• Tiki Lindy

Tiki Lindy's Guide to Tiki Ingredients (Part I: Syrups)


The world of suppliers for cocktail ingredients is one of those things that if you don't have a clue where to start, can be daunting. Company names aren't as obvious as "Acme Syrup Company" so unless you are in "the know" it's had to BE in the know. I'm hoping to fix that right now. And of course I state what should be the obvious: what follows are my opinions, but based on heavy use of the items listed and thoroughly vetted on actual tiki drink (and standard cocktail) recipes. I should also state that none of the companies of whose products are listed below have paid me for this blog (shoot, it'd be great if they did....but alas!). I'm going to organize the content by type of syrup with my pros/cons and comparisons listed and my preferred product of choice highlighted with an asterisk *. Hope this is helpful! (Note: pricing is only as current as time of this post). There are several other manufacturers out there for some of these syrups, however I have not listed any that use corn sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup.


Passionfruit Syrup

*BG Reynolds - $16.99 for 375mL/$23.99 for 750mL - bright color, good tartness, thick enough to be viscous, good shelf life ($1.92 per oz)


Simply Gala - $12.99 for 295mL - tart, but not as strong on passionfruit and thinner than BG Reynolds. ($1.30 per oz)


Small Hand Foods - $20.99 for 518mL - more passionfruit than sugar, making it stronger in flavor but thinner in viscosity. Shelf life once opened is shorter than other brands.($1.23 per oz)


Reàl - $10.49-$12.44 for 500mL - very thick infused "puree" syrup, label states 40% passionfruit puree. More sugar per gram than other brands. Contains preservatives and food coloring, long shelf life. ($0.74 per oz)


Orgeat

BG Reynolds - $23.99 for 750mL - transparent pale brown color; less mouthfeel than other brands; label says almonds and less than 2% almond extract. No orange blossom water, which makes it more like a almond syrup, less orgeat. ($0.96 per oz)


Simply Gala - $12.99 for 295mL - opaque syrup, uses rose water instead of orange blossom. Very close to the French original style orgeat. No preservatives, shorter shelf life once opened, medium viscosity. ($1.30 per oz)


Small Hand Foods - $14.99 for 251mL - opaque syrup, uses orange blossom water, brandy, nice consistency of syrup ($1.76 per oz)


*Liber & Co. - $9.99 for 280mL - opaque, golden hue, thick almond syrup with orange blossom water, preservatives (citric acid, benzoic acid) ($1.05 per oz)


Falernum

[Note that traditional falernum is a rum-based concoction with lime and spices from Barbados. The below products would be better called "falernum spice syrups." For traditional alcohol based falernum, I use the more sugary, lime focus John Taylor Velvet Falernum for drinks like "Saturn" and "Corn & Oil" and Maggie's Farm Falernum for its more clove forward flavor in drinks like "Cobra's Fang," "Last Rites," and "Puka Punch."]


*BG Reynolds - $16.99 for 375mL/$23.99 for 750mL - dark syrup, balanced on the spices, light on the lime. ($1.92 per oz)


Simply Gala - $10.99 for 150mL /$15.99for 295mL - tastes like the orgeat with ginger, allspice and star anise; lime is there by subtle. ($1.60 per oz)


Tippleman's - $23.49 for 384mL - strong on the spices and ginger, not as thick a syrup as the other 2 listed above ($1.81 per oz)


Ginger syrup

BG Reynolds - $16.99 for 375mL/$23.99 for 750mL - "wild ginger" therefore more on the sweet, floral side. ($1.92 per oz)


Simply Gala - $8.99 for 150mL /$12.99 for 295mL - classic ginger flavor, not too spicy, not too floral, balanced on both. ($1.29 per oz)


Liber & Co - $16.99 for 503mL - "fiery ginger" for a good reason, very spicy and strong ginger flavor like juiced ginger with sugar added. Perfect for Ginger Bucks and less sweet, higher ABV cocktails ($1 per oz)


*Reàl - $11.99 for 500 mL - thick, very sweet, but very gingery syrup. Pro is it take less of it to make a cocktail, so if keeping volume dilution down is desired, this is perfect, especially at the price point. ($0.71 per oz)


Grenadine

*BG Reynolds - $16.99 for 375mL/$23.99 for 750mL - "lush grenadine" is an accurate description mostly likely due to the addition of hibiscus to the pomegranate. ($1.92 per oz)


Liber & Co - $16.99 for 503mL - a more subtle flavor profile as it's pomegranate and orange blossom. It's my 2nd favorite go-to. ($1.00 per oz)


Small Hand Foods - $20.99 for 518mL - very rich in pomegranate flavor, only 3 ingredients: pomegranate juice, organic cane sugar, pomegranate concentrate. As such, not a long shelf life once opened. ($1.20 per oz)


Simply Gala - $8.99 for 150mL /$12.99 for 295mL - all pomegranate juice sweetened to a syrup ($1.29 per oz)


Demerara Syrup

*BG Reynolds - $16.99 for 375mL/$23.99 for 750mL - lighter in color than others on the market but strong on flavor which is great for cocktails you don't want to change the color too much. ($1.92 per oz)


Liber & Co - $10 - $16.99 for 503mL - very dark syrup made with the addition of gum arabic which makes is a gum syrup, thicker viscosity than other brands by far. ($1.00 per oz)


Cinnamon Syrup

BG Reynolds - $16.99 for 375mL/$23.99 for 750mL - not on the spicy end of cinnamon, more a sweet cinnamon flavor, aka "Don's Spices #4" ($1.92 per oz)


Simply Gala - $8.99 for 150mL /$12.99 for 295mL - lighter color and also on the sweeter notes of cinnamon ($1.29 per oz)


[I tend to make my own with stronger, spicier cinnamon, or I stick a whole stick of cassia into the BG Reynold's bottle once opened]


***Specific Syrups as organized by brand***

Some syrups in heavy rotation in my tiki drinks or cocktail are stand alone on the market and worth a mention here due to their frequent appearance in cocktail recipes and far worth buying over making the ingredient yourself.


BG Reynolds - Honey Mix Syrup, Red Fassionola, Paradise Blend (aka Don's Mix), Tiki Spices (aka Don's Spices #2), Gardenia Mix, Pineapple Molasses, Divine Vanilla


Liber & Co. - Blood Orange Cordial, Rio Red Grapefruit Cordial, Pineapple Gum Syrup


Small Hand Foods - Tonic Syrup (an essential if you go through a lot of tonic water and have a carbonated water device), also makes a pineapple gum syrup


Simply Gala - their vanilla syrup and cardamom syrup are both worth a try!


Reàl Cocktail Syrups - Cream of Coconut (essential for a quality "Painkiller"), Blue Agave Nectar, Mango Puree, Pineapple Puree, Kiwi, and a whole host of other thick, fruit puree syrups


Nickel Dime Cocktail Syrups - currently has 4 unique blends: Caged Heat- Tamarind, Ghost Pepper, Cardamom; Cherry Bomb- Cherry, Coffee, Cacao; Crimson Smoke- Smoked Black Tea, Cranberry, Honey; Fairy Dust- Fennel, Anise, Wormwood


[Note: many of the brands above can be ordered from Amazon.]


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