Nui Nui

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Cocktail History

The Nui Nui is a classic tiki cocktail that was created in the 1930s by Don the Beachcomber at his bar in Hollywood, California. A rather unknown concoction of Don’s for many years, it wasn’t until Jeff “Beachbum” Berry dug into the history of tiki when writing his book Sippin’ Safari that this recipe was revived. This version is as close to the original as possible with its Jamaican rum base, cinnamon and vanilla syrups that would’ve been considered exotic at the time, and combination of citrus juices typical for tiki.

Cocktail Ingredients

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

Dark Rum: This is a type of rum made with molasses or sugarcane juice, spices, and alcohol that has been barrel aged for a long period of time. We used J. Wray & Nephew Gold Jamaican Rum because it’s high quality yet still affordable, full flavored while still being lighter than other rums, and lends exotic spice flavors to the finish of the drink. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Caleño Non-Alcoholic Dark & Spicy Tropical Spirit in place of the dark rum.

Orange Juice: This is the liquid juice of an orange. We used freshly squeezed orange 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, sugar, and water. We made ours using Alex’s sous vide recipe.

Vanilla Syrup: This is a sweetener made with vanilla pods, sugar, and water. We also made this syrup using Alex’s recipe.

Allspice Liqueur: This is a liqueur made with allspice berries, spices, sugar, and rum. We used St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram. For a mocktail version of this drink, try homemade allspice Demerara syrup in place of the allspice liqueur.

Aromatic Bitters: This is a food product made with botanicals, herbs, and alcohol. We used Angostura Aromatic Bitters. For a mocktail version of this drink, try All The Bitter Alcohol-Free Aromatic Bitters in place of the aromatic bitters.

Orange Twist: This is the peel of an orange that has been twisted into a corkscrew shape.

Cinnamon Stick: This is a dried spice that has been rolled into a stick. We used cinnamon sticks from the bulk section at our local grocery store.

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.

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.

Peeler: This is used to remove the garnish peel from the citrus. We used the OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set.

Tasting Notes

The Nui Nui combines aromas of orange, cinnamon, and funky Jamaican rum and has a taste that harmonizes the spirit, fruitiness, and baking spice zing with tart lime for balance. The aftertaste then leaves a lingering cinnamon note on the tongue, making this cocktail exceptionally unique for the uninitiated.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We were both big fans of this drink for its noticeable inclusion of spices and its sweet but not cloying flavor. We’ll definitely be adding it to our summer rotation!

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: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“This drink, like the majority of tiki drinks I’ve ever had, is quite good. It exists mostly to showcase the orange flavor, the spiciness of cinnamon, and sweetness of vanilla, while all of the other flavors play a supporting role. Overall, it’s balanced and inoffensive. I would make it again!”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“One word: Yum! Thanks to its baking spice flavor, this cocktail reminded me a lot of the Iron Ranger, just lighter and sweeter. If you’re not keen on a bourbon base for a tiki drink, maybe start with this one. It’s quite unique and very delicious, and it’s whiskey flavor is masked well enough by the other ingredients so it’s not overpowering.”

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
 2 oz Dark Rum
 ½ oz Orange Juice
 ½ oz Lime Juice
  oz Vanilla Syrup
  oz Allspice Liqueur
 1 dash Aromatic Bitters
 1 Orange Twist
 1 Cinnamon Stick

Method
1

Add rum, orange juice, lime juice, cinnamon syrup, vanilla syrup, allspice liqueur, bitters, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a highball or tiki glass over fresh crushed ice.

4

Garnish with orange twist and cinnamon stick.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Dark Rum
 ½ oz Orange Juice
 ½ oz Lime Juice
  oz Vanilla Syrup
  oz Allspice Liqueur
 1 dash Aromatic Bitters
 1 Orange Twist
 1 Cinnamon Stick

Directions

Method
1

Add rum, orange juice, lime juice, cinnamon syrup, vanilla syrup, allspice liqueur, bitters, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a highball or tiki glass over fresh crushed ice.

4

Garnish with orange twist and cinnamon stick.

Nui Nui

Make It a Mocktail: Use Caleño Non-Alcoholic Dark & Spicy Tropical Spirit in place of the dark rum, homemade allspice Demerara syrup in place of the allspice liqueur, and All The Bitter Alcohol-Free Aromatic Bitters in place of the aromatic bitters 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.

Libbey 6425 Footed Beers 10 Ounce Pilsner Glass - 24 / CS
Libbey 6425 Footed Beers 10 Ounce Pilsner Glass – 24 / CS
Model #: 6425; Safedge® Rim Guarantee; Use Traex rack TR-7CCCC with this Footed Pilsner Glass
$120.10
Luigi Bormioli Regency 17 oz. Pilsner Glass, Set of 4, Clear
Luigi Bormioli Regency 17 oz. Pilsner Glass, Set of 4, Clear
25 year guarantee covers rim and foot chipping as well as discoloration; Innovative glassmaking techniques produce perfectly smooth rims and edges
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
$12.99 Amazon Prime
OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set - Swivel and Julienne
OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set – Swivel and Julienne
Sharp, durable, Japanese stainless steel blades won’t rust; Straight Peeler all-purpose design for effortless prep
$16.95 Amazon Prime

More Tiki Cocktails

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

Elusive Dreams Cocktail Recipe

Elusive Dreams: A rum cocktail made with pineapple juice, lime juice, cinnamon syrup, banana liqueur, and a pineapple wedge

Staycation Cocktail Recipe

Staycation: A rum and whiskey cocktail made with lemon juice, coconut cream, apricot liqueur, passion fruit syrup, a lemon slice, and mint

Ginger Inferno Cocktail Recipe

Ginger Inferno: A rum cocktail made with ginger liqueur, velvet falernum liqueur, lime juice, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup, a lime slice, and candied ginger

Zombie Cocktail Recipe

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

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 2024-04-23.

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