Given that it’s cold and rainy here in Seattle, we decided to focus on mixing with guava this week; if it can’t be sunny and tropical outside, at least it can be in our cocktails. We’re big fans of guava, with its sweet, mildly floral taste and slightly grainy texture, and have used it in several cocktails in the past. Apparently, when it’s cold and drizzly here we like to make tiki drinks, based on our past posts. Can you blame us?
Besides just being yummy, we find guava to be a very “tropical” flavor. Sweet, tangy, with gentle honey flavors and a hint of floral notes. And wouldn’t you know, all of those things work great in tiki drinks!
First off, we thought we’d make the classic tiki drink Happy Buddha. When we first came across it, this particular cocktail sent us on a quest for okolehao, which can be a bit tricky to acquire. If you’re not as obsessive as we are, you can substitute bourbon, which for this iteration is exactly what we did. It is still quite tasty, if different from the okolehao.
- 4 oz guava nectar
- 1 1/2 oz okolehao (or bourbon)
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 1/4 oz Cointreau
Mix all ingredients. Pour into a glass filled with crushed ice. Cheers!
- Nose: Strong guava, orange, and lime. Fainter notes of red fruit, coconut, and barrel wood.
- Palate: Guava and orange to start. Guava continues into the mid-palate and is joined by slightly astringent red fruit and sweet barrel wood notes. Lime on the finish, which is drier and tarter than the rest of the drink. Fairly palate coating, with a thick though not syrupy body, slightly grainy but not super sweet. Slightly unripe red fruit flavor reappears on the aftertaste.
As you can see, lots of yummy tropical flavors, perfect for a winters day. 😉
Next up, we wanted to experiment and come up with an original cocktail using guava. We’ve found that guava goes well with sweet, aromatic flavors, balanced with a little citrus tartness. At first we thought about using vanilla as a flavor, but remembered we had already done that in the Cargo Cult. We both get traces of floral honey flavors from guava, so we decided to pair it with honey instead to play up that aspect. Lime juice brightened up the guava and balanced the honey. After tasting that combination, we went with gin as the base spirit, picking a more citrusy one that would echo the lime while adding some herbal flavors of its own.
- 2 oz gin (We used the Sound Spirits but any citrus or floral forward gin will work)
- 2 oz guava nectar
- 3/4 oz lime juice
- 3/4 oz honey
Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a glass. Enjoy!
- Nose: Guava, lime, honey, lemon curd, tiny bit of juniper.
- Palate: Guava and beeswax/honeycomb to start. Mid-palate is floral honey, creamy lemon, and a hint of juniper. The finish is more honey plus guava and lime.
Both drinks are quite tasty and go down easily (perhaps a little too easily), providing a tropical antidote to gray skies. We highly recommend getting some guava nectar (though we make our own with the Perfect Puree) and mixing up a nice tiki cocktail for yourself as well. Until next time, cheers!