Tiki Trending: Exclusive Summer Cocktail Recipes From Brooklyn’s New ‘Yaki Tiki’ Pop-Up



Confirming a fairly reliable but welcome cycle, tiki drinks are one of this season’s hottest imbibing trends; and no surprise, as temps continue to soar, the crushed ice and rum begins to flow. But leave it to the impressively creative team behind Sunday in Brooklyn to combine their love of both tiki and yakitori to conceive Yaki Tiki, which will surely be an insanely popular pop-up at the A/D/O building in Greenpoint, Brooklyn every weekend this summer.

Here, their award winning cocktail magic highlights whimsical takes on classics – to wit, using shochu, a classic Japanese liquor, as well as traditional rum. Kitschy tipples are served in hollowed out pineapples, empty honey bears or even frozen into boozy popsicle form. And JT Vuong, one of the masterminds behind the Yaki Tiki concept enthuses of the inspirations, “one of the most beautiful aspects of living in New York is being situated at a cultural crossroads.”




And of course, the yaki portion of the menu is a selection of Japanese yakitori: assorted meats and vegetables that are skewered and grilled to order.

It’s all a warm up for when the Sunday Hospitality Group opens Rule of Thirds later this year. There, Brian Evans, Director of Bars, plans on featuring, “American classics that draw on Japanese influence for techniques and flavor.” Chef George Padilla (Okonomi / Yuji Ramen) calls it, “a dream project for me that connects the dots between so many talented people.”

Should you have no plans to be anywhere near Greenpoint between now and September, we asked Evans to turn us on to the secrets behind some of his grooviest Yaki Tiki drink creations.


Umami Grog

1.25 oz Tequila Reposado
0.75 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
0.5 oz grapefruit juice
0.5 oz lime juice
0.5 oz miso-honey syrup*
0.25 oz cinnamon syrup**
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
MOP: Whip ingredients with a few pellets of pebble ice until combined. Pour contents into plastic Honeybear bottle and pack with pebble ice. To garnish, wrap a long pineapple frond around the neck of the Honeybear bottle and pin with umbrella skewer to hold in place.
*For the Miso-Honey Syrup:
200g honey
100g yellow miso
200g very hot water
MOP: Stir miso and hot water until combined, then add honey and continue to stir until combined.
**For the Cinnamon Syrup:
400g very hot water
400g caster sugar
50 grams crushed cinnamon sticks
MOP: Bring crushed cinnamon sticks and hot water to medium heat and let steep for 10 minutes, then stir in sugar until combined. Keep in the refrigerator overnight unstrained until ready to use.




Blue Kawaii (pictured top)

0.75 oz Plantation 3-star Rum
0.5 oz Wray and Nephew Overproof Jamaican Rum
0.5 oz Giffard Blue Curacao
0.5 oz Jokigen Yuzu Sake
0.25 oz Coconut Milk
0.25 oz Coco Lopez
0.25 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Mango-Pandan Shrub*
MOP: Whip ingredients with a few pellets of pebbled ice until combined. Pour into tiki mug, top with more pebble ice, and garnish lavishly.
*For the Mango-Pandan Shrub:
2 pandan leaves
300g mango, cut in small pieces
300g rice wine vinegar
300g caster sugar
MOP: Combine pandan leaves and rice wine vinegar into a medium-sized pot and heat on medium for 15 minutes, then stir in sugar until dissolved. Reduce to medium-low heat and let mango chunks cook down for an additional 15 minutes. Let ingredients steep in the refrigerator overnight, then strain.


Watermelon Popsicles (Boozy)

Makes 20 3oz popsicles
6 cups strawberries, tops removed
6 cups watermelon, rind removed and cut into cubes
2 cups kiwi, skin removed
1.5 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 cup white rum
1/2 cup water
1 cup chocolate crisps pearls
  1. Cook strawberries, sugar, and salt in a pot on medium heat until strawberries begin to break down.
  2. Transfer to a blender and pulse until smooth.
  3. Add cubed watermelon and rum, and continue to blend until fully incorporated.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until fully cooled.
  5. Mix in the chocolate pearls.
  6. Fill popsicle molds leaving approximately 1cm unfilled at the top. Freeze for 1 hour.
  7. While the watermelon mix is freezing, blend kiwis and water until smooth.
  8. Once watermelon mix is frozen to the touch, fill the remaining space in each mold with the kiwi mix.
  9. Now that the popsicles are firm enough, you can insert the popsicle sticks and they won’t move around.
  10. Continue to freeze for at least 4 hours.
*To make this non-boozy, just add an additional 1.5 cups of watermelon.



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