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A

The "Rum Gum & Lime" has been one of my favorite drinks at Tiki Ti for a number of years - I like rum drinks where the rum itself is one of the foreground tastes, plus there's also still something exotic about the other flavors in that drink, the way they make it.

Beachbum Berry's Sippin Safari has a recipe for a drink called Rum Gum & Lime, but it's practically impossible to make since it calls for a defunct Cuban rum called Infierno. And that's even beside the point, because even with a substitute premium rum, it's clearly a different recipe from the magical mix at the Ti. So in aimless speculation about what's in the Tiki Ti RG&L, someone with limited creativity and imagination like myself might craft the deeply insightful hypothesis that the ingredients include rum, gum syrup, and fresh lime.

In particular I thought maybe the gum syrup could be the special flavor I detect at the Ti, having some unique quality that makes it different from anything I've been able to reproduce with simple syrup. Gum syrup boils down (haha) to another kind of sugar syrup / simple syrup, with gum arabic added to increase viscosity and to give a kind of velvety feeling. It's also known as "gomme" syrup if you like to use extra letters when you spell things. There've been a few mentions of it here on TC, like this thread about homemade simple syrup experiments with different sugars. And I really like Tiare's post about gomme syrup on her great blog, A Mountain of Crushed Ice, where as usual every image is mouthwatering.

But despite the chorus of enthusiastic do-it-yourselfers, I'm just not that kind of guy, so I've been keeping an eye out for a gum syrup product so that I could buy-it-myself and consume-it-myself. Good old Monin makes a "gomme syrup" but predictably that's one of the offerings they've chosen NOT to sell in the United States, no doubt out of respect for any American sensitivities lingering all these years after the great gomme scare that swept the nation in 1908. So you can get the Monin gomme from online stores in the UK and such, and pay an arm and a leg to ship it stateside if that's where you hang your hat. Not really a great option for us though.

Then today in San Francisco I came across a gum syrup on the shelf at D&M Wine on Fillmore. Made by Small Hand Foods from Berkeley, it's a small but expensive bottle. Interestingly, the Small Hand website lists places where their products are available, and that list doesn't include D&M, but there it was. The Small Hand website also lists restaurants and bars that use their ingredients, including places like the Alembic bar in San Francisco. So, I snapped up a bottle of the gum syrup (at the risk of sounding more and more like a commercial, D&M also sells it through their website).

Getting home, I threw myself into the preparation of an amateurish home version of Rum Gum & Lime. YUM! But still, more like a blunt instrument compared to the beguiling Tiki Ti drink. More experiments will follow, particularly with different rums because of the major role they play in the drink. But in the meantime, I just wanted to share about the availability of this stuff in case anyone else has been on a similar path.

And if anyone just happens to know the Tiki Ti recipe, I can't think of a better place to post it!! Honestly, I wouldn't even be surprised if it's ridiculously simple and I've been imagining the exotic factor. But it's still a favorite.

-Randy

I'm just guessing, but I sincerely doubt they're using gomme syrup/simple syrup with gum arabica, at Tiki Ti. At least I don't think that's the crucial element that makes their cocktail stand out.

this is from the Trader Vince website recounting his tasting of every drink off the Tiki Ti menu:

Rum, Gum & Lime (54 of 92)

Simple in concept and delicious in execution, the Rum, Gum & Lime is made with fresh squeezed lime juice, simple syrup, Coruba dark rum, and a little club soda for snap. Just delightful.

A

OK, Kill Devil, why do you sincerely doubt that they use gomme syrup at Tiki Ti?

Not saying I know better, but just curious where your doubts come from. Because it's a pain to make and hard to get?

People with far more insight than me have agreed that the core ingredients in the Tiki Ti RG&L are a combination of rum, sugar syrup in some form, and lime. Trader Vince is undoubtedly close, but the ingredients in his list are nearly identical to the Sippin Safari recipe, albeit with the specific reference to Coruba, and with the omission of amounts.

But others, including The Bum, have also noticed a significant difference between the Sippin Safari recipe and what you get at the Ti. Having gotten my hands on somme gomme for my romme, I'd tend to agree that it's not the mystery ingredient that they use, at least not THAT gomme. I still suspect the answer is SIMPLE, but also that Coruba and simple syrup wouldn't quite get there.

Anyway, it's fine if the Tiki Ti recipe and preparation remain partly a mystery. The main reason I was posting this was if anyone equally lazy wanted to get their hands on some gum syrup.

-Randy

G

On 2011-02-28 13:21, aquarj wrote:
Not saying I know better, but just curious where your doubts come from. Because it's a pain to make and hard to get?

Randy, it's been a little while since I've made gomme syrup. But I've got a couple of bottles of gum arabic powder under my bar ready to be used. Yes, it's a little bit of a pain to make, but really not all that hard. If I can make it...

Gum syrup gives a really wonderful texture to a cocktail. Well worth the effort for a drink that is mostly spirits to impart that special something. I have no idea if Tiki Ti uses it, having never been there (darn it), but for some reason I kind of doubt it. Don't ask why, just a hunch. But what you've described is basically a Daiquiri. I'd be interested to know what makes theirs special. And hopefully one day I'll try it myself. Good luck on the research. Keep sampling from the source!

A

On 2011-02-28 16:07, GatorRob wrote:
I have no idea if Tiki Ti uses it, having never been there (darn it), but for some reason I kind of doubt it. Don't ask why, just a hunch.

Why? (Just kidding Rob.)

Since you're more of a Mai Kai kind of guy, do you think they use gum syrup?

And yes, I think the name Rum Gum & Lime is considered to refer to the basic drink construction from the same lineage as the daiquiri, grog, etc. One if by land, two if by sea, three make it strong and four give it to me. Something like that.

The Sippin recipe follows that scheme, but yeah there's something unique about the Tiki Ti version. I hope it's not Sprite - that would make this whole series of posts a little embarrassing. But I'd still stand by my love of the Tiki Ti Rum Gum & Lime!

-Randy

that would be funny. or tonic water.

S

On 2011-02-28 17:21, aquarj wrote:
One if by land, two if by sea, three make it strong and four give it to me. Something like that.
-Randy

I haven't heard that one before. Excellent.

KD

On 2011-02-28 13:21, aquarj wrote:
OK, Kill Devil, why do you sincerely doubt that they use gomme syrup at Tiki Ti?

Not saying I know better, but just curious where your doubts come from. Because it's a pain to make and hard to get?

I'd just imagine that a bar with a large amount of Tiki drinks to pump out wouldn't enact such a relative fine degree of subtlety in their recipes (i.e., simple vs. gomme syrup)

If you're looking for gum arabic - also called gum acacia - it is hard to find... under that name. But, turns out it's really quite easy to find, if you know what to look for. It's at your local health food store (or online), in the fiber section, sold as acacia fiber powder. Numerous brands, just double-check to make sure the only ingredient is 100% acacia powder. And you know it's a food grade product.

I made up a bottle of gomme a few weeks ago. Finally had to hide it, because I was afraid my wife was going to use it all up, making Rangoon Gimlets, before I had much chance to experiment with it.

I wonder... might this mean using gomme syrup in our cocktails is an effective way to get more fiber into our diet?


"The rum's the thing..."

[ Edited by: Limbo Lizard 2011-03-01 22:24 ]

I know this is not the marketplace page, but figured you all might dig one of our recent patch/sticker designs from The Black Lagoon Room...

Based on this classic recipe, mashed up with the old biker club patches "Ass, Gas or Grass: Nobody Rides Free," for the home bartender we came up with "Rum, Gum or Lime: Nobody Drinks Free" (kind of the daiquiri companion to our Mai Tai Til I Die design)

For comparison:

I've yet to make proper gum arabic syrup at home, but I'm thinkin' I might give it a whirl. We're in Wisconsin, so a trip to Tiki Ti is a tad more complicated...

--Pete
THE BLACK LAGOON ROOM
Lurking just below the surface of Milwaukee, WI
Tiki, Monsters, Cartoons & Bad Puns for the Modern Connoisseur

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