Paradise Lost

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Cocktail History

The Paradise Lost is a modern tiki cocktail that was created by Kirk Estopinal at Cane & Table in New Orleans, Louisiana. The recipe was the product of his trying to make a drink that was “tiki but of the moment.” He achieved this with the contemporary usage of vodka and sherry that deliver a hit of dryness but keep the alcohol level lower; meanwhile, the clever addition of coconut water, mixed with the classic lime, orgeat, and aromatic bitters, brings a bit of flavor without the loud and colorful qualities of the coconut cream you usually find in tiki cocktails.

Cocktail Ingredients

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

Vodka: This is a spirit made with grains, vegetables or fruits, and alcohol. We used Smirnoff Vodka because it’s high quality and affordable. For a mocktail version of this drink, try STRYKK Not V*dka in place of the vodka.

Sherry: This is a type of fortified wine made in Spain with palomino grapes. We used Sheffield Cellars Very Dry Sherry because it has a dry and rich wine flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Non-Alcoholic Sherry Flavoring in place of the sherry.

Coconut Water: This is the liquid juice inside a coconut. We used Vita Coco Coconut Water.

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

Orgeat Syrup: This is a sweetener made with roasted almonds, orange blossom, sugar, and water. We used Liber & Co. Almond Orgeat Syrup because it’s delicious and high quality.

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.

Mint Sprig: This is an herb. We used fresh 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.

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 ingredients. 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.

Tasting Notes

The Paradise Lost begins with aromas of cool mint and tangy allspice and has a bright citrus-forward nuttiness in the initial taste followed by a lingering aftertaste of coconut and dry sherry.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: The vodka is a chameleon in this drink. It gives the other ingredients an opportunity to shine without having a prevalent taste of its own, and the use of bitters right on top gives off a pleasant spiced aroma without affecting the remaining flavors. If you’re like Kendall and aren’t too fond of sherry, this one may not be a favorite, but for those of you like Alex who enjoy its unmistakable taste and dryness, you’ll find this a pleasantly subdued and very sessionable tiki drink. 

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 →

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 actually really liked this recipe. For me, it struck a great balance between being a super tasty tiki drink with great tropical flavors and a fun mood and being a “serious” drink by the strategic inclusion of sherry. I’ll also never say no to orgeat in a cocktail. Another thing I loved was the lower ABV, which is always great since it means you get to enjoy more of them. This is one I would definitely make again, especially on a day when I’m starting earlier than evening.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐
“After trying so many rum and coconut cream tiki drinks this summer, it was nice to break up the flavors with a recipe made using a different base. I knew this cocktail would be unique when I saw vodka and sherry on its ingredient list; unfortunately for me though, I’ve realized I’m just not the biggest fan of sherry. Much like absinthe, I find it to be too overpowering… or maybe distracting is the right word? Either way, that was about all I tasted in this one, so I only had a few sips and let Alex finish the rest. I suppose I’ll be sticking to more traditional tiki ingredients for now.”

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 Vodka
 1 oz Fino Sherry
 1 oz Coconut Water
 ¾ oz Lime Juice
 ½ oz Orgeat Syrup
 2 dashes Aromatic Bitters
 1 Mint Sprig

Method
1

Add vodka, sherry, coconut water, lime juice, orgeat syrup, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a Pilsner glass over fresh cracked ice.

4

Top with bitters.

5

Stir gently for 1-2 seconds.

6

Garnish with mint sprig.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 oz Vodka
 1 oz Fino Sherry
 1 oz Coconut Water
 ¾ oz Lime Juice
 ½ oz Orgeat Syrup
 2 dashes Aromatic Bitters
 1 Mint Sprig

Directions

Method
1

Add vodka, sherry, coconut water, lime juice, orgeat syrup, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a Pilsner glass over fresh cracked ice.

4

Top with bitters.

5

Stir gently for 1-2 seconds.

6

Garnish with mint sprig.

Paradise Lost

Make It a Mocktail: Use STRYKK Not V*dka in place of the vodka, Non-Alcoholic Sherry Flavoring in place of the sherry, 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.

Sale
Libbey Mini Pub Glass (4809), 5oz - Set of 4
Libbey Mini Pub Glass (4809), 5oz – Set of 4
Libbey Mini Pub Glass (4809); Perfect size and shape for beer tastings and serving samples
$17.40 Amazon Prime
Libbey Craft Brews Assorted Beer Glasses, Set of 6
Libbey Craft Brews Assorted Beer Glasses, Set of 6
Dishwasher safe; Made in USA; Made of glass, Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 10.4 x 10.2 inches
$64.95
Sale
Libbey Craft Brews Beer Flight Glass Set with Wood Carrier, 4 Glasses
Libbey Craft Brews Beer Flight Glass Set with Wood Carrier, 4 Glasses
Made lead-free; Includes 4 beer glasses and 1 wood carrier
$32.19 Amazon Prime
Libbey Pub Beer Glasses, 19-ounce, Set of 12
Libbey Pub Beer Glasses, 19-ounce, Set of 12
All-purpose beer glass perfect for stouts, ales, porters and more; Pub glasses can be stacked, ideal for close-quarter apartments
$34.57 Amazon Prime
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
$9.95 Amazon Prime

More Tiki Cocktails

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

Donga Punch Cocktail Recipe

Donga Punch: A rhum agricole cocktail made with Don’s mix, lime juice, a grapefruit twist, a cinnamon stick, and an orchid blossom

Zombie Cocktail Recipe

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

Something Tequila Cocktail Recipe

Something Tequila: A tequila cocktail made with pineapple juice, orange juice, lime juice, simple syrup, passion fruit syrup, a lime slice, a mint sprig, and edible flowers

Cobra's Fang Cocktail Recipe

Cobra’s Fang: A rum cocktail made with orange juice, lime juice, passion fruit syrup, Swedish punsch, grenadine, absinthe, pineapple fronds, and a snake-shaped orange peel

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 2024-02-26.

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