Drinks of Strong Contrast

April 29th, 2011 by Colonel Tiki

Everyone has a flavor profile that they adore. As I’ve talked about before, the lion’s share of us tiki mixologist folk are non-tasters. This means that we love strong and complex flavors because our tongues are myopic1. Blair is a fan of heavy spice and strong citrus epitomized by the Nui Nui, for example. I do love that profile, but my heart is in drinks of high contrast.


I’m talking about elevated high notes right next to deep base and dark tones, such as the profile you’ll find in my Dark Magic. In that particular recipe, the lime and pineapple are highly contrasted against the Jamaican rum and coffee syrup. This realization led me to delving into the idea of making a drink that really pushes this idea. The art history geek in me made the name. It’s Tiki, so I hope you’ll not be daunted by the ingredient list.


1 oz Coruba Jamaican Rum
½ oz Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum
½ oz Cynar
1/8 oz Fernet Branca
¾ oz fresh white grapefruit juice
¾ oz fresh pineapple juice
½ oz Trader Tiki Cinnamon Syrup
dash aromatic bitters
8 drops herbsaint

Shake with crushed ice and serve in a double rocks glass, garnish with grapefruit peel and cinnamon stick


  1. If I can be allowed to mix metaphors []

4 Responses to “Drinks of Strong Contrast”

  1. Dagreb says:

    Let’s all go to the Chirascuro Tiki Bar!

  2. The Tenebrist sounds great. You really hit the nail on the head with your analysis of people’s tastes. That is exactly why I love Tiki Cocktails so much.

  3. Tiare says:

    I believe i`m in between you and Blair when it comes to my flavor preferences. I like both the spicy and fruity and also contrast.I also like the drinks strong.

    I`m very fond of pineapple and coffee together and found out to my surprise when i dug up the favorite cocktails on my blog that no less than three out of seven drinks contained that combo.

  4. Colonel Tiki says:

    Yeah, Pineapple and Coffee was the inspiration that made me delve further into what exactly was going on.

    Also notice the lack of strong acid here: only pineapple and grapefruit are sours (and weak ones at that). Too strong an acid would have needed more sweetening, and that would have delayed and dulled the entry of the drink.

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