Now is probably not the most ideal time to open a restaurant. But it is the perfect time to drink cocktails. So one can imagine both the challenge and opportunity facing Cody Allmin, the Vancouver restaurateur who helped open Published on Main Street last December and is launching Juju’s Drink Shack inside the latter today (Wednesday, May 6).
Juju’s will offer takeout and delivery of both its pan-Asian dishes and its tiki-bar inspired drinks, the latter of which comes in easy-to-make cocktail kits.
To start, six quintessential tiki cocktail kits (which come with Flor de Cana rum) will be offered: Piña Colada, Mai Tai, Hurricane, Painkiller, Navy Grog and Tropic Thunder.
We got a chance to try out both the Hurricane and Painkiller kits and, lucky for you, had the patience and discipline to wait until the next morning to write this article. And, lucky for us, the mixes come packed with everything—rum, mix, crushed ice, garnishes and detailed (but very easy) instructions.
JuJu’s take on the Hurricane is refreshing as they come. It uses lime juice, along with the traditional cocktail’s passionfruit and orange juice flavours, to offer an extra kick of citrus. The mint garnish doesn’t hurt either.
And I’ll freely admit that I’m not a huge Painkiller fan (it's a riff on Piña Colada, and no I don't love getting caught in the rain either), but I was pleasantly surprised at Juju’s mix in that it wasn’t too heavy on the cream of coconut and ended up being the perfect companion to sitting on the deck during a sunny day. (Yes, I had to fact check that it was in fact sunny yesterday and that I wasn’t mired in careless drunken bliss. Though I was and it was incredible.)
There are plans to open Juju’s own bricks and mortar location some day. But for now, it’s here to make social isolation a little more bearable.