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  • Writer's pictureBamboo Sam

Toucan Dance

A drink that's lighter than its ingredients might indicate...


Toucan Dance cocktail

As I browse my ever growing collection of bar manuals I typically look for two things. 1) do I have the ingredients necessary to make it? and 2) What should I buy next time I'm at the liquor store? Once I've found a new drink to make I always try to guess what it will taste like based upon the ingredients listed. For the most part I'm pretty good at it. Tiki and tropical drinks certainly surprise me more than standard cocktails but I guess that's some of why I enjoy making them so much. The Toucan Dance definitely caught me off guard.


As I perused my copy of Minimalist Tiki, last weekend I was ready for a stiff drink and landed on the Toucan Dance as this creation of William Prestwood of Pagan Idol calls for both Real McCoy 3 year and Rum Fire. Both are known as rum forward, and the Rum Fire is an over proof Jamaican so I was expecting a bit of heat in a high octane cocktail. However, the Toucan Dance is an incredibly mild cocktail that makes on go for long swigs through the straw (as opposed to short sips and deep breaths!) The cream of coconut really cuts the heat and the use of Fassionola syrup adds depth without getting too sweet.


For those unfamiliar with Fassionola syrup it's another one of those secret Don the Beachcomber concoctions whose origins are a bit murky. It was available in gold, red, and green versions that supposedly tasted a little different from each other. The red fassionola is the one called for most often. It's a fruit punch reduction with passion fruit, mango, and cherries in it. At least that's the way BG Reynolds makes it. Recipes run the gamut with various ones including papaya, pineapple, guava, hibiscus flowers, etc.


However you get there, the Toucan Dance is not just a good Tiki drink but an excellent intro to Tiki drink for the uninitiated.



Toucan Dance

Toucan Dance

Source - Minimalist Tiki by Matt Pietreck and Carrie Smith

  • 3/4 ounce lime juice

  • 1 ounce orange juice

  • 1/2 ounce cream of coconut*

  • 1/2 ounce red fassionola syrup*

  • 2 ounces lightly aged/filtered rum (Real McCoy 3)

  • 2 dashed unaged Jamaican overproof (Rum Fire)


Build everything in a mixing tin (or shaker) with crushed ice and flash blend with a spindle mixer (or shake vigorously) You have to keep going until the cream of coconut is frothy. Garnish at Pagan Idol is an orchid and several pineapple balls on a paper umbrella. I'm too cheap to keep orchids around...


*Bamboo Sam's customizations: While I generally prefer to make my own coconut cream syrup, I use Coco Lopez or Coco Real in the Toucan Dance as it makes a frothier drink. I typically use BG Reynolds for any syrups I do not make myself and their Red Fassionola is no exception.



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