Wishful Thinking

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Cocktail History

The Wishful Thinking is a modern tiki cocktail that was created by Julia McKinley at Three Dots & a Dash and Lost Lake in Chicago, Illinois. Unlike other tiki recipes, this relatively low-proof drink uses a base of tart sloe gin and pairs the liqueur with the unique flavors of rhum agricole, spicy ginger, lime, a hint of absinthe, aromatic bitters, and mint.

Cocktail Ingredients

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

Sloe Gin: This is a liqueur made with sloes, sugar, and alcohol. We used Plymouth Sloe Gin because it’s the original sloe gin with a rich flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Monin Premium Wild Berry Syrup in place of the sloe gin.

Rhum Agricole: This is a type of rum made in the French Caribbean Islands that is distilled from freshly squeezed sugarcane juice. We used Clément Rhum Vieux Agricole VSOP because it has a distinct taste with notes of brown sugar and cocoa. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Caleño Non-Alcoholic Dark & Spicy Tropical Spirit in place of the rhum agricole.

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

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

Absinthe: This is a spirit made with anise, wormwood, fennel, botanicals, and alcohol. We used Great Lakes Distillery Amerique 1912 Absinthe Verte because it’s flavorful and made locally to us. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Absinthe in place of the absinthe.

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 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 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.

Tasting Notes

The Wishful Thinking features the aromas of mint, ginger, and sloe gin’s berry-like notes and has a taste that largely involves the liqueur’s sweet-tart flavor mixed with the overripe fruit notes of rum, ginger spice, and tart citrus, and it all leaves with a pucker-inducing aftertaste that blends the sloe’s flavor with the rum’s funk.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We were both very pleased with how this one turned out, and despite being the cherry-red color of overly sweet Shirley Temples, the Wishful Thinking has a great amount of bitterness and depth that’s sure to convert sloe gin’s nonbelievers.

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’m not generally super optimistic about drinks that have sloe gin in them because I find it to be a unique but mostly sugary yet bitter liqueur, and I fully admit that the reason is probably only because I’ve only ever had bottom-shelf sloe gin. But this drink pleased the hell out of me. Its brilliant red color was a great teaser into all of the exotic flavors it would display, which included the ginger, rhum agricole, absinthe, and obviously sloe gin’s berry-tinged bitterness.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Up until now, we’ve only tried two other sloe gin cocktails, and neither one stand out in my mind. This is an incredibly tasty and a very unique tiki drink though. It has a sweet-tart flavor you don’t find in tropical recipes, and although I thought I had learned to steer clear of rhum agricole, its funkiness is much more muted than it was when we used it in the Donga Punch. I imagine if we made this one for friends they would be hesitant to try it given its rather unknown list of ingredients, but they would be as pleasantly surprised by how delicious it is as we were.”

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 Sloe Gin
 1 oz Rhum Agricole
 1 oz Lime Juice
 3 dashes Absinthe
 3 dashes Aromatic Bitters
 1 Mint Sprig

Method
1

Add sloe gin, rhum agricole, ginger syrup, lime juice, absinthe, bitters, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a tiki glass over fresh cracked ice.

4

Garnish with mint sprig.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Sloe Gin
 1 oz Rhum Agricole
 1 oz Lime Juice
 3 dashes Absinthe
 3 dashes Aromatic Bitters
 1 Mint Sprig

Directions

Method
1

Add sloe gin, rhum agricole, ginger syrup, lime juice, absinthe, bitters, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a tiki glass over fresh cracked ice.

4

Garnish with mint sprig.

Wishful Thinking

Make It a Mocktail: Use Monin Premium Wild Berry Syrup in place of the sloe gin, Caleño Non-Alcoholic Dark & Spicy Tropical Spirit in place of the rhum agricole, Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Absinthe in place of the absinthe, 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 Classic Tiki Statue Rocks Glass, 16-ounce, Set of 4
Libbey Classic Tiki Statue Rocks Glass, 16-ounce, Set of 4
Tiki statue design pays homage to tiki bar culture of the 1950s and ’60s; Includes 4, 16-ounce rocks glasses (3.5-inch diameter by 6.4-inch height)
$8.05
Anchor Hocking Screaming Tiki Glasses,470 milliliters
Anchor Hocking Screaming Tiki Glasses,470 milliliters
Set of two 16 ounce glasses; Glasses are approximately 6 1/4″ tall and 3″ wide; Commercial grade heavy duty Glassware from Anchor Hocking Company
$13.80 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
$12.99 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:

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

Iron Ranger Cocktail Recipe

Iron Ranger (Variation): A whiskey cocktail made with pineapple juice, lemon juice, velvet falernum liqueur, cinnamon syrup, Angostura aromatic bitters, mint, and a cinnamon stick

Nui Nui Cocktail Recipe

Nui Nui: A rum cocktail made with orange juice, lime juice, cinnamon syrup, vanilla syrup, St. Elizabeth’s allspice dram, Angostura aromatic bitters, an orange twist, and a cinnamon stick

Jamaican Mule Cocktail Recipe

Jamaican Mule: A rum cocktail made with ginger syrup, lime juice, pineapple juice, Angostura aromatic bitters, candied ginger, a lime slice, 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 2024-07-17.

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