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MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG 6 – Blackbeard`s Ghost

Tiki time again! and here we are, tiki cocktail number six – which is the Blackbeard`s Ghost.

It`s a Beachbum Berry original – a version of the Pirate`s Grog from Blackbeard`s Galley restaurant from cirka 1970`s which according to the description was a “feisty theme restaurant with decor to match its name.” There isn`t much more info to get on this drink, at least i didn´t find any.

Sounds like a promising drink to set set you in a rummy mood…it calls for these exquisite ingredients:

BLACKBEARD`S GHOST

blackbeards-ghost

1 oz orange juice

0.5 oz falernum

2 oz sweet and sour ( i mix equal parts fresh lime and lemon – and an equal part simple syrup to the lime and lemon mix)

0.5 oz apricot brandy

2 dashes angostura bitters

1.5 oz light Puerto Rican rum

0.5 oz demerara rum

Mix in cocktail shaker with a glass-full of crushed ice. Then pour everything back into glass.

Real sweet and sour – not the chemical mix – is the way to go as far as sweet and sour is concerned – at least to me. At first i thought 2 oz would be too much but it isn`t and falernum is just the right thing to balance everything togehter in this drink. I like this one, its goes down easily – its  fruity, sweet, sour, and lightly rummy with a pinch of spice from the angostura bitters. I`m not dissappointed. I used hm..not a Puerto Rican white here but El Dorado 3 year old cask aged white, quite a different rum.

Let`s stay in the company of rummy ghostly tiki cocktails for a while – my twist of this is another and very different ghost – where the apry is switched for the subtle caressing of sweet vanilla, the angostura bitters for the more dark and spicy chocolately Mole bitters – to pair with the vanilla which is a natural companion to chocolate.

Finally the demerara ratio is upped and the light rum have to be set aside for a while:

GHOST OF THE GALLEY

ghost-of-the-galley

1 oz orange juice

0.5 oz falernum

2 oz sweet and sour ( i mix equal parts fresh lime and lemon – and an equal part simple syrup to the lime and lemon mix)

0.5 oz Navan vanilla liqueur

1 dash Xocoatl Mole bitters

2 oz demerara rum

Mix in cocktail shaker with a glass-full of crushed ice. Then pour everything back into glass.

This one of course tastes differently yet there´s some similarity, but here the demerara takes a step to the front lightly backed up by the xocolatl mole bitters and the sweet vanilla is lingering around binding it all together.

Of course the choice of rums is the main thing to consider in this kind of drinks and playing around with different rums may bring out some surprises for the better or worse (hopefully the better).  For dark demerara i used OVD (Old Vatted Demerara) El Dorado 12 or equal parts 12 and 15 i believe would be very good too. But i have runned out of El D15…no surprise maybe.

I like this one too…i actually like`em both – so go ahead and try and let me know what you think.

20 comments to MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG 6 – Blackbeard`s Ghost

  • Sunny&Rummy

    Yea Tiki Time!

    I have a freshly prepared Blackbeard’s Ghost in hand, and am enjoying it very much. I followed your lead on the fresh sour mix as opposed to factory drek and it substantially improved this drink compared to past versions with store-bought sour. My dissatisfaction with commercial sour mix is one of the things that lead me to start tinkering with this one by cutting the sour back to 1 oz. Here though, the 50/25/25 of simple/lime/lemon works fine at a full two ounces. I also juiced a fresh Florida honeybell orange for this and that has lightened and livened up the drink as well. I subbed 10 Cane for the PR light rum and used ED 5 year for the Demerara. Homemade falernum with a bright ginger pop and a serviceable if not spectacular Bols apricot brandy were also employed.

    Yeah, I’ve always mostly liked this Grog Log offering, but normally use commercial sour and packaged orange juice and the drink ends up being good but not great. With the fresh ingredients I think we’ve upgraded to at least very, very good.

    For great, I have to change this one up a bit to make a version of the drink I’ve dubbed Blackbeard’s Nephew. It’s been in regular rotation in the home bar for the better part of a year, and it is assembled in the following manner:

    1 oz passionfruit Juice
    1.5 oz sour mix (try equal parts lime/lemon/2:1 simple)
    0.5 oz falernum
    0.5 oz apricot brandy
    2 dashes Angoustura Bitters
    1.5 oz J Wray and Nephew Overproof
    0.5 oz Dark Jamaican rum (Coruba)
    1.0oz club soda (optional)

    Shake first 7 ingredients with crushed ice, pour to serve topped with club soda if desired.

    My first tasting of the Blackbeard’s Ghost immediately suggested a substitution with JWray for the light rum would yield an interesting drink in a vein of a Jasper’s Punch. Subbing Jamaican dark for Demerara is largely stylistic to make this drink with exclusively Jamaican rums. Orange juice has been substituted with passionfruit juice and the original 2 oz of sour mix has been cut to 1.5 oz.

    I totally dig this spin on Jeff Berry’s spin on a drink that probably already started out pretty darn good. But I’d love to hear what others think of it if they get a chance to give this one a go.

  • Sunny&Rummy

    Hmm, on mixing up my own drink to the above specs, I realize I actually like this one better with the commercial sour mix. I guess the industrial strength window cleaner stuff stands up to the JWray a little better than the fresh squeezed. Not that this version is bad. . . just doesn’t have quite the balance that the drink usually has.

  • This looks like a great pair of drinks. I haven’t seen Navan around but want it already.

  • Sunny, i also used fresh orange juice, it makes a biiig difference and as oranges are so easy to get i always use fresh, same with grapefruits, limes and lemons.

    Your take on the BG looks very interesting and i will make it – i know i`ll enjoy it too – but i`m out of JWray and as you very well know, NOTHING can sub the JWray, so i need to get me a bottle and they aren`t sold here so it will take a little while before i can try this one.

    As for the sour mix..i never ever use commercial mixes but when you say it would pair well with JWray – i can really see what you mean, you have a point there, hahahaha;-)

    Rowen, maybe you could check some of the online stores? at least its sold in your country. Here its not sold that`s for sure! i don`t think it even is sold in Europe at all but i`m not sure of that, maybe its sold in the UK.

  • Shirow66

    I got hold of the new Beachbum book and the updated recipe for Blackbeard’s Ghost is:
    1.5oz orange juice
    1oz fresh lemon juice
    1oz falernum
    0.5oz apricot brandy
    0.5oz demerara rum
    1.5oz light Virgin Islands rum
    2 dashes Angostura bitters
    shake with ice cubes pour unstrained into rocks glass.

    I’ll be trying this new recipe out asap, really interesting to see the difference. The new book is awesome, everyone and their mom should get one.

  • Shirow66

    I’m sipping on a new recipe one now and it’s great. This really is a falernum showcase drink.
    Sunny&Rummy: I tried the Nephew also, it’s pretty damn good even though I prefer the original. I thought your drink would feel a bit strong but given proper ice dilution it was actually really drinkable. Good use of J Wray, although I will save the rest of my bottle to use for making new falernum.

    Tiare: Using Navan is so unfair. Argh I want it so bad. Is Galliano or Liqueur 43 a reasonable substitute?

  • When i get the book i`ll make these too and compare them, but the difference can`t be that big though..or at least that`s what i imagine..

    Go get Liqueur 43, it will work in the same way binding it all together.

  • Kevin

    Thanks for the tip. I can’t believe I didn’t think to mix my own sweet and sour. I’ve typically just steered away from those recipes that called for it since the bottled stuff does not suffice. I can’t wait to try this one again now.

  • Sunny&Rummy

    Glad to hear someone finally got a copy of Remixed. Alas, my Amazon preorder from the the beginning of the year has yet to ship. Soon hopefully. . .

    Thanks for spinning up the Nephew, Shirow, and for sharing your comments. Regarding JWray, I was pretty much like most folks when I first encountered it and didn’t know what to make of it — or with it. I used to use maybe an ounce of it in a Jamaican punch just to get it to barely poke through in the flavor profile. Now I seem to go heavier on it and I’m always on the lookout for ways to use it to best effect.

    I do have some Licor 43 so I’ll give the Ghost of the Galley a twirl, though I know if I ever came across mole bitters in my neck of the woods it would be a sign of pending apocalypse.

  • Shirow66

    I made my own sour mix yesterday using 2 parts demerara syrup, 2 parts lemon juice, 1 part lime juice. It tastes awesome but the color looks more like grapefruit juice than sour mix because of the brown in the demerara, so if anyone wants to try it out take that into consideration.

    My newly discovered favorite from Grog Log using sour mix is the Coronado Luau Special, which is hands down the most delicious tasting drink I’ve ever had. Anyone making their own sour mix, be sure to try it out.

  • Sunny&Rummy

    Is the Coronado recipe unchanged from the original Grog Log to the version printed in Remixed? Not usually having Grand Marnier on hand has prevented me from making this one in a long while. But with such a highly positive recommendation I’ll have to revisit it I think.

  • Kevin, i`m sure that once you start to use fresh sourmix you won`t go back.

    Sunny, you can order the mole bitters online here: http://bittermens.com/

    Or buy here – http://www.the-bitter-truth.com/webshop/engl/bitters-flavorings/bittermens-xocolatl-mole-bitters.html

    That demerara syrup sour mix would go well in dribnks with dark rums.I haven`t yet tried the Coronado Luau special, or at least i don`t think so. I need to try it!

  • Kevin

    That’s for sure; I made a Blackbeard’s Ghost after reading your post and the difference was huge. It’s pushing me ever so closer to a commercial manual juicer as well. :)

  • Oh you should get one! Long ago when i was working in a thai rest with desserts and drinks i went and bought one for myself as well and since then i always use it if i have lots of fruits to juice.Fresh is always better.

  • Shirow66

    Sunny&Rummy: The Remixed version of Coronado is rather substantially changed, and not for the better imho. The changes are made both to remove the need for sour mix, but also to make it stronger in alcohol, which I didn’t really like since I’m not a big fan of boozy drinks, although this one is still pretty light. You do taste more of the rums with the new recipe though, which I suspect is the main reason why Jeff prefers the new version. I’ll just list the changes:

    1oz less orange juice
    2oz lemon juice + 1 oz simple syrup instead of 4 oz sour mix
    4oz crushed ice instead of 8oz.

    I’ll finish up by saying that the picture of the Coronado in Remixed has the most amazingly awesome over-the-top garnish I’ve ever seen, it’s probably the highlight of the whole book.

  • That was interesting! As i like boozy and rummy drinks i suspect i´ll more like the new one, but really – both!

    Can you describe that garnish?

  • Shirow66

    There are lime shells, cherries, mint leaves, colorful flowers and some kind of hanging lantern type thing which is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. Seems to be made from rolled up orange peel which has floral patterns etched into it, held together by bamboo sticks and rings of lime peel, suspended by string from a long thin bamboo stick stuck in the glass. If I ever got a garnish like that I’d be seriously impressed.

  • Michael

    Nearly a year and a half after the Ghost of the Galley recipe was posted and I finally got to making one. Any my opinion? Well, my opinion is that Tiare as come up with one of the finest of all tiki drinks. Seriously. I have mixed my way through 80% of the Grog Log and about half of Intoxica (plus many of the modern drinks in Remixed) and I would put the Ghost easily in the top 10 of all of those, perhaps even top 5 – displacing Blackbeard’s Ghost in the process. This is a stunning drink an needs more attention devoted to it, so many thanks Tiara for a revelation. Now someone (me?) should get on to Jeff Berry to get it included in the next book!

  • Michael

    BTW I made the drink using fresh orange juice and sweet & sour (obviously), Licor 43, Taylor’s VF and Banks 10 year (god, what a rum). I also added one extra *drop* of Xocoatl bitters!

  • Michael thank you! i`m very pleased to hear that you like the drink that much! not sure how the Bum would like it, taste is personal;-)Actually i had almost forgotten about this drink, i think i need to mix it up again, that`s what happens so easily when you make a lot of drinks..I believe it´s easy for a cocktail to be forgotten.

    I also need to get me another bottle of Banks XM 10 yo, it´s like you say, a fantastic rum, one of the yummiest on the planet.

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