I drink a lot of gin. I drink a lot of straight whisky. I am most definitely, what my friends like to call, a boozehound. If I’m not slightly hungover from Thursday morning to Sunday morning, something has gone deeply wrong with my life OR I’m sick. I understand this is not healthy and at some point in life I will probably have to give some of it up to become a real self actualized human being, but for right now I am in my early twenties and I will do what I want. (Also I buy the ZERO ALCOHOL Listerine, so I figure that helps a little bit, right?)
What I’m trying to say with all of this, is that I genuinely, from the bottom of my heart, love the taste of booze, but you know what else I love? Booze that doesn’t taste like booze. If someone tries to get on a high horse about a drink being too light and / or “girly” they have no idea what they’re talking about and I don’t want to be their friend. Sometimes I go home, I pour rye in a glass and maybe add an ice cube. Sometimes I go out and want a round of Mai Tai’s. Both of those are perfectly fine options and equally serious drinks.
Unfortunately, Jack Rose’s Tiki Menu does not have a Mai Tai, but it does have a slew of drinks created by bartender Denise Jauregui that are much much better. My favorite, and the one I definitely recommend you start off with, is their Painkiller. A classic Tiki drink that involves rum (they use Pusser’s), pineapple, orange juice, and coconut cream. It’s sweet and citrus-y and makes me want to spend all day drinking and floating down a river in a boat I made with my own bare hands. It’s probably the most boring sounding drink on the Tiki menu (things definitely get more complex than this) but it’s simple. It’s refreshing. It’s everything I want in this kind of drink.
If you’re just like me and you need even more coconut cream in your life, you’re going to want to go for the Coco Face for the next round. 1. It’s served in a coconut, which is great for your self esteem (I simply feel cooler drinking out of a coconut than I do a plain old glass). 2. Jack Rose makes their own coconut-almond cream by blending Coco Lopez with locally made almond butter until it is as delicious as you can imagine. They then add Hamilton Demerara rum, Ancho Reyes, cinnamon chili honey syrup, and pineapple. The nuttyness of the almond, the sweet depth of the coconut, and the heat from the chilis makes drinking this an absolute pleasure. Also, it’s wildly boozey.
Of course, half of nailing a Tiki drink is presentation, and while all of the drinks come in beautiful tiki mugs (except the Coco Face), the Tidal Wave takes the cake. Served in a tall clear glass it’s neon blue, thanks to the edition of blue curacao. It’s also insanely drinkable. Despite it’s color, it was the least sweet of the drinks we tried and leans more sour and refreshing. Finish up with a Ryghty Tyghty (which is whisky based for obvious reasons) and has a tea infused vermouth or the Navy Grog which has three different kinds of rum (which will get you real nice and drunk) and you’re good to go. And by go, I mean drunkenly stumble to the main terrace because, wait there’s more!
The Terrace menu has changed for the season and while all of the drinks are lovely (or at least all of the ones I tried were) there is a drink you have to order. It’s a beer cocktail and I know those sound gross. It just sounds like a bad idea, but trust me and order (what is appropriately called) the Crowd Pleasure. A mix of Tito’s, Brooklyn Pilsner, honey basil syrup, and lemon it’s ludicrously refreshing. You could drink it forever and never feel gross.