The Jet Pilot – Your Weekend Tiki Cocktail!

Jet Pilot at The Mai-Kai
Jet Pilot at The Mai-Kai

It may be hard to believe, but I had my first Jet Pilot cocktail at the Mai Kai last week. Lemme tell ya, that is one strong drink. Even the Matre ‘d thought I was crazy. But it’s a good one, no doubt about it kids.

There are a lot of screwed-up versions of this original Tiki Bar drink out there, using odd stuff like Bacardi Limon (yeah, that’s real authentic), but I found Beach Bum Berry’s recipe which is probably as close to (or exactly like) the original drink concocted by Don Beach 60+ years ago, during the heyday of jets and Tiki bars…

•    1/2 oz lime juice
•    1/2 oz grapefruit juice
•    1/2 oz cinnamon syrup
•    1/2 oz falernum (make your own falernum)
•    1 dash Angostura bitters
•    1 oz dark Jamaican rum
•    3/4 oz gold Puerto Rican rum
•    3/4 oz 151-Proof Lemon Hart Demerara Rum
•    6 drops Pernod
•    4 oz crushed ice
Throw everything into a blender, adding crushed ice last, and blend at high speed for five seconds. Pour into an old-fashioned glass. The Mai-Kai garnishes with a chunk of fresh pineapple speared on a sword. Works for me.

It’s stuff like”Pernod” and “Falernum” that makes a Tiki Lounge drink a Tiki Lounge drink. Most people don’t even know what that stuff is, and most bars won’t bother to carry it. But I guarantee you, making this drink yourself is well worth the effort. Mix it up, take a swing and TAKE OFF! (insert vintage jet-plane sound hear)

-Tiki Chris P. reporting from the garden terrace at The Mai-Kai, Fort Lauderdale, Florida


One of my Twitter friends sent me this groovy recipe for Falernum. You can buy it, but it’s more fun and will taste a lot better if you make it yourself. Visit the Post Prohibition website for the recipe.

6 Replies to “The Jet Pilot – Your Weekend Tiki Cocktail!

  1. Hi Tyler,

    Bacardi was the rum of choice at Fort Lauderdale’s Mai Kai since they opened (not sure if it still is), and at one time they were the largest importer of the rum in the world. I’d say if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me! But if you want to try something different, or if Bacardi just doesn’t agree with you, I’d suggest Don Q or Ron Llave Blanco Supremo. Cheers!

  2. Your version of the Jet Pilot is accurate with the tradional recipe. But the Mai Kai version does not use grapefruit juice and only uses 2 rums. 1.5 oz of aged gold jamaican rum and Coruba. The big difference is that the Mai Kai uses honey mix .5 oz and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon syrup.

    Both are great versions!

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