Aku Aku

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Cocktail History

The Aku Aku is a tiki cocktail that was created in the 1930s by Victor Bergeron at Trader Vic’s in San Francisco, California. Similar to Don the Beachcomber’s Missionary’s Downfall, the recipe calls for rum and peach liqueur blended with mint and pineapple, but Trader Vic’s version mixes in Demerara syrup and lime juice instead of honey syrup and lemon.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

White Rum: This is a type of rum made with molasses or sugar cane juice and alcohol that is filtered and bottled right away without the aging process. We used BACARDÍ Superior White Rum because it has a soft and slightly sweet rum flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic White Cane Spirit in place of the rum.

Lime Juice: This is the liquid juice of a lime. We used freshly squeezed lime juice.

Demerara Syrup: This is a sweetener made with Demerara sugar and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s stovetop recipe.

Peach Liqueur: This is a liqueur made with peaches, spices, sugar, and alcohol. We used Maison Ferrand Mathilde Pêche Liqueur because it has a rich fruit flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Monin Premium Peach Syrup in place of the peach liqueur.

Mint Leaves: This is an herb. We used Mojito mint leaves.

Pineapple Cubes: This is a pineapple flesh that has been cut into a cube shape.

Mint Sprig: This is an herb. We used Mojito mint.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut citrus into slices or wheels. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer.

Chef’s Knife: This is used to cut larger fruits and vegetables into slices. We used the OXO Good Grips 8-Inch Chef’s Knife.

Pineapple Corer: This is used to remove the core of the pineapple so the flesh can be cut. We used the OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Pineapple Corer.

Blender: This is used to blend up ingredients. We used the Cuisinart SPB-7CH SmartPowder Electronic Bar Blender.

Tasting Notes

The Aku Aku has aromas of mint and citrus, a sweet pineapple-forward taste with hints of lime and peach, and a finish that highlights a bit of spicy rum along with more mint and peach.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We found ourselves differing on the Aku Aku: Alex thought the blended mint added too much slightly bitter flavor to the mix, but Kendall loved the refreshing flavors the recipe offered and would have to side with Vic over Don on this one.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“I honestly wasn’t crazy about this drink, and I think that’s mostly due to the fact that the mint gets blended into the mix. While I love mint in drinks when it’s shaken or muddled, something about blending it in just releases too many of the bitters oils for my taste; this drink ended up not being an exception to that. While the combination of flavors is a general home run and you’ll probably love this drink just like Kendall did, something about it just wasn’t quite a fit for me.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Alex fought a good fight with the strainer to make this drink, so I’m glad to say at least one of us enjoyed it quite a bit. He was a less impressed with the Aku Aku than I was; I think it’s a pretty delicious drink that does a good job of mixing pineapple and mint in a tiki-style rum recipe without them being overpowering. The peach is also a nice touch that comes through in the aftertaste. It’s a toss-up because they’re both great, but I think I do like this one better than the Missionary’s Downfall, which is the sister to this recipe.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Steve The Bartender’s Cocktail Guide by Steve Roennfeldt.

Sale
Steve the Bartender's Cocktail Guide: Tools - Techniques - Recipes
Steve the Bartender’s Cocktail Guide: Tools – Techniques – Recipes
Hardcover Book; Roennfeldt, Steven (Author); English (Publication Language); 304 Pages – 11/15/2022 (Publication Date) – DK (Publisher)
$16.49 Amazon Prime

AuthorSteve The Bartender's Cocktail Guide

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz White Rum
 1 oz Lime Juice
 ½ oz Peach Liqueur
 8 Mint Leaves
 5 Pineapple Chunks
 1 Mint Sprig

Method
1

Add rum, lime juice, Demerara syrup, peach liqueur, mint leaves, pineapple chunks, and cubed ice to a blender.

2

Blend for 10-15 seconds until smooth.

3

Fine strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with mint sprig.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz White Rum
 1 oz Lime Juice
 ½ oz Peach Liqueur
 8 Mint Leaves
 5 Pineapple Chunks
 1 Mint Sprig

Directions

Method
1

Add rum, lime juice, Demerara syrup, peach liqueur, mint leaves, pineapple chunks, and cubed ice to a blender.

2

Blend for 10-15 seconds until smooth.

3

Fine strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with mint sprig.

Aku Aku

Make It a Mocktail: Use Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic White Cane Spirit in place of the rum and Monin Premium Peach Syrup in place of the peach liqueur to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

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the mask el turko Vintage Coupe Glasses Set of 4, Champagne, Cocktail, Martini, Wine Glasses, Long Stem Glassware, (8.8oz/260ml) (4 Pcs)
the mask el turko Vintage Coupe Glasses Set of 4, Champagne, Cocktail, Martini, Wine Glasses, Long Stem Glassware, (8.8oz/260ml) (4 Pcs)
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HISTORY COMPANY Chez Paree 1933 Chicago Cocktail Coupe Glass 2-Piece Set (Nightclub Gift Box Collection)
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OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
Sturdy, stainless steel blade; Soft, comfortable, non-slip handle ensures a safe grip; Hand wash with warm, soapy water and promptly dry
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OXO Good Grips 8 Inch Chef's Knife
OXO Good Grips 8 Inch Chef’s Knife
Contoured handle design provides control while chopping and cutting; Soft, comfortable handle ensures a safe, non-slip grip, even when wet
$20.74
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Pineapple Corer & Slicer,Silver/Black
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Pineapple Corer & Slicer,Silver/Black
Cores and slices whole pineapples quickly and easily; Measurement markings help prevent piercing the bottom of the shell
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Cuisinart SPB-7CH SmartPower 40-Ounce 7-Speed Electronic Bar Blender, Chrome
Cuisinart SPB-7CH SmartPower 40-Ounce 7-Speed Electronic Bar Blender, Chrome
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More Tiki Cocktails

If you like this tiki cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Junior Colada Cocktail Recipe

Junior Colada: A pineapple rum cocktail made with coconut liqueur, pineapple juice, lime juice, coconut soda, and pineapple fronds

Caribe Daiquiri Cocktail Recipe

Caribe Daiquiri: A rum cocktail made with pineapple juice, lime juice, simple syrup, and a lime slice

Wishful Thinking Cocktail Recipe

Wishful Thinking: A sloe gin and rhum agricole cocktail made with ginger syrup, lime juice, absinthe, Angostura aromatic bitters, and a mint sprig

Tia Mia Cocktail Recipe

Tia Mia: A mezcal and rum cocktail made with lime juice, orange curaçao, orgeat syrup, a lime wheel, a mint sprig, and an orchid blossom

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission each time you purchase a product using our links. Product images sourced from Amazon Product Advertising API. Amazon affiliate links last updated on 2024-06-16.

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