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bmdaniel

The Tiki Drink Discussion Topic

499 posts in this topic

Beautiful weather yesterday (it finally feels like summer), so we were in the mood for a tiki drink.

I made a Test Pilot (Don The Beachcomber, via Beachbum Berry Remixed) which is one of the tiki drinks I make regularly. The recipe was posted on the falernum thread for those who would like to try it and don't have Jeff Berry's books.

One of my favorite falernum cocktails is the Test Pilot; recipe from Jeff Berry's Grog Log (Jeff credits the drink to Donn Beach, circa 1941).

Test Pilot

1/2 ounce fresh lime juice

1/2 ounce Falernum

3 teaspoons Cointreau

dash Angostura bitters

1/8 teaspoon Pernod

3/4 ounce light Puerto Rican rum

1 1/2 ounces dark Jamaican rum

Blend with 1 cup crushed ice for 5 seconds, then pour into double old-fashioned glass. Add more crushed ice to fill. Garnish with a wooden oyster fork with maraschino cherry skewered on prongs.

It's spicy, it's deep and complex, and it keeps getting better with each sip. I imagine it would be even more fantastic with homemade falernum. The pastis + Angostura bitters combination is quite a wonderful base for the cocktail.

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We started singing Don Ho songs at some point, not sure how that happened. :biggrin:

The drink looks nice but what I really want are those glasses! Suck 'em up indeed!


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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I've been craving a Three Dots and a Dash for a while now, and realized I was being silly because the only reason I was not making one was because I did not have a pineapple spear for the garnish.

The recipe is from Sippin' Safari (for those who don't have the book, rumdood/Matt Robold provided it on his blog here - but I believe he is missing a dash of Angostura bitters!). As opposed to the pretty tame Sumatra Kula, the Three Dots and a Dash explodes with spice, with a trifecta of pimento dram, falernum AND angostura bitters! Regarding the rum, with 1.5 oz of aged rhum agricole (I used La Favorite Coeur de Rhum) and 0.5 oz of Demerara rum (I used El Dorado 5 yr), it is particularly flavorful (and strong!). A great classic.

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Last year during a cocktail symposium at Tiki Oasis, Martin Cate had us deconstruct this cocktail by trying to identify each one of its 8 ingredients. He was using a different rum mix - obviously the aged agricole is not very cost-effective. I do however highly recommend using the agricole in this drink, because it stands up to the spices and makes the drink extraordinary.

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While going through pictures for the previous post, I stumbled upon some pictures that my husband took of Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach last year.

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We did not know what to expect, but thought it was a great sign when we saw this guy carving tikis in the adjacent parking lot.

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When we got in, we were immediately transported into a different world. The bar area is beautifully decorated.

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We went at lunch time and pretty much had the place to ourselves. The food was decent and the drinks were great. We were relieved to see that the cocktail menu had a solid selection of classics.

This is how they serve the Three Dots and a Dash. I can't remember what rums they were using - my excuse is that I was sipping a Zombie 1934 and can't remember much else :-)

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Some more eye candy.

If you are a regular, you can keep your special mug in this cabinet.

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For those of you who are into tiki cocktails, Tiki Oasis has published its program for this year and there is a great line-up on the cocktail symposium front, with Martin Cate (Smuggler's Cove) giving a couple of talks on rum and continuing with his investigations into tiki drinks with CSI: Cocktail II - Wrath of The Tiki Drink Killer, and Richard Boccato (PKNY, Dutch Kills, Little Branch) exploring the topic of Gin Tropical Cocktails (Beyond The Vesper).

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Richard Boccato (PKNY, Dutch Kills, Little Branch) exploring the topic of Gin Tropical Cocktails (Beyond The Vesper).

Interesting title. Not sure the Vesper is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of tropical cocktails, gin based or otherwise.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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Richard Boccato (PKNY, Dutch Kills, Little Branch) exploring the topic of Gin Tropical Cocktails (Beyond The Vesper).

Interesting title. Not sure the Vesper is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of tropical cocktails, gin based or otherwise.

I was also confused by the title initially; however you have to keep in mind that the theme of Tiki Oasis this year is described as "exotic espionage and Polynesian pulp", hence the Vesper reference.

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Richard Boccato (PKNY, Dutch Kills, Little Branch) exploring the topic of Gin Tropical Cocktails (Beyond The Vesper).

Interesting title. Not sure the Vesper is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of tropical cocktails, gin based or otherwise.

I was also confused by the title initially; however you have to keep in mind that the theme of Tiki Oasis this year is described as "exotic espionage and Polynesian pulp", hence the Vesper reference.

Ah! Makes a little more sense. Would like to go to an event like this but unless it is either in Atlanta or within an easy weekend drive from Atlanta it isn't going to happen this year. My trip to Buenos Aires and Antarctica in Jan/Feb and the upcoming trip to Iceland and the Arctic in August have pretty much chewed up both vacation time and vacation travel funds for the moment.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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An excess of citrus and a freshly-made batch of orgeat were my motivation for deciding to make a tiki drink last night - usually I look for less involved recipes for Monday nights! Looking up recipes using orgeat, I came up with Kelbo's Scorpion in Sippin' Safari. It's an eclectic mix of dark Jamaican rum, brandy and gin, plus orange juice, lime juice, passion fruit syrup and orgeat.

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As with a lot of tiki drinks, with so many ingredients it's hard to know based on the recipe alone what it is going to taste like. It was very tasty, a little spicy, definitely on the boozy side but smooth (and therefore dangerous), with the creamy orgeat tying up everything together. Quite impressive.

For reference, stickyii posted the recipe while back on the Drinks! thread.

Kelbo's Scorpion

3/4oz lime juice

3/4oz orange juice

1/2oz passion fruit syrup

1/2oz orgeat

1oz dark Jamaican rum

3/4oz cognac

1/2oz gin

6oz crushed ice

Blend on high for 3 seconds. Pour into a fun tiki mug.

This potion is so wonderfully balanced and delicious.

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I made a couple of tiki drinks recently in preparation for an upcoming event.

First the Bum Barrel from Beachbum Berry Remixed. It's Jeff Berry's twist on the rum barrel. It's from the later portion of the book which contains new/modernized creations. The recommended rums were dark Jamaican and gold Virgin Island rums. I substituted what I have available in large quantities: Whaler's rum (which lacks the depth of Appleton) and Flor de Cana gold. The other ingredients are lime juice, white grapefruit juice, orange juice, passion fruit syrup, honey mix, Angostura bitters and soda water. Quite good, but felt a little watered down with the soda water. Was improved by a few drops of passion fruit bitters (made by a friend) which added depth. This wasn't especially memorable (at least not with this rum combo) but would still make a very decent punch.

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Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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Next up was Captain Vadrna's Grog, also from Beachbum Berry Remixed. This drink was apparently created with Captain Morgan spiced rum. I am not a huge fan of that rum but happen to have a few bottles of it so I decided to try this drink.

I did not expect too much from it between the Captain Morgan and the pretty straightforward list of ingredients (lime juice, white grapefruit juice, demerara syrup, Angostura bitters). I also snuck in a few drops of grapefruit bitters (also from my friend).

This was really good despite its simplicity. It had a lot of flavor and spice. I will make it again for sure.

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Someone I know is looking for a "pirate punch" recipe so yesterday I decided to test drive Stephen Remsberg's Planter's Punch recipe from Beachbum Berry Remixed. It's just dark rum (he specifies Coruba), lime juice, simple syrup and Angostura bitters. I did not have any Coruba but based on a tasting at Tiki Oasis last year I remembered that it was roughly in the same family as the Cruzan Black Strap that I bought fairly recently, so I just used that instead.

The drink is build directly in the glass and swizzled. It was rich and quite smooth. The strong maple syrup flavor of the black strap takes a few sips to get used to, but once you do it's a really enjoyable drink.

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Frog -- how about mixing that Cruzan Blackstrap with something mild and dry, like Flor de Cana? It's pretty assertive on its own.


Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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There are definitely some great recipes here and tiki drinks are a really interesting vein of spirits. Perhaps I missed it while skimming, but I would love a recipe for a good Zombie. By far my favorite exotic drink.

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There are definitely some great recipes here and tiki drinks are a really interesting vein of spirits. Perhaps I missed it while skimming, but I would love a recipe for a good Zombie. By far my favorite exotic drink.

Jane,

Regarding the Zombie, there is some excellent information at the beginning of this thread (see here for example).

I also recommend reading this article from the New York Times which summarizes the history of the drink and also provides Don the Beachcomber's "Zombie Punch" 1934 recipe (my favorite), together with a few other variations.

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Last night I was in the mood for a tiki drink but did not have the energy to make another 1934 Zombie Punch so I tried the simplified version created by Beachbum Berry (Beachbum Berry's Zombie). It uses only 5 ingredients instead of 10 in the original recipe. It's is shaken with ice cubes instead of blended.

It manages to retain the same flavor profile, though obviously not as complex. Despite its simplicity, it is a very respectable version of the Zombie.

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... the simplified version created by Beachbum Berry (Beachbum Berry's Zombie). It uses only 5 ingredients instead of 10 in the original recipe....It manages to retain the same flavor profile...
...but perhaps has a harder time justifying it's claim to the name, rather lacking the bludgeoning payload of the previous version?

On the 'bitters' shelf at home lives a little dropper bottle containing a blend of angostura and raki. In the fridge is a little squeeze bottle of premixed grapefruit juice and cinnamon syrup. Similar squeeze bottles hold 'five minute' falernum, simple and passionfruit juice. The backups live in the freezer. Tiki time became a lot calmer when I grasped the whole 'frozen squeezy' storage thing.

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... the simplified version created by Beachbum Berry (Beachbum Berry's Zombie). It uses only 5 ingredients instead of 10 in the original recipe....It manages to retain the same flavor profile...
...but perhaps has a harder time justifying it's claim to the name, rather lacking the bludgeoning payload of the previous version?

DerekW,

I think that you are being a little harsh. Jeff Berry's simplified version still makes a very nice Zombie that I would be happy to have any day.

On the 'bitters' shelf at home lives a little dropper bottle containing a blend of angostura and raki. In the fridge is a little squeeze bottle of premixed grapefruit juice and cinnamon syrup. Similar squeeze bottles hold 'five minute' falernum, simple and passionfruit juice. The backups live in the freezer. Tiki time became a lot calmer when I grasped the whole 'frozen squeezy' storage thing.

Nice setup that you have. Could you please elaborate a little further regarding the premixed grapefruit juice & cinnamon syrup... Are you referring to something like "Don's Mix" from B.G. Reynolds, or is that something that you made?

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DerekW, I think that you are being a little harsh. Jeff Berry's simplified version still makes a very nice Zombie that I would be happy to have any day.
No harshness intended. Just a gentle comment on the relevance of the name - 5oz compared to 1 1/2 oz.
Could you please elaborate a little further regarding the premixed grapefruit juice & cinnamon syrup... Are you referring to something like "Don's Mix" from B.G. Reynolds, or is that something that you made?

Both :)

Something like, but homemade. While I don't have my copy in front of me, I'm pretty sure that I lifted the idea from the pages of 'Beachbum Berry Remixed', where he is discussing Donn Beach's 'secret ingredients in coded bottles' system. Making the cinnamon infused simple is, well, simple, and it's not a big step to notice how often the grapefruit and cinnamon are called for in various recipes, generally in close enough ratio to suggest keeping them combined. I'm pretty sure Jeff directly refers to "Don's Mix". He also draws attention to the Angostura / Anise combo as recurring in a lot of Dark Rum based D-the-B drinks, and sure enough [to my jaded palate anyway] a few drops of the combo does add extra depth to the off-the cuff tiki variants I've tried it in.

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Could you please elaborate a little further regarding the premixed grapefruit juice & cinnamon syrup... Are you referring to something like "Don's Mix" from B.G. Reynolds, or is that something that you made?

Both :)

Something like, but homemade. While I don't have my copy in front of me, I'm pretty sure that I lifted the idea from the pages of 'Beachbum Berry Remixed', where he is discussing Donn Beach's 'secret ingredients in coded bottles' system. Making the cinnamon infused simple is, well, simple, and it's not a big step to notice how often the grapefruit and cinnamon are called for in various recipes, generally in close enough ratio to suggest keeping them combined. I'm pretty sure Jeff directly refers to "Don's Mix". He also draws attention to the Angostura / Anise combo as recurring in a lot of Dark Rum based D-the-B drinks, and sure enough [to my jaded palate anyway] a few drops of the combo does add extra depth to the off-the cuff tiki variants I've tried it in.

The grapefruit + cinnamon combo is indeed a classic combination used in many recipes from Don the Beachcomber (idem for anise + angostura); I was just curious about the fact that this mix could be kept for a while in the fridge. It has to be because of the cinnamon, because citrus juice tends to get bad rather quickly on its own.

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DerekW, I think that you are being a little harsh. Jeff Berry's simplified version still makes a very nice Zombie that I would be happy to have any day.
No harshness intended. Just a gentle comment on the relevance of the name - 5oz compared to 1 1/2 oz.

OK, got it - not as potent as the original. Still potent enough for me! :smile: And that gives others the perfect excuse to have another one...

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