The student-run magazine of San Francisco State University

Xpress Magazine

The student-run magazine of San Francisco State University

Xpress Magazine

The student-run magazine of San Francisco State University

Xpress Magazine

Toasting to the Tropics

The Demerara Dry Float with a “Shot of Danger” at Smuggler’s Cove will erase the memory of that Underwater Basket Weaving exam that you bombed.
By Danielle Hutton
Photos by Tony Santos and Danielle Hutton



Tuition is paid and so is first month’s rent. Textbooks are bought and bound to collect dust. All syllabi has been printed. Reading is piling up and so are deadlines for papers. Time for a drink.

Broke and stressed, missing the days of summer past, the life of a student quickly devolves into all work, especially now that summer’s end quickly approaches. However, with a little searching and a fondness for rum, a bit of sunshine under the fog is just a stroll away.

Smuggler’s Cove–Demerara Dry Float $11

Students, beware. Smuggler’s Cove boasts hundreds of types of rum, keeping in theme with the tiki bar atmosphere, calling for an intense mix.

Their Demerara Dry Float is definitely an escape drink, not one to be taken lightly. A mix of passion fruit, lime, and lemon juices, combined with private reserve rum, the drink is potent on it’s own. Combine that with the “shot of danger” (and they’re not kidding with that name) on the side, and everything learned that day may be forgotten, along with a good chunk of that night.

The passion fruit and lime are highly noticeable in every sip, sweet and refreshing. Brace yourself for the shot and prepare for a good night.

Both sweet and tart, Last Call Bar’s Lemon Mojito is equal parts refreshing and tropical.


Last Call Bar–Lemon Mojito: $7

The Last Call in the Castro serves up a Lemon Mojito on the days when fresh mint is in stock.

White rum and lemonade vodka are the main components here, satisfying anyone’s need for a fruity, summer drink without breaking the budget. Both sweet and tart, this mojito is equal parts refreshing and tropical, without being overdone.

The Ave–Mai Tai: $8

Say good morning (or good night) after a few of Club 93’s Hawaiian Sunrises.
The Mai Tai at the The Ave.

The Ave has cheap drinks and is liberal with the alcohol, a double plus for anyone limping along on a student budget. Their Mai Tai especially gives a great bang for your buck.

This particular iteration of the Mai Tai follows the classic formula, but boasts more dark rum than it does anything else. Despite this, it manages to remain tropical without being overly booze-y. The coconut rum and the orange and pineapple juices blend well, but are all discernible at one point or another. The grenadine and Myer’s rum mixed together to create a darker drink, foregoing the traditional layered look, but doesn’t detract from the taste. The maraschino cherry and lemon garnish skewered on a tiny pirate sword give it the cliched, but still charming look.

Say good morning (or good night) after a few of Club 93’s Hawaiian Sunrises.
Say good morning (or good night) after a few of Club 93’s Hawaiian Sunrises.

Club 93–Hawaiian Sunrise: $10

The Hawaiian Sunrise is a special at Club 93, the bar’s more tropical take on a tequila sunrise, with rum as the main component, as in so many other tropical drinks.

With Malibu, Barcardi Superior White, and Absolut Mandarin, the drink brings a nice punch, without being too overwhelming, thanks to a generous splash of both pineapple juice and grenadine.

Elixir–Tiki Shmiki $11

The Elixir
The Elixir

Located in the Mission, Elixir boasts a revolving menu of drinks, relying on seasonal ingredients, so get this one while there’s still time.

Zacapa’s 23-year rum and Mandarine Napoleon liqueur make up the base for this drink, with passion fruit puree and orgeat taking a supporting role to add a bit of sweetness to soften the rum. Nice and refreshing, the orange liqueur is more noticeable than the passion fruit, so much that it seems as if actual oranges went into the drink as well, without the fake fruit flavor. The drink is worth the price, packing a nice buzz with the alcohol evenly distributed throughout instead of hanging near the top and leaving watered down juice at the end.

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The student-run magazine of San Francisco State University
Toasting to the Tropics