How to Throw a Tiki Brunch

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“Tiki” doesn’t usually conjure up images of fluffy pancakes, cheesy eggs or crispy bacon (unless said bacon is wrapped around a scallop skewer as part of a pu-pu platter). But there are plenty of reasons to start your day the Polynesian way—including these brunch-worthy tiki cocktails and snacks.

If you need a hit of joe to get your day going, consider this simple three-ingredient cocktail. Spiked with cold brew coffee and spiced rum, the drink gets its tiki cred from a splash of orgeat, an almond syrup that also includes a touch of orange blossom water. It’s a perfect pairing for pancakes, doughnuts or any other sweet pastry drizzled in rum frosting.

The Essentials

spiced rum
cold brew coffee
The next time you shuck a load of fresh corn, make sure to save that pile of stringy cornsilk. This drink puts that funky detritus to work with DIY cornsilk-infused coconut milk. Shaken with aged rum and banana liqueur, the sweet coconut milk is transformed into an incredible brunch cocktail reminiscent of liquid Corn Flakes with a grown-up kick.

The Essentials

coconut milk
banana liqueur
Skip the Mimosa and try this sparkling, tropical tippler instead. With a base of dark rum, falernum and Cynar 70—an extra-boozy version of the bitter Italian artichoke liqueur—it gets a bubbly finish from a mix of soda water and sparkling wine. Pair it with anything creamy and fried like these crab, lobster and shrimp-stuffed rangoon.

The Essentials

dark rum
Cynar 70
This funky take on a Jungle Bird mixes blackstrap rum with pineapple syrup, bittersweet rhubarb-based amaro and fresh, tart lime juice. Because no brunch is complete without bacon, it’s finished off with a candied slice for good measure.

The Essentials

Blackstrap Rum
Pineapple Syrup
Get your daily dose of OJ from this Polynesian twist on a Harvey Wallbanger. It calls for rum in place of the usual vodka, keeps the traditional measure of vanilla liqueur and gets some tiki flair from allspice dram. Top the drink off with fresh orange juice and sip alongside a Big Kahuna Egg n’ Cheese (below).

The Essentials

gold rum
vanilla liqueur
orange juice

Seafood Rangoon

Crab Rangoon has been a staple on Polynesian-inspired menus since Trader Vic’s heyday—and there’s good reason. No pu-pu platter or tiki party should be without these deep-fried pillows of seafood delight. Our take on the classic recipe is stuffed with real crab as well as imitation crab and lobster.  

Big Kahuna Egg n’ Cheese

This bacon, egg and cheese takes a turn for the Polynesian with the addition of grilled pineapple and our homemade teriyaki sauce. Candied bacon and pan-seared Canadian bacon make this sandwich a meat-lover’s tropical paradise.

Rum Frosting

We love rum so much we put it on our pancakes—and our doughnuts and our waffles and anything else we can get our hands on. In fact, we’ll even eat it off our hands. It’s that good.

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