Pele’s Peak

Image Courtesy Daniel Djang/

Piña Coladas are delicious, but boring. Painkillers are far more interesting, but also far more likely to get you into legal troubles. The Pele’s Peak, however, is only likely to get you to order another one.

* image courtesy

In 2013, 320 Main had its annual summer Tiki Night. To make things more interesting, we decided to make it a competition between LA and Orange County Tiki Illuminati, and each of the 6 bartenders were asked to come up with a Tiki drink of their very own.

Pele’s Peak

  • 2 oz Rhum Agricole Blanc (I use Rhum JM Blanc)
  • 1 oz Coconut Cream
  • .75 oz Lime Juice
  • .5 oz Clement Creole Shrubb
  • .5 oz Don’s Mix
  • .5 oz Lager Style Beer
  • 2 tsp Coruba Jamaican Dark Rum
  • 1 tsp Pedro Ximenez Sherry

Combine with 1 cup crushed ice in a blender and blend for 15 seconds. Pour into a goblet and dust with grated cinnamon.

The drink is my own creation – named for the volcano that sits at the northern end of the Caribbean island of Martinique. Yes, the French volcano is actually named Mount Pelée, but when I wrote the name down I wasn’t thinking about that. I was thinking only of the glory of victory.

It’s a bit more involved than your average Painkiller or Piña Colada – though I’ve managed to keep the “P” thing going for drink names of drinks with Coconut Cream going. The drink is actually not modeled on either of the other well-known rum and coconut drinks though. I really wanted to do something like a cream and egg white drink, but Tiki. Swapping coconut cream for heavy cream was easy, but the drink was still very sharp. So I added the lager beer, which does a critical job of rounding out the corners of the drink in the same way that an egg white does for something like a Boston Sour or a Ramos Gin Fizz.

I had originally meant to find myself a good porter to use, but I was short on time and the first two porters I tried didn’t work the way I wanted them too. I started looking to things like Coruba to try and add some more depth, but it was Jason Schiffer from 320 Main who added the Sherry, which – despite its diminutive portion – makes a big difference in the drink.


The drink doesn’t call for it, but once we got behind the bar I couldn’t resist a little showmanship, so instead of just grating some cinnamon over the top of the drink, I threw a sugar cube that had been soaked in 151 onto a lime raft, set it aflame, and then shook cinnamon over fire to create the effect you see in this post’s top image (taken by Daniel Djang of Thirsty In LA fame). I don’t generally set these on fire when I make them at home – though maybe I should.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Daniel Djang

    May 24, 2014, 16:29

    Funny, I thought you named it after Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes. Your background story makes much more sense! 🙂

  • Helena Tiare

    May 25, 2014, 11:51

    Interesting drink! one i`d love to try but i`d need to sub some ingredients tho but these kinda drinks can be fun to tinker with!