The Shark’s Tooth is a classic tiki cocktail created by Donn Beach. This refreshing rum cocktail with pineapple and lime is one of the easiest tiki drinks to make at home, making it great for beginners.
History of the Shark’s Tooth
This simple tiki drink was created by Donn Beach, the founding father of the American tiki bar. Beach created dozens of fantastic tropical cocktails over the years, but he was always very secretive about his recipes.
Thanks to the work of tiki historian Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, this recipe and many more of Beach’s recipes have been recovered.
This version of the Shark’s Tooth is from the 1960s, but the straight-forward recipe is likely much older. Another even simpler version of this drink is known as the Tiger Shark.
The Tiger Shark is from at least the 1950s and is made with a half ounce each of: three kinds of rum, lime juice, pineapple juice, and simple syrup. I’ll include full details in the recipe card below!
The Shark’s Tooth is made with:
- Aged rums
- Fresh lime juice
- Pineapple juice
- Simple syrup
- Syrup from maraschino cherry jar (optional)
According to Beachbum Berry, the recommended rums are one ounce of Barbados rum and one ounce of Jamaican rum.
The rum from Barbados is blended with the rest of the cocktail ingredients and crushed ice, and the Jamaican rum is served on the side.
The Jamaican rum is to be poured on top of the drink just before drinking. I think it’s this funky rum float that gives the Shark’s Tooth its bite!
Some easy to find rums you could use for the Shark’s Tooth are Mount Gay Eclipse (from Barbados) and Appleton Estate Signature (Jamaican).
Always use fresh lime juice. Fresh pineapple juice is highly recommended but unsweetened is the next best option.
At the time of the Shark’s Tooth’s invention, it’s likely that the maraschino cherry syrup used was from a jar of bleached and dyed, bright red cherries.
If this is the type of maraschino cherries you have on hand, use this syrup. However, for maximum flavor, I highly recommend using the syrup from a jar of Luxardo maraschino cherries.
How to make it
To make the Shark’s Tooth, combine all of the ingredients (except the Jamaican rum) in a blender with about a half cup of crushed ice.
Blend on high briefly (5 seconds) and then pour the contents into a glass. Pour one ounce of Jamaican rum over the drink and enjoy. It’s recommended to sip the drink like this, rather than stir or use a straw, but ultimately that’s your call.
If you don’t have a blender, you can whip shake (shake with one or two pieces of ice until they dissolve) and then dump the cocktail into a glass and top it with plenty of crushed ice.
You might also enjoy these other rum cocktails:
Shark’s Tooth Easy Tiki Cocktail
- 1 oz aged Barbados rum (I used Mount Gay Eclipse)
- ½ oz lime juice
- ½ oz pineapple juice
- ½ oz simple syrup
- 1 tsp syrup from a jar of maraschino cherries (optional)
- 1 oz aged Jamaican rum (I used Appleton Estate)
- Combine the first five ingredients in a blender with a half cup of crushed ice.
- Blend on high for five seconds, then pour into a glass.
- Serve the Jamaican rum in a shot glass on the side and pour over the cocktail just before enjoying.
Recipe Variation: The Tiger SharkIngredients:
- 1/2 oz gold rum
- 1/2 oz white rum
- 1/2 oz 151-proof Demerara rum
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 1/2 oz pineapple juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- Combine all ingredients in a blender with 1/2 cup of crushed ice.
- Blend on high for 5 seconds, then pour into a glass. Garnish as desired.