The Kahuna!

kalamug2

I just love the Tiki Central! it´s one of the places to go for everything tiki and it´s one of the places i go for inspiration to make drinks and you find something more often than not. Yesterday i was looking for something new to try that i could post up here as well if it was good.

And so i stumbled on Blue Kahuna´s experiment with the Trader Vic´s  Grog Concentrate (which i wrote about in my post “Navy Grog and Tiki Puka Puka – A taste test of grog mixers“)  – and found a drink that looked like way up my alley – made by Blue Kahuna and named “The Kahuna” by TropicDrinkBoy.

This is what got me before i looked at the recipe –

The Blue Kahuna – Try this . . . you’ll be in heaven . . . 

This is a part of a thread discussing the Trader Vic`s Grog Concentrate versus B.G Reynold´s Donn`s Spices #2. They found out that DS#2 is thicker and sweeter than the GC and that it has hints of vanilla while the GC has more allspice and is less sweet.

I guess they just fit to different drinks..

Anyway i went and made me a Kahuna and it was good! and pouring it into one this planets most beautiful tiki mugs makes it even better!

The mug is the Kala mug (woodgrain glaze) made by Rob Hawes aka Tiki Rob – Tiki mug artist living on Maui and here is his website, Maui Tiki Tours. He made 10 each of 4 different glazes, all fantastic work of art! i`m so very happy i got one.

Rob lives on the beautiful island of Maui with his wife and two children. He has been collecting Tiki mugs since 2002 and making mugs in his spare time since 2009. He is always excited to meet other Tiki mug collectors, so if you are ever on Maui be sure to look him up.

So here is the drink and the recipe:

The Kahuna

kahuna

Juice of half lime
1 oz pineapple gomme syrup (you can sub with pineapple syrup if don´t have gomme)
.5 oz Trader Vic Grog Concentrate
.5 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz El Dorado 3 yr White Demerara
1 oz El Dorado 5 yr Amber Demerara
1 oz LH151
2 dashes angostura bitters

There`s no instructions in the forum how the drink should be mixed so just shake the ingredients with ice, strain and serve in a tall tiki mug or tall glass fiilled with fresh ice…cubes or crushed as you like it.

Now the grog concentrate isn`t easy to get bec Trader Vic`s only sell them occasionally to the public, they use the concentrate at their restaurants. So what to sub with? well there´s a recipe for a home made mix in my post about the grog concentrate mentioned above – or you may use allspice dram – or reduce coke and mix with allspice dram…that´s the best i can think of….

The Kahuna is very near the Smuggler’s Rum Barrel . . .

kahuna 2

 The artwork on this mug is amazing! it looks like wood…but is a ceramic mug with a woodgrain glaze….And i love how the inside is bright red.

kala back

 The back of the Kala mug

Kala aloha sticker 2

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.

Samoan Typhoon

Here´s a strong and spicy rum drink from Sippin´Safari, it was created at the Hawaiian Village motel and restaurant in Tampa in 1969 by chef Joe King Sui in true tiki style and ambiance back in the golden tiki days.

The drink is a mix of dark or aged Puerto Rican and Myers rums,vodka, pineapple, orange and and lime juices, passionfruit syrup and honey and blended with crushed ice.

I have changed it up a little bit though since i don`t have the exact rums, so i used Smith and Cross and Appleton Extra and a homemade vanilla flavored vodka and then all fresh juices.

It turned out a strong and spicy drink…

Then i made a variation of it and changed the Appleton for an aged rhum agricole and the vodka for a white rum, then switched orange juice for fresh grapefruit juice and added a dash of angostura bitters.

Turned out tasty as well.

SAMOAN TYPHOON

0.75 oz fresh lime

1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice

1 oz fresh orange juice

0.5 oz liquid honey

0.25 oz sugarcane syrup

0.25 oz passionfruit syrup

2 oz Appleton Extra dark Jamaican rum

0.5 oz  Smith and Cross strong dark Jamaican rum

0.75 oz vanilla flavored vodka (natural homemade with tahitian beans)

2 cups crushed ice

Dissolve honey in lime juice and place in a blender with all other ingredients and blend for 30 seconds. Pour in a tiki mug or tall glass and fill up with more crushed ice.

Garnish with pineapple leaves or slice and if you wish maraschino cherry.

TYPHOON FURY

0.75 oz fresh lime

1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice

1 oz fresh grapefruit juice (yellow)

0.5 oz liquid honey

0.25 oz sugarcane syrup

0.25 oz passionfruit syrup

2 oz aged rhum agricole ( i used Clemént VSOP)

0.5 oz  Smith and Cross strong dark Jamaican rum

0.75 oz white rum ( i used Denizen rum)

Dash Angostura bitters

2 cups crushed ice

Proceed as with the first drink and serve in a rum barrel tiki mug. Garnish with pineapple wedge and fresh mint.

 

Sugarcane bar

 

MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG 20 – Don´s own Planter´s

Time for a planter´s again! drink number 20 from Grog Log is Don`s own Planter´s. These are what i would call comfort drinks.

The history of the old Planter´s punch has been told many times and it´s not that long ago i did a post on it with eight different variations where Don`s own is one of them. Now i`m back with the planter`s again since it`s one of the drinks i need to try and post from Grog Log since i`ve taken upon myself the task to do that inspired by Erik`s stomping through the Savoy – a real heroic effort since that book is not a small one.

Well, mixing through Grog Log is both great fun and educational!

This Planter`s punch was made by Don the Beachcomber in Honolulu in the 50s. It must have been nice to be around in the great tiki era when it comes to tasty drinks.

DON´S OWN PLANTER`S


1 oz fresh lemon juice

1 oz soda water

2 dashes Angostura bitters

1 oz honey-mix (equal parts honey and water, heated up to dissolve and mix, then cooled to room temp. Can be stored in fridge and will stay liquid)

1.5 oz dark Jamaican rum

1 oz Light Puerto Rican rum

Shake with ice cubes and pour everything into a pilsener glass and garnish with mint, cherry and pineapple finger.

I didn´t have any pineapple at home, so i used an orange peel for garnish instead plus a cherry and some fresh mint. Then i topped with a few extra dashes Angostura bitters on the ice.

This drink is what you put in it, you can play with various rums and get different flavors. For example i made one with 1 oz aged cachaca and 0.5 oz Smith & Cross. An aged rhum agricole would make it yet different and add some grassy notes.

But to entirely change things around i decided to make a Planter´s punch with bourbon instead of rum,

PLANTER´S BOURBON PUNCH


0.5 oz lemon juice

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup

1.5 oz Bourbon

0.5 tsp hibiscus grenadine

0.5 tsp falernum

1 dash Angostura bitters

6 oz crushed ice

Blend everything in blender for no more than 5 sec. Pour everything into a tall glass and garnsih with pineapple and cherry.

It was tasty with bourbon too! and very refreshing. Yeah me loves me some Bourbon!

This is a lazy drink..meant to be sipped and savored in a rocking chair on the porch..watching the tropical sun go down.

SWIZZLES part 3 – 151 Swizzle

To continue my swizzle series…here`s the 151 Swizzle – and this is one hell of a tasty drink! it`s very simple too – and the combination of ingredients is brilliant. This drink was served by Tony Ramos at Don the Beachcomber`s in Hollywood in the 1960s.

Using 1.5 oz of the heavy Lemon Hart 151 demerara rum this drink is very distinct with a power of its own. Demerara rum is my favorite rum, it has the same pungent flavor as pot still Jamaican but is a bit smoky with a flavor that is unmatched.

The 151 Swizzle is also what is going to be made by 151 bartenders who will perform the very first unique swizzle ritual named 151 SWIZZLE-BE HERE NOW which i wrote about in my first pre-Tales post for TOTC 2011.

That means that all 151 bartenders will swizzle together at the same time in the same place with 151 original swizzle sticks from Guyana making the 151 Swizzle!  and guess who´s gonna imbibe them?

Well, i`ll hopefully be one…together with the rest of the folks attending this seminar lead by Stanislav Vadrna. It`s a veritable 151 Swizzle party! and on top of that held in my favorite place on earth – my beloved New Orleans.

There might still be tickets left..check on the TOTC blog.

Now back to the 151 Swizzle, it`s tasty and it´s strong and has that extra touch of spiciness from freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon stick, depth from the Lemon Hart 151 rum, a touch of anis from Pernod (or Herbsaint) and a balanced sweet-tartness from sugarcane syrup and fresh lime –  it´s handsdown one of the best swizzles out there.

Here´s the recipe (from Remixed) to make it at home:

151 SWIZZLE

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup ( I use Petit Canne – because it has a special flavor)

1.5 oz Lemon Hart 151 (or El Dorado)

Dash Angostura bitters

6 drops Pernod ( i used Herbsaint)

8 oz crushed ice

Freshly ground nutmeg

Put everything except nutmeg in blender and blend for 5 sec. Pour unstrained into a tall glass with flaired top if possible to give more room for the freshly grated nutmeg on top. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Of course you can swizzle instead of blending, it´s a swizzle after all.. swizzle or blend and If you blend make sure to not blend for more than 5 sec unless you want it slushy..

And since this one is very strong even though the melting ice dilutes the heavy rum in it i think it´s good with just one unless you pace it, drink some water and let enough time pass in between drinks.

And that is said by one who likes strong rum drinks.

Happy swizzling!

MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG 17 – Cruzana

Cruzana is the 17th of the drinks in Grog Log and the name does of course come from the rum that the recipe calls for, Cruzan Gold rum.

It also says “or use Barbados rum” – and since i have no Cruzan but do have a rum from Barbados (Plantation) i`m using that instead. So maybe it should be called Barbadiana..

When it comes to maraschino cherries i prefer to use real cherries and let them soak in maraschino liqueur, brandy or mezcal – rather than using the commercial cherries which are stripped of all flavor and dyed bright red. (or green or black) the dyed ones does look good in drinks but they aren´t tastier! I only use them when there`s no fresh cherries to get and my jar is finished.

This drink was created by the Cruzan rum company in cirka 1960s.

CRUZANA

cruzana

2 oz grapefruit juice

0.75 oz syrup from maraschino cocktail cherry jar

2 oz Cruzan gold rum or Barbados rum

Shake with ice cubes and pour into collins glass.

Tastes nice but it´s nothing special..

In my twist of this drink i decided to punch up the strength a bit, i happen to like strong rum drinks, so i also added a float of Lemon Hart 151 and used Pusser`s red label and some coffee liqueur and hazelnut orgeat instead of maraschino syrup from the jar.

Now this entirely changes flavor profile of the drink of course. I took away the maraschino cherry syrup mainly because i believe mine is a tad too old, it`s fully usable but have lost its spark.

Freshness of ALL ingredients is important! apart from aged alcohol..to an extent..but even that becomes not so good after too long a time. So when you open your bottle of rum you better drink it..

In this drink, the pineapple juice gotta be a good one, either fresh or a good quality juice, NOT from the can! a bad pineapple juice will ruin this drink.

SCOONER


2 oz unsweetened pineapple juice

2 oz Pusser`s rum

0.5 oz fresh lime

0.25 oz coffee liqueur

0.5 oz Trader Tiki`s hazelnut orgeat

Float Lemon Hart 151

Shake and strain into a snifter filled with crushed ice, garnish with mint and flower ( i used a spider lily)

I like the addition of coffee and nuts in this drink plus some more potent rums.

Tastes like a tiki drink….looks like a tiki drink and i love me some tropical tiki libations! what more can i say?

Next drinks up from the Grog Log will be two lovely daiquiris..

Sugarcane bar

 

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