Stories / Drinks, Recipes


Elena North-Kelly

Elena North-Kelly

September 25, 2015


We know you’re itching to shut down your computer and unwind for the weekend, ushering in the blissful two-day respite with a Friday evening cocktail. Cling to those final warm evenings before the autumn chill sets in with a tropical tiki libation; one of our all-time favorites is the Letter of Marque cocktail served at Julie Reiner’s Clover Club in Brooklyn. Created by bartender Ryan Lilola, who keeps a stash of coconut cream and tiki gear with him anytime he's behind the bar, this concoction is a clever homage to an unusual tradition. 

“A letter of marque was essentially government-sanctioned piracy, a document that let privateers get away with acting like pirates,” he explains. “Considering that tiki was founded on escapism, this drink was a ticket for our guests to escape their daily grind and get a little rowdy." 

The swizzle-style cocktail’s tropical pineapple and passion fruit flavors evoke sun-swathed beach days, and the spice from the ginger, cinnamon, and Velvet Falernum lend a warm, exotic lift. Can’t you just feel the stress of your week melting away? Get the recipe here.

Elena North-Kelly is senior editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.