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Rums for Trader Vic (and other tiki) Drinks


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hmmm...my bottle of Appleton VX stated it was bottled in Canada, and I think several others do as well (just don't have them in front of me right now). That means almost all of the rums I have could have Canadian spirits blended in.

I'll have to check when I get home...

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The Appleton's V/X is my "house pour" rum. I always have that around. The Appleton's white blows the doors off Bacardi when I can find it for a light rum.

I personally like Gosling's Black Seal better than Myers for a dark rum. I just like the real blackstrap molasses-ey taste of it better than the Myers, which I personally find too "sweet" for me. But maybe that's just me. The Gosling's is certainly sweet also, but somehow tastes more "rummy" to me.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I just like the real blackstrap molasses-ey taste . . .

Then you owe it to yourself to find some Cruzan Blackstrap Rum, it has the most blackstrap molasses taste of any rum I've tasted.

And Appleton VX is one of their best rums when you consider availability, cost and taste.

Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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Hey I just became a member of Appleton's Rum Academy, and I'm labelled as a Rum Expert now haha...

They send you a membership card with your name on it, as well as a newsletter. I'm sending in two referrals so I can get the free t shirt. :raz:

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  • 1 year later...
The Appleton's white blows the doors off Bacardi when I can find it for a light rum.

Yes.

I personally like Gosling's Black Seal better than Myers for a dark rum.

Yes, but try the Cruzan Black Strap, it is even better than the Goslings.

-James

My new book is, "Destination: Cocktails", from Santa Monica Press! http://www.destinationcocktails.com

Please see http://www.tydirium.net for information on all of my books, including "Tiki Road Trip", and "Big Stone Head", plus my global travelogues, and more!

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Are any Trader Vic afficionados (and more importantly, owners of Trader Vic books) willing to describe the recipe for the Suffering Bastard?

I've found various recipes on the web but they didn't seem to be correct.  Once I scribbled down the recipe after stumbling across a Trader Vic book somewhere but I lost that...

Trader Vic and Donn Beach had a rivalry for decades that was more or less amicable - except when it came to drink recipes.

Donn made a drink consisting of rum, lime, orgeat, and curacao.

A few years later, Vic made a similar drink and named it the Mai Tai.

It caught on.

Don and Vic argued over who invented the Mai Tai.

Vic was first with the name, but Donn had the recipe (basically) first.

They sued each other.

The Trader Vic's Mai Tai recipe is the 'real' Mai Tai, but Donn won the right to say he invented it, because of his previous, differently-named drink. And then he went on to make a completely different drink, and called it HIS Mai Tai.

Meanwhile, Donn had a drink called Suffering Bastard.

Trader Vic's restaurants, to this day, serve a Suffering Bastard, but it is essentially an extra-strong Trader Vic's Mai Tai with a cucumber stalk in it.

However, the original SB, Donn's version, is a totally different drink.

The recipe that Jeff Berry published (whiskey, ginger ale, etc. - someone posted it above) is the original Donn Beach drink.

Back to the rums - Vic used a 17-year-old J. Wray and Nephew rum, which is now long out of production. Some recipes call for a mix of 'light' and 'dark' rums, but I find that many mid-to-high quality amber rums will work. Apparently, the Appleton v/x is similar to the old J. Wray. I like to use Mt. Gay or St. James from time to time too.

Lots more about Donn and Vic here:

http://www.tydirium.net/tiki/tikiroadtrip.html

-James

My new book is, "Destination: Cocktails", from Santa Monica Press! http://www.destinationcocktails.com

Please see http://www.tydirium.net for information on all of my books, including "Tiki Road Trip", and "Big Stone Head", plus my global travelogues, and more!

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Speaking of the Wray & Nephew, back in 2006 a Belfast hotel took the Guinness World Record for the world's most expensive cocktail with an original Mai Tai.

At £750, an original Trader Vic's Mai Tai isn't within everyone's budget, but its hefty price tag has been enough to secure it the official title of the world's most expensive cocktail.

The honour was bestowed upon the historic beverage by Guinness World Records at a special ceremony held yesterday at the hotel. The Merchant owns one of only six bottles in existence of 17-year-old Wray and Nephew Rum, which was used by trader Vic Bergeron to create the original Mai Tai over 60 years ago.

"Martinis should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously one on top of the other." - W. Somerset Maugham

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"one of only six bottles in existence"

should be

"one of only six KNOWN bottles in existence"

My glass (or bottle of rum) is always half-full!

I like to think that there is a hidden hoarde out there somewhere that some sucker is going to sell me for a buck a bottle.

"ah, this old stuff - it's probably no good anymore"!

...a man can dream.

-James

My new book is, "Destination: Cocktails", from Santa Monica Press! http://www.destinationcocktails.com

Please see http://www.tydirium.net for information on all of my books, including "Tiki Road Trip", and "Big Stone Head", plus my global travelogues, and more!

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"one of only six bottles in existence"

should be 

"one of only six KNOWN bottles in existence"

My glass (or bottle of rum) is always half-full!

I like to think that there is a hidden hoarde out there somewhere that some sucker is going to sell me for a buck a bottle.

"ah, this old stuff - it's probably no good anymore"!

...a man can dream.

Not to crush said dream (and I guess this doesn't actually refute the possibility that other bottles exist), but the rum in question was created specifically for this publicity stunt (spade = spade) by the master distiller at Appleton Estates, allegedly from the original blending notes from the 17 year Wray & Nephew. I'm sure someone somewhere around here has a press release handy.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Is it safe to say that at this point in Tiki culture that there is a stable of names and you can try the originals and then make your own interpatation. Like a Margrarita, no two are the same.

Toby

Are any Trader Vic afficionados (and more importantly, owners of Trader Vic books) willing to describe the recipe for the Suffering Bastard?

I've found various recipes on the web but they didn't seem to be correct.  Once I scribbled down the recipe after stumbling across a Trader Vic book somewhere but I lost that...

Trader Vic and Donn Beach had a rivalry for decades that was more or less amicable - except when it came to drink recipes.

Donn made a drink consisting of rum, lime, orgeat, and curacao.

A few years later, Vic made a similar drink and named it the Mai Tai.

It caught on.

Don and Vic argued over who invented the Mai Tai.

Vic was first with the name, but Donn had the recipe (basically) first.

They sued each other.

The Trader Vic's Mai Tai recipe is the 'real' Mai Tai, but Donn won the right to say he invented it, because of his previous, differently-named drink. And then he went on to make a completely different drink, and called it HIS Mai Tai.

Meanwhile, Donn had a drink called Suffering Bastard.

Trader Vic's restaurants, to this day, serve a Suffering Bastard, but it is essentially an extra-strong Trader Vic's Mai Tai with a cucumber stalk in it.

However, the original SB, Donn's version, is a totally different drink.

The recipe that Jeff Berry published (whiskey, ginger ale, etc. - someone posted it above) is the original Donn Beach drink.

Back to the rums - Vic used a 17-year-old J. Wray and Nephew rum, which is now long out of production. Some recipes call for a mix of 'light' and 'dark' rums, but I find that many mid-to-high quality amber rums will work. Apparently, the Appleton v/x is similar to the old J. Wray. I like to use Mt. Gay or St. James from time to time too.

Lots more about Donn and Vic here:

http://www.tydirium.net/tiki/tikiroadtrip.html

A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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Is it safe to say that at this point in Tiki culture that there is a stable of names and you can try the originals and then make your own interpatation.  Like a Margrarita, no two are the same.

Tell that to Jeff Berry!

I know a **lot** of purists when it comes to tropicals, people who are as uptight about promoting and sticking to the 'real' recipes as any martini snob is.

-James

My new book is, "Destination: Cocktails", from Santa Monica Press! http://www.destinationcocktails.com

Please see http://www.tydirium.net for information on all of my books, including "Tiki Road Trip", and "Big Stone Head", plus my global travelogues, and more!

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Is it safe to say that at this point in Tiki culture that there is a stable of names and you can try the originals and then make your own interpatation.  Like a Margrarita, no two are the same.

Tell that to Jeff Berry!

I know a **lot** of purists when it comes to tropicals, people who are as uptight about promoting and sticking to the 'real' recipes as any martini snob is.

I think the point Alchemist was making is that many of the products called for in the older 'tiki' recipes are no longer available in the form they were when the recipe was created, and so one must interpret the recipe to find something suitable on the market today. Jeff Berry does the same thing. Even the great Trader Vic followed this method when finding a substitution for the original Mai Tai rum, and he did it by blending two other rums on the fly. In all facets of mixology, substitution and improvisation has a long and distinguished history, it's not always a bad thing.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Interesting discussion!

"Interpret the recipe to find something suitable on the market today!"

That is just common sense i think. When some ingredients are impossible to find I try to find something that is as close as possible - as well as experimenting a bit..

After all the most important thing IMHO is to enjoy what you drink!

For me it works in a Mai Tai with Appleton 12 + st James hors d`age and Appleton vx + Havana Club7.

But i want to try Silver Seal millenium..

Edited by Tiare (log)

www.amountainofcrushedice.com

Tiki drinks are deceptive..if you think you can gulp them down like milk you´re wrong.

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I don't pay for a subscription to the industry site just drinks, so can't read this whole article, but this headline got my attention:

JAMAICA: Appleton rolls out 30 year old rum

As part of its strategy of premiumisation, Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum has announced plans to launch a rare 30 year old rum in the second quarter of this year.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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  • 2 years later...

Reviving this old thread in the hopes that someone can help me: ever since I learned about Tiki drinks, I've been dying to track down some Lemon Hart 151 rum. They don't carry it in Ontario, and usually when I'm visiting the US, I'm flying, and it's illegal to fly with such high-proof alcohol. However, in May, I'll be visiting some friends in Vermont and driving home through New York state, so I'd like to be able to pick up a bottle. To that end, here's what I need to know:

1) Does anyone know of an online retailer that can ship Lemon Hart 151 to Vermont?

2) If not, does anyone know of a bricks-and-mortar store in, say, Buffalo or Niagara Falls that sells it?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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I have read this whole thread, and now my head is spinning (not from rum yet). What to get???? I can get two bottles right now. I have had Goslings black label for dark rum in the past and found it tasty. I was thinking of getting the barbancourt, as it is readily available in my locality.... I now can;t decide.. I have $2o or under for each bottle. Tell me what to do. I will report back, but there are too many choices....

please?

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There's no better place to start than a Mai Tai, and two bottles are all you need. (For rum, anyway.) One of my favourite combinations is Appleton Extra and Saint James ambre. If you can't get the latter, you could do a lot worse than Barbancourt. For that matter, even Gosling's and Barbancourt would probably work, though the colour might be a bit murky.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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If you can't get Saint James, I'd urge you to look around for Rhum Clement before trying Barbancourt. For that matter, for a mai tai, I'd buy the Clement VSOP over the Saint James ambre, and at least in my neighborhood, the Clement is easier to find.

John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yajna Patni, do you have a copy of Beachbum Berry Remixed, yet? He has a great rum glossary with brand recommendations for each particular style.

There's also some recommendations here:

http://www.beachbumberry.com/the-bum-on-rum/

Here's his Mai Tai recipe, too:

http://www.beachbumberry.com/how-to-make-a-mai-tai/

I've been using the Trader Tiki syrups and have been pleased with the results.

Edited by kathryn (log)
"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure
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