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  • Writer's pictureBamboo Sam

Dharma Bum

Updated: Dec 22, 2020

A great drink for the holiday season.


Dharma Bum

When we think of Tiki and tropical drinks we most often conjure visions of tropical locations and frosty glasses. However, many of us find ourselves in frosty locations looking for a warm glass during the holidays! Since most of the golden age Tiki purveyors were running full restaurants, there are a few hot drinks that were devised to replace the after dinner cup of coffee that was so common at the time. The most famous of these are probably the Hot Buttered Rum and the Flaming Coffee Grog. While both are enjoyable, I've stumbled upon the Dharma Bum as my go to for holiday drinking for several reasons.


First of all, it's served in a coffee cup without being (literally) on fire. Nothing raises eyebrows at family holiday gatherings like hitting the sauce before noon - flaming sauce is a strict no-go outside of Florida. Keeping it in a coffee cup through the morning (and around any particularly sensitive relations) seems a smart move to me.

Secondly, this entire concoction is dairy free and gluten free. So, (assuming you're sharing) no one can claim that you care so little about them and their feelings that you didn't even take their dietary restrictions into account!

Secondly, this entire concoction is dairy free and gluten free. So, (assuming you're sharing) no one can claim that you care so little about them and their feelings that you didn't even take their dietary restrictions into account!

Next up is the caffeine. Chai tea is up there with black tea on the caffeine spectrum which means it's a bit below coffee but miles above green tea. There's enough to keep you from actively snoring through those Hallmark Christmas movies while you wait on the holiday cartoons with the kids.

Lastly, unlike most tropical cocktails, this actually tastes pretty good without the rum. That means you can make a big pot and just spike the mugs of the ones you know will appreciate at it! Ahhh, family...

...Mele Kalikimaka!

Dharma Bum cocktail

Dharma Bum

Source - Beachbum Berry Remixed, Jeff "Beachbum" Berry

  • 3 ounces Tazo Organic Chai Tea concentrate

  • 3 ounces Silk Soy Creamer (unflavored)*

  • 1 1/2 ounces Spiced Rum*


Warm the Chai Tea concentrate and creamer in a sauce pan (or microwave if you're going all ninja). Pour some hot water into the coffee mug of your choice to get it nice and warm. Dump the water and fill the mug with the tea/creamer mix being sure to leave a bit of room for the rum. Add in the spiced rum and stir. Dust with ground nutmeg and garnish with a cinnamon stick.



*Bamboo Sam's customizations: So, I go off the rails a bit with this drink but not so far that I'd consider it a different drink entirely. Instead of the 3 ounces of Silk Soy creamer I only use 2 ounces. I'll then stir in an ounce of a rum cream like RumChata or Bushwhacker Coconut Cream Rum. For the spiced rum my go-to is Cruzan. It seems to hit the middle between the overly artificial flavor of Captain Morgan's and the hi-octane burn of Sailor Jerry's.





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