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Beachbum Berry - Miehana E-mail
News - Cocktails
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 21:02

The God of the Orange Grove... 

Beachbum Berry: MiehanaA recent conversation at a networking event found me talking about Koko Kanu (it was a rum event after all) and ways in which this coconut flavoured rum could be showcased.  I remarked that one of the Tiki cocktails I particularly enjoyed was the Miehana.  A cocktail that is light, fruity and able to give a home to three types of booze in a remarkable 50:50 mix that is palatable, harmonious and appropriately potent.  The cocktail calls for coconut rum and I always use Koko Kanu, but I couldn't help but feel that this great expression of coconut rum was being missed by a great many people!

Taking a step back in time, my idea of a cocktail was formed in my teenage years by reading ‘The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy’ by Douglas Adams.  In which the concept of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster was presented thus:

"The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol.  It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the effect of which is like having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick."



In this simple paragraph I found myself imagining that a good cocktail should be subtle in its approach and pack the sort of punch that catches you completely unaware...

My opinion of cocktails might have changed a bit once I actually tried alcohol, but throughout my adult life I've always believe that a good cocktail shouldn't taste overtly of strong booze.  My idea of a good cocktail is something light and fruity, which works with the booze in question rather than masking it – giving you a balanced experience of flavours.  A good cocktail shouldn't be hard work – it should be a pleasure to drink.

So why does the Miehana appeal to me?  Well... it’s simple in the first instance.  Six ingredients: equal measures of each.  Shake with ice and then pour the whole lot into your Tiki mug, glass or drinking vessel of choice.  Even the garnish isn't too over the top!

Beachbum Berry: Miehana

I’m quite a late arrival to Tiki culture, but I’m pleased to say that my copy of Beachbum Berry’s Remixed is a firm favourite in our house.  Tiki drinks summarise just what I think a cocktail should be and I see that Tiki is having a revival here in the UK and around the world!  Which leads me back to Koko Kanu.  I asked Beachbum Berry if I could feature the Miehana here on TheFloatingRumShack.com and not only did I get ‘yes’ – I also got a fab picture of the original mug in which the creation of this cocktail is originally wrapped up in.  I’m not going to tell you the story behind it – I’ll let you read that for yourself in your own copy of Remixed (page 140), which you can obtain for yourself by clicking on the following link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beach-Bum-Berry-Remixed-Jeff

So then...  The Miehana in all its simple brilliance runs as follows:

1 oz Fresh lime juice
1 oz Orange juice
1 oz Unsweetened pineapple juice
1 oz Grand Marnier
1 oz Gold Virgin Islands rum
1 oz coconut rum [of which I use Koko Kanu]

Shake all the above with ice and then pour unstrained into your drinking vessel of choice.  Garnish with an orange wheel.  Easy eh?

Beachbum Berry: Miehana

I don’t have a gold Virgin Islands rum in my collection right now (the suggestion being Cruzan), so if I make a Miehana, I tend to substitute a different rum.  I’ve tried Appleton 8 Year Old, Bacardi Gold, Flor de Caña 4 Year Old (the list goes on).  Each gives a slightly different vibe to the cocktail and if nothing else illustrates how rum varies in style and taste.

Now then: why Koko Kanu and not another coconut rum?  Here in the UK, Malibu would probably be the first suggestion on most people’s lips.  But, I’m happy to discount this because it’s actually not a rum (not high enough ABV).  So what other options do we have?  Well nothing that sprung to my mind at least.

A quick check online at The Whisky Exchange revealed Bacardi Coconut Rum (32%ABV – so not really a rum either) £20.17, Parrot Bay Caribbean Coconut Rum Liqueur (honest about its 21%ABV strength) £18.88 (for a litre rather than 70cl) and then ran into a number of very expensive ‘old/collectable’ products.  Koko Kanu is listed at £17.11 and is of course a full strength 37.5%ABV rum, so represents great value for money.

Interestingly Beachbum Berry has views on coconut rum which is shared on page 219 of Remixed...  I’ll leave you enjoy those comments when you have your own copy of the book!

A simple drink like this highlights a great many things.  Thinking you can get away with long life fruit juice is fine until you actually compare a fresh pressed juice against a long life concentrate.  The latter is overly sweet, has a thin mouth feel and doesn’t really taste that strongly of pineapple.  The former is the complete opposite and really lifts a drink, so whilst it’s more expensive to use such ingredients – the resulting drink is actually much better.

Hmmm... so many things to consider, it’s making a simple drink complicated!  Best forget about all that and kick back and enjoy it!

Cheers and mahalo!

Purchase Koko Kanu online at Master of Malt: http://www.masterofmalt.com/liqueurs/koko-kanu/koko-kanu-coconut-rum/

By the way – if you want to know a little more about the story behind the Miehana – follow the link to RumDood.com and let Matt tell you all about it! http://rumdood.com/2010/03/03/miehana/



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