Hand-Selected Recipes and Stories Straight to Your Inbox

tiki cocktail

All Photos: Ryan Hughley

Grapefruit TikiTeaser


Pull out the sunscreen and shake up this beachy tiki cocktail for an instant vacation

It's official. The temperatures down South have been in the seventies for a few weeks now. It's staying lighter longer outside and outdoor drinking is starting to happen again. 

No offense to the holiday season, but springtime is truly the most wonderful time of the year. After what seems like almost endless months of rainy, cold and dreary weather, the sun has returned to us. 

In my household, once we can start leaving the windows open to catch a warm breeze and sit outside on our balcony to enjoy happy hour, it means it's time to bust out a warm weather favorite: tiki cocktails. 

You might be thinking to yourself: tiki? Really? As in those godawful, overly sweet cocktails with barely any alcohol in them — well, yes and no. A proper tiki beverage usually features rum and either velvet falernum, grenadine, orgeat or curaçao. Fresh tropical juices are, of course, a must and over the top decor is non-negotiable. All of these are, yes, sweet, but, when used in proper proportions, can still make for a delicious drink.

Here, I'm making use of tart grapefruit to balance out the sugar, along with pineapple, which is almost a requirement in a tiki drink. There is also a secret ingredient in here — aquafaba, a.k.a. the liquid from a can of chickpeas. This protein-packed elixir will thicken the drink and add a luscious, thick foam on top.

The final result is an almost silky beach vacation in a cup. The next time it's 75 degrees and sunny, whip up this gorgeous cocktail, sit outside and say cheers to the weekend. 

Grapefruit Tiki Teaser
Serves: 2

4 ounces Mount Gay Eclipse Rum 
2 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1 ounce pineapple juice
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 ounce grenadine syrup 
1 ounce aquafaba (see above)
6 dashes angostura bitters
Ice cubes
Grapefruit, pineapple, and lime slices, for garnish
Orchid flowers, for garnish (optional) 

In a cocktail shaker, combine the rum, grapefruit juice, pineapple juice, lime juice, grenadine, aquafaba and bitters. Shake without ice for 30 seconds. Fill the shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled and foamy, about another 30 seconds. 

Strain the drink into two large cocktail glasses filled with ice. Garnish with the fruit slices and orchid flowers, if using. Serve immediately.

Author image

Ryan Shepard is the editor-in-chief at Southern Kitchen. Though originally from Los Angeles, she has lived in Atlanta since early 2017 and cannot imagine calling any other city home (except maybe New Orleans). Before joining Southern Kitchen's staff, Ryan worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on public policy issues. When she's not at work, she enjoys hunting down the best Mexican food in the city and drinking whiskey, obviously.