Glisan Grog

August 4th, 2011 by Colonel Tiki

I was lucky enough to be asked to provide a local-flavor exotic cocktail recipe to celebrate the triumphant return of Trader Vic’s to Portland. When I say triumphant, it is an understatement. The partners who realized this vision deserve the heaps of admiration they are currently receiving.

I did not expect to speak to a partner who clearly understood and had great experience with what Trader Vics is.  To be of the highest praise: This is Trader Vic’s.

And so, how could I not make a coffee grog? I’ve been waxing about the deep body of coffee for some time now and will likely continue. The dandy combination of Coffee/Lime/Pineapple forms the core of the flavor profile. One may be surprised at the volume of Herbsaint – it should balance the fresh pineapple and the wine notes of a central american sourced coffee, so feel free to tweak at will.

Glisan Grog

2 oz dark Jamaican Rum1
¾ oz cold coffee2
¾ oz fresh pineapple juice3
½ oz B. G. Reynolds Vanilla Syrup
½ oz fresh lime juice
¼ oz Herbsaint4
2 dashes bitters

Shake all with 6 oz crushed ice5. Pour into a double rocks glass and garnish with spanked mint and a dusting of ground nutmeg.

  1. a mix of dark and aged Jamaican is also interesting []
  2. central american source []
  3. traditional variety, non-’gold’ []
  4. or less as to your taste and balance []
  5. for a better drink, use a top-down mixer []

Drinks of Strong Contrast

April 29th, 2011 by Colonel Tiki

Everyone has a flavor profile that they adore. As I’ve talked about before, the lion’s share of us tiki mixologist folk are non-tasters. This means that we love strong and complex flavors because our tongues are myopic1. Blair is a fan of heavy spice and strong citrus epitomized by the Nui Nui, for example. I do love that profile, but my heart is in drinks of high contrast.

Tenebrism

I’m talking about elevated high notes right next to deep base and dark tones, such as the profile you’ll find in my Dark Magic. In that particular recipe, the lime and pineapple are highly contrasted against the Jamaican rum and coffee syrup. This realization led me to delving into the idea of making a drink that really pushes this idea. The art history geek in me made the name. It’s Tiki, so I hope you’ll not be daunted by the ingredient list.

Tenebrist

1 oz Coruba Jamaican Rum
½ oz Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum
½ oz Cynar
1/8 oz Fernet Branca
¾ oz fresh white grapefruit juice
¾ oz fresh pineapple juice
½ oz Trader Tiki Cinnamon Syrup
dash aromatic bitters
8 drops herbsaint

Shake with crushed ice and serve in a double rocks glass, garnish with grapefruit peel and cinnamon stick

  1. If I can be allowed to mix metaphors []

Bum Rudder and Xmas savings

December 10th, 2010 by Colonel Tiki

TDN : Winter Tiki Drinks

Over at the Mixoloseum Bar, you must know by now that we have weekly Thursday Drink Nights, right? This past Thursday’s theme was “Winter Tiki” and the unstoppable Jeff “Beachbum” Berry dropped by to guest-host for a stint. We had a blast.

Quixotica

I have recently re-kindled my love affair with Cynar. I like playing resinous spices against the deep botanicals – you’ll notice that the Poison Dart exposes this idea. What could add yet more holiday joy to that combo but Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum1 and hot milk, right? It’s ideas like this which force the name:

Quixotica
1 oz Smith & Cross dark Jamaican rum
½ oz Cynar
¼ oz Pimento Dram
¼ oz Clove/Cinnamon syrup
dash bitters

Pour heated milk over other ingredients in a heat-proof glass or mug, dust with fresh nutmeg and garnish with cinnamon stick.

At that point, the talk went to Coconut Butter (and the problems finding a good product for drinks). I have some coconut butter myself, but have not as yet tried it as a cocktail ingredient. Wow. WOW. Yeah, I see a big future this winter season, all centered around coconut butter.2 The brand I use is “Artisana,” and it is a raw, whole-coconut product. It is amazing. Behold my quixotica creation — a coconut buttered rum that may well ruin you.

The Bum Rudder

Bum Rudder

Bum Rudder
1½ oz Smith & Cross dark Jamaican rum
½ oz Falernum3
½ oz Don’s Spices #24
½ oz Cinnamon Syrup5
1 tsp Coconut Butter
4 oz hot Apple Cider (non spiced)6
dash bitters

Pour hot cider over other ingredients in a heat proof glass or mug. garnish with clove-pierced orange peel and cinnamon stick.

..and now the savings!

This Christmas, Trader Tiki is giving out a 15% savings when you spend $20 or more. That’s only about 2 bottles. You can get everything you need for these cocktails and more! When you get to checkout, use the discount code “ILUVBLOGZ.” Tell him the Colonel sent you!

With your newly purchased syrups, you can check out all the other Christikimas recipes that we came up with on the Mixoloseum’s Twitter Feed. Cheers!

  1. You must purchase this rum. Must. []
  2. sorry Paul! []
  3. Colonel Tiki uses Trader Tiki brand syrups []
  4. Colonel Tiki uses Trader Tiki brand syrups []
  5. Colonel Tiki uses Trader Tiki brand syrups []
  6. I use an electric kettle to heat my cider, it is a cinch! []

The Dark Magic

October 15th, 2010 by Colonel Tiki

The Dark Magic

My lovely wife has a weekly cocktail column over at alt.life. This week she chose to cover an original creation of mine: The Dark Magic.

This drink is inspired by The Mai-Kai’s Black Magic, but has evolved into its own animal. Here’s the recipe:

Dark Magic
1 oz fresh lime juice
½ oz unsweetened pineapple juice
½ oz Coffee Syrup1
¼ oz Passion Fruit Syrup2
¼ oz Vanilla Syrup3
2 oz Coruba Dark Jamaican Rum
1 dash Aromatic Bitters
8 drops (1/8th oz) Herbsaint

Blend ingredients with 8oz ice for 5 one-second pulses. Alternately, mix with crushed ice using top-down drinks mixer. Pour into 12oz hurricane glass.

  1. 1 part strong coffee, 2 parts sugar: bring almost to boil, remove from heat, bottle and store in fridge for up to 30 days []
  2. Colonel Tiki recommends Trader Tiki brand Cocktail Syrups []
  3. Colonel Tiki recommends Trader Tiki brand Cocktail Syrups []

TDN – Mount Gay Extra Old

April 8th, 2009 by Colonel Tiki

tdn_mgxoThis week’s Thursday Drink Night (or TDN to us cool cats) is centered around a magical rum from the birthplace of rum: Barbados.1 I speak of Mount Gay Rum, Extra Old.

RumDood has a better and more informative post over at his digs, but to be brief: Mount Gay Rum is a perfect example of Bajan rum: Rich without being overbearing, smooth without being insipid. You can even taste the ocean breeze wafting over the coral containers they use in the distillation process. It’s heavenly. And the Extra Old which we’ll be mixing with? It’s almost a shame to mix it.

But mix it we will – We’ll just have to be sure to give it the respect it deserves.

Join us this Thursday, April 9 @ 4pm PDT. We usually go on until the wee hours of the night. Point your browser over to the Mixoloseum Bar for the fun! See you there!

  1. or so the Bajans claim. I like to believe them. []

MxMo November 2008 — Made From Scratch!

November 10th, 2008 by Colonel Tiki

It’s been a while, dear readers. It’s been crazy around Mathom House here. There will be a little monkey joining us in January so we’ve been busy getting a nursery together and of course the new basement temporary tiki bar, the “Monkey Hut in Exile.” It’s been hard to keep up with posting – I have about 3 or 4 posts in the queue. When I get more than about 30 minutes to myself, I’ll hope to put ‘em up.

This month, Doug at The Pegu Blog is hosting and the theme is “Made from Scratch!

While this must be the easiest MxMo to date for us Tiki cocktailians, it does offer the opportunity to make something new. I’m always making something in the kitchen: falernum, pimento dram, orgeat, forbidden fruits liqueur, orange curacao, bumbo, &c.

Hiram Walker was nice enough to provide some samples of their holiday line of liqueurs for sampling. I received them and I really can’t say much about them here and now. I was, however, moved to try my hand at making my own pumpkin liqueur. About two years ago I made a few batches of pumpkin syrup that were a hit. I wondered if my skills learned in the past year with infused liqueurs would yield something at least better than I could find on the shelf. The first version surpassed my expectations but needed a little tweaking to get the pumpkin flavor better represented. Here is the second version:

Pumpkin Liqueur

Pumpkin Liqueur ( this recipe makes over half a gallon, split accordingly)
2 Cups pumpkin, chunked and roasted
½ Cup ginger, sliced
½ Cup allspice berries, crushed
¼ Cup cloves, crushed
1 Nutmeg, ground
4 Sticks ceylon cinnamon, broken into pieces
1 Tbsp cassia cinnamon, ground
1 Tbsp mace, ground
2 pods vanilla, scraped
750ml LemonHart 151
8 cups sugar for syrup

Separate all spices and pumpkin into 2 equal parts. Infuse spices and pumpkin in 151 for at least one week. Combine the balance of the spices and pumpkin with the sugar and 4 cups of water. Bring to near boil and simmer for 30 minutes and pour into separate container for at least one week. After 1 week strain all solids from 151 infusion and syrup and combine. You can pour through a brita filter device, but I wait for the tiny solids to settle and I cart off the clear top liqueur.

I made this liqueur for a party benefiting the Portland Women’s Crisis Line. I featured it in a few cocktails. Here’s one of ‘em:

Harvest Old Fashioned
1 oz Pumpkin Liqueur
2 oz bourbon
Cherry and Orange wheel, muddled
Dash Fees bros bitters

Muddle fruit in mixing glass. Add ice, liquors, bitters and stir. Pour into rocks glass.

Yes, I not only include but also muddle the fruit in an old fashioned. It’s not an old fashioned old fashioned. Here is another just for MxMo:

Hot Rummin' Pumpkin

Hot Rummin’ Pumpkin
¾ oz Pumpkin Liqueur
¾ oz Jamaican dark rum
1½ oz demerara rum
4 oz cream, steaming hot
nutmeg, ground

Combine all ingredients in heated glass and top with ground nutmeg. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

Another month and another MxMo. Next month, I’ll be hosting so I’ll see everyone on the flipside for December’s MxMo – “Spice.”

Martin Cate in the WSJ

October 4th, 2008 by Colonel Tiki

I try to make a habit of keeping my posts here primary content. I don’t want to fall in the hole of only talking about what others are talking about, echoing echoed content.

However, there are time when I have to break my habits, especially when a friend gets featured in the Wall Street Journal.

Eric Felton (of How’s Your Drink? ) and columnist at the WSJ today published a column covering The “good” tiki resurgence, tying it a bit into the escapism of troubled economic times.

It is a wonderful information piece — It is quite nice to read about Polynesian Pop where the author gets it Right. I might enjoy the drinks at Trad’r Sam’s more than he, but he is spot on.

Martin Cate and his Forbidden Island get a good mention in respect to their rightful lead of the properly done (hopeful) future of the Tiki Bar.

But don’t take my word for it! Go and read it yourself!

Congratulations, Martin! I can’t wait to see you this Thursday.

The Rongo Bowl

September 7th, 2008 by Colonel Tiki

This year marks the 45th anniversary of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, which opened on June 23rd 1963. This was the first attraction to use audio-animatronics1. The Tiki room’s imagineering would become the seed that would later flower into the magic behind the Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion.

As a child (and still as an adult), I would spend most of my time in Adventureland and New Orleans Square; these locations drove my imagination more than any other aspect of the park. I often joke that Disneyland ruined me for my sense of decoration; I feel the over-fantastical theme and attention to detail to be the norm. You can see a basic example of this phenomenon the Monkey Hut and the Buccaneer’s Bathroom at the old house.2

Pele mugBut enough about that, we were talking tiki. For the 40th anniversary in 2003, artists Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily sculpted a number of mugs. You may remember Kevin from his “Miehana” mug (and accompanying beachbum recipe in “Grog Log”). I’m lucky enough to have a Pele mug from this run.

miehanaThe interesting thing is that one mug that was designed was not produced: The Rongo Bowl. Humuhumu wrote about this back in 2006. Well, lucky us. The 45th anniversary was another chance at a run of production and 500 Rongo Bowls were produced. On Monday, June 23 of this past June, Disneyland hosted a collectable event offering a grand selection of 45th anniversary merchandise. I was heartbroken that I could not make it down for the event. My good friend Brian did, however. He was unbelievably kind enough to get me a Rongo Bowl of my very own.

For this great occasion, I felt a new bowl drink creation was in order. This would be my first attempt at a bowl drink, which is very exciting. Since Rongo is the god of agriculture, I felt a strong fruit forward flavor was necessary, as well as a floral and fresh aroma. After three attempts I decided upon the recipe.3

Rongo
God of Agriculture
In Tropic Lands the Legends Tell
Astounding Pioneers Did Dwell
This Wise Fella Began All-Flight
For Rongo Flew the World’s First Kite!

This bowl is deviously deceptive – there are four ounces of 80-proof spirit within. To honor Rongo’s invention of the Kite, this Rongo Bowl will send you soaring!4
Rongo Bowl

Rongo Bowl
¾ oz orange blossom honey
¾ oz fresh lime juice
¾ oz fresh orange juice
¾ oz fresh white grapefruit juice
2 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
2 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba)
1 oz Demerara (Lemonhart 80)
1 oz Virgin Islands gold (Cruzan 2yr ‘dark’)
¼ oz orgeat
¼ oz passion fruit syrup
10 drops Herbsaint or other earthy absinthe (about 1/8th teaspoon)
3 dashes Fees Bros. old fashioned bitters

Heat honey to liquid and combine with all ingredients in mixing container. Fill Rongo bowl with crushed ice and pour into bowl. Stir with swizzle to cool and dilute. Garnish and serve.

Rongo Bowl Rongo Bowl Rongo Bowl Rongo Bowl

photo and photodesign credit: Heather ‘Tikimama’ Gregg

  1. Juan the “Barker Bird”, who was Jose’s cousin was originally outside, announcing the attraction. The crowds that would stand and watch him clogged the entry into Adventureland so he was removed []
  2. I feel these are now below what I wish to accomplish. Look soon for the plans, in-action shots, and creation stories for the new basement: “Colonel Tiki’s Cove” []
  3. Thanks to the help of Noel Henneman and the lovely Tikimama who were helpful in constructive criticism []
  4. Mary Poppins reference, “Let’s go Fly a Kite,” written by the Sherman Brothers who also wrote “The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room” as well as numerous other works of genius []

So that’s Bourbon Street

July 16th, 2008 by Colonel Tiki

After surviving the banality of the Denver airport and 1 lost garment bag1 we’ve arrived in New Orleans. At the airport we met up with Trader Tiki, Chuck and Wes, & Jeff Morganthaler who happened to arrive at the same time we did. We split a cab with Trader2.

I had a Vieux carré at the Carousel bar3 and met up with Rick, Jay, My compatriot in naming Craig (the Good Dr. Bamboo), Trader, Paul Clarke, Mr. Morganthaler, and Seamus. We headed off for a bit at Coop’s place. Perfect Choice, Paul. A belly full of fried seafood, gumbo and jambalaya made a good ballast.

We hit Arnaud’s French 75 Bar where we met with more who’s-who of the blog and non-blog cocktail scene. Matt came along presently and after a french 754, a cigar5, a Negroni6, and Gabriel‘s arrival7 we headed to a location not to be discussed.8 We bumped into Ed Hamilton on the way out which was lovely.

Going via Bourbon street to the non-disclosed location, I couldn’t help notice that the block that most smelled sewer-like happened to be the block with the live sex act clubs, Larry Flint’s Barely Legal, and other assorted gentleman’s clubs. It was such a mix of wonderful and horrible: Gaudy, tawdry neon are contrast against shuttered 300-year old windows. The moist heat of the evening was interrupted by cool breezes escaping from the open doorways of the aforementioned establishments. Garbage binge drinkers surrounded the group of cocktail snobs in the birthplace of the cocktail. It is beautiful and shocking and hideous and profane and I love every single damn thing about it.

We finished off the evening back at the Carousel bar. We closed it. Martin Cate dropped by and it was good to play catch-up with him.

Now for today’s fun. I’ve already missed the blog breakfast event (9:00am? Are you serious?). We’ll be toasting the Sazerac at 2pm. Join us, won’t you? I want to find a Rum Swizzle today.

P.S. Anyone have an SD card reader? Just realized this laptop9 is free of one. The USB cable is resting comfortably back on the table at home.

  1. it has since been found and delivered to the hotel []
  2. with a perfect crazy/nice/ranting cab driver to boot []
  3. tasty – but as it was my first, I have no comparison []
  4. good but not great []
  5. Montecristo No.3 []
  6. fair []
  7. with the lovely Joana []
  8. Thanks, Gabe – now we’ve lost the blackmail ability. First rule of Drink Club, man. []
  9. thanks, TriMet []

MxMo May 2008 — Rum

May 12th, 2008 by Colonel Tiki

Mixology Monday - RumRumbullion. Kyl Devyl. Screech. It’s the fire water dear to me and mine: Rum, Glorious Rum.

I keep reading that Rum is making a comeback; rum is getting respectable. Heck, the (embarrassing) marketing for 10 cane rum purports to be its redemption. Poppycock. The Kill-Devil will never be redeemed, for it hasn’t the need for it. Redemption! Preposterous.

Rum isn’t on the way back. It never left. The faithless left it, but Rum was always there in the oak casks, waiting faithfully. So instead of welcoming back rum to the liquorati, instead I say: “Welcome back to rum.

MxMo May 2008: Rum

This Month sees a new year and new logo for Mixology Monday. We also have a new host. I have been privileged to know him and call him my closest of friends for nigh on a decade now: Blair “Trader Tiki” Reynolds who holds the stick behind Reynoles Galley. Wish the old feller a happy birthday while you’re there, it was yesterday.

Bumbo Book


On to the Rum! I have previously lightly jabbered about the beginnings of Rum in the Caribbean and the growth of the grog-based rum, gum, and lime lines of cocktail development. This time, I will take the other path. While grog was the drink of the British Navy, there were other sailors who dwelt in the waters who didn’t need to pack down for months at sea. Yes, I speak of the currently popular Pirates. Their drink of choice was Bumbo (also Bumboo, Bumpo). They flavored their rum with cane syrup, nutmeg, allspice and any other local plentiful island spice. With easy access to a better balanced diet than their ocean-crossing targets, there was no need to add lime.

Bumbo was not only a pirate drink; it became very popular in the new colonies. Founding father George Washington himself used gallons of the stuff to buy off votes for his Virginia House of Burgesses campaigns (a contemporary popular ploy). Note the side illustration from a one-shilling London 1738 leaflet of “A letter from Captain Flip to Major Bumbo.” I have a feeling James Fenimore Cooper’s Natty Bumppo was also familiar with the stuff.


Demerara sugar Nutmeg and rhubarb Allspice Rhubarb and Demerara

Spring in Portland means fresh Rhubarb. I’ve been meaning to make a rhubarb syrup — the languid tartness of rhubarb is a perfect counterpoint flavor to exploit. So to 750ml of Cockspur Barbados rum (Barbados is the home of rum), I added Demerara sugar, allspice and nutmeg. I candidly think the roots of both falernum and pimento dram grow in the soil of Bumbo. I let mine sit for a week (and increased the spices accordingly for the short infusion time). With a more restrained spice, you can (and should) let your bumbo rest for months.Using this lovely spiced spirit, I thought I’d see how it fared with a classic, Jerry Thomas style straight Cocktail treatment. As it so happens, it fares quite well. Liquor, red vermouth, bitters, stirred. The slow sour of the rhubarb and the bitter of the Punt e Mes contrast with the spice and spirit. The Orange oil adds to the nose and brings cohesiveness to the overall character of the drink.

MxMo May 2008: Bumbo Cocktail

Rhubarb Bumbo Cocktail
1 oz Punt e Mes
2 oz Rhubarb Bumbo
2 dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters

Stir all with fresh cracked ice and strain into rounded small cocktail glass. Express oil from orange rind. I add mine to the drink for drama but it has already done its mixological job.