Hotel Nacional Special

Recipe Description

I might have to change my name to Tiki Mon–or at least buy the url for my future blog because…I. LOVE. TIKI!!!!!

It takes a lot for this city girl to admit she’d rather have a Mary Pickford than a dry Martini but dag nab it, it’s true! I still can’t embrace the ice and bubbles of a Singapore Sling (though I’m working on a variation on that delicious libation for the best of all worlds), but any Tiki drink I can shoehorn into a chilled coupe, I’m all over.

The frequent ice and bubbles notwithstanding, I have never met a Tiki drink I didn’t like. Yet some rise above the rest even in this Nirvana of nectars and rum, and the Hotel Nacional Special is just such a one, hence its inclusion here as the first of my Tiki entries (not counting Mai Tais which have crossed over from Tiki to Americana like pizza from pizzaiola, IMO.)

What brought me from living for Boodles martinis at the Bull & Bear to full Tiki devotée you ask? One of my favorite books of all time–a recent present from the thoughtful but elusive Mr. Perez (my Ricardio❣️): Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki, by Martin Cate, with Rebecca Cate.

You’ll be hearing a lot about this book, at least until I burn out on every last one of their recipes (which will be never.)


  • 3-4 pineapple chunks (1" square)
    I used canned and it was fine. Save the juice for a Mary Pickford!
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce SC Demerara Syrup
    2 parts water, 1 part turbinado sugar, 3 parts granulated sugar: boil water, whisk in turbinado sugar until dissolved (c. 1m), stir in granulated sugar until dissolved (c. 1m); remove from heat; cool.
  • 1/2 ounce natural apricot liqueur
    read: high end.
  • 1 1/2 ounce blended lightly aged rum
    Mount Gay Eclipse is my go-to.


Put the coupe in the freezer while preparing the drink.

In cocktail shaker, muddle the pineapple chunks, lime juice and syrup.

Add the remaining ingredients and ice.

Shake vigorously until cold.


Double strain into cold coupe.


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