Shrunken Skull

I couldn’t find much information on this drink, save that it was created in the 1950s. It does seem to have been on the menu of the Mai Kai, a Florida tiki haunt, since it opened in the mid ’50s, so perhaps that is its origin.

  • 1 oz Overproof dark rum
  • 1 oz Cuban or Puerto Rican rum
  • 1 oz Grenadine
  • 1 oz Lime juice

Shake the ingredients with ice and pour, unstrained, into a tumbler (or a skull mug if you have one, but most people don’t.) Go full tiki and garnish as elaborately as you like. Or go lazy like me and shove a spent lime shell in it.

I used Lemoshrunkenskulln Hart 151 for the overproof rum, but if that isn’t available then Wood’s, OVD, Plantation OFTD or even Pusser’s Gunpowder would all work. I think the key is to have at least some demerara element to the overproof, and a drier rum for the rest. I used Havana Club Anejo Especial as the Cuban half. If you live in the States then whatever decent Puerto Rican rum is available would be the substitute.

Most tiki drinks require above average effort, even if it’s just lots of ingredients. This one however is very easy to make and remember. Like a lot of tiki drinks, I suspect how good this is hinges on the rums, so I’ve specified what I’ve used here. It is pleasantly sweet and I like that it’s fruity but also a bit dry. It’s also a nice change for a rum drink to be made with red fruit liqueurs instead of having predominantly passion fruit, pineapple or orange flavours. This is one I can see myself making regularly.

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