Posted by TraderTiki on September 12th, 2007 — Posted in Bilge, Gin

I was just picking up some strawberries at the store yesterday, in order to make Tequila por mi Amante, and something stuck in my head.. now where did I just see something involving strawberry. Considering I check about 20 or so cocktail blogs daily, it can be a bit of a blur. But, reloading my visited sites, I spotted the Bloodhound over at Underhill lounge. Head there and hit his ads for the recipe.


This is a very delicate drink, with the crushed fresh strawberry, which came straight from the farm and was absolutely fantastic. I’d make a syrup, but my I’m just about out of empty containers at the moment.

What is interesting to me, as I ramble on, is the use of fresh fruit ingredients. There was not a strong strawberry flavor to this, as the strawberry rode on the back of the vermouth and gin. The strawberry instead nuzzled warmly in the other flavors, peaking out a bit at the apex, and resuming its mingling. Fresh fruit or juice will do that to you. Artificial ingredients or most store bought syrups tend to have very flat, easily identifiable but very blunt flavors. Fresh ingredients carry the full wave of taste, including the occasionally lost flavor (fruit is mostly water, after all), but then resurging, leaving a bit of aftertaste, and so on.

Man, just makes me happy the day I was weaned, and quickly, off of Rose’s Lime Juice. I can’t even recall the last bottle I bought.

So go out there, get some fresh fruits, and mix up a storm!

Cheap Rum!

Posted by TraderTiki on September 11th, 2007 — Posted in Bilge

Well, as cheap as it’s going to get with shipping. I just got this nifty notice in the mail from Internet Wines.

We're closing out some slow moving Rums, Tequilas, Gins, Irish
 Whiskies, and
Canadian Whiskies. Prices reduced by up to 40%

A few highlights
Ron Barrilito 3 star $17.33
Appleon 21 year $60.00
El Dorado 5 year $12.70
English Harbour 5 year $18.57

A few others:
Tres Rios Reposado $30.83 - 38 bottles available
Cadenheads Old Raj Gin $70.25 per bottle - NOW 3 for $126.45
Crown Royal XR $216.00 per bottle - NOW 3 for $389.99

The full list can be found at


Inventory is limited and will go extremely fast. It's a closeout
sale so no backorders or rainchecks!

There’s some good cheap stuff in there. I’d really like to expand my Demerara collection with some El Dorado for certain.

New tool, cheap!

Posted by TraderTiki on September 10th, 2007 — Posted in Bilge

While at the local Goodwill yesterday, I was digging through the utensil bin and found this little nifty number. It reminded me a bit of the bonzer jiggers from The Cocktail Spirit: Tools/Caipirinha video, so I decided to grab it. Then, when messing around with it a bit, I found the handle also contains a corkscrew. So handy, and built like a tank, I think this number will be kept around in the display bin.  It’s a wee rusty, but that should clean off… and then be cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned.  Can’t having cleaning products in the drinks.


Jigger, angle 2

My measuring tool of choice for the past few years has been, just like in the video above, the OXO Good Grips 1061863 Mini Angled Measuring Cup 3-pack. They come in a 3 pack, clean easily, and are easily visible, with multiple measurements. I like them, but, to each their own.

Tiny bubbles in my drink.

Posted by TraderTiki on September 10th, 2007 — Posted in Rum, Sippin' Safari

Champagne, the delight of the aristocracy, signatory in celebration, and often the ultimate inducer of morning-after headaches. I’m no champagne connoisseur, but I know it to be a tasty tipple, often subtly sweet, and always with the beautiful bubbles which tingle over the lips and past the tongue, and effervescing through the nose, adding texture to taste.

I have to say I am in utter agreement with Trader Vic in his assessment of Champagne, in the “Colonel’s Big Opu” drink recipe:

You may have gathered by now that I like Champagne. Incidentally, it’s my favorite nightcap, preferably after I’m already in bed - to hell with that hot milk stuff!

Trader Vic’s Book of Food and Drink, p. 120-121

I’m a huge fan of the stuff straight (I drowned in the new year of 2007 with 3 bottles of Mumm’s… a great start!), but it goes without saying it’s great in a mixed drink. Kir Royale, Champagne Cocktail, Mimosa… you can find plenty of recipes on CocktailDB. Champagne was even the featured ingredient at the Tales of the Cocktail 2007 cocktail competition. It’s a fantastic ingredient that goes well in just about everything. I was once at a pizza joint in San Francisco that had a rather creative Champagne cocktail menu which consisted of Champagne + half of something from the Thomas Kemper craft soda variety pack + candied ginger at the bottom, all with various fun names. I picked the Rock Star cocktail (Champagne, cream soda). Cheesy and cloying, but it was one of those kind of nights, and the pizza made up for it.

Bali HaiChampagne is the alcohol of choice in the Bali Hai cocktail (p.82 Sippin’ Safari). This is a rather sweet but swell drink which calls for Rum, Champagne, and Hanalei house mix. The house mix is a nice contrast of citrus and syrup, with the Orgeat present and playing well with the other ingredients. The house mix is also used in the Hanalei Rum Punch, which is another fantastic drink with Banana puree, which adds an interesting but nice texture.

Of course, now that I’ve posted about Champagne, and the Colonel’s Big Opu, I’ve absolutely got to have one for lunch. Trouble is, I’m all out of Champagne!

Zombie Punch

Posted by TraderTiki on September 6th, 2007 — Posted in Rum, Sippin' Safari

There can be quite a difficult disconnect when writing about alcohol.  The inspiration can really tend to skew the author.

What was skewing me a few nights ago were the Navy and Luau Grogs.  Last night’s tipple, however, was the prototype and predecessor for the tiki drink poster child, the Zombie Punch (p. 121, Sippin’ Safari).

This drink packed quite a whallop.  Last nights was my second run with the drink.  Initially I tried using Lucid (Absinthe) in place of the Pernod, and mixing my Don’s mix on the fly (and maybe with the wrong ingredients).  This worked out, well, strangely.  The drink was like a roller coaster of taste, which had to be experienced to be believed.  It was not great,  but the way it rocked back and forth was just the most unusual thing.  I think I need to make the mistake again, and balance it out a bit, because it has potential.

The Zombie Punch of last night, though, was strictly to the recipe, using Herbsaint, Fee Bros. Falernum, and the “made while I had the book in front of my face” Don’s mix.  It was quite good, and a real kick to the liver.  The 4 ounces (one of which is 151 Demerara) really hit hard.  The flavor was lovely, a bit of spice, but mostly smooth and rich.  I don’t see why the recipe ever got changed, but I’m just fine with the modifications made over the years.

Zombie Punch