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Grapefruit juice

Classic Tiki: the Jet Pilot

My uncle was a pilot. Hal flew light, high-wing planes, the type you’d fly into northern Ontario to hunt moose. A couple times a year, he’d fly to visit us, landing in Trimble’s pasture across the road from our house. A low fly-over to let us know he was there, a tight turn over the telephone lines, and there he’d be, roaring across the clover to park by the electric fence next to our mailbox. He knew how to make an exciting entry.

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Navy Grog

Donn Beach’s Tiki standard Navy Grog was not far removed from its seafaring namesake.

Fancier, yes. And a bit more potent, perhaps.

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The Brown Derby Cocktail

Why would a posh LA restaurant name a popular cocktail after a competitor?

At some point in the mid-1930s, the exclusive Vendome Club did just that. The Vendome—sort of a west-coast 21—started serving a version of the whiskey sour named after one of its Hollywood neighbors: the Brown Derby.
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Rum, fruit and spice — The Ancient Mariner

Warm days are returning to Minnesota; time to think about tropical drinks. As luck would have it, Jeff Berry’s Grog Log came to hand the other day, and fell open to his fruit and spice laden Ancient Mariner.

According to Berry, the Ancient Mariner is an attempt to recreate the flavors of Trader Vic’s Navy Grog, which was itself an attempt to decipher Don the Beachcomber’s drink of the same name. Continue reading “Rum, fruit and spice — The Ancient Mariner”

Making Zombie Punch

I never paid much attention to Tiki drinks because of all the hokey trappings—you know: the faux South Seas ambience, the silly mugs, fake idols, umbrellas and overwrought garnishes, the ingredient lists as long as your arm… Continue reading “Making Zombie Punch”

Is that your real name? The Diki-Diki Cocktail

The Diki-Diki not only has the goofiest name of any cocktail I’ve made, it is also a remarkable and seductive blend of flavors, based on an unusual model.

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The Seventh Heaven Cocktail

The Seventh Heaven Cocktail is a quick, simple, and summery gin sour. The formula—gin, citrus juice, and Maraschino—will be familiar as the basis of the Aviation in its late 20th-century incarnation—the one without crème de violette. Continue reading “The Seventh Heaven Cocktail”

The Cloister Cocktail

The Cloister Cocktail is an excellent introduction to Chartreuse.

Chartreuse is a notoriously difficult ingredient — aggressively herbal, it dominates anything it comes near. It’s a huge flavor bomb, and it is very unfriendly to many when they first encounter it. It is an acquired taste, one I’m… still acquiring. Continue reading “The Cloister Cocktail”

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