Elusive Dreams

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Cocktail History

The Elusive Dreams is a modern tiki cocktail that was created by Demi Natoli in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s a variation of the Hotel Nacional that uses the unexpected flavor of rich banana liqueur in place of the traditional recipe’s apricot brandy, and it also mixes a touch of cinnamon syrup with the classic’s rum, pineapple, and lime.

Cocktail Ingredients

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

Pineapple Rum: This is a type of rum made with pineapple, molasses or sugar cane juice, and alcohol. We used Plantation Stiggin’s Fancy Pineapple Rum because it has a rich rum taste with notes of tropical fruits, citrus, and cloves. For a mocktail version of this drink, try homemade pineapple syrup in place of the pineapple rum.

Dark Rum: This is a type of rum made with sugarcane, spices, and water that has been barrel aged for a long period of time. We used Appleton Estate Special Gold Rum because it has a delicious rum flavor with notes of vanilla and baking spices. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Caleño Non-Alcoholic Dark & Spicy Tropical Spirit in place of the rum.

Pineapple Juice: This is the liquid juice of a pineapple. We used fresh pineapple juice.

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

Cinnamon Syrup: This is a sweetener made with cinnamon sticks, white sugar, gum Arabic powder, saline solution, and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s sous vide recipe.

Banana Liqueur: This is a liqueur made with bananas, vanilla extract, sugar, and alcohol. We used Drillaud Banana Liqueur because it has a tangy and bright flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Monin Premium Banana Syrup in place of the banana liqueur.

Pineapple Slice: This is pineapple flesh that has been cut into a slice.

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.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

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

Pineapple Corer: This is used to remove the core of the pineapple before it’s juiced. We used the OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Pineapple Corer.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus, fruits, and vegetables. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer for the lime and the Hamilton Beach Large Juicer for the pineapple.

Tasting Notes

The Elusive Dreams begins with aromas of banana and pineapple and features a great combination of the tastes of rum, pineapple, and citrus before finishing with the lingering spice of cinnamon and the sweet aftertaste of banana.

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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: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“This cocktail was seriously great! I love the surprisingly bold banana flavor it has, which gives some funkiness to the otherwise fairly sweet mixture. The cinnamon syrup is able to give it just a hint of spice, but I love my spiciness so I might consider adding some bitters to the mixture next time to deepen that aspect of it and balance all of the sweetness a bit. Overall a great drink for me, but honestly one you may not love if you don’t like banana.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐
“The Hotel Nacional is one of my top ten favorite cocktails; it might even be my all-time fave for poolside sipping if I had to pick just one. That said, I really, really wanted to like this riff, but I just didn’t love the addition of banana to a cocktail I already consider perfected. The taste reminded me of the Banana Laffy Taffy I used to eat as a kid, and once I made that association, I couldn’t drink much more of it. I’ll be sticking to the classic formula with apricot brandy.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Easy Tiki: A Modern Revival with 60 Recipes by Chloe Frechette.

Sale
Easy Tiki: A Modern Revival with 60 Recipes
Easy Tiki: A Modern Revival with 60 Recipes
Hardcover Book; Frechette, Chloe (Author); English (Publication Language); 176 Pages – 05/12/2020 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$11.39 Amazon Prime

AuthorEasy Tiki

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 1 oz Pineapple Rum
 1 oz Dark Rum
 1 oz Pineapple Juice
 ¾ oz Lime Juice
 ½ oz Banana Liqueur
 1 Pineapple Wedge

Method
1

Add pineapple rum, dark rum, pineapple juice, lime juice, cinnamon syrup, banana liqueur, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with pineapple wedge.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 oz Pineapple Rum
 1 oz Dark Rum
 1 oz Pineapple Juice
 ¾ oz Lime Juice
 ½ oz Banana Liqueur
 1 Pineapple Wedge

Directions

Method
1

Add pineapple rum, dark rum, pineapple juice, lime juice, cinnamon syrup, banana liqueur, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with pineapple wedge.

Elusive Dreams

Make It a Mocktail: Use homemade pineapple syrup in place of the pineapple rum, Caleño Non-Alcoholic Dark & Spicy Tropical Spirit in place of the dark rum, and Monin Premium Banana Syrup in place of the banana 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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HISTORY COMPANY Chez Paree 1933 Chicago Cocktail Coupe Glass 2-Piece Set (Nightclub Gift Box Collection)
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Godinger Champagne Glasses, Champagne Glass Set, Coupes Barware Glasses - Set of 4, 6oz., Dublin Crystal Collection
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OXO Good Grips 8 Inch Chef's Knife
OXO Good Grips 8 Inch Chef’s Knife
Canister automatically springs open when Toilet Brush is lifted; Sleek Canister neatly and discreetly stores Brush within easy reach
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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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Hamilton Beach Juicer Machine, Big Mouth Large 3” Feed Chute for Whole Fruits and Vegetables, Easy to Clean, Centrifugal Extractor, BPA Free, 800W Motor, Black
Hamilton Beach Juicer Machine, Big Mouth Large 3” Feed Chute for Whole Fruits and Vegetables, Easy to Clean, Centrifugal Extractor, BPA Free, 800W Motor, Black
Source: Circana, Retail Tracking Service, US Unit Sales, 12 Months Ending July 2023; Cup not included
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OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
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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:

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

Zombie Cocktail Recipe

Zombie: A rum cocktail made with velvet falernum liqueur, Donn’s mix, lime juice, absinthe, grenadine, Angostura aromatic bitters, and mint

Junior Colada Cocktail Recipe

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

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