It's late July, and summer has now reached its cruising altitude. Your sunglasses have become as essential a bring-along when leaving the house as your keys and your wallet--you didn't forget your wallet, did you?--and every workday is a long countdown to the time you can slip into a pair of shorts and pick up a glass of something cold.
I can't help you with the shorts (aside from a general recommendation to avoid Spandex) but for the cold drink, I may have a suggestion. No spirit goes better with summer weather than rum. (Well, okay, there's gin and tequila, so maybe we'll dip into those in August.) For a short, sharp, satisfying way to slough off the work week and kick-start the weekend, a frivolous yet complex refresher known as the Pago Pago Cocktail is good to have around.
According to exotic-drink historian Jeff "Beachbum" Berry, the Pago Pago dates to at least 1940, when it appeared in a book called The How and When. Berry is including this drink in his next book, Beachbum Berry Remixed, to be released in November, but for now the Pago Pago is among the 150 or so exotic drinks detailed in Berry's Tiki+ iPhone app, which could come in handy in the months to come.
While composed of exotic-drink essentials such as rum, pineapple and lime juice, the Pago Pago ratchets up the complexity by adding a touch of green Chartreuse, and levels out the flavor with a grace note of crème de cacao. Refreshing yet thought-provoking, and multifaceted without being all up in your face about it, the Pago Pago forms a perfect bridge between a Friday at the office and the summer weekend you've been waiting for.
- 1 1/2 ounces gold Puerto Rican rum (Bacardi 8 works well here)
- 3 squares of fresh pineapple (about 1 ounce)
- 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1/2 ounce green Chartreuse
- 1/4 ounce white crème de cacao
Place everything except the rum in a cocktail shaker and crush the pineapple with a muddler or wooden spoon. Add the rum and a lot of ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass (you may wish to double-strain through a mesh tea strainer in order to filter out the little bits of pineapple. Or not, if you like little bits of pineapple). Ta-da!