Drinks with Honey Cream Mix

Browsing through Don the Beachcomber´s “Little Hawaiian Tropical Drink Book” it´s clear that Don used a lot of honey cream mix. Trader Vic also used it but it seems to me that Don used it more. I tried it the first time many years ago ( in 2007) when i tried to make Don`s Pearldiver´s Punch which i found on Rick`s blog the Kaiserpenguin.

I was new to tiki drinks at the time and found the honey cream mix quite a challenge. Not so much that it´s a bit time consuming to make but because the butter solids has a way of separating when getting cold and create an un-appetizing look for the drink.

Honey cream mix is  a concoction of butter and honey which gives a mysteriously and wonderful velvety feel to the drink…you know there´s something there but cannot really put your finger on what it is…unless you know..

Honey cream mix was invented by Don the Beachcomber and there`s two recipes that i know of :

½ lb. Sweet cream butter
½ lb. Honey
½ lb. Light cream

Melt butter in a double boiler.
Add cream.
Heat mixture to 160° F.
At the same time, heat honey in a double boiler to 160° F.
Pre-warm the bowl of a blender by filling it with water to 120° F.
Empty and dry the bowl and immediately transfer to it the butter-cream mix and honey.
Blend at high speed for five (5) minutes.
Allow to stand for ten (10) minutes.

And we also have the Pearl Diver´s Punch mix which is a part of the Pearl Diver`s Punch recipe and involves clarified butter – in an attempt to bring the butter solids out – see recipe further down at the drink recipe.

And then this one from “Don the Bachcomber`s Little Hawaiian Tropical Drink Book”

One part sweet butter + One part honey

Heat the honey and butter separately, do not boil. When sufficiently heated pour honey over the sweet butter into one container.

Turn off the heat and commence whipping with a wire whip until both ingredients are well blended. Store in freezer until ready to use.

So they are lightly different with the first one containing cream and is blended. The one i mostly been using is the last one because it´s simpler and requires no blender.

This honey cream mix is around in slightly different versions, there´s one that contains equal parts honey, sugar and cream for example and then we have the “honey-mix” which is equal parts water and honey but no butter – the easiest to make of them all.

When i do honey (cream) mixes i always use liquid honey and i warm up just enough to let it all dissolve and mix nicely together. It shouldn`t be too warm – a bit above room temp is good. Once the honey is dissolved and mixed with the water it stays liquid and mixes easily in the drink.

It`s a bit different when you use butter…

You see, butter is a bit tricky because it contains butter solids that fatten up the glass and make it look – well..less appetizing and it happens when it cools. So to get around that problem – or at least make things better here´s a few steps to keep in mind:

Make the honey cream mix just a little before it´time to shake the drinks to avoid it cools to quick.

Always blend the drink at high speed when butter is involved and add the ice last, blend at high speed for 15 seconds and it should mix well.

To surely avoid the glass looking fat with butter solids, serve these drinks in a hollowed out pineapple or tiki mug – problem solved.

In any case – it might sound like too much work to do this butit´s actually not that bad and it´s well worth it every now and then to create these drinks the way they were intended because they really are a treat.

The Pearl Diver’s Punch is a classic old school tiki  drink and Don invented in 1937. It`s the one i made my first attempts to make the honey cream mix with. It contains it`s own version called the Pearl Diver’s Punch Mix containing clarified butter and spices.

Pearl Diver’s Punch 

0.75 oz Pearl Diver’s Mix
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz fresh orange juice
1 tsp Falernum
1.5 oz Gold Puerto Rican rum
0.75 oz Demerara rum
0.5 oz gold Jamaican rum
6 oz crushed ice

Pearl Diver’s Punch Mix:

1 oz unsalted butter (or ghee, clarified)
1 oz honey (use liquid)
1 tsp cinnamon syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla syrup
1/2 tsp pimento dram

Heat butter and honey in microwave for 10 seconds to melt. Add the spices and pimento dram and then add the juices and blend. Add rums.
This is quite a complete and well balanced drink, sweet and sour, spicy and strong, complex and velvety smooth…

The next drink is as exotic as the first one, it´s called Don`s Pearl and the original drink did actually contain a real south sea pearl with every 5th drink.

Don`s Pearl

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz fresh passionfruit juice

1 oz fresh guava juice

0.25 oz honey cream mix

0.25 oz club soda

2 oz Puerto Rican light rum

Pour ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 sec and then strain into a special glass.

For added excitement, add one real pearl into every fifth creation….

Paradise – Don the Beachcomber, host to 23 million dinner guests at his Don the Beachcomber restaurants often said – ” If you can`t get to paradise i`ll bring it to you”

Tahitian Rum Punch

0.75 oz fresh lime + 0.75 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz passionfruit juice

0.5 oz falernum

0.5 oz honey cream mix

0.75 oz Jamaican white rum

0.75 oz Bacardi rum ( i`d use the 8 yo here)

Dash angostura

Pour ingredients into a blender and add 6 oz cracked ice. Blend for 15 sec and strain into special frozen molds. Serve with straws.

Well, if you don`t wanna take the time and effort to create an ice mold – and who does that unless it´s for a special occasion? ( or a post on this blog:-) so just fill the glass with crushed ice, it works just fine.

Other Don Beach drinks that contains honey cream mix are the Mystery Gardenia, PiYi, Beachcomber`s Punch and the later made, streamlined version of the Pearl Diver´s Punch called just Pearl Diver. 

Pearl Diver

0.5 oz lime juice

0.5 oz grapefruit juice

1 oz orange juice

0.5 oz Puerto Rican dark rum

0.5 oz Jamaican dark rum

1 oz Old St Croix rum (use Cruzan white)

Dash angostura bitters

Blend everything except the dark rum in blender with crushed ice and pour into a 12 oz glass and float the dark rum on top. Garnish with fresh mint and pineapple spear.

I also made a very tasty drink with honey cream mix a couple years ago that is so tasty that i still have it in my regular rotation and most likely always will have, it`s the Pineapple Delight and the recipe is here.

Enjoy your drinking and drink responsably!

Pimento! a Spicy drink with a Hot Chili bite!

Up for review is a downright fantastic fizzy drink made with ginger, tonic and hot pepper natural flavors and it is strong!! but let me tell you something…this is the best fizzy ginger drink i`ve tasted in a long time – if ever… yes it´s that good!

It was actually made as an alternative to alcohol that isn´t weak but very strong –  but it can be used with or without alcohol and bland is the last thing this drink is. It reminds me of ginger beer with a chili bite without being an actual ginger beer. I think it´s fantastic and it´s low in sugar and full of taste, and really delicious!

As a non alcoholic beverage it´s perfect if you want something that has a bite and a bucket load of flavor. Also it´s a great paired with spicy exotic food and it should always be served very cold! The cocktail recipes here can be used as non-alcoholic drink alternatives, just omit the alcohol, with Pimento in it they will have enough flavor.

Pimento mixes well with rum, tequila and vodka and there´s no end to the amount of tasty drinks you can make with it. Here´s four drinks i made, three are my own creations and one i picked from the recipe booklet i got with the Pimento drinks. I especially enjoyed the first drink:

Red Hot Chili Pepper

(created by Jeremy Kent and Anthony Nasty at the Saloon Bar (Val Thorens)

0.25 oz  ( 1 cl) grenadine ( i used homemade hibiscus grenadine)

2 oz ( 6cl) Havana Club Anejo Especial ( or use other similar type of dark rum)

0.5 oz (1.5 cl) fresh lime juice

Top with Pimento

Serve in highball glass or other with ice cubes.

This drink is like…dang!! absolutely lovely and the chili flavor really comes through and marries just perfectly with the grenadine and dark rum. I loved it!

Pimento Storm

2 oz ( 6 cl) dark Jamaican rum

0.5 oz (1.5 cl) fresh lime juice

Top with Pimento

Shake all ingredients except Pimento, strain and top with Pimento, serve with cracked ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

This tastes like a spicy strong Dark N Stormy with a sexy hot chili bite…

Mayahuel on Fire

2 oz ( 6 cl) tequila reposado

1 barspoon good coffee liqueur ( i used Fair Cafe)

0.75 oz ( 2 cl) pineapple juice

Top with Pimento

Shake and strain into a rocks glass or other filled with cracked ice and garnish with a pineapple leaf and cherry.

Pimento goes exceptionally well with tequila – not surprising since tequila and chili pepper is a natural match, this drink is refreshing and strong with that earthy character from tequila that tastes so good. The coffee fits in very well too adding a third dimension to the flavors.

Hot Pimento Swizzle

1 oz ( 2.5 cl) pineapple juice

1 oz fresh lime juice

1 barspoon falernum

1 oz dark Jamaican rum

1 oz green Chartreuse

Top with Pimento

Swizzle with crushed ice until frosty and top with Pimento, garnish with a good bunch of fresh mint.

This drink is a take on the Chartreuse swizzle and it´s herbal and fresh, gingery and strong!

My conclusion of this product is that i really like it! I find it very versatile and the flavor is awesome. The bottle itself is also a pleasure to both handle and look at and the label is beautiful. it looks classy and cool at the same time with that black chili pepper and red metallic text that says Pimento, simply beautiful and i love the chili red bottle cap!

Pimento is like a strong ginger beer with a hot bite of chili and a refreshing tonic quality.

As for now it`s sold in France, England, Holland, Denmark, Greece, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Africa, Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Tahiti, Australia, Guadeloupe and Haiti and they are looking for distributors and can be contacted on their website.

 

Navy Grog and Tiki Puka Puka – A taste test of grog mixers

A while ago the Trader Vic`s website had their Grog Concentrate up for sale for a limited time and since that grog mix isn`t normally sold to the public except occasionally it was sold out in a matter of a day or two. Then a couple days later they sold another batch which did finish within a few days.

I`ve read about this Grog Concentrate in the threads on the Tiki Central forum and it had made me very curious since most everybody including Martin Cate did really hold this product superior for making the Navy Grog and the Tiki Puka Puka.

There are two different products from Trader Vic´s to not confuse with each other, one is sold to the public and is called Trader Vic´s Navy Grog mix and the other is the Grog Concentrate – and which is what they use in their restaurants. According to what i did read the Navy Grog mix is said to be inferior to the concentrate.

Outside of the US i doubt you can get hold of these products but i don`t know for sure. So i really wanted to try the Grog Concentrate and lucky me because one day a fellow tikiphile offered to send me a sample bottle…

Interesting also is a recipe that is in one of the threads on Tiki Central with a recipe for a homemade grog mix that is inspired by and a recipe for replicating the Navy Grog mix that was created by Hawaiian bartender David Chan who made it for his Honolulu Restaurant Style Navy Grog which is his own recipe.

I made a small batch of that homemade grog mix and then i made 3 Navy Grogs, one with the homemade grog mix, one with st Elisabeth allspice dram and one with the Grog Concentrate. The goal really is to see which one is the best for the Navy Grog and what are the differences between them and what possibly can be done to get as close to the concentrate as possible.

It´s never a good thing to be dependent on one product to get the right flavor in a specific drink but then again if that said product is what is used in the restaurants (Trader Vic`s) it´s a bit complicated if one doesn´t know what it contains.

The recipe i used for the Navy Grog mix is the one Martin Cate used when he did bartend at the SF Trader Vic`s in 2005. I used it because i read it`s the most balanced of the Navy Grog recipes and knowing Martin Cate and his ability to mix cocktails i trust that. The recipe i found of course at the Tiki Central – the place to go for anything tiki.

The tiki drink world is a confusing mess and to complicate it a bit further but also clarify…i want to mention that the Navy Grog recipe in the Grog Log is based on the Don the Beachcomber version of the drink which is different from Trader Vic´s. Just as the Navy Grog mix and the Grog Concentrate is not the same thing.

I also tried the Grog Concentrate in aTiki Puka Puka guided by the folks at the TC again..

Enough said is that the experiments made up for a very pleasure-filled tiki drink weekend! and you learn a thing or two..

In this picture of the Navy Grog test glasses are from the left to right – homemade grog mix, TV Grog Concentrate and St Elisabeth allspice dram.

I found that the Grog Concentrate is superior to all with it´s thicker, fuller taste and texture plus it´s much more complex and has something i cannot exactly define but it`s something like kola nut or coke, maybe a hint of root extract too. And even though it is an allspice syrup it´s more than that.

The home made grog mix i find better in the Navy Grog than the allspice dram because it has a coke reduction and doesn`t taste as one dimensionally allspice.

For a home made grog mix to sub for the grog concentrate i`d use the recipe at the bottom of this post and make a thicker coke reduction with more coke and more sugar and maybe a hint of a rootbeer reduction as well ( or at least test that) and then cut a bit on the lime and orange bitters. Also cook the spices longer to get out more flavor.

I`m gonna try that at some point to see how it compares to the Grog Concentrate. The recipe for the homemade grog mix will be at the end of this post but first i wanna post the drinks.

TIKI PUKA PUKA

I made my first Tiki Puka Puka with the grog concentrate and i omitted the lemon juice and used 1/4 grog concentrate and a generous splash of my homemade grenadine. Maybe i took too much and the drink got quite red but then again, the grenadine didn´t overpower the drink, probably because it was homemade.(hibiscus grenadine) With a commercial grenadine i would`ve taken much less. For rums i used Banks Five Islands, Appleton Extra and LH151.

1 oz orange juice
1 oz lemon juice – I omitted it altogether bec the drink is said to be better without whichafter making two to compare i agree with.
0.25 oz grog concentrate
0.25 oz grenadine (homemade preferably or a VERY good quality commercial)
1 oz light rum
1 oz dark rum
1 oz Lemon Hart 151
Crushed ice

Mix in blender or shaker and garnish with a gardenia sprayed with orange flower water mist.

It turned out a spicy and tasty drink, i cannot compare to the restaurant version since i never had it.

NAVY GROG (Trader Vic`s from Martin Cate)

Let´s see if you can see it…i tried to make the ice cone into the shape of a moai.

Juice of 1/2 lime, 0.75 oz grapefruit juice, dash simple syrup, 1/3 oz grog concentrate, 1 oz gold rum, 1 oz dark rum, 1/2-1/3 oz Lemon Hart 151.

In the 3 different Navy Grog`s where i compared the grog mixers i used 1/3 grog concentrate, 0.25 oz allspice dram and 0.5 oz homemade grog mix.

Shake together and strain into a rock`s glass with crushed ice, garnish with either a lime shell, a sugar swizzle stick or a ice cone.

I don´t have any gold rum so i used 2 oz dark rum (Appleton Extra) and then LH151.

Navy Grog Mix Recipe – Inspired by the Navy Grog mixed and served by David Chan, owner of the Late Great Honolulu Restaurant (posted on TC by WillTiki)

Mr Chan was a bartender at the DC Trader Vics before opening his own place. He made his own Navy Grog mix for use at his bar and it´s that mix that this recipe is trying to duplicate and NOT the Grog Concentrate.

But despite that i used it to compare with the concentrate along with the allspice dram just to see which one i liked the most.

Makes one 750ml bottle

Note, recipe can easily halved.

Ingredient List:

2 12oz cans Coca cola , preferably warm (no substitute)

1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger root (you CANNOT substitute dried ground ginger powder for this, the only acceptable substitute is candied ginger, whole or puree)

12 whole cloves (very important that they be whole and not ground for clarity of the finished product, if you absolutely must use ground cloves, substitute a scant ¼ teaspoon and use a fine sieve with cheesecloth to strain later)

2 Whole Dried Allspice berries (no substitute, you cannot put in little enough of the powder to not dominate the taste)

1 teaspoon Orange Bitters (available from Fee Brothers or put in the peel of one orange)

1 Tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon “sour salt” (this is pure citric acid powder used in canning and pickling, it can often be found near Kosher for Passover products, it allows you to add sour without adding sweet and keeps fruit from darkening due to exposure to air, if unavailable, leave it out and add more lemon or lime juice when making the drink itself)

Traditional Bitters to taste- 1 or 2 dashes

Instructions:

Open cans of coke and pour into pot or saucepan.
Scrub ginger to remove loose peel segments and slice thinly (dime thickness). Slices can be further divided if they are larger than about dime sized. It is important, however, not to be tempted to dice or shred the ginger too finely since it will break apart some when cooked and make it harder to strain out later.
Add ginger to pan of coke.
Add orange peel (if using) to pan. (If using bitters, it gets added later)
Add cloves to pan.
Add Allspice to pan. (if using)
Allow this to steep at room temp while the coke goes flat. (This keeps it from foaming too much when heated)
Add honey and sour salt (if using) and simmer the contents of the pan for about 30 minutes.
Allow to cool.
Strain out all solids (ginger, peel, cloves)

Add Orange Bitters (if using)
Add Traditional Bitters (if using)
Put into empty clean 750 ml bottle
Add water to make up full volume
Note, some alcohol: grain, vodka or even rum, could also be added as a preservative.

To make one Honolulu Restaurant Style Navy Grog Drink:

1 oz Navy Grog Mix
1 oz bottled reconstituted lemon juice (ReaLemon or equivalent)
1 to 1 ½ oz Pink Grapefruit Juice (to taste)
1 oz Amber Rum
1 oz Light Rum
¼ Lime squeezed and shell left in
Combine all; shake with ice, garnish and serve.

Aku Aku Drinks

After drinking all those lapu lapu drinks i wrote about in my previous post i`m now gonna make drinks that has the word aku or aku aku in the name and there`s no other reason for doing that other than tiki drink research..and because i like rum drinks.

In my previous post about lapu lapu drinks there was the Aku Aku Lapu and that one is a lapu style drink with the word aku in the name – which made me feel it`s maybe an aku aku drink but lapu lapu style…if that makes any sense…but if not, just enjoy a good rum drink!

What a lapu lapu drink is – go read here – but what is aku aku?

Well it`s many things – for one there was the Aku Aku restaurant in Las Vegas in cirka 1960 and it says in Intoxica that the Aku Aku once fronted the Stardust hotel along with two massive moais or Easter Island (Rapa Nui) statues. 

The restaurant took it`s name from Thor Heyerdahl`s book Aku Aku – which was the book title of his bestseller – Aku-Aku, the Secret of Easter Island – a 1958 book that described his research on the many giant stone statues or moai found on Easter Island and the culture that created them.

Thor Heyerdahl also wrote the world famous “Kon-Tiki”  – which is the record of a journey of 4,300 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean by raft. Thor Heyerdahl suspected that the South Sea Islands had been settled by an ancient race from thousands of miles to the east, led by a mythical hero, Kon-Tiki. He decided to prove his theory by duplicating the legendary voyage.

And he also wrote the very interesting book “Fatu Hiva” or “Green Was the Earth on the Seventh Day”.

Fatu Hiva was written In the late 1930s, Thor Heyerdahl ( 22 year) left his home in Norway and set off with his new wife for paradise. Fulfilling a long-held ambition to return to nature, the couple sought, and to a degree found, a natural and unspoiled world on the remote island of Fatu-Hiva in the South Pacific.

Yes Thor Heyerdah was quite the adventurer…

But back to Aku Aku:

His theory on how those giant moais on the Easter islands were moved is what gave name to the word aku aku.

Aku Aku – To move a tall, flat bottomed object (such as a bookshelf) by swiveling it alternatively on its corners in a “walking” fashion. [After the book by Thor Heyerdahl theorising the statues of Easter Island were moved in this fashion.] source: LangMaker.com. Aku Aku also has another meaning to the islanders: a spiritual guide.

There`s also a tiki bar in Norway called Aku Aku, check it out!

And in the tiki drink world there`s of course drinks named after aku aku and that´s what i´m gonna deal with now, the drinks!

First drink is the Aku Gold Cup (Sippin`Safari) and it was served in a glass with a ice mold at the Aku Aku restaurant. There`s a picure of the menu and it says it was a mixure of Mexican limes, Cuban syrup, Jamaican rum, Puerto Rican rhum and dashes of almond and herbsaint.

Quite different from the recipe which makes me wonder if the drink was changed at some point? Lime is replaced with lemon, almond for falernum, Cuban syrup for powder sugar and herbsaint omitted.

So i went and asked the Bum about it and he said the menu photo was from the original 1950s menu, while the recipe was a later, modified version of the drink (Tiki places changed recipes regularly over the years, usually so they could make the drinks more cheaply or more quickly, which was probably the case here).

I`m using the later recipe here.

Aku Aku Gold Cup

0.75 oz fresh lemon juice

1 tsp powdered sugar

0.5 oz falernum

0.5 oz Myer`s dark rum

1.5 oz light Puerto Rican rum

Dissolve powder sugar in lemon juice and shake with the rest of ingredients and strain into a saucer with a “spanish comb” ice shell.

To make it simpler i used simple syrup instead (0.5 oz) and took down the lemon juice to 0.5 oz to suit my taste. And i really liked the drink, i found it very refreshing.

But making an ice shell is a lot of work…and unless you wanna do it, i think since this drink has the words “Aku Aku” in the name it`s perfectly fit to be served in a moai mug.

The moai mug uses the power of silence and has an air of mystique – the expression of the face of the moai makes you wonder what thoughts and powers are inside….

OK, its just a mug but still…at least the drink served has the power of making you drunk! So therefore, enjoy all booze in moderation, especially certain strong tiki drinks – because tiki drinks are seductive…

But if you wanna make the ice shell here`s how:

Place finely crushed ice in a large and wide glass, spread the ice along the bottom and sides of the glass gently tapped it pushing the ice up, and then finally pushed the whole ice shell up a bit on one side of the glass and then into the freezer to stay there for at least 1 hour.

The key to a nice ice shell is shaved ice and since i don`t have any ice shaver i´ll just have to do with the clumsier shell you get from an ice crusher. But if you look in the Bum`s books you`ll see how they are supposed to look.

The next drink is a very tasty twist of the Astro Aku Aku from Grog Log. It came to be one day when i didn´t have the papaya and apricot nectars the recipe calls for – so i used mango and guava juices instead and that was right on, oh so tasty… I also added a spoon of creamed coconut but it´s equally tasty without. And i switched the gold Puerto Rican rum for dark Jamaican.

Silent Aku

1.5 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz mango juice

0.5 oz guava juice

0.75 oz sugarcane syrup

0.5 oz falernum

1 tblsp creamed coconut

Dash Angostura bitters

1 oz 151 demerara rum

1.5 oz dark jamaican rum

Blend everything with half cup of crushed ice aqnd pour into a Moai mug (or other vessel or tiki mug) filled with cracked ice. If i`ve had a moai mug i would have used it for this drink, it would´ve been a perfect fit but since i have none (yet) i took one of my coconuts.

This twist of the already tasty Astro Aku Aku is so tasty i made it several times already both with and without the creamed coconut and switching out the rums. I found for example that it tastes very good with Tiki Lover´s dark rum. I´m out of Coruba unf but i can imagine it would be great in this drink.

I wish i had some left of the Caroni but alas…