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Terror From the Deep Cocktail

Photo by Tom Arena

Courtesy Steve Yamada, Latitude 29, New Orleans, LA

Created by the tropical bar’s former head bartender, Steve Yamada, this drink was created for the bar’s annual “Spookilau” event—a take on Hawaii’s “Hukilau,” a traditional Hawaiian term (from huki, meaning pull, and lau, meaning leaves) that refers to people gathered to pull in fishing nets lined with leaves. It’s also the name of a dance that mimics the movements of the net pull and a popular exotica song.

The ocean-blue drink lends itself to over-the-top presentation: At the bar, finishing touches have ranged from light-up ice cubes to whimsical mermaids and treasure chests set atop pop-rock “sand.” Gummy sharks might add a more macabre tone.

This article originally appeared in the October 2022 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!

1 ½ ounces aged rum (such as Appleton Signature)
¾ ounce apple syrup*
¾ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce blue curacao
1 teaspoon macadamia liqueur (Trader Vic’s Macadamia Nut Liqueur recommended)**


Shake all ingredients and strain into a double rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wheel island, pop-rock sand, treasure chest and mermaid.

*How to Make Apple Syrup

Dissolve 2 parts cane sugar into 1 part apple juice. Add star anise, crushed cinnamon stick and a pinch of citric acid (or a squeeze of lemon juice). After all sugar is dissolved, allow to steep for 30 minutes. Strain off solids.

**If you can’t get macadamia liqueur, substitute a different nut liqueur, such as amaretto (almond liqueur) or nocino (walnut liqueur).