A tiki revival is in full swing, polynesian-themed bars make a comeback

The “tiki revival” is in full swing across the country as new Polynesian-themed bars and restaurants are opening in nearly all major metro areas.  
This is exciting news for fans of tiki drinks that until recently had limited access to the classic rum cocktails outside of their home bars.  These new establishments are introducing a new generation to the classic tiki drinks, and all signs point to success as we take an early look at mixology trends in 2019.  
The Mai Tai, Zombie, and Navy Grog are all back with a vengeance.  There is one drink, however, that is overlooked on most tiki bar menus, the delightfully complex minty sweet Missionary's Downfall.
You have likely heard the stories of “lost recipes” for classic cocktails, and the Missionary's Downfall fits the bill.  Originally crafted in 1937 the drink was the subject of fierce debate in the mixology community as a generation of bartenders attempted to recreate this complex classic.  
Once upon a time, the classic tiki drinks were closely guarded secrets.  So secret that in some cases the rums were pre-blended prior to preparing the drink as to hide the proportions and types of rum used from the bartenders.  Donn Beach and Trader Vic's legendary recipes were valuable trade secrets and known to very, very few bartenders within their respective organizations.  
So how is it that in 2019 the classics are all a quick online search away?
Over the last three decades, tiki archaeologist Jeff Berry and others like him have tracked down former employees of these legendary establishments and managed to get ahold of some recipe books, handwritten notes on napkins, etc.  
Perhaps the greatest breakthrough in the modern era of tiki is the discovery of Hank Riddle's notebook.
What's in Hank Riddle's notebook? Everything that we, the tikiphiles ever wanted to know.  Hank was the head bartender at several Don The Beachcomber's restaurants from the 1940s to the 1980s and if anyone would know how to make the classic Missionary's Downfall, he would.
It wasn't actually Hank who gave up the goods, it was Hank's family that worked with Jeff Berry to bring these classic recipes out of the shadows after Hank's death.  This ended many arguments, and perhaps started a few now ones around how to “properly” prepare the classics.
The long and short of it is that over time Don The Beachcomber's ceased operations and Trader Vic's has only two remaining US locations, Emeryville and Atlanta.  As operations ceased and the information age began, the closely guarded secrets became less secretive.  
This doesn't mean that one is obligated to prepare a Mai Tai or Zombie the “proper” way, it merely means that we know how the drinks were meant to be served.  I'm hoping that the Missionary's Downfall begins to appear on more menus as the tiki revival sweeps the nation.
The Missionary's Downfall is part Mojito, part Daiquiri, and part something else with notes of peach and honey to complement the mint.  
Though there were some similarities between Donn Beach and Trader Vic in the recipe department, Donn's recipes are typically more complex than Vic's.  This is a complex cocktail that is absolutely worth the effort.
Light rum, pineapple juice, fresh mint and lime are standard tiki ingredients.  Honey and peach brandy are not.  
Let's start with the peach brandy.  You may be limited to only one peach brandy option at your local spirits retailer, but if possible pick up a bottle of Bol's or Marie Brizard.  Both are inexpensive, but mix well in tropical drinks.  
The honey flavor in the Missionary's Downfall comes from honey syrup as opposed to raw honey.  
Honey syrup is basically a simple syrup using equal parts clover honey and water.  Combine equal parts honey and hot water, stir until honey is dissolved.  You will end up with a great syrup for mixing that will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
For the light rum component I prefer Flor de Cana, Cruzan, or Mount Gay.  The modern Bacardi light rum is a bit rough for this drink.  
Don't be shy with the mint, remember that there are five other ingredients to tame the mint in this drink.
Always use crushed ice in your blender.  You will achieve an even, smooth consistency free of large chunks of ice.  
This drink is very much on the smooth side in sharp contrast to most tiki drinks.  Give this one a try, it's unlike anything else in the world of mixology.
The Missionary's Downfall is built in a blender and served in a large goblet-style glass, or two chilled cocktail glasses.
Combine in blender:
• 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
• 1/2 oz. peach brandy
• 1 oz. honey syrup (recipe above)
• 1 oz. light rum
• 1/4 cup diced fresh pineapple
• 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, tightly packed
• 3/4 cup crushed ice
• Blend on high speed for 20 seconds, pour into glasses
• Garnish with mint sprig
Until next week, enjoy responsibly.