The Boo Loo
Updated: Dec 22, 2020
It doesn't get much more tropical...
Before I knew what a Tiki mug was I was awed by two types of drinks I remember my mom getting when I was a kid. One was anything in a hurricane glass at the Treasure Ship in Panama City (RIP). The other was anything served in a coconut or pineapple. It seemed to me, the epitome of tropical living. After all, they did it everyday on Gilligan's Island!
When it comes to drinks served in a pineapple, the Boo Loo is the standard IMO. Pineapple vessel aside, this is a quintessential Tiki drink using fresh fruit, a lost technique from Don the Beachcomber and 4 kinds of rum! What more could you ask for?
But, first things first. How do you cut a pineapple so that you can drink out of it? If you're smart, you use a pineapple coring tool. Need a more thorough explanation?
Well you're in luck; I made a video to show you how it's done.
Once you've got the pineapple cored it's time to make your Boo Loo. But what about that lost Don the Beachcomber thing I mentioned? Well, it's the honey mix. As we've discussed before, most Tiki drinks come from the Planter's Punch branch of the drink tree. As the maxim goes, "One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, and four of weak". Lots of older drinks call for honey as the "two of sweet". However, honey is thick and when it hits ice it becomes a gelatinous goo that sticks to the bottom of the shaker instead of going in the drink. Jeff "Beachbum" Berry rediscovered Don's technique as he disclosed in Beachbum Berry Remixed, "We found a 1950 US Navy charity cookbook to which Don the Beachcomber had donated this formula: heat equal parts honey and water until the honey dissolves, then cool it, bottle it, and store in the fridge, where it will remain in a liquid state." I use this honey syrup anytime a recipe calls for honey. Occasionally, I will add a bit more than called for in the recipe to account for the water in the mix but I may just be adjusting to the ever sweetening palates of Americans over the past 70-90 years...
Now on to the rums. The first thing you want to be aware of is the sheer volume. Due to the inclusion of 151 proof rum in addition to the 3 3/4 ounces of 80 proof rum, one Boo Loo has the alcohol equivalent of about 6 standard drinks. As, Mrs. Bamboo Sam remarked last Saturday afternoon, "This is good, it just might not have been the best idea for day drinking". I disagreed, but you have been warned.
Source - BeachBum Berry Remixed
4-6 chunks of fresh pineapple
2 1/2 ounces pineapple juice*
1 1/2 ounces lime juice
1 1/4 ounces honey syrup
3/4 ounce dark Jamaican rum*
3/4 ounce Lemon Hart 151
1 1/2 ounces Demerara rum*
1 1/2 ounces gold Puerto Rican rum*
1 1/2 ounces club soda*
Beachbum Berry says blend the pineapple, honey, and lime to liquify then stir it all in the pineapple with the remaining ingredients and ice. Martin Cate says to muddle the pineapple chunks, juice, and lime juice and then use a spindle mixer to put it all together. I prefer this approach as stirring in a pineapple is a pain in the rear and I like the aeration you get from a spindle mixer. Garnish can be the top of the pineapple reattached via cocktail picks, no top with pineapple spear and cherry picked together or a "core island" with umbrella. It's a freakin' drink in a pineapple, you really can't go wrong!
*Bamboo Sam's customizations - OK, lot's to talk about here. First, use any juice you can from the freshly cored pineapple before anything canned. I don't care what your fruit, fresh is better than canned. For the rums you have to think about the type of drink you want. A Boo Loo can range from sweet to funky depending upon the rums used. I love Lemon Hart 151 as it has a lot of flavor as opposed to just the heat you get with most 151 proof rums. That said, I tend to pull back to a more moderate Jamaican than I would in most cases so that the two put together don't overpower the non-rum parts of the drink. Currently, I prefer Appleton Estate Reserve Blend for the Jamaican rum in the Boo Loo. For the Demerara rum I'm using El Dorado 5 year (personal fav) and anytime I see "Puerto Rican rum" I tend to sub Cruzan. I know it's Virgin Islands but it seems more like the descriptions of Puerto Rican rums from older recipes to me. As always, I prefer Perrier or Tropo Chico for the club soda.