MxMo XX: Pairing

Posted by TraderTiki on October 14th, 2007 — Posted in MxMo, Rum

MxMo XX: PairingAnother MxMo has arrived, and this time bringing in the gourmands, as solid refreshment, also known as food, is brought in to play.

Now, were I Trader Dive Bar, writing of the lost souls who inhabit the darkened bars where animal heads perch upon the walls and the jukebox hasn’t worked since ‘82, I would have most likely gone with a nice Kentucky bourbon and pretzels. But, what a joy that some strange bug called Tiki bit me so long ago. For this MxMo: Pairings, hosted by The Liquid Muse, the challenge was put out to match a cocktail with food.

Most bars, heck, likely all bars have a gnosh or bar bite of some sort. In this state, having food in an establishment with spirits is enforced by law, and what better way to slow down the intoxication of a patron, or keep people around for more cocktails, than to serve a nice appetizer-sized portion. Tiki bars were started, in the days of Don and Vic, as not just lounges, but full service restaurants. A Nui Nui and some Crab Rangoon? Maybe a Navy Grog, some Cheese Bings, and Bongo Bongo Soup. There’s a lot of fascinating information about the heated competition and serving methods developed in Sippin’ Safari. Don the Beachcomber is infamous for the dreaded yet beloved Rumaki, as pretty much anything wrapped in bacon will sell. Most Tiki-themed restaurants served a heaping helping of Cantonese or other asian foods, as they were as exotic as anything. Heck, throw a pineapple in there and the Orient becomes the south pacific.

For this competition, I strayed a bit out from that combo, but still made a nice match of South American and Tahitian. The drink, La Floridita Daiquiri, and the grub, Poisson Cru. I gotta tell you true, I’d have a far road to travel to work my way to Master Sommelier, but I seem to have done pretty good with this pairing.

La Floridita and Poisson Cru

The matching, and strongest key ingredient in these two items is the lime. The fish soak in it, and the drink contains a good half of one. This connected the dish and the drink. The real key notes that got me were the unexpected and wonderful combination of the coconut milk from the Poisson Cru, and the nuttiness of the Maraschino Liqueur in the Floridita. The milk really sticks with you for a bit, and when the drink hits you, it sticks the the coconut milk, making for a wonderful flavor and texture that is spot on. So the components from both become a sweet, nutty, citrus pleasure. This is bound to become a lunchtime favorite, particularly with the ease of whipping up a batch of the Poisson Cru.

Now, without further ado, the recipes:

La Floridita Daiquiri

  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 oz. White Puerto Rican Rum (Cuban if you can swing it)
  • 1 tsp. Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1 tsp. Simple Syrup

Blend with ice until thick, pour into Daiquiri or Cocktail glass.

Poisson Cru

  • Juice of 6 limes
  • 1 pound of fresh saltwater fish (I personally prefer sushi grade tuna, but just about anything will do)
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • 1 sprig scallions (chopped)
  • 4 oz. coconut milk

Cube fish, and place fish in non-metallic bowl. Sprinkle salt on fish and cover completely with lime juice. Leave fish in lime for anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on how cooked you prefer (me, I like it quick). Drain the fish, and combine in bowl with garlic, scallions, and coconut milk, adjust to taste, and serve in small portions. Serves two for a meal, 6-8 as a snack.

One thing to note about the Poisson Cru, is you can truly make it your own. Use whatever fish you prefer, add or subtract seasonings, it’s just a quick easy dish. The lime denatures the proteins in the fish, essentially cooking it. It can’t burn, but it can start to really soak up the lime juice.

I can’t wait to see what else is on the table over on The Liquid Muse. I won’t be delving into food too much, but next time I do, I’m betting it’ll be rich, fatty, soaked in teriyaki and covered in bacon.

Update: All of the entries are now available on this MxMo post at The Liquid Muse.  I will be eating very, very well for the next two weeks, at least.

If you liked that post, then try these...

Rum soaked Friday
What a good day to enjoy rum.

Bird of Paradise Fizz

Temperance? Good Riddance!


Comment by Dominik MJ aka opinionated alchemist

Sounds like a interesting combination! I think I read already in the (rare) posts on this MxMo about a ceviche combined with a cocktail - and your food looks quite similar.
Interesting is, that raw (or marinated) fish is much easier to combine as fried or cooked fish! (However I really don’t want to criticize - but since when is tuna a white fish?)

Thank you for your Tiki side of the MxMo - Pairings!



Posted on October 15, 2007 at 2:55 pm

Comment by TraderTiki

D’oh! That was a typo between the recipe and my brain. I’ll edit that a bit.

The recipe in Taboo Table calls for white fish, I prefer Tuna. The recipe also calls to sit it in the lime for 4 hours, but the traditional Tahitian dish leaves it in for just over a minute.

Posted on October 15, 2007 at 3:49 pm

Comment by Dr. Bamboo

Awesome- Since you mentioned that Cuban rum would be a good choice, would Ron Matusalem Platino fit the bill?

(assuming I could find it of course)

Posted on October 17, 2007 at 11:29 am

Comment by TraderTiki

Dr. Bamboo -

that’s actually a Dominican Rum by a U.S. Distiller, from what I’ve seen.

I can’t say I’ve had a bottle of the stuff, but when I say Cuban, it’s pretty safe to say I mean Havana Club.

I did a white rum tasting a while back ( too long of a while back) and remember the Havana Club as really distinguishing itself from the pack.

Posted on October 17, 2007 at 1:12 pm

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