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  • Writer's pictureBamboo Sam

Super Bowl Partying!

Updated: Feb 14, 2020

Once you become known for Tiki drinks your parties tend to be well attended...

With the Super Bowl coming up this Sunday, party planning is in high gear. As a fan of Tiki drinks, folks tend to expect them when they come to my house. While this is easily accomplished when a few friends come over, making Tiki drinks for a party of more than 10-12 guests is literally a full time job. If working your party is what you want then by all means, enjoy yourself. I'm more into the party part of my parties which means that punches are the only way to fly.

Premixing a punch or two allows your guests to self serve instead of lining up in front of you with empty glasses. However, your Tiki reputation will be on the line so there are a few things you need to consider to separate your party from the "Hunch Punch out of a trashcan in college" memory many of us would rather not relive!

  • Ice - crushed ice is always the way to go. Getting it out of an electric crusher or the front of your fridge is noisy and troublesome when you need a lot - and you'll need a lot. I typically go to Sonic and buy a few bags of their ice. It's close to crushed, easy to use and a noticeable upgrade to bagged ice from down at the gas station. However, you might also need ice to keep your punch cold in a dispenser or punch bowl. In that case you want to go the opposite way. The bigger the ice cube the better. Larger cubes melt much more slowly so that your punch doesn't get diluted as quickly. Depending upon your punch vessel you can either use large ice cubes from silicon molds or simply fill a plastic container or balloons with water and freeze. Just make sure it will fit in the mouth of the pitcher or drink dispenser before you freeze it!

  • Glasses - This is not the time to break out the red Solo cups! First of all, it's probably not a good idea to hand each guest Tiki drinks in 16 oz increments. I mean, it's kinda fun for the first hour or two but it tends to go downhill (quickly). Secondly, remember the whole "Hunch Punch out of a trashcan in college" thing? If you can go glass, do it. They don't have to match and thrift stores are a great place to start. If you need to go disposable, I'd recommend something clear in the 6-8 oz range.

  • Garnishes - A Tiki drink without a garnish is just sad. We don't want sad at our party do we? Prep a couple of garnishes like a bar would. Set out a bowl of cut limes and another of mint sprigs (or other options depending upon your drink of choice). Place a small card nearby with quick instruction like, "Fill with ice, pour your drink and add a lime wedge and mint sprig" Suddenly everyone's drinks look as good as the taste and most of your guests have just "made" the best looking drink they've ever had outside of a bar.

  • Straws - I know this is a hot topic right now with much of the world going back to paper straws or carrying around stainless steel ones. You'll want some and I'll leave it up to you to decide how best to proceed, but if you really want my opinion, I have an entire article devoted to the subject (suprise, suprise...)

Without further ado, here are a couple of punch recipes that I have found to be popular. I should probably stress that I due tend to use actual punch recipes as opposed to just multiplying the ingredients from a favorite drink. As good as a Zombie is, a punch bowl full of them just doesn't work out for some reason. besides, most punches use lower cost ingredients which allows you to make more, and not feel bad if there's a bit leftover (I assume). I also try to make more than one with differing flavor profiles. There's nothing worse than having a guest inform you that they can't have grapefruit juice due to taking cholesterol meds while you're standing over 5 gallons of punch filled with grapefruit juice. Besides variety is the spice of life!

Blood of the Kapu Tiki

  • 3 ounces fresh lime juice

  • 3 ounces grapefruit juice

  • 3 ounces orange juice

  • 3 ounces grenadine

  • 10 ounces Gold Puerto Rican Rum*

  • 1/2 tsp Pernod

  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters

Complex for a punch but in easy to make quantities. The pernod and bitters cut back the sweet and really make the drink. Bars tend to use larger bottles of bitters compared to home bars. A dash from a 16 oz bottle is quite a bit more than from a 6 oz bottle so start with 3 and adjust accordingly.

This recipe makes enough to serve 4-6 guests, if you need more simply multiply the ingredients. There are two ways I make this, by the pitcher or in a glass drink dispenser. If making a pitcher, fill it with crushed ice, add all of the ingredients and swizzle until the pitcher begins to frost. Open pour into glasses as needed.

If it's going into the drink dispenser, I add all of the ingredients and a few cups of crushed ice. I'll swizzle to get things going but then I add large ice blocks to the dispenser. The reasoning is that I tend to multiply the recipe to serve more and as a result it will sit out longer. The block ice keeps it cold without diluting everything too much. I then provide cups (small ones!), crushed ice, lime wedges, and fresh mint. This allows everyone to get a drink with fresh ice & garnish. If it sounds like overkill, it is. But that's the point- welcome to the world of Tiki.

*Bamboo Sam's customizations - the "Gold Puerto Rican Rum" is traditionally correct but I prefer Virgin Islands rum at present, Cruzan Gold to be specific. It's also a good idea to add a few slices of the fruit in the drink to the container. It's visually appealing and gives guests some idea of what thy're getting into.

Rum Tropicale

Source - Jeff "Beachbum" Berry, Intoxica

  • 32 ounces pineapple juice

  • 4 ounces fresh lime juice

  • 2 ounces falernum

  • 3 ounces grenadine

  • 750ml bottle of Gold Puerto Rican Rum*

Sweet enough for all to enjoy with the falernum giving it an exotic twist many do not get much of. Quality grenadine will also make a big difference. It's supposed to be pomegranate not cherry...

This recipe makes enough to serve 20. put everything in a punch bowl or glass drink dispenser and stir to mix. Add some ice blocks to keep it cool and use the same setup of ice, cups, garnish and such. I like to make one garnish change though so it looks different than the other punch. With Rum Tropicale a cherry/lime garnish works well.

*Bamboo Sam's customizations - the "Gold Puerto Rican Rum" is traditionally correct but I prefer Virgin Islands rum at present, Cruzan Gold to be specific. It's also a good idea to add a few slices of the fruit in the drink to the container. It's visually appealing and gives them some idea of what thy're getting into.

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