Demarara Dry Float Cocktail

Demarara Dry Float rum-based Tiki cocktail.

By Bill Lau | A Potable Pastime

Posted February 25, 2016

Classic rum-based Tiki drink created by Ernest Gantt (aka Donn Beach of Don the Beachcomber fame) circa 1941.

I’ve recently been perusing the wonderful book Cuban Cocktails by Ravi DeRossi, Jane Danger & Alla Lapushchik of CIENFUEGOS, Sterling Epicure, 2015. It combines history and recipes of great Cuban cocktails with some very nice photography. One fascinating fact I had not known was the significant role that Cuba played in the development of the whole Tiki drink genre; the accompanying theme for Tiki was always heavily Polynesian, but it turns out that the basis of the actual drink recipes derived from the Caribbean, and Cuba in particular.

I suppose this makes sense, since so many great Tiki drinks are rum-based, and the Caribbean was the nexus of rum production for many years. At any rate, some truly classic cocktails hail from Cuba, with many others drawing inspiration from them. This cocktail is certainly one of them, employing a Demarara rum from Guyana as its base. Demarara rums are often described as having a degree of smoky character and depth of flavor.

This was so good and disappeared so quickly I had to make another. Give it a try and let me know what you think!


1 oz El Dorado 5 year old rum

1 tsp Luxardo Maraschino liqueur

½ oz passion fruit syrup*

1 tsp simple syrup

1 oz lime juice

151 rum to serve; pineapple wedge or Maraschino cherry to garnish.


Add crushed ice to a swizzle glass (or whatever you have handy, if you lack a swizzle glass as I do), and build the drink by adding all ingredients except the 151 rum in order from the smallest amount to the largest.

Swizzle the ingredients using a swizzle stick – roll the stick back and forth between your palms to mix everything together.

Top with 1 barspoon of flaming 151 rum – but do be very careful igniting this stuff! (By all means do not attempt if already inebriated!)

Garnish and serve.

*I still had some passionfruit pulp left over from my recent Hurricane Redux, so I made a syrup mixing this in a 1:1 ratio with Splenda; typically one would use sugar, and heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves completely.


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