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campus five

"Smuggler's Cove" - the book

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So, I picked up the "Smuggler's Cove" book, and - no surprise - it's fantastic. I have a dumb question about interpreting an inconsistency/typo I found in a recipe, but I figured it'd be good to have a thread for discussing the book / the recipes / methods / etc., anyway.

 

Martin doesn't suggest exact rums for (almost) any of the cocktails, but rather draws a large number of relatively broad categories. Given that, I'd be interested to see what people are using, and digging in the various cocktails. Here's the list of categories, and some more common examples:

 

Pot Still Unaged (such as Wray and Nephew, Hamilton Jamaican Gold, etc.)

Pot Still Lightly Aged (Smith and Cross, Pritchard's Fine, etc.)

Pot Still Aged (various independent bottlings, Cadenheads, Berry Brothers, Plantation, etc.)

Pot Still Long Aged (Appleton Estate 50, Black Tot)

Blended Lightly Aged (Appleton Signature, Banks 5 or 7, El Dorado 3, Plantation 3, etc)

Blended Aged (Appleton Reserve or 12, El Dorado 5 or 8 or 12, Plantation 5 or 20th Anniversay, Pusser's, Mount Gay Black Barrel or XO)

Blended Long Aged (El Dorado 15 or 21 or 25, various super old stuff, XO's etc.)

Column Still Lightly Aged (Bacardi 1909, FdC 4yr, Scarlet Ibis, etc.)

Column Still Aged (Ango 1824 or 1919 or 5 or 7, Bacardi 8, FdC 12, Cruzan Single Barrel, Brugal 1888 or Extra Viejo, etc.)

Column Still Long Aged (FdC 18 or 25, English Harbor 25)

Black Pot Still (only example: Hamilton Jamaican Black)

Black Blended (Coruba, Goslings, Hamilton Guyana 86 pf, Lemon Hart 80, etc.)

Black Blended Overproof (Lemon Hart 151, Hamilton Guyana 151)

 

And then another 8 for cane juice based rums (basically Agricole and Cachaca)....

 

So my particular question is for the Dr. Funk Cocktail (pg. 266) - it calls for "black pot still unaged rum", but that doesn't match (exactly at least) one of the categories. There are several unaged cateories, but only one "Black" and "Pot Still". My best guess is that "unaged" was left off the category title, so the recipe is calling for Hamilton Jamaica Black, the one and only example Cate gives for the category. Validating my guess is that the 1947 Trader Vic book calls for "Dark Jamaica or Martinique Rum". Further, the note at the bottom of Cate's recipe says to use a "full flavored funky rum" to balance the Herbsaint, which seems to describe something like the Hamilton Black. 

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Just got my copy yesterday, so I'm still working my way through it, but I agree that Hamilton Jamaica black is the intended bottle for the Dr. Funk.

It is indeed (relatively) unaged, black, pot still, and Jamaican, which hits all the qualifiers.

It's also the only pot still rum listed on the referenced page (198).
 

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I had a similar question about this particular recipe and it does seem to be a bit confusing. As noted it is the only rum suggested in the list of rums on page 198 (I think the full list covers pagess 197-199 but I don't have the book in front of me at the moment). I was making the Dr. Funk on Friday (without the seltzer which I found unnecessary and in fact detracted from the drink for me). The Hamilton Jamaican Black Pot Still Rum indeed appears to be a unaged or young rum colored with "double strength black caramel" and I suppose what makes it more distinctive from the Hamilton Gold is the percentage of light versus heavy pot still rums used in each blend for these bottlings. The coloring alone can't be the only difference can it?

 

Some info on them here.

 

Interestingly the pdf implies that both Myers and Coruba used to fit this category but in the opinion of Ed Hamilton (I presume) no longer had the traditional character found in earlier versions of these rums. Will have to check the list in the book to see if Myers (unlikely) or Coruba are on the list at all. Coruba was my go to for Hurricanes when I can find it but if the Hamilton will do it would be nice to have an alternative.

 


Edited by tanstaafl2 I see from reading the above again that Coruba is now listed as a Black Blended which is consistent with the assessment that it now uses more column still rum where it once was more (or all?) pot still. (log)

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The Planter's Punch with El Dorado 8 Demerara rum, lime juice, demerara syrup, St Elizabeth allspice dram, Angostura bitters.

 

Really delicious (and potent with 3 ounces of rum). And I am SO happy that the recipe doesn't contain grenadine.

 

 

Planter's Punch a la Smuggler's Cove with El Dorado 8 Demerara rum, lime juice, demeraravsyrup, St Elizabeth allspice dram, Angostura bitters #cocktail #cocktails #craftcocktails #tiki #tikidrinks #rum

 

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Swizzle Français (Martin Cate) with Clement VSOP rhum agricole, lime juice, St Elizabeth allspice dram, J.M sugar cane syrup, nutmeg.

 

Very funky. I would go a bit easier on the nutmeg next time because there was already a lot going on.

 

Swizzle Français (Martin Cate) with Clement VSOP rhum agricole, lime juice, St Elizabeth allspice dram, J.M sugar cane syrup, nutmeg #cocktail #cocktails #craftcocktails #tiki #tikidrinks #rum #rhum #rhumagricole #swizzle #smugglerscove

 

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Here's the first thing I made: Puka Punch

It was so good I had to make it again two days later.

 

lime juice / orange juice / pineapple juice

passion fruit syrup / 1:1 honey syrup / falernum

angostura

four rums

 

The first time I used Appleton 12, El Dorado 3, Coruba and Hamilton Demerara 151.

Second time around, I used the rums shown in the photo: Appleton 12, Plantation 3 star, Hamilton Demerara 86, and Hamilton Demerara 151. 

 

Based on the advice from the book, and how cheaply you can get one, I definitely ordered one of these: Hamilton Beach 730c Drink Mixer

It took a little trial and error to get the ice portioning down, but it was worth $3 to get a 12oz ice scoop so I don't have to think about it. 

Photo Jun 07, 9 40 22 PM.jpg

Photo Jun 10, 8 24 29 PM.jpg

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Next I tried the Saturn on recommendation from a friend. 

 

gin / lemon juice

passion fruit syrup / falernum / orgeat

 

So, this was just ok, but I think my passion fruit syrup is on the tart side, plus this was before the mixer arrived, so the under-dilution did it no favors.

I'm gonna try it again soon, and I'm guessing it'll probably be better the second time around. 

Photo Jun 07, 10 11 27 PM.jpg

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Next up was the "Demerara Dry Float, with a side of 'Danger'"

 

lime juice /lemon juice

passion fruit syrup / demerara syrup / maraschino

rum / float or side of overproof demerara rum

 

I believe we made this with El Dorado 12, but I can't remember (occupational hazard). 

Again, something that would've been served better by using the milk shake mixer. 

Still pretty good.

Photo Jun 07, 10 41 27 PM.jpg

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12 minutes ago, campus five said:

Next I tried the Saturn on recommendation from a friend. 

 

gin / lemon juice

passion fruit syrup / falernum / orgeat

 

So, this was just ok, but I think my passion fruit syrup is on the tart side, plus this was before the mixer arrived, so the under-dilution did it no favors.

 

What passion fruit syrup are you using (and also, what gin, out of curiosity)? I've been happy with B.G. Reynolds which isn't very tart. I constantly tweak recipes so things aren't too sweet for me (it's easy to start with slightly less syrup, and add a bit as needed). Also this is a cocktail where the quality of the falernum & orgeat you use is going to make a big impact as well.


Edited by FrogPrincesse clarity (log)

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The cocktail that spawned my original query: Dr. Funk.

lemon juice / lime juice

grenadine / 2:1 Demerara syrup

herbsaint

rum

dash of seltzer 

 

So as discussed above, I'm guessing the rum called for in this drink is the Hamilton Jamaica Black. 

This was friggin' great, and it was interesting that the herbsaint and the rums served to dry the drink out a bit. 

 

 

Oh yeah, and the drink mixer was full effect at this point, and ice portioning (most of the blended cocktails call for 12 oz of crushed ice) was perfect, so execution was dead on. 

Photo Jun 13, 6 26 27 PM.jpg

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6 minutes ago, FrogPrincesse said:

 

What passion fruit syrup are you using (and also, what gin, out of curiosity)? I've been happy with B.G. Reynolds which isn't very tart. I constantly tweak recipes so things aren't too sweet for me (it's easy to start with slightly less syrup, and add a bit as needed). Also this is a cocktail where the quality of the falernum & orgeat you use is going to make a big impact as well.

 

 

So, following the recipe in the book, I got some passion fruit puree (frozen at the latino market) and mixed it equal parts with 2:1 simple syrup. It's pretty convenient to have a source for passion fruit puree right around the corner from the house. 

 

The falernum is John D. Taylor's, which is called for by name in the book. It says a lot that an operation like SC doesn't bother to make their own. 

 

The orgeat is from Liquid Alchemist, made by a local Los Angels bartender and sold at Barkeeper. They also sell St. Vincent Orgeat, which is also made by a local LA bartender. Frankly the St. Vincent stuff was so good that it inspired bartenders around LA to add orgeat cocktails to menus around town. But, they reformulated to make it shelf stable, so it's not the same. Still, I will probably try it again when I finish the bottle of Liquid Alchemist. 

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Thanks! I have made passion fruit syrup from scratch when they are in season, but haven't tried the fruit puree.

 

Well, about the falernum, I am sure they have their reasons for using Taylor's. But once you've tried homemade it's hard to go back, because in comparison Taylor's has little flavor. It's more like a simple syrup with a touch of clove and lime, whereas the homemade one is very spice-forward.

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If you can get frozen puree from a latin market, it's a manageable amount, and it's cheap. If you order the stuff from Funkin or Perfect Puree, it's a lot of puree and it's kind of expensive. I'm sure fresher would be better, but this is pretty solid. But I will say, that is still seems a hair tart, and it's definitely not that red. I tried making a mini Hurricane with it (rum/passion fruit syrup/lemon), and it was good but, it was a bit too tart and definitely not the same color as the one in the book. 

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Next up a "Zombie" fashioned after the 1934 specs. They do an interesting job of simplifying the ingredients, swapping Don's Mix (grapefruit juice and cinnamon syrup) for each of it's constituent ingredients. But alternatively, they change the 6 drops of Pernod usually called for 2 dashes something called "Herbostura" a 1:1 combo of Angostura and Herbsaint. I've actually found that it's a pretty useful swap. I've been making some non-alcoholic tiki things for friends (they don't mind the trace amount of alcohol from a couple dashes of bitters) and a dash or two carries a big flavor. 

 

Anyway, I went with Bacardi 8, and a split of El Dorado 8 and Dos Maderos 5+5, and then the Hamilton Demerara 151. It was pretty great, and the DM 5+5 add some serious richness. 

The only problem was that I made it and drank most of it while cooking dinner, and by time we were done eating, I was pretty bombed. Oops. 

 

 

 

zombie 5-5.jpg

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After yet another visit to a liquor store to buy new rum, I decided to go with the classic Mai Tai. 

 

The book lays out the saga of rums used in the Mai Tai historically over 3 pages, and perhaps because I was already imbibing when I would read the last paragraph or two, I kept missing the information that SC's house Mai Tai uses Denizen Merchant's Reserve Rum, and that said rum was a collaboration between Denizen and Martin Cate to fashion a rum after "Trader Vic’s Second Adjusted Formula, the formula Vic used to create his Mai Tai rum when both Wray and Nephew 15 year and Wray and Nephew 17 year supplies ran out.  It’s a blend of 8-year-old Jamaican pot-still rum and molasses-based rhum grand arôme from Martinique"

 

I've been using Rubdood's suggestion of Appleton 12 and Clement VSOP for years in my Mai Tais, and the Merchant's Reserve is definitely a suitable option, and, bonus, it's cheaper that both of those rums! 

mai tai denizen.jpg

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1 hour ago, campus five said:

After yet another visit to a liquor store to buy new rum, I decided to go with the classic Mai Tai. 

 

The book lays out the saga of rums used in the Mai Tai historically over 3 pages, and perhaps because I was already imbibing when I would read the last paragraph or two, I kept missing the information that SC's house Mai Tai uses Denizen Merchant's Reserve Rum, and that said rum was a collaboration between Denizen and Martin Cate to fashion a rum after "Trader Vic’s Second Adjusted Formula, the formula Vic used to create his Mai Tai rum when both Wray and Nephew 15 year and Wray and Nephew 17 year supplies ran out.  It’s a blend of 8-year-old Jamaican pot-still rum and molasses-based rhum grand arôme from Martinique"

 

I've been using Rubdood's suggestion of Appleton 12 and Clement VSOP for years in my Mai Tais, and the Merchant's Reserve is definitely a suitable option, and, bonus, it's cheaper that both of those rums! 

mai tai denizen.jpg

 

I learned that about Denizen sitting in the Smuggler's Cove bar last month just a little before the book came out.

 

I tried this comparison as well recently and typically use both those rums too although I think I have sometimes substituted the 6yo Clement for the VSOP (and I have been known to sub Creole Shrub for Curacao as well). While I found the Denizen to be adequate in a pinch I thought it a bit weaker overall in the richness of the drink. But it wasn't done blind and I may have been a bit biased towards my usual recipe. Still, the Denizen would probably do OK in a pinch.

 

Lots of people seem to float the lime shell on top. My local tiki bar typically loads it up with something high proof and sets it on fire (gotta give the local tiki noobs a show I suppose!). But I always sink my lime shell into the drink as that was the way I learned to make it. I don't suppose it makes that much difference though.

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Yeah, I don't think it was as rich as that combination either, but it got me in the same ballpark, which I dug. Plus, it would be pretty easy to spike it with something richer too. 

 

I also forgot to mention, the book calls for a specific syrup blend for the mai tai, 2:1 demerara with a dash of vanilla extra and salt, which I can only guess is their replacement for "rock candy syrup" in the original. 

Oh, and it seems a little odd to have only 1/4 oz orgeat in the recipe. Perhaps the SC house orgeat is more strongly flavored, but the Liquid Assets Orgeat I've been using (an LA bartender made product) is definitely not super strong.

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My copy of Smuggler's cove just came and as with much anticipation I was sitting down with it -- along with my evening mai tai -- I noticed the top edge of the book was bashed.  Not horribly bashed but not such as I would have picked up in a brick and mortar bookshop.

 

The content is quite nice.

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On 6/17/2016 at 4:15 PM, campus five said:

Here's the first thing I made: Puka Punch

It was so good I had to make it again two days later.

 

<snip>

I love the color of that one, especially in the upper photo.

 

I read an article about this book last week and was very impressed by the review.  Definitely got to get it now!  Nice work, campus five! And FrogPrincesse, too!

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Tonight I made a "Navy Grog" according to the Trader Vic specification as detailed in the book. Interestingly the Don the Beachcomber specs are also listed. What was crazy is how balanced it was. I don't mean to put out the whole recipe, but most of the book can be searched for on google books. 

 

.75 Lime / .75 grapefruit

.25 rich demerara / .25 allspice dram

1 oz each of three different rums 

 

And these are the rums I used:

1 oz Plantation 3 star

1 oz Smith and Cross

1 oz Bacardi Extra Anejo

 

1.5 oz of citrus balanced by .25 oz of syrup and .25 of liqueur that I don't think of as particularly sweet. And it's not like any of the rums are particularly sweet, either. 

Good stuff. 

 

Funny thing, I had hesitated to make it since I didn't have the ice cone mold, but it's not even used in the Trader Vic version, so there that. 


Edited by campus five (log)
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I was reading SC during dinner till I got to the part about why not to use glass barware.  I scraped my dinner plate into trash.

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On 7/7/2016 at 9:51 PM, JoNorvelleWalker said:

SC serves vanilla extract in their mai tai?  Really?  One more venue off my bucket list.

 

Well, that's your loss, but I think you've misunderstood. 

 

SC makes a "Mai Tai" syrup to replace the "Rock Candy Syrup" called for in the original Trader Vic recipe. 

They take a normal, rich 2:1 Demerara syrup and a tiny bit of Vanilla and a dash of salt. 

4 cups Demerara / 2 cups water / 1/2 tsp Vanilla / 1/4 tsp Salt - which makes approximately 4 cups / 32 oz of syrup. 

 

The rest of the Mai Tai recipe for reference: 2 oz rum / .75 oz lime / .5 oz curacao (specifically Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao) / .25 oz Orgeat / .25 oz Mai Tai Syrup

Maybe my math is wrong, but I'm pretty sure thats 0.00390625 tsp of vanilla per drink. Depending on the estimate you use, that's about a 1/3 of a drop. 

 

To call that "serving vanilla extract in their mai tai" is technically true but totally misses the point. 

Maybe, just maybe, give one of the very best tiki bars on earth a just a little benefit of the doubt for you write it off completely. 

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Well, hey, I bought the book.  A local rum distiller started putting a vanilla bean in their distillate and I haven't bought it since.  I might add that I think PF Dry Curacao is vile.*

 

*Disclaimer:  I drink bottle upon bottle of PF 1840.

 

 

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