MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG – 1 The Ancient Mariner

I`ve been thinking about it for a very long time now – to mix every single drink in the Grog Log and blog about them.

This is going to be similar to what my fellow blogger Erik Ellestad over at Underhill Lounge is doing with his enourmous “Stomping through the Savoy project” which means he is mixing every drink from the book from A – Z, take pictures of them and write about them on his blog. I don`t think i would have the patience to go through such a book as the Savoy, the much thinner Grog Log is more suiting my pace i think.

I`m doing this for 5 reasons, one is that it will ensure i never run out of topics for my blog, (not that it has been happening to me yet and probably never will but still) Second – i`haven`t made all the drinks from the Grog Log, now i`ll make sure i do. And third, i have for a long time felt inspired to go through all the drinks in the Grog Log and blog about them. Then fourth – i`ll learn a lot during the process and will be able to share the knowledge i find. Finally and last but not the least – i really like like Tiki drinks!

I`m going to make this a little bit different though from how Erik is doing his project. I`m going to make 2 versions of many of the drinks, first the original version and then a little twist of it, just for the fun of it. I`m intending to try to make the drinks with the ingredients called for to the best of my ability and when i can`t find an ingredient, or make it – which will happen, then I´ll sub it with what i can find here that is the closest.

So let the fun begin with the first drink in Grog Log which is “The Ancient Mariner” which is an original creation by Jeff Berry. Its made with 6 ingredients – 2 rums, lime, grapefruit, sugar and pimento liqueur. As the recipe calls for Pimento liqueur which i don`t have, i`m gonna sub it with homemade pimento dram.



¾ oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz grapefruit juice
0.5 oz sugar syrup
¼ pimento liqueur – i used a little bit less of my pimento dram
1 oz demerara rum (i used El Dorado 12)
1 oz Dark Jamaican rum (i used Appleton Extra)

Shake and serve in old-fashioned glass with crushed ice and garnish with lime wedge and mint sprig.

This drink surprised me a little, i find it reminding me of a lighter and fruitier version of a demerara Mai Tai. And when you check the ingredients many are the same, its just the grapefruit juice and pimento liqueur or dram instead of orgeat and orange curacao. Different – yes but the flavour still has that familiar Mai Tai note to it. I find this drink very tasty indeed.

As my homemade pimento dram is quite strong i took down the measurement a bit.

Now its time for a twist of this drink – i call it Polynesian Triangle. The idea of making a twist of the drinks is not so bad – when have you ever heard of someone having just one tiki drink?



¾ oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz grapefruit juice
0.5 oz tahitian vanilla syrup
dash barrel aged bitters
1 oz demerara rum (i used OVD  (Old Vatted Demerara) which has a woody flavour)
1 oz aged rhum agricole ( Clemènt VSOP)
0.5 oz Old New Orleans Cajun Spiced Rum

Shake, strain and serve in a glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a fresh Gardenia.

Tahitian Vanilla Syrup: The recipe is in the left sidebar of this blog.

Okole Maluna!

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To me there will always be something very special with Tiki drinks, they are so much more than beautiful to look at and so bloody tasty! – and a pain in the ass to make sometimes, especially if you need to make many but if you just hang on and go through with them you are greatly rewarded.

Actually the Tiki drinks doesn`t just deliver great flavours to you, often in a layered fashion allowing you to discover new flavours one after another, they also impart a feeling, a sense of “mystery” and of course the inevitable escape to far away Pacific islands which at least i need, now in these gloomy days which turns darker for each day.

The hunting down of obscure ingredients can sometimes be another problem, which can be solved by making things yourself or sub ingredients with the closest you may have at hand and making flavored syrups, pimento dram, falernum or orgeat is easier than most people think. Good recipes are also easy to find on the many cocktail blogs.

When i started this blog a year and half ago i made only Tiki drinks at the time – which has changed to be all kinds of drinks. While browsing around my old tiki drink pictures i felt i wanted to visit them again and make a few of the old ones.

Here`s a range of  drinks i made in my early blogging-days and a new twist of the Jungle Bird with demerara rum which was very tasty. In the Sumatra Kula i have added an extra oz of white agricole to spice it up a bit. I first made it with 1.5 oz white rum as it is in the original recipe  but i found it a bit tame and i think it needed that extra splash of agricole to really  come to life.

So if you grab your shakers let`s start with the “Kulas” – if anyone knows why some Tiki drinks has that kula in the name please let me know, i`m curious about it. This is supposed to be one of the first drinks served by Don the Beachcomber at his bar in Hollywood, circa 1934. But if you wanna be really genuine omit the rhum agricole.

SUMATRA KULA (From Sippin Safari)


0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz grapefruit juice
0.5 oz orange juice
0.5 oz honey-mix (equal parts honey and water, warm up to mix, let cool and bottle, keeps in the fridge for about a week)
1.5 oz light rum
1 oz rhum agricole blanc
3 oz crushed ice

Put everything in blender, saving ice for last, blend at high speed for no more than 5 sek. Pour into a pilsner glass, add crushed ice to fill. Garnish with a mint sprig. (which i didn´t –  i used pineapple leaves.)

CUBA KULA From Sippin`Safari


This drink is from the personal notebook of Ray Buhen dated 1935.

And this is another drink i made an ice mold with, i think chimney glasses are very good for these kinds of molds where the ice is supposed to raise itself up from the glass. You make these by placing preferably shaved ice in a pilsner glass in the freezer overnight, just make sure the mold is a bit thinner than the glass you`re gonna serve the drink in and that there`s space for the straw.

2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz honey
1 oz orange juice
1 oz dark rum, the recipe calls for Myers but i used Coruba12
1 oz Lemon Hart demerara
1/2 oz Bacardi 151
Dash Angostura bitters
6 drops Herbsaint or Pernod

Dissolve the honey in the limejuice and then place it all in a shaker and shake with plenty of ice.



I used different rums in this one as i don`t have the rums called for, so instead of a gold Puerto Rican i used my Jamaican Lemon Hart and then i used Appleton VX. I didn`t use an old fashioned glass with ice cubes either, i used a small pilsner type of glass and made an ice mold where you raise the ice up on the sides by pushing it down in the middle, finally i placed a shy orchid in the middle of the ice.

0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1 oz Lopez coconut cream
1 oz gold Puerto Rican rum
¾ oz gold Jamaican rum
6 oz crushed ice

Put everything in blender, saving ice for last, blend at high speed for 10 sek and pour into a double old fashioned, add ice cubes to fill.



This is a twist on the Jungle Bird which is one of my favorite Tiki drinks. I replaced the dark rum with demerara rum and also added a float of overproof demerara and some fresh orange juice,  it turned out really tasty. My friend thought it was too strong which allowed me to have the whole awesomeness for myself;-)

This is a drink that like the Mai Tai let the spirits shine and its that kind of tiki drinks i have found out that i prefer. The 1934  Zombie Punch is another example of such a drink, strong but well balanced.

0.75 oz campari
0.5 oz fresh lime
0.5 oz simple syrup
2 oz pineapple juice
1 oz orange juice
1 oz demerara rum
1 oz overproof demerara rum to float

Shake and pour into a highball filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a lime rose.



Here`s an old favorite, i really like this drink, its strong and fullbodied with a perfect balance of flavours.

3 oz orange juice
2 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz passionfruit syrup
¾ oz simple syrup
0.5 t vanilla extract
2 oz dark Jamaican rum
1.5 oz demerara rum
1 oz light Puerto Rican rum

Blend with 2.5 cups srushed ice and pour into a large snifter.

I always come back to the tiki drinks, no matter how long i`ve been away to mix other kinds of drinks – i always return because these drinks are a part of me they`re in my blood.

How do you like tiki drinks? and what about all the mess with mixing them? is it worth the effort or not?




As you all know, its pumpkin time and what`s better than a flaming tiki drink? Here´s my version of the halloween tingy – the pumpkin is a good thing and very useful so i got the idea to scoop out a pumpkin and use half of the flesh to make a pumpkin butter syrup along with some toasted pumpkin seeds and use the rest of the flesh to make a spicy pumpkin soup with coconutmilk, chicken, habanero pepper, ginger, nutmeg,and thyme Then using the pumpkin shell as a tiki volcano bowl and create a flaming drink. So much you can do with a pumpkin!


1 oz Old New Orleans Cajun Spiced Rum
1 oz Demerara rum (you may use any, i used XM10)
.75 oz pumpkin butter syrup
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
Small dash pimento dram
2 oz passionfruit juice
High proof demerara to float. (any overproof demerara rum)
Pinch of cinnamon top get the flame to sparkle and create the volcano effect.

Mix in blender 15 sek (add crushed ice last) float highproof demerara and serve in pumpkin volcano bowl. Place ½ passionfruit shell inside and fill with overproof rum and set alight. Toss some cinnamon powder over it.

Pumpkin Butter Syrup

Toast a handful of pumpkin seeds and set aside. Make a pumpkin syrup with 2:1 raw sugar and water, add a pinch of molasses and a pinch of light muscovado sugar. Add cubed pumpkin flesh and the pumpkin seeds and boil for 2 minutes, then set aside to cool and then bottle.

Before using the syrup warm up some and add a little butter and melt. Cool to roomtemp.

This turned out to be a spicy and quite strong punch, just right for tonight!


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I love tikidrinks and because the tiki drinks have such an exquisite balance and extraordinary depth of flavour yet having such a clean finish they deserve to be equally appreciated and respected as cocktails that are classic cocktails just as the other classics like the Old Fashioned or the Ramos.

They are not only tasty they carry a very special feeling and whosoever have had a great ice cold tiki drink in a tall mug knows what i`m saying. They transport you, that´s what they do and they are fun, have imaginative and exotic names and are also very diverse. Some are fun looking with elaborate garnish served in stately or crazy-looking tiki mugs or tall glasses, others comes with fire or smoke and yet others are elegant and small.They also break barriers, makes people relax  – i mean who can be uptight when holding a say – skull mug or laughing tiki mug in hand filled with a yummy tropical libation?

And they do have one thing in common, they leave an impression, makes you feel something and they make you happy. I`m talking about real and well crafted tiki drinks containing perfectly blended quality booze and fresh ingredients.

Don Beach & Vic Bergeron were true masters in their art who knew the flavour profiles of the rums that they mixed and they also knew their mixers. They paired rums to create new flavours that wouldn`t have been there without the specific blend of rums they created. To create a good and balanced tiki drink isn´t so easy, you need to know your rums and it takes time to learn which rums pairs well together and then these are to be mixed with a range of other mixers that in the end perfectly harmonizes resulting in a complex and balanced drink.

I think Beachbum Berry has done an outstanding job in bringing up many of the forgotten recipes to us as well as creating new ones and to place the tiki drinks where they are today.There`s a renaissance of the true tiki libations made after the authentic recipes and the use of fresh ingredients and at the same time new modern quality tiki drinks are being invented, yet still there are too many tiki bars and other bars serving crap so that many people today have no clue how a real Mai Tai or Zombie should taste.

Tiki drinks have had a reputation of being cloingly sweet tropical drinks due to the bars  kept serving false tiki drinks throwing in a little bit of this and a little bit of that ending up with oolorful but unbalanced and messy drinks without much thought or attention to the original recipe or how a tiki drink should be constructed.

But luckily a LOT has happened! and nowadays there are many good tiki bars out there paying attention to the details getting it right.

The tiki drinks really deserves their respected place and i really hope the false crap disappears and leaves way for the real tiki drinks to move forward and shine, sparkle, dazzle and seduce you with their perfect blend of exciting flavours and air of mystical appeal.


There are many great new tiki drinks being made as well but that you must use only rum isn´t written in stone. The reason rum was used so much in the old tiki era was mainly because after the repeal day it was cheap and readily available. Also rums pairs very well with fresh fruit juices and spicy tinctures and the whole tropical feel, no doubt about that, its like they are made for each other – but its possible to make good tiki cocktails also with say gin..

And i like gin! so i was very excited when i read about the drink called The Winchester (named after Angus Winchester) that really is a gin zombie invented by Brian Miller at Death & Co in NYC (a bar i really can recommend btw) This drink is made with three different gins just in the same way Don Beach mixed with several rums, creating a flavour profile that one spirit wouldn`t be able to accomplish.

Maybe the essence of a good tiki drink is the blending of base spirits? its certainly critical. Anyway, its really exciting to hear about someone treating gin the same way Don treated rum and as life is much about change so is drinks and it looks to me that tiki drinks are moving forward to a new dimension and at the same time the old original tiki drinks are gaining more respect.


25ml Tanqueray London Dry Gin
25ml Old Tom Gin
25ml Miller’s Westbourne Strength Gin
20ml lime juice
20ml grapefruit juice
20ml St Germain elderflower liqueur
12.5ml home made grenadine
7ml home made ginger syrup
1 dash angostura bitters

Shake with 3 ice cubes and strain into a Tiki mug.



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I can´t believe how fast time has flied, its time for our 1 year anniversary of the Mixoloseum’s weekly online cocktail party – Thursday Drink Night aka TDN!

It started so small and it has grown more than i could imagine during this year that has gone. There has been many nice cocktails made – no less than 500 original cocktails – and that during 50 TDNs and every time its fun to be there chatting and mixing the night away. I have lost count on how many beautiful sunrises i´ve seen during aTDN night.

To quote Rick over at Kaiserpenguin who is the founder of this tremendously fun event:

“When Thursday Drink Night began as a small gathering of booze nerds who just wanted another excuse to hang out and mix cocktails, I had no idea we’d be looking back a year later at 500 original cocktails and a mountain of prestige.

Brands are now building TDN into their marketing budgets, and it has become the “cool thing to do” as word continues to spread.  And not little brands, but huge marketing behemoths like Diageo. Live events are no longer a special treat, but built into nearly all upcoming sponsored nights.”

“The Mixoloseum has hosted 50 Thursday Drink Nights since the first mixological day. In that time, cocktail enthusiasts, writers, and bartenders have created over 500 original cocktails using everything from Fernet Branca to buttermilk.

Guests who once came in fear of all the homemade syrups and bitters being slung about like fool’s gold in the chat room now make their own cinnamon syrup, have two local sources for Ting (in case one runs out), and don’t bat an eye when someone calls yellow Chartreuse instead of green.”

So arm yourself with your rums, other spirits, fruit juices, syrups, bitters and tinctures, crazy garnishes plus your tikimugs and glasses and join the fun together with our beloved Guest Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, and the whole array of cocktail enthusiasts, bartenders and cocktail bloggers and if you submit a drink you have the chance of winning premium prizes.

Here are the details:

The Prizes

Best Original Tiki Drink – 50cm gold Japanese bar spoon
Best Gin Cocktail – Bottle of Port of Barcelona gin signed by the distiller.
Best Absinthe Cocktail – Bottle of Obsello absinthe signed by the distiller.
Best Spiced Rum Cocktail – Bottle of Old New Orleans Cajun spiced rum
Last One Standing – If you close the doors on our party, you will get yourself a pick of one of Mud Puddle’s six new cocktail book releases.
First two newcomers who submit a drink – More books! Pick from Mud Puddle’s line-up.

We’ll also be giving out Annual Awards throughout the night (e.g. Person who consistently submits the worst drinks).

To join TDN Tiki – sign in to the Mixoloseum Chat Room this thursday sept 3rd at 7pm Eastern and join the TDN which will go on until last man standing to blow out the tiki torch or we all get moemoe.

Okole maluna!




This is a Mexican rum, yes it is – and in fact its the first Mexican rum i try.

This rum is produced by the Villanueva family who since three generations back has hand produced fine spirits in the town of Cordoba in the province of Veracruz in eastern Mexico. This province has for 500 years now been famous for their sugarcane.

Rum was in the 16th century actually one of the most popular beverages consumed in Mexico, but the Spanish during their dominion made sure rum was prohibited. But luckily for us today there was a few still that secretly continued producing rum –  and the name ‘Los Valientes’ (it means the Valiant Ones) is in honour of the brave fighters of the Mexican Revolution. I had no idea about this, so interesting to learn!

This rum is a rare cat…they use not only the molasses in this small batched rum but also the sugarcane juice – which is  fermented with natural yeasts and then double distilled in pot-stills followed by charcoal filtering. I`ve not heard of a rum using both molasses and sugarcane juice before.

The molasess is distilled in column stills and its the heart of this distillation together with the sugarcane juice – in a ratio of 70:30 juice to molasses – that goes into this rum.The rum is aged in used American white oak barrels producing a light and refined flavour to the finsihed product.

This is a very interesting rum indeed! The 10 and 15 year rums are made at 40% abv while the 20 is 43% abv.

When you know the history of a rum and where it comes from it`s even more interesting to sample it, to try to pick up all the flavours in the nose and mouth and get a picture of the whole. It cannot compare of course with visiting the distillery but knowing a rums history and how its made takes your experience to a higher level, making it more complete.Rum tasting is an ever-learning experience and an art in itself which can only be perfected by training. Gaining experience and training your palate is a long process that takes time and i`m only at the beginning of what i consider a long pleasant journey.

So here we go with these three very intriguing rums – and indeed these are good rums:

Ron Los Valientes 10 year Old

In the nose i find a hint of plums, then oak and sugarcane.The flavour has a slight balanced fire and its molasses, dried tropical fruits, a slight hint of the sugarcane juice but not grassy and herbal – actually i expected more of that but its very light and balanced. And its definetily flavours from the oak there and is there a slight hint of dark chocolate? yes it is.

Its not a heavy rum, its rather light in character and it goes down very easily. 

Ron Los Valientes 15 year Old

The first thought that crossed my mind when sampling the nose of this 15 year rum was “old pirate times”, i could almost mentally see the ships… Note i said the “feeling” because that´s what the aroma gives you as well – a feel. The aroma itself is to me molasses, sugarcane and old oak followed by burnt caramel. Its heavier on the nose than the 10 year old and the taste is more spicy and has more woody depth while the 10 year has more caramel.

Ron Los Valientes 20 year Old


The oldest of the three brave rums. The nose is so pleasant…with caramel notes. Nice notes of oak paired with dried fruits and molasses. It has the most depth of the three and some fire too as it should. The 20 year old rums are numbered and hand signed. I like the 20 year the most, i find it to be the most complete of them.Then very closely comes the 10 year old, it has a great flavor, is smooth and then there´s something more in its flavour..

Its followed by the 15 year old with its spicier and oaky flavour – a “happy” rum.They are available in the UK but i don´t know about the US.

Do we need a cocktail here as well? – yeah i think we do..a little rum old fashioned.



1 oz Ron Los Valientes 10 year Old
0.5 oz Ron Los Valientes 15 year Old
0.5 oz Ron Los Valientes 20 year Old
1 tsp raw cane sugar syrup
2 dashes Adam`s Boker´s bitters or Angostura

Add syrup and bitters to a small Old Fashioned glass. Add ice and stir. Add the rums and stir again. Drop a piece of lime and a good quality cocktail cherry in the glass.

You could use an orange peel here and spray some oil over the surface of the drink, but i preferred to simply drop a lime today.


For full disclosure picture courtesy and samples of Ron Los Valientes was provided by Wine and Spirit International Ltd – http://www.ronlosvalientes.com/

Picture courtesy also of IPBartenders London.

Sugarcane bar