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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