Siboney (Variation)

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Cocktail History

The Siboney is a vintage tiki cocktail that was originally created by Victor Bergeron at his bar Trader Vic’s in San Francisco, California. The recipe first appeared in Victor’s 1974 book Rum Cookery & Drinkery and was made using a lot more fruit juice than rum, but this modernized variation, made by Antonio Martinez of Bootlegger Tiki in Palm Springs, California and included in the book Easy Tiki: A Modern Revival with 60 Recipes by Chloe Frechette, balances out the fruitiness with more rum spice and some rich Demerara syrup.

Cocktail Ingredients

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

Jamaican Rum: This is one of the base spirits. We used Wray & Nephew Gold Jamaican 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 Dark & Spicy Tropical Non-Alcoholic Spirit in place of the rum.

Pineapple Rum: This is the other base spirit. We went withPlantation Stiggin’s Fancy Pineapple Rum because it has a rich rum taste with notes of pineapple, tropical fruits, citrus, and cloves. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Caleño Dark & Spicy Tropical Non-Alcoholic Spirit in place of the rum.

Pineapple Juice: This adds more sweet and fruity pineapple flavor. We prefer fresh pineapple juice, but you can substitute canned juice if that’s easier than juicing an entire pineapple.

Lime Juice: This adds sour citrus flavors for balance. Again, we prefer to use fresh citrus juice.

Passion Fruit Syrup: This is a sweetener made with passion fruit juice, cane sugar, gum Arabic powder, and benzoic acid. We used Liber & Co. Tropical Passion Fruit Syrup for its tangy and lush taste.

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

Tasting Notes

The Siboney features sweetened pineapple, passionfruit, and funky rum aromas and has a sweet pineapple-forward taste that evolves into a combination of rum and passionfruit and leaves some extra rum notes on the finish.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We both thought this fairly inoffensive cocktail was just that—pleasing to just about any palate but lacking the flair that is typical of tiki’s usual spices and exotic flavors. That said, the Siboney would do well for beginners who want a gateway to the finer things about rum.

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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.

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Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“This recipe had a lot of potential but ended up falling a bit flat on my palate mostly because it featured too much one-note sweetness and not enough variety. The combination of pineapple and passion fruit is fantastic obviously, but when combined with lime and rum, it just doesn’t leave much to the imagination; the fact that the creator swapped out some passion fruit for some Demerara probably improved the specifications a bit, I’ll admit, but it still ended up being overly sweet for me, though it may fit the bill for a less seasoned drinker who prefers the more sugary end of the spectrum.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“In taste alone, this is a pretty good drink, but it’s not complex at all, in my opinion. That’s why I ended up rating it a little lower. I’d mostly just call this a sweet-tart pineapple and passion fruit drink that offers a hint of rum. There are other pineapple tiki cocktails I like quite a bit more than this one, so I’ll be sticking to those, but this one is certainly tasty. And this updated version of the Siboney is definitely an improvement on Trader Vic’s original from what we could tell. The original was even less complex.”

Recipe

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

AuthorEasy TikiPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Jamaican Rum
 ½ oz Pineapple Rum
 1 oz Pineapple Juice
 ¾ oz Lime Juice
 ½ oz Passion Fruit Syrup
 ½ oz Homemade Rich Demerara Syrup

Method
1

Add Jamaican rum, pineapple rum, pineapple juice, lime juice, passion fruit syrup, rich Demerara syrup, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a tiki or highball glass.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Jamaican Rum
 ½ oz Pineapple Rum
 1 oz Pineapple Juice
 ¾ oz Lime Juice
 ½ oz Passion Fruit Syrup
 ½ oz Homemade Rich Demerara Syrup

Directions

Method
1

Add Jamaican rum, pineapple rum, pineapple juice, lime juice, passion fruit syrup, rich Demerara syrup, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a tiki or highball glass.

Siboney (Variation)

Make It a Mocktail: Use Caleño Dark & Spicy Tropical Non-Alcoholic Spirit in place of the rums to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

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

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