With Memorial Day weekend just over a week away, and unofficial beginning of the summer nearly here, my mind is leaning to considerations of new creations for the season.

Of course, tea cocktails are always first on the list, so I thought I’d ride the current trend in the cocktail industry and try my hand at a Tiki cocktail.   This concoction is inspired by the Nui Nui, an early Tiki drink created by a guy named “Don the Beachcomber,” circa 1937.

Unlike many current Tiki drinks, which are super-saturated with sugary tropical juices, the early creations focused on exotic and interesting ingredients.  I hope you’ll agree that this Tiki tea fits that description tastily!



TEAki drink!8 ounces crushed ice, plus more for filling the glasses

4 ounces dark rum

1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice

2 teaspoons Kama Chai Sutra Syrup (recipe follows)

1 1/2 teaspoons allspice liqueur

2 dashes angostura bitters

2 spiral-cut orange peels, for garnish

Place all ingredients except the orange peels in a blender and blend on high until frothy, no more than 5 seconds. Pour into 2 tiki mugs and add additional crushed ice to fill.

Sink and coil an orange peel into each drink, with the top hanging over the rim of the glass, and finish with ubiquitous tiki umbrella (or any other frilly decoration, such as the hot pink flamingo seen here).


1 tablespoon Kama Chai Sutra, dry

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

Place sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Once the mixture boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer, swirling the pan occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat, add the tea leaves and steep for 7 minutes, then strain.  Allow to cool to room temperature before using.