Last Chance On the Stairway: Tiki Drinks with Velvet Rebel

Look, I’ve been on plenty of food and drink blogs this year during lockdown and I HATE when you have to scroll through 1,000 words on the writer’s spiritual connection to basil before you get to the recipe. So, here is the recipe to our first (of many?) Duran Duran-inspired Tiki cocktails:

Last Chance On the Stairway

  • 1oz silver rum (Trader Vic’s makes a quality basic rum)
  • 1oz aged rum (Ron Allegro XO is a great mid-level rum I use a lot)
  • .25oz Allspice Dram (recommend St. Elizabeth’s)
  • .5oz John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum (for obvious reasons!)
  • .25oz lime juice
  • .25oz simple syrup
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • 1oz orange juice
  • 1oz pineapple juice
  • 1oz float of dark rum (again, Trader Vic’s for us budget drinkers!)

Mix everything in a cocktail shaker except the dark rum. Pour over ice in your favorite Tiki glass and add the dark rum float. This cocktail is deceptively strong so it really is your last chance on the stairway before you are lying on the floor calling for the chauffeur to take you home.

If you want to take it up a notch, I make my own lime and mint-infused simple syrup instead of using lime juice and store-bought simple syrup. Just bring equal amounts of water and sugar to a boil with some lime zest and mint leaves. Let it cool and strain it into a bottle. I use .5oz of it in this recipe. If you like a sweeter drink, up it a little.

Now that we are drinking, let’s reflect on “Last Chance On the Stairway”. If we are being honest, it is probably the last song from Rio that most listeners think of. There isn’t a video for it. There isn’t a night version. It disappeared from the setlist after 1982 only to return during the band’s famed electro sets in 2007-08. However, it is a near-perfect pop song with beautiful guitar work from Andy Taylor. The Manchester demo is absolutely fabulous and didn’t need much polish for the final studio version. So mix up your own “Last Chance On the Stairway” and turn this song up loud!

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