cocktails! Their great looks -- and the stories behind many of them -- are so much fun. :-) Thanks for the comment.
You used some really unique ingredients in this recipe that sound super fun and flavorful. I'm excited to check them out.
Hi Laura, it's a fun drink and very refreshing -- I think you'll like it! Thanks for the comment.
Line me up a few of these. September is typically the hottest month of the year in Los Angeles. GREG
Our summer arrives later than most, September and October. Which means that a cool Paradise Cooler Cocktail is more than welcome here! Besides who can resist Paradise in a name?
What a gorgeous drink, John! Makes me want to be by the beach with one of these in hand!
Hi Greg, better lay in a supply of Cherry Heering. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Deb, you'll be all set with this drink for your weather the next 2 months! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Marcelle, this is a wonderful beach drink! Or for poolside. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I'm guaranteed to be wowed by a new cocktail or a new ingredient when I stop by! We're finally getting a cool down tomorrow, but I could use a tall paradise cooler to get me through tonight!
I just love these drinks , especially this one . I will have to try it and get the ingredients . I have been known to get snookered with drinks that have an umbrella .
This is happiness and freshness in a glass! Cheers to the last few weeks of summer.
Today is 1 September here in Adelaide- first day of Spring- can't wait for the warmer weather to arrive. My favorite cocktail is the Harvey Wallbanger- but maybe I'll change now to the 'Paradise Cooler'!
Hi Liz, reason enough to mix one of these! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Gerlinde, umbrella drinks are so much fun, aren't they? And pretty! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Denise, yup summer will soon be in our rear-view mirrors. We better drink up! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Fran, the Harvey Wallbanger is a fun drink. If you like that, I'm pretty sure you'll like this. Thanks for the comment.
HEY OOOOOOO - This is a cheap ticket to PARADISE!!! :) Definitely necessary in Los Angeles right now as we get ready for the hottest month of the year!
It has been crazy around here in Colorado, we had sunny skies and hot temperature in the morning, then all of a sudden it gets gloomy lots of rain cool temperatures and even hail!! So I guess people here can celebrate both seasons with your wonderfully colored drink.
Hi GiGi, this definitely is a cheap ticket to paradise. :-) And a good one! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Amira, it's going to get cooler here soon, so we'll be celebrating 2 seasons too! Thanks for the comment.
This drink is so good looking! I can't wait to whip some up for the holiday weekend! It's going to be hot and sunny so perfect for enjoying this cocktail :)
Hi Ashley, this will be perfect for your weather! Thanks for the comment.
This drink sounds like paradise to me! Love the umbrella ;)
WOW! This looks gorgeous. I am totally in love with the recipe. Thank you so much for sharing this!
Hi Kristi, pretty hard to resist an umbrella, isn't it? At least for us! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Kushi, really fun drink! And SO refreshing. Thanks for the comment.
Oh definitely... We can't wait for our down-under summer to arrive and enjoy this lovely cocktail :)
Oooh, yes please! This sounds ideal for a summer evening.
it's a party time :D
Hi Zoe, it's always fun to celebrate the change of seasons, isn't it? In our case, we've had enough hot weather for a while and want something cooler! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Caroline, it's such a refreshing drink -- you'd enjoy it, I think. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Marta, we need party hats to go with our party umbrellas. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Another Beauty! I have a feeling these drinks would go down way too easily.
Hi Pam, that IS the problem with most Tiki drinks -- you have no idea how much you're actually drinking because they're so smooth. Awfully good, though! Thanks for the comment.
John, this cocktail looks delicious, I love all the tropical flavors in it...so refreshing!
Hope you are having a great week :)
I instantly think of vacation time when a drink like this comes up, never heard of cherry heering before either. Sounds delicious!
Hi Juliana, tropical flavors are wonderful, aren't they? We love them too! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Cheri, yup, this is definitely a vacation-worthy drink! Thanks for the comment.
Wow, glorious colour!
Hi Liz, great flavor, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.
All I need is a hammock on a beach with that drink. Well, and some sand between my toes. ;)
Hi Carolyn, a hammock and a beach is a great idea! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Oh gosh! What a stunning looking paradise cocktail. Such a pretty color. Weekend and a glass(es) of this lovely drink in my hand — then I can call it a day! :)
Hi Anu, yup -- wonderful weekend drink! You'll enjoy! :-) Thanks for the comment.
What a beautiful drink! Totally fitting to see off summer. I'm so happy summer is over, I'm a winter gal :)
First time I've heard of Cherry Heering....learned something new today!
Have a wonderful holiday weekend, John.
Cheering Heering and falernum? Need to make this just to find out what the heck these two ingredients are! :) Don't remember you using them before. I do remember the Tiki phase because a Tiki restaurant opened in our neighborhood, but was too young at the time to test out the drinks. I'm not anymore. :) Thanks for another new cocktail! Have a marvelous LD weekend!!!!
Hi Nazneen, I like summer, but I like fall/winter too. Heck, I like every season! :-) Ready for some cooler weather, though. Thanks for the comment.
Hi MJ, I don't think I've ever actually been in a Tiki restaurant! Way too young. As were you. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Heh--it's hot here as well! And here I've just begun to appreciate cocktails as well. Raising a glass to this delicious one!
This has been one wicked summer but I still prefer it to the freezing cold of winter.
Your photos are beautiful, John! And this drink is definitely something I could enjoy. Cheers!
HI Ala, cocktails are good, aren't they?! And this is a good one to beat the heat! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Robyn, I'm OK with cold weather but what I don't like are ice and snow on the ground -- means it's hard to take a walk! So one of these will keep that away, right? :-) Thanks for the comment.
Sounds delicious! I just bought an artisan cherry liquor that I'd like to try in this drink.
Hi Jeff, artisan cherry? Sounds wonderful, and I'll bet it'd go nicely in this. Thanks for the comment.
You guys have so many cocktail recipes... must be a party in your house. :) I don't think i've ever had cherry liquor.
Hi Nisha, yup, definitely a party around here. :-) Thanks for the comment.
We're finally having weather that's a bit cooler, but still unseasonably warm. I'll take it! I'm hearing stirrings of a cold winter, and I'll put that off as long as possible. If having one of these drinks in my hand will hold it off, I'm in!
Hi Beth, yup, as long as you're holding -- and better yet, drinking! -- one of these the cold weather will stay away. :-) Thanks for the comment.
You truly know how to make an alluring beverage, John. Bravo!
I love the color of this drink. Sounds so refreshing, great for these last hot days of summer.
Hi Brooks, this is a good one! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Dawn, isn't this pretty? And SO good! Thanks for the comment.
End of summer there which means its nearly summer here! Which means I can start making delicious cocktails like this
Hi Raymund, yup, you're just getting into prime weather for refreshing drinks like this! Lucky you! :-) Thanks for the comment.
I have the air running full blast and I am on my way to the market to find cherry herring. We so need a little tropical paradise in our lives.. I just looked up falernum and it appears I will need to get this syrup as well to make your tasty cocktail. Have a super evening! Shared!
Hi Bobbi, you can potentially make your own falernum, but much easier to buy it. :-) It's gotten really hot here the last couple of days -- one of these is in order! Thanks for the comment.
This looks so beautiful that I wish I were a cocktail fan.
Hi Angie, we used to not be cocktail fans, but got really interested in their history and their good looks. And then found they were SO tasty! :-) Thanks for the comment.
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