Wisdom of Pelé


As I had already announced: today its time for another cocktail recipe. And once again it is a drink from the Tiki genre. What will certainly come to many people’s minds as soon as they think about Tiki drinks is surely rum – and that they are usually quite strong. Often this is indeed true. But what may not sound very appealing to everyone at a first glance does not have to be a sign of a bad drink. There are many examples proving the opposite. Today I would like to introduce such an example for a good, strong and rum-based tiki drink which is not so widely known.

The cocktail is called “Wisdom of Pelé” and was created in the state of Oregon in Portland by Blair Reynolds. I was not able to find out which is the exact background for this name. When I hear the name Pelé, I think quite automatically of Edson Arantes do Nascimento, the world-famous Brazilian footballer. And although he has been working in politics for a long time and has also already been a Brazilian minister of sport, I would not necessarily have associated him with the term “wisdom”. Rather with finesse, playfulness, geniality or such concepts. And I also do not associate him with Tiki cocktails at all. But since the US is not necessarily a country which is known for its thriving football culture and enthusiasm, I have some doubt that it is this Pelé who is meant here. Anyway, let’s take a look inside the shaker (or mixer in this case). Update: as one of my readers recently amended, Pelé is the Hawaiian goddess of volcanos. So shame on my lack of knowledge concerning anciant polynesian deities!

The Wisdom of Pelé consists of four different rums. The original recipe calls for the 151 Proof Lemonhart Demerara Rum, Dark Jamaican Rum (exemplified by Coruba), Virgin Island Rum (exemplified by Cruzan) and mature Martinique Rum (as an example St. James Extra Old is named). Now, of course, it may be likely that you do not have all of these rums in your bar or even at home. At least that was the case with me, so I deviated a little from the original proposals. First, I must therefore confess that I have weakened the cocktail a little bit. The Lemon Hart Rum with its 75,5% ABV I simply did not want to add into the cocktail since I thought the recipe was already potent enough and I still liked to be able to walk straight forward after that drink. So I replaced it by a 12 year old El Dorado. As a dark Jamaican rum I opted for Meyers’s, which is quite cheap but very good and full-flavored, the Cruzan Virgin Island Rum can be easily replaced by a Golden Rum of your choice (I have used Gosling’s Gold) and the St-James Extra Old by another barrel-matured Rhum Agricole (I opted for Rhum JM Vieux Agricole VSOP). As you can see, this drink will probably demand a little improvisation based on your personally available rums, but if you have the appropriate styles in stock, this should be possible without any problems.



Well, there are still Falernum, grapefruit juice, lime juice, orangenblossom honey, cinnamon syrup, Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters and Navan Vanilla Liqueur (I have replaced the latter due to lack of availability by the more spicy Licor 43 – and I’d almost like to bet that I would have also liked this one more even in direct comparison). So you can see we’re with an imposing list of ingredients that is more than worthy of the Tiki genre. The result is also very impressive in terms of taste: Complex layers of rum flavors mix with the remaining ingredients to create exotic-spicy fireworks of aromas. But be careful: despite my replacement of the Lemonhart rum by a weaker one, one of these cocktails is certainly more than enough for an evening!

Recipe (this is my modified version, for the original version click here):

3.5 cl El Dorado 12 Demerara Rum
2.5 cl Meyers’s Jamaican Rum
3 cl Golden Rum (for example Gosling’s)
1.5 cl matured Rhum Agricole (for example Rhum J.M Vieux Agricole VSOP)
3 bar spoons of runny orangeblossom honey (see below)
2.5 cl grapefruit juice
2 cl lime juice
2 cl Falernum
0.75 cl Licor 43
0.75 cl cinnamon syrup
2 Dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters

Runny Orangeblossom Honey: Mix the orange-blossom honey in a ratio of 1:1 homogeneously with hot water.

Preparation: Add all ingredients except Licor 43 to a blender and add about 80 grams of crushed ice. Then mix by pushing the impulse button briefly for four times (it should not gain the consistency of a Slushy). Then pour inside your pre-chilled glass and float with Licor 43.

Glass: Tiki Mug or large highball glass

Garnish: lime zest and cocktail umbrella


Buying sources: Orange blossom honey is available in well-stocked supermarkets or in health food shops. The same applies to cinnamon syrup and fruits for the juices (the syrup can also be a homemade one). The alcoholic ingredients will make it necessary to visit a specialized trader or to order online.


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