Tervis Blog

Everything You Want to Know About Tropical Drinks

Tropical Drinks

Tropical drinks are sweet yet tangy libations that often combine rum with citrusy or fruit-flavored juices. You can use pineapple juice, orange juice, and lime juice, to name a few. So lean back in a hammock beneath the shade of a palm tree with a tasty beverage in hand and enjoy reading everything you ever wanted to know about tropical drinks.

Where It All Began

Americans took a liking to rum-mixed cocktails originating from the South Pacific back in the 1940s. Rum was usually used in fruity drinks, same as it is today. 

Rum – A Popular Ingredient

While most of the classic tropical mixes feature rum, other tropical ingredients are popular, too. The reason rum is a favorite is because many of the tropical drinks originate from rum regions, such as Barbados, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Haiti, and Jamaica.

Unlike other spirits, rum is ideal for layering and mixing drinks. While rums were first recognized in the South Pacific, they can, as evidenced by the above list of locales, be made just about anywhere as long as there is access to sugar. The rums used in tropical libations are made from molasses, which is a byproduct of sugar. Other rums are derived directly from sugar cane juice. 

White Rums

Rums come in various styles. Therefore, there is a rum for just about anyone. White or silver rums, for example, are typically clear. The alcohol is aged but distilled and filtered to remove the coloring. White rums are considered excellent for mixing.

Amber and Dark Rums

Gold or amber rums are aged for several years. Dark rums, on the other hand, are darker and more full bodied. Many of these rums are made in pot stills and aged in oak.

Spiced and Flavored Rums

Spiced rums can be white, dark, or gold in color, and are infused with fruits and spices. Flavored rums are usually white rums and are flavored with coconut, mango, or vanilla. 

A Large Rum Producer

One of the biggest producers of rum today is Puerto Rico. Rums in this locale are exceptionally smooth and neutralized. They are extremely mixable – thus, the reason for their popularity.

Allspice Dram and Maraschino Liqueur

Besides rum, other tropical ingredients that are added to tropical libations include the liqueur, allspice dram, also known as pimento dram. This liqueur is accentuated with allspice berries. Maraschino liqueur — which is made from the pits and stems of cherries — instills a wild and earthy flavor in tropical drinks. However, you need to make sure you moderate the use.

Velvet Falernum

Yet another liqueur that is well liked is velvet falernum – a lime, almond, clove, and ginger liqueur that is regularly used in tiki libations. 

Three of the Most Popular Tropical Drinks

The three most popular tiki or tropical drinks that are mixed for entertaining include the following:

  • The Hurricane: This signature cocktail was first created in the 1940s. To make the drink, you need dark and light rums, orange juice, lime juice, fruit juice, simple syrup, and grenadine. This tiki cocktail is indeed tasty, as its fruit-filled ingredients are just too hard to resist. While it can be challenging to find pure passion fruit, your taste buds will be ultimately rewarded when you take the first sip.

  • The Mai Tail: This one-of-a-kind tiki drink is the original creation of Victor Bergeron. Bergeron was one of the founders of the tiki bar entertainment scene. His famous bar, called Trader Vic’s, was the base for the original Mai Tai cocktail. For this drink, you will need light and dark rums, orange curacao, lime juice, orgeat syrup, and simple syrup. The original cocktail for this drink was much drier. However, over the years, the Mai Tai has taken on a fruitier flair.

  • The Bahama Mama: This tropical cocktail delivers coffee in its mix by way of a liqueur, known as Kahlua. To produce this boozy concoction, you will need 151-proof and dark colored rums, a coffee liqueur (Kahlua), lemon juice, pineapple juice, and coconut liqueur. You can substitute the pineapple for orange juice, if that is your preference.

With this small but important list in hand, you can find all the ingredients you need for a tropical party. 

Don't forget a shaker for making drinks and topical tumblers to poor your drinks in.