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  • Writer's pictureBamboo Sam

The Siboney

Another drink where we have an original and an update!


The Siboney

One of the advantages of being an adult with a well publicized hobby is that any time that requires a gift (Birthday, Christmas, Tooth Fairy, etc) I get something Tiki related. This holiday season I was blessed with a copy of Easy Tiki, Tiki Pop, and the remaining holdout in my Beachbum Berry library, Potions of the Caribbean. Not to mention a sweet, sweet steel guitar from Mrs. Bamboo Sam. Don't worry, I'll cover it as soon as I can play it!


At any rate, I dove in looking for any new drinks that I could make with ingredients I had at hand. The first one I stumbled on was the Siboney in Easy Tiki. Easy Tiki mentions that their recipe is a modern take on the original which was first published in Trader Vic's Rum Cookery & Drinkery (1974) a tome that is sadly missing from my library. I promptly made the Easy Tiki version and began to thumb through Potions of the Caribbean (let's be honest, I was just looking at the pictures) when I came across an entry for (you guessed it) The Siboney. The Bum being the archivist that we all love, his was the original from Trader Vic's Rum Cookery & Drinkery.




After trying them both I don't really have a favorite but that's to be expected when it comes to recreating classic recipes. Essentially, you can't ever get the exact ingredients. Vic's recipe calls for dark Jamaican rum. I have about five that fit that category and all make a very different tasting Siboney! The advantage to a newer book like Easy Tiki is that it calls for specific brands (Doctor Bird and Plantation Stiggins' Fancy Pineapple rums) which helps the current bartender and offers a bit more information to future mixologists when those rums (inevitably) become impossible to procure. You may want a Jamaican rum with less hogo than Doctor Bird in Vic's Siboney if you're not into funky Jamaican rums but I must say that the combo of the Stiggins and passion fruit syrup make tame the Doctor Bird in a way I didn't think was possible! Both recipes offer an interesting flavor profile while maintaining that balance that is required of a cocktail that is essentially a daiquiri.


Last but not least, I must offer a tip of the cap to Trader Vic as the consummate bar owner. As Beachbum Berry points out in Potions of the Caribbean, the Siboney is a Trader Vic's Grog in drag. To make the Grog simply double all of the ingredients, add bitters, and serve over crushed ice. I'm not sure if this is a testament to the power of bitters or the ingenuity of a guy that was trying to make the most out of his current inventory but either way it's a party trick I'm sure to keep in my pocket.


In the interest of being as over the top as possible, I give you both recipes for the Siboney. Enjoy!



Siboney

Source - Trader Vic's Rum Cookery & Drinkery (1974)

  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice

  • 1/2 ounce pineapple juice

  • 1/2 ounce passion fruit syrup*

  • 1 ounce dark Jamaican rum*

The Siboney

Build everything in a shaker and shake with cubed ice. Strain and pour into a chilled coupe glass. No garnish.




*Bamboo Sam's customizations: I'm partial to BG Reynolds for the Passionfruit Syrup. For the Jamaican rum, try Plantation Xamayca or Myers. If you're into funkier/high


er ester rums Doctor Bird is good (although not exactly "dark").





Siboney

Source - Easy Tiki, Chloe Frechette

  • 3/4 ounce lime juice

  • 1 ounce pineapple juice

  • 1/2 ounce passion fruit syrup*

  • 1/2 ounce rich demerara syrup*

  • 1/2 ounce Plantation Stiggins' Fancy Pineapple rum

  • 1 ounce aged Jamaican rum (Doctor Bird)


Build everything in a shaker and shake with cubed ice. Strain and pour into a chilled coupe glass. No garnish.


*Bamboo Sam's customizations: As I mentioned, I use BG Reynolds for the Passionfruit Syrup. Demerara syrup is just a 1:1 simple syrup using demerara syrup. Rich Demerara Syrup typically denotes a 2:1 sugar to water ratio.



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