Two Cocktails with Turkey Broth, Because Why
New Booze November 2016: Five new Cognacs, Plus Lots of Whiskey

Quick Look: New Cocktails at The Tonga Room in San Francisco

The famous Tonga Room in SF just updated their menu with some new drinks, so I went in and had a few.

The new menu itself is interesting as  despite rum from several different islands, none of the brands are on the menu. None of the brands at all are on the menu so things like Campari are listed as "Italian Aperitif" and Chartreuse becomes "French Herbal Liqueur." On the plus side, they label drinks that contain nuts. 

The last big menu change was a few years ago, and this new one calls for about half classic tiki drinks and half new ones - this time the newbies designed mostly by the staff. 



I tried a few of the drinks. The top selling cocktail in this rum bar is, of course the vodka drink. (If you haven't been, the bar is dominated by tourists.) It's called the Adult Swim and it's got creamy coconut, bright citrus, and a splash of soda to keep it from being a coconut milkshake. In the few hours I was there I mostly orders for the drink.


I also had the Spice Killer, which is a version of a Painkiller with allspice, bitters, and nutmeg. The rum could have used some more oomf in the drink, so I'd recommend upgrading with that 151 floater offered on the menu.


Next was their Hurricane variation called the Hurry Kane.  It's a big drink (thus the big price) with about 4 ounces of rum, served in a hurricane glass that gets delightfully frosty. They chose port in the drink which gives it a less fruity and more serious profile. It was my favorite of the "modern" drinks on the menu.


Then it was onto the bowls, either of which are available for 2 or 4 people. A Monk Walks Into a Luau is made with cachaca and Chartreuse, plus pineapple, grapefruit, coconut, lime, and pomegranate. 


The Rainmaker is made with several rums, various citrus, and has a hint of Fernet-Branca in it that comes through in the slightly bitter minty finish.  I thought both of the punch bowls were surprisingly sophisticated, and their strong flavors carried through long into the drinks' dilution over time. 


I didn't have any of the classic tiki drinks on the menu- and you know I love a Mai Tai - so I guess I'll keep coming back. 





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