Tropicalia Cocktail Recipe

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Tropicalia Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 22, 2024


The Tropicalia cocktail is a celebration of exotic flavors, combining the richness of spiced rum with the sweetness of banana and the tangy kick of pineapple and lime. It's a drink that's become a favorite among those who crave a taste of the tropics in a glass.

  • Origins The cocktail seems to have emerged from a modern trend of incorporating tea into mixed drinks, providing a unique depth of flavor.
  • Popularity It's particularly popular in beachside bars and tropical resorts, where the ambiance matches the drink's vibe.
  • Fans The Tropicalia is a hit with adventurers and dreamers alike, those who enjoy bold flavors and a hint of sweetness in their libations.

How Tropicalia Tastes?

The Tropicalia offers a complex flavor profile that is at once sweet, spicy, and tangy. The cacao and coffee spiced rum provides a warm, rich base, while the banana tea adds a creamy, fruity sweetness. Fresh pineapple juice brings a bright acidity, and the lime juice offers a zesty punch. The Angostura bitters tie everything together with their herbal, slightly bitter undertones.

Interesting facts about Tropicalia

  • The use of banana tea in cocktails is a relatively new trend, adding a novel twist to traditional tropical drinks.
  • Cacao & coffee spiced rum is a unique spirit that infuses the warmth of rum with the rich flavors of chocolate and coffee.
  • Angostura bitters, originally from Venezuela, have been a staple in bartending since the 19th century, adding complexity to countless cocktails.


Cacao & Coffee Spiced Rum

A bold and rich base, the cacao & coffee spiced rum offers a decadent backbone to the 'Tropicalia'. The kick of coffee and the luxuriant feel of cacao add complexity. Without this, you’d miss the deep, warm notes – it would be like a beach without sand! Substitute with vanilla spiced rum, and you’ll float more towards a sweeter, dessert-like profile.

Emma Rose


The sweet, spicy ginger and almond notes of Falernum give the cocktail its exotic kick. A little goes a long way, hence only 0.5 oz. Falernum is like the friend who spices up the party! If you leave it out, the drink loses its zest. A simple syrup with a hint of almond extract could act as a makeshift substitute, but it won't sing quite the same tropical tune.

Alex Green

Banana Tea

Banana tea? That's right, it's like slipping on a banana peel and landing in flavor town! It lends a unique, fruity sweetness that speaks to the 'Tropicalia’s' name. Remove it, and you’ll drop a crucial fruity layer. Swap it for mango or passion fruit tea, and you’ll switch lanes into another kind of tropical paradise.

Mary Mitkina

Fresh Pineapple Juice

Nothing says 'tropical' quite like pineapple juice. It offers a tangy punch that's essential for this cocktail, filling it with energy and vibrance. Without it, the cocktail would be like a sunbath without the sun. If it’s not on hand, maybe you manage with orange juice, but the citrusy sharpness won’t be the same.

Emma Rose

Fresh Lime Juice

This tiny amount of lime juice transforms the drink with its bright acidity. Think of it as the spark that lights the firework show. Too little, and the drink might feel flat; too much, and your lips will pucker more than desired. No lime? Try lemon, but your 'Tropicalia' will wear a slightly different shade of sour.

Alex Green

Angostura Bitters

Two dashes of Angostura bitters bring everything together, adding a herby depth and a hint of mystery. It’s the secret ingredient your guests can't put their finger on. Forget it, and the 'Tropicalia' might feel a bit too sweet and undressed. Though, if necessity demands, a dash of orange or aromatic bitters could step in subtly.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Tropicalia Drink

  • Add 1.5 oz of cacao & coffee spiced rum to a shaker.
  • Pour in 0.5 oz of Falernum.
  • Measure and add 1.5 oz of banana tea.
  • Include 0.67 oz of fresh pineapple juice.
  • Squeeze in 0.33 oz of fresh lime juice.
  • Add 2 dashes of Angostura bitters.
  • Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
  • Fine strain into a chilled glass.
  • Garnish with a slice of banana or a pineapple wedge.

Pro Tips

  • To enhance the tropical flavors, consider infusing the rum with fresh banana slices for a few days before making the cocktail.
  • Use freshly squeezed pineapple and lime juice for the brightest flavor.
  • Chill the glass beforehand to keep the cocktail cool and refreshing.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Seafood: The refreshing tropical flavors of the 'Tropicalia' cocktail would complement the smokiness of grilled shrimp or calamari beautifully.
  • Spicy Appetizers: A match made in heaven for the slightly spiced notes of the cocktail, think jalapeño poppers or spicy tuna rolls.
  • Fruit-Based Desserts: Enhance the tropical vibe with a mango sorbet or a pineapple upside-down cake.

Drink Pairings

  • Coconut Water: For a non-alcoholic pairing, the natural sweetness of coconut water will echo the tropical notes of the cocktail.
  • Pilsner Beer: A crisp, light beer can be a palate cleanser that contrasts against the rich flavors of the 'Tropicalia'.

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What you could change in Tropicalia

  • If cacao & coffee spiced rum is unavailable, a good quality spiced rum can be used as a substitute, perhaps with a dash of coffee liqueur to mimic the flavor profile.
  • In place of Falernum, a homemade syrup of almond, ginger, lime, and cloves can provide a similar taste.
  • For a non-alcoholic version, omit the rum and use a banana-flavored syrup combined with a non-alcoholic bitters.

Explore all drinks starting with T here

And of course - twists🍹

Green Tropic

  • Replace banana tea with matcha green tea.
  • Use coconut-infused rum instead of cacao & coffee spiced rum.
  • Garnish with a sprig of mint. The Green Tropic will be fresher, with an earthy touch from the matcha balancing the sweetness and a coconut twist that takes you straight to the shores of a green island.

Spicy Sunset

  • Add a small sliced piece of habanero pepper to the shaker.
  • Infuse the pineapple juice with cinnamon overnight.
  • Float a thin layer of mezcal on top before serving. The Spicy Sunset introduces a heat that'll tickle the throat and a smoky note that'll turn your 'Tropicalia' into a fiery beach party under a dusky sky.

Caribbean Cream

  • Mix in 1 oz of coconut cream.
  • Use hibiscus tea instead of banana tea.
  • Garnish with shredded coconut. The Caribbean Cream will transform the 'Tropicalia' into a creamier, more luxurious drink, layering it with a floral note and making it almost dessert-like—the kind of treat you'd want under the shade of a palm.

In case you forgot basics how to make Tropicalia

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Tropicalia

How can I properly measure liquid ingredients for a cocktail?

Use a jigger or a measuring cup designed for cocktails. For very small measurements, a 'dash' or 'drop' might need a specialized tool or can be estimated.

What's the origin of the name 'Falernum'?

Falernum is believed to have its roots in Barbados, with the name possibly originating from the Latin 'Falernian', which was a Roman wine.

Can I use a pre-made banana tea bag instead of fresh banana tea?

Yes, you can use a pre-made banana tea bag if fresh banana tea isn't available. However, the flavor may not be as robust.

What type of ice is best for shaking cocktails?

Cubed ice is typically used for shaking cocktails because it dilutes the mix to the right level and chills effectively.

How do I achieve a good shake when making a cocktail?

Hold the shaker with both hands and shake vigorously for about 10 to 15 seconds, or until the shaker feels very cold to the touch.

What is the best way to garnish the Tropicalia cocktail?

For a Tropicalia, a slice of banana or a pineapple wedge works well, but you could also consider edible flowers or a sprig of mint for added visual appeal.

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