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Big Bamboo cocktail

How to make the Big Bamboo cocktail
with rum

Which dark rum is best for Big Bamboo cocktail

The original Big Bamboo cocktail calls for a Gold rum and a darker Jamaican rum. Dos Maderas 5+3 is an excellent rum choice for the base of this cocktail as a gold / amber rum with excellent spice and nutty qualities. The 5+5 in the blend can sub in for a Jamaican rum for a richer version with less funk.

dos-maderas-5-3-bottle-cocktail

About Dos Maderas 5+3 Rum

Dos Maderas 5+3 Rum blends the lighter Baja Rum with the richer Guyana style and ages for 5 years in the Caribbean followed by 3 years in Jerez, Spain in Palo Cortado casks. The smooth character of the 5+3 is awash with pleasant vanilla, hazelnut, coconut and subtle maple.

dos-maderas-5-3-bottle-cocktail-mobile

About Dos Maderas 5+3 Rum

Dos Maderas 5+3 Rum blends the lighter Baja Rum with the richer Guyana style and ages for 5 years in the Caribbean followed by 3 years in Jerez, Spain in Palo Cortado casks. The smooth character of the 5+3 is awash with pleasant vanilla, hazelnut, coconut and subtle maple. 

Big Bamboo drink Ingredients

  • 1 oz. / 45ml Dos Maderas 5+3
  • .5 oz. / 15ml Dos Maderas 5+5
  • .5 oz. / 15ml Lime Juice
  • .5 oz. / 15ml Orange Juice
  • .5 oz. / 15ml Grapefruit Juice
  • .5 oz. / 15ml passion fruit syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1/2 cup of crushed ice
  • Fresh mint garnish

Big Bamboo recipe - Step by step how to prepare Big Bamboo

  1. Prepare your passion fruit syrup by first making a simple 1:1 syrup with equal parts cane sugar and hot water and let cool. Then combine equal parts passion fruit purée and 1:1 simple syrup until smooth.
  2. Chill a Collins glass or a ceramic tiki mug
  3. Cut your lime in half and juice
  4. Cut your orange in half and juice
  5. Cut your grapefruit in half and juice
  6. Add all your ingredients (minus the mint) to your shaker
  7. Fill shaker with cracked ice
  8. Shake for 10 seconds
  9. Double-strain, using a fine mesh strainer to remove excess pulp and ice shards, into your chilled glass
  10. Fill glass with crushed ice
  11. Stir and refresh with more crushed ice
  12. Garnish with your fresh mint, leaves rubbed just a touch for better aroma. Serve with a reusable straw.

Big Bamboo dark rum cocktail history

Making the Big Bamboo requires a bit of work but is well worth the effort. While not as well known as other vintage recipes from the post World War Tiki era, this second wave cocktail combines a bevy of citrus and passion fruit with two types of rum and bitters. Having a blender makes the work quicker but making the Big Bamboo in a shaker is also fairly straight forward. The creator, Mariano Licudine, gained plenty of previous experience working under the tutelage of Donn the Beachcomber. The Thronton brothers, Jack and Bob, were so impressed by their experience, they decided to open their own place and poach staff from Beach. That place ended up being the epic Mai-Kai Polynesian Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida which opened its ornate doors on December 28th, 1956 and is still in business today. The Big Bamboo cocktail was created by Licudine as a “special off-menu” item that was only offered to patrons who had joined the Okole Maluna club. Translating to “Bottoms Up,” this club’s eligibility came after one had ordered every one of the 48 drinks on the regular menu. Mariano would serve this secret drink in a personalised bamboo cup and the gimmick was one that took off in a big way.

Big Bamboo Variations and types

 A combination of fresh lime, passion fruit juice and two types of rum, one lighter and one from the Demerara region of Guyana, this has a more pared down structure with similar elements to the Big Bamboo.

Here Lucidine combined fresh lime, passion fruit syrup, falernum and aged Martinique rum with crushed ice for a blended Daiquiri style cocktail.

Adapted from Lucidine as a more streamlined version of the Big Bamboo, this cocktail drink actually made it to the menu listing of the Mai-Kai and might even still be on it.

FAQ

The best rum for the Big Bamboo cocktail is a blend of a lighter or gold style rum and a darker or Jamaican style rum. Using the Dos Maderas 5+3 as your gold style and base is an excellent pick while using the Dos Maderas 5+5 subs in well for a less funky dark rum component.

The ideal vessel for a Big Bamboo cocktail is a ceramic tiki mug (ideally the ones that look like bamboo), but you can also use a Collins or Highball glass.

The Big Bamboo cocktail made its debut at the historic Mai-Kai restaurant of Fort Lauderdale in Florida and was created by their “Houdini of the liquids,” Mariano Licudine. Licudine originally hailed from Manila in the Philippines and was born in 1907 as the youngest of 14 siblings. As a teenager, he learned to make sugar cane wine, then travelled to Hawaii, worked on a pineapple farm, then moved to California, worked in a hospital, followed by a stint in Hollywood mixing drinks for Laurel & Hardy and then eventually began his serious bar career tending bar at Don the Beachcomber’s, finally landing in their Chicago location. It was there that he was scouted and recruited to open the Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale in late 1956. Not only did Licudine work his position for over 20 years, retiring in November of 1980, he also toured and taught his craft south of the border in various countries like Jamaica, Cuba and Puerto Rico. Want to learn more? Check out “Beachbum Berry Remixed” by Jeff Berry.

Cocktails with Dos Maderas 5+3

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