An Offering (Pahoehoe)

For this weeks cocktail I have a very special treat. Treat being somewhat the operative word as this drink is decidedly sweet. I chose this one intentionally. So far I’ve offered up a range of archetypal tiki drinks, with their oaky, limey, bitterness. I suppose because these are my favorite style of cocktails I’m drawn to them. Outside of that it’s mainly been a smattering of coconutty indulgences. So, I really wanted to switch spectrums to a truly fruity, punchy style of tiki drink. I went back to Beachbum Berry’s Total Tiki App which I mentioned in my last post and came across the Pahoehoe.

Pahoehoe is a Hawaiian word for a particular type of lava flow, which will seem fitting once I show you the cocktail. The drink itself, is share size, served in a small tiki bowl that features a flaming lemon shell float. It seems this drink originated at the Batik Bar in the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Sadly the interwebs, in all its vast knowledge would offer me very little else about the history of this drinks origin or the the place it was supposedly created except that it emerged in the 1970’s, perhaps lending to it’s atypical recipe.


1 oz. fresh lemon juice (save shell)

2 oz. passion fruit syrup

1 oz. grenadine

2 oz. light rum

Thoroughly shake all ingredients in a shaker filled two thirds with cracked ice and open pour into a small cocktail bowl. Place a sugar cube into the half lemon shell and douse the sugar cube with overproof rum then carefully ignite with a long match or lighter.

I added some mint leaves and cocktail cherries for some extra flair. Also, in lieu of a sugar cube I just poured a small amount of demerara sugar into the lemon shell and doused with about a half ounce of 151 rum. The app did actually specify passion fruit nectar but subs passion fruit juice. I consulted Martin Doudoroff via the app support on this and he clarified that the two things are basically synonymous but that he prefers to use a premade passionfruit pulp for this type of drink.

   **I titled this post “an offering” because these tiki bowls always make me think of tokens for the gods that just happen to meant also for us to partake. I made sure to enjoy this drink in my front room with the lights set low so as to enjoy the sight and aroma of the flame. (This also made photos a bit tricky) The drink itself was VERY potent, bordering on saccharine. After finishing off one by this original recipe, I decided to do a second version, making some minor tweaks I thought might make it a little more palatable. The original just seemed not very well balanced to me. There was sweet on top of sweet, and the 2 oz. of passion fruit syrup overpowered everything.  My Recipe was as follows:

pahoehoe11 oz. fresh lemon juice

1 oz. passion fruit syrup

3/4 oz. grenadine

3/4 oz. grapefruit juice

2 oz. light rum

1/2 oz. demerara rum

1/4 oz allspice dram

I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I liked this version quite a bit more than the original. That is, not to say that it’s perfect by any means, but I think a better balance. What I definitely wanted to avoid was removing all of the sweetness since that is the whole case for this drink. But by reducing the sugary elements and mixing in just a bit of bitter and spicy ones it gives the drink a lot more flavor interest in my opinion. I think this might make for a totally unique cocktail. I’ll be sure and update you as I continue to rework this one, and then I’ll need a name!

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