Demerara Dry Float


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Introduction to the Demerara Dry Float

Welcome to the exotic world of tiki cocktails, where the Demerara Dry Float reigns supreme. This rum cocktail is a symphony of citrus and passion fruit, with a fiery finish that’s sure to ignite your taste buds. Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or a curious newcomer, this drink is a thrilling adventure in a glass.

The Demerara Dry Float is not just a beverage; it’s an experience. Its rich history and complex flavor profile make it a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts. Let’s dive into the layers of this tropical delight and discover what makes it so special.

Prepare to be transported to a beachside paradise with every sip. The Demerara Dry Float is more than just a cocktail; it’s a mini-vacation. Keep reading to learn how to craft this potent potion and impress your guests with your mixology prowess.

Key Facts About the Demerara Dry Float

  • Alcohol Volume: Approximately 30% ABV pre-float
  • Calories: Approximately 215 kcal
  • Glass Type: Large glass, typically a tiki mug or a double old-fashioned glass
  • Garnish: A lime wheel or a sprig of mint for a touch of freshness

Interesting Facts about the Demerara Dry Float

The Demerara Dry Float is a testament to the creativity of tiki culture, where the art of the cocktail is celebrated with elaborate presentations and bold flavors. Here are a few tidbits to savor:

  • The cocktail’s name comes from the Demerara region of Guyana, known for its rich, caramel-flavored rum.
  • The “float” refers to the layer of high-proof rum that sits atop the drink, adding an extra kick and visual appeal.
  • Originally, tiki cocktails were designed to showcase the flavors of the South Pacific, and the Demerara Dry Float is a perfect example of this tradition.

Demerara Dry Float Cocktail

Tasting Notes for the Demerara Dry Float

The Demerara Dry Float is a complex cocktail with a rich tapestry of flavors. The Demerara rum provides a deep, molasses-like sweetness that pairs beautifully with the tartness of lime juice. The passion fruit syrup adds a tropical fruitiness that’s both refreshing and exotic.

This cocktail is perfect for those who appreciate a balance of sweet and sour, with a robust rum backbone. It’s ideal for summer parties, tiki-themed events, or any occasion that calls for a festive and flavorful drink.

Whether you’re lounging by the pool or hosting a sophisticated soiree, the Demerara Dry Float is a versatile choice that’s sure to please a wide range of palates.

History of the Demerara Dry Float

The origins of the Demerara Dry Float are steeped in the mid-20th century tiki culture, a movement that celebrated the romance of the South Seas. Tiki bars and Polynesian-themed restaurants were the birthplaces of many exotic cocktails, including this one.

Created as a way to transport patrons to far-off lands, the Demerara Dry Float was a staple on menus alongside other tiki classics. Its use of Demerara rum was a nod to the Caribbean influence on tiki culture, while the passion fruit and lime reflected the tropical vibe.

Over the years, the Demerara Dry Float has maintained its status as a beloved tiki cocktail. Its enduring popularity is a testament to its well-crafted balance of flavors and its ability to evoke the spirit of adventure.

Demerara Dry Float Ingredients

Each ingredient in the Demerara Dry Float plays a crucial role in creating its signature taste:

  • Demerara Rum (1 1/2 oz): This rum adds a rich, caramel-like sweetness that is the foundation of the cocktail.
  • Fresh Lime Juice (1/2 oz): Provides a bright, acidic contrast to the sweetness of the rum and syrups.
  • Simple Syrup (1/4 oz): Adds a touch of sweetness to balance the tartness of the lime juice.
  • Passion Fruit Syrup (1/2 oz): Brings a tropical fruitiness that is essential to the tiki experience.
  • High-proof Demerara Rum (1/4 oz): The float gives the drink an extra layer of potency and depth.
  • Crushed Ice: Dilutes and chills the drink, making it refreshing and sippable.

Did you know? The Demerara Dry Float’s signature float technique not only adds flavor but also creates a visually striking layer that tiki enthusiasts adore.

Preparing Demerara Dry Float

Demerara Dry Float Method

The preparation of the Demerara Dry Float is an art form in itself. Here’s a step-by-step guide to crafting this tiki masterpiece:

Shaking the Base

Start by combining the Demerara rum, lime juice, simple syrup, and passion fruit syrup in a cocktail shaker. This melds the flavors together and creates a harmonious base for the cocktail.

Chilling the Drink

Add crushed ice to the shaker and shake vigorously. This not only chills the drink but also dilutes it slightly, ensuring a smooth, palatable taste.

Straining and Serving

Strain the mixture into a large glass filled with more crushed ice. The ice keeps the drink cold while you enjoy its complex flavors.

The Float

Carefully pour the high-proof Demerara rum over the back of a spoon to create the float. This technique allows the rum to sit on top of the drink, providing a potent first sip.

Serving Suggestion for the Demerara Dry Float

The Demerara Dry Float is traditionally served in a tiki mug or a double old-fashioned glass. These glasses are not only visually appealing but also functional, as they accommodate the large amount of crushed ice needed for the cocktail.

For garnish, a lime wheel or a sprig of mint adds a pop of color and a fresh aroma that complements the drink’s tropical flavors.

Elevating the Demerara Dry Float

To take your Demerara Dry Float to the next level, consider these professional tips:

  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Freshly squeezed lime juice and homemade passion fruit syrup can make a world of difference in flavor.
  • Experiment with Ice: Try different forms of ice, like a single large cube or an ice shell, to control dilution and enhance presentation.
  • Flame the Garnish: Lightly charring a lime wheel or mint sprig can add a smoky note that plays well with the rum’s richness.

Demerara Dry Float Finished Cocktail

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Demerara Dry Float

If you’re missing an ingredient or want to try something new, here are some substitutions and alternatives:

  • Alternate Rums: If Demerara rum is unavailable, try a dark Jamaican rum for a similar depth of flavor.
  • Other Citrus Juices: Grapefruit or orange juice can offer a different citrus profile while maintaining the tropical theme.
  • Non-Alcoholic Version: Omit the rums and use a non-alcoholic spirit or extra fruit syrups for a mocktail version.

Similar cocktails include the Mai Tai and the Zombie, which also feature rum and tropical flavors.

Add a Twist to the Demerara Dry Float

As an expert mixologist, here are a few twists to refresh this classic cocktail:

  • Spiced Syrup: Incorporate a homemade syrup with spices like cinnamon or clove to add warmth and complexity.
  • Herbal Infusions: Infuse the rum with herbs like basil or thyme for an aromatic twist.
  • Fruit Garnishes: Add slices of exotic fruits like dragon fruit or starfruit for an eye-catching and flavorful garnish.

Preferred Liquors for the Demerara Dry Float

For the best Demerara Dry Float, consider these recommended liquors:

  • El Dorado 12-Year Rum: Aged and full-bodied, it’s a top choice for the base rum.
  • Lemon Hart 151: A classic high-proof Demerara rum that’s perfect for the float.
  • Homemade Passion Fruit Syrup: Making your own syrup ensures freshness and a more intense flavor.

Similar Cocktails to the Demerara Dry Float

If you enjoy the Demerara Dry Float, you might also like:

  • Mai Tai: Another rum-based tiki classic with almond and orange notes.
  • Planter’s Punch: A fruity and spicy rum cocktail that’s equally refreshing.
  • Hurricane: A New Orleans favorite with a similar sweet and sour profile.

Food Pairings to Go with the Demerara Dry Float

The Demerara Dry Float pairs well with a variety of foods:

  • Spicy Appetizers: The sweetness of the cocktail balances the heat from dishes like jerk chicken wings or spicy shrimp.
  • Tropical Salads: A fruit salad with mango, pineapple, and papaya complements the drink’s tropical flavors.
  • Grilled Seafood: The citrus notes in the cocktail enhance the flavors of grilled fish or shrimp.

Demerara Dry Float FAQs

Here are some common questions and detailed answers about the Demerara Dry Float:

  • Can I use a different type of rum? Yes, while Demerara rum is traditional, other dark rums can be used as a substitute.
  • Is the high-proof rum float necessary? The float is traditional but optional. It adds an extra layer of flavor and potency.
  • How can I make a non-alcoholic version? Replace the rums with non-alcoholic spirits or increase the fruit syrups.
  • What’s the best way to float the rum? Pour it gently over the back of a spoon to create a distinct layer on top of the drink.
  • Can I make this cocktail in advance? It’s best made fresh, but you can pre-mix the base and add the float just before serving.
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Demerara Dry Float

A potent tiki cocktail that combines rich demerara rum with citrus and passion fruit flavors, topped with a float of high-proof rum for a fiery finish.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine Tiki
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 215 kcal


  • Cocktail shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Strainer
  • Large glass
  • Spoon (for floating rum)


  • 1 1/2 oz Demerara rum
  • 1/2 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 oz Simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz Passion fruit syrup
  • 1/4 oz High-proof Demerara rum for the float
  • Crushed ice


  • In a shaker, combine the 1 1/2 oz Demerara rum, lime juice, simple syrup, and passion fruit syrup.
  • Add crushed ice and shake vigorously until well chilled.
  • Strain into a large glass filled with more crushed ice.
  • Carefully pour the high-proof Demerara rum over the back of a spoon to float it on top of the drink.
  • Serve immediately with a straw.


The high-proof rum float is optional but traditional for this cocktail, providing an extra kick and depth of flavor. Always use caution when handling high-proof spirits.
Keyword Demerara Dry Float, Demerara Rum, Float, Lime Juice, overproof rum, Passion Fruit, rum cocktail, Tiki Cocktail

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