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It’s Tiki Time!

"If you can’t get to paradise, I’ll bring it to you.”

Article by Mary Compton

Photography by Photography Provided

Originally published in Brentwood Lifestyle

It’s July. It’s Summer. It’s hot. It’s tiki time! It’s time for a high-flying cocktail concoction to replenish your spirits this Summer. It’s time to get on that flight and explore somewhere new for a paradise vacation or even a staycation with the Jet Pilot cocktail. 

“If you can’t get to paradise, I’ll bring it to you,” said Donn Beach, the inventor of the Test Pilot the cocktail that preceded the fashionable Jet Pilot. The Test Pilot cocktail was invented by Beach in 1941 and preceded what we now know as the Jet Pilot. During this time of exploration and aviation, there were many variations of cocktails that sensationalized your taste buds. There was and is the Astronaut and the Space Pilot, but the Jet Pilot is the recipe we suggest you try. The Jet Pilot was created by tiki bar owner Steve Crane in 1958 at the Beverly Hills Luau bar and became a celebrated drink at tiki bars.

When replicating this frozen drink, make sure you don't blend the ingredients too much so the effect has a crushed ice sensation that packs a punch. Or, if you’d rather, have it super chilled. You can crush the ice more as preferred to have a summertime slushy with a twist. Pack your bags and get on the next flight to paradise.


  • 1-ounce overproof Jamaican rum

  • 3/4-ounce overproof demerara rum (such as Plantation OFTD)

  • 3/4-ounce gold rum

  • 1/2-ounce grapefruit juice that is freshly squeezed

  • 3/4-ounce lime juice that is freshly squeezed

  • 1/2-ounce cinnamon syrup

  • 1/2-ounce falernum

  • 1 dash absinthe

  • 1 dash Angostura bitters

  • Garnish with a maraschino cherry and mint, a twist of lime, or with pineapple wings, if desired


  • Add all ingredients into a blender with a cup of crushed ice and blend on high until combined but not smooth, about 5 seconds. This allows the drink to have a crushed ice texture that is great for the summer heat

  • Pour into a double old-fashioned glass or have it in a whole pineapple with a tiki umbrella too!

  • Garnish as desired. Get creative and make a fruit plane to compliment the drink or flavor with a cherry and fresh mint leaves

The result is a satisfyingly flavorful mix of fruit and spice. The cinnamon compliments the varieties of rums and sends the tastebuds soaring. The combinations of rum give this drink an elevated kick. The crushed ice keeps it cool and refreshing. The cherry garnish creates a sweet and juicy finishing note. Try this treat while on your excursions or for your local explorations. The Nashville bars Chopper and Fox Bar & Cocktail Club have their own spin on this classy and timeless solace. This season is a fabulous time to try new places and explore! Cheers to the next exploration! The skies are the limit!