Punch Drunk Love
One expert bartender turns your drab basement party into a tiki-ready soirée.
Zachari Wilks knows his way around a hideaway basement bar. When not swizzling the stick at Napolese or helping to develop beverage programs at new restaurant concepts citywide, Wilks and his business partner, Greg Wilson, are concocting recipes for their line of Prohibition-era elixirs, Wilks & Wilson. We shot the breeze and combed the beach with the cocktail master, who recommends these intoxicating spirits to transform your home bar from typical to tropical.
Smith & Cross Rum
“A signature tiki element is mixing your base spirit to achieve the desired flavor profile. Often, three rums might make up a cocktail. Smith & Cross is a traditional Jamaican rum that is very floral and aromatic.”
Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum
“A tiki staple and an essential ingredient to Jamaican rum punch.”
“Out of Martinique, their select barrel is an aged Rhum Agricole and is fantastic. Additionally, their 10-year Grand Reserve is a great sipper that speaks to drinkers of scotch and cognac.”
Plantation Stiggins’ Fancy
“A collaboration between Plantation and David Wondrich, who is the top historian and cocktail writer on the planet right now, this is a white rum macerated with pine-apple skins. It’s then redistilled and blended with aged rum for complexity, which leaves behind zero sweetness, just the essence of pineapple. It’s delicious. I love to substitute this in a traditional daiquiri for an amazing twist.”
“This obscure tiki ingredient is a syrup that’s made with ginger, clove, lime, and an almond liqueur. Wilks & Wilson is working on a release of it. We also make an orgeat that’s a tiki staple. It’s an almond syrup that has a touch of rose and orange flower water, and is the most important ingredient in a Mai Tai.”
Zach’s Classic Daiquiri Recipe:
2 ounces rum, light or white
3/4 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup (note below)
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
Add ice and shake until chilled.
Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lime wheel.
Simple syrup directions:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan.
Bring to simmer over low-to-medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Allow to cool.
Refrigerate in an airtight bottle between use.