Happy New Year, fellow tiki fans! I’m excited to be kicking off 2022 by returning from my 11-month hiatus, and bringing you the very best in tiki recipes, bar reviews, and travel suggestions.
2021 was a particularly hard year for me and my family. My father passed away at the young age of 70 after a short-but-brutal battle with mesothelioma, a very painful and debilitating form of cancer in the stomach and surrounding organs. While it’s comforting to know that my dad lived a full and adventurous life, it was difficult to watch him fade away so quickly and endure an agonizing struggle towards the end.
While I miss my father every single day, his wisdom, highly principled lifestyle, and kindhearted spirit lives on — mainly through how he impacted the lives of those who knew him. So without further ado, I dedicate my first drink of 2022 to my dad: “The Don.”
This particular drink is made with Lyre’s White Cane Spirit - a delicious and impressive alcohol-free spirit that mimics the taste and flavor of a complex Rhum Agricole. By using Lyre’s, I was able to create a low-proof drink in my dad’s honor, as he spent the past 33 years of his life sober (after losing his mother to alcoholism).
The following post provides the necessary ingredients and steps for making this drink at home. Let us know what you think in the comments — cheers!
About Don Enoch, inspiration of "The Don"
Donald West Enoch (born May 22, 1952) was a wildly passionate and eclectic man who perfectly embodied the spirit of “jack of all trades, master of too many.” His interests were endless and he played many roles throughout his lifetime — a father and husband, a brother, a director/stage director on Broadway, construction worker, architect, attempted clown, poet, writer, artist, sailor, English teacher... but most of all, an inspiration to those who knew him.
He especially enjoyed advocating and fighting for those who felt disenfranchised, down on their luck, or labeled as “lesser” in some way. He had a gift for looking at each person and identifying their greatest gifts and potentials, rather than shortcomings and stereotypes. This was particularly true as a teacher, where he created the annual tradition of awarding one of his non-AP classes that exceeded expectations the “Who Would’ve Thunk It” trophy (a nod to his appreciation for underdogs everywhere).
Finally, Don made it a habit to carve his own path in life - at times making things more difficult for himself along the way. This was not out of some misguided notion that he had to be “unique” or “different,” but rather a desire to be able to look back on his life and know that he did the right thing - the Don Enoch way.
Glassware: Short Hurricane Glass
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake of 10 seconds. Pour over crushed ice. Top off with a splash if grenadine.
Garnish with a lime wedge and tropical umbrella.
Wayward Spirits Rating:
As “The Don” is a tribute to my dad, it would feel a bit self-serving to give this drink a formal rating.
Instead, I will speak to quality of Lyre’s White Cane Spirit. Most of my time making cocktails, I have always avoided non-alcoholic spirits for the same reason I avoid instant coffee — it simply is not a good replacement for the real thing and usually tastes pretty awful.
Lyre’s completely changed my perception of non-alcoholic spirits, not only accurately capturing the complex flavor of rum, but providing me with a new alternative to the high proof tiki drinks I’m used to making.
Next time you are hosting a party, gathering, or dinner (especially with children, or lightweight drinkers like most of my family) — try incorporating Lyre’s into your cocktail repertoire…. I have a feeling you will love it as much as I do.