Pics update and a new Tiki Tuesday date this month

Posted by TraderTiki on April 12th, 2008 — Posted in Bilge, Site, Teardrop Tiki Menu

If you didn’t notice with today’s post, I’ve decided to start using NextGen Gallery for picture management. I’ve updated the Drinks Index and Original Recipes sections with this, and plan to continue using it moving forward. Please let me know what you think!

Also, Tiki Third Tuesday will be just Tiki Tuesday this month, due to some scheduling conflicts with the actual third Tuesday. For this month, Tiki Tuesday will be on April 22nd at Teardrop Lounge. I’ve got some exciting new stuff on the menu, including Trader Vic’s Navy Grog, Trader Vic’s Scorpion, and the Coronado Luau Special. Hope to see you there!

San Francisco, Part the Second

Posted by TraderTiki on April 12th, 2008 — Posted in Bilge, Places, Rum

fi_sign.jpgTuesday evening found me home away from home, tucked into the corner of the bar at Forbidden Island. As Martin said, I wasted no time, arriving just as he was opening the door. I brought a bottle of Shrub and Primitiva to play around with, and Martin ended up making a very lovely Pusser’s and Primitiva daiquiri (4:1:1). I started off with a few of the new concoctions for the spring menu, as made by the staff at FI. The Xtabay was a tangy and spicy drink with Canton, Honey and Rum. The Fugu del Blanco took a different turn, with Gin, Gomme andxtabay.jpg Thai Basil as garnish. The Basil acted as a sort of a mint doppelganger, adding a lot to the nose.

Martin also showed off the E.Nos, from the Savoy cocktail book, as made with a rinse of St. George Absinthe Verte, which is a damned fantastic product, of which I’m happy to now own a bottle. The drink was at once everything and nothing at all, smooth at first and then expanding in complexity.

wop_fi.jpgApparently some folks knew I would be in town (damn those little birdies!) and Hanford Lemoore of Tiki Central and Mig showed up, as well as my own mother-in-law! Yes, there’s nothing like drinking with your spouse’s family. I traded Martin a bit of drunken computer work to get him to make my Wisdom of Pele, which turned out fantastic, and I was pleased to be able to share it with friends and family.

ephemeralpimento.jpgWith that out of my system, I felt the need for something with plenty of allspice to it. Martin whipped up an ephemeral pimento drink, some unnamed cocktail that may never be made again. It was an interesting union of pineapple and pimento, and I will have to try recreating it once back at the home bar.

151_fi.jpgOnce the last call gong was rung, it was time for something to really cap off the night, which came to me in the form of a 151 swizzle. The garnish used was a ball of ice, with powdered cinnamon on top, and a little jacket made out of a cocktail napkin, which made for a gorgeous presentation.

With the bar closed, goodbyes were said, and I stumbled the two block distance to my mother-in-law’s apartment to sleep off the evening and the previous day’s events. And so still, I sit at SFO, waiting for my flight to board, wishing I had brought my camera hook-up so I could setup this post now.

I am settled back home now, with all the things I like (except Alembic and Forbidden Island) surrounding me. I will be back to California, certainly, but only for friends, family, and the drink.

fi_patio.jpg tothebar.jpg fi_bar.jpg rumbook.jpg

San Francisco trip, Part the first

Posted by TraderTiki on April 10th, 2008 — Posted in Bilge, Places, rye

And so I find myself, writing on a half-dead business laptop at SFO. There are now 2 days of some of the best and worst things to ever happen standing behind me now. You don’t care to hear the bad parts though, and I don’t care to focus on them. So let’s get onto the best parts of all, the booze!

A trip to California just isn’t complete without checking out John Walker spirits on Sutter in San Francisco. Within moments of entering, the mind boggles at the selection of just about everything obscure you can think of. Not one flavored Absolut on the shelf, but plenty of unheard of (and often under-appreciated) liquors from around the world. I couldn’t resist a bottle of St. George Absinthe Verte, a few rums, a dutch Genever, and the Rothman & Winter Creme de Violette. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that they make it unharmed on the way home.

The Vow of SilenceBeing in the bay area, I was finally (after three tries) got a chance to meet up with Erik of Under-hill Lounge, eGullet, now renowned for his quest of “Stomping through the Savoy“, as seen in the Wall Street Journal. We met at Alembic, which I would have to say is definitely in the top five of my favorite bars now. The bartenders, Josey and Thomas, were knowledgeable, inquisitive, and just all around fun. The atmosphere was comfortable enough to pop in after work without feeling the need to dress up, and yet the drinks practically felt like they required a tux. I had to start the evening with a “Vow of Silence“, seeing as there’s also one on the Teardrop menu. The drink was light and sweet, as only a combo of Rye and Benedictine can do. It really focused on the crisper edges of the Rye. At that point, in walked HumuHumu of… well, of just about everything Tiki on the internet. My Sister-in-law, her husband, his brother all rolled in, it was quite a night for friends and family. Feeling the need for some familiarity, I ordered a Last Word with the Chartreuse VEP. On ordering this, Erik noted that Flora used the VEP as their well chartreuse, and that the pour cost wasn’t that much of a difference. I’m still fuzzy about the math on that, but seeing as it comes in a liter bottle, it’s totally possible.

Josey at full speedAlembic sports a menu with both their own creations, and plenty of classics, particularly a hearty selection of New Orleans cocktails. The Vieux Carre was delicious and spicy, and the Sazerac was ruby red, and quite fantastic. When Thomas asked if I would prefer the peel in or out, I knew I was in the right place.

One of the original cocktails that was sampled was the Southern Exposure, a mixture containing celery juice, gin, gomme, and mint. The celery juice was a really rich flavor, and gave it a delightful green color. I may have to make a bottle or two at home to play with.

Alembic also sports a robust selection of Belgian and Trappist ales, of which I was eager to try a nice Trippel. The ale was fantastic, but I’m not sure that I’ll do that again… tiny bubbles and plenty of Rye don’t tend to mix well in the bloodstream, and I got a pretty righteous headache a few hours into the night. Other than that, it was a great place and though I won’t be able to visit often, it’ll certainly be a regular stop when I’m in the Bay Area.

I’m back home now, but had plenty of time to write while stuck at SFO for 6 hours. Stay tuned for part the second, where I once again visit my favorite island.


Posted by TraderTiki on April 5th, 2008 — Posted in Concoctioneering

It’s funny that something I threw together on a whim a few months back suddenly became an “internet sensation”. After receiving a few e-mails myself, two blog posts with heavy reference and curiosity, and a few complaints from Lance’s aching inbox, I’m putting up the recipe for my Primitiva Liqueuer.

This is inspired by the Taboo Liqueur recipe from Classic Liqueurs, a nifty little read that provides a damn good start for home liqueur making.


Primitiva (Yields about 1 quart)

  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 cup grapefruit juice
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 1/4 cups Demerara Sugar
  • 1 Vanilla bean, split
  • 1 cup Brandy (Christian Brothers)
  • 1 cup White Rum (Myers’ Platinum)

In a large pot, combine zest, juice, and sugar. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the bean into the pot, and chop the bean skin into 1-inch pieces and put into the pot. Stir and bring to a rolling boil. Once it hits the boil, turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Pour mixture into a glass, porcelain, or other container to be used for aging. Add Brandy and Rum. Allow liqueur to age in the container for one month. After the month of aging, strain liqueur through cheese cloth 1-3 times, until desired clarity is reached (I like the zest out, but vanilla seeds in… Coffee filters and Buchner Funnels are great if you want it totally translucent.). Pour liqueur into bottles and cap.

Well, there you have it. Throw it together tonight and you’ve only got a month ’til you can try some for yourself! Craig also put together an inspired version of Forbidden Fruit Liqueur using the original noted ingredients, and a few of his own twists., including oak barrel aging!

Of course, if your zester is out of order, I could be convinced to let go of a bottle for a nominal fee. Just email blair AT tradertiki DOT com and we can make that arrangement.

Happy makings!

Goings on

Posted by TraderTiki on April 1st, 2008 — Posted in Bilge, Site

Not much happening, just a hell of a lot of prep work.

Tales of the CocktailI will be attending Tales of the Cocktail this year in New Orleans, LA.  I’m pretty excited about this, having only seen the sights a girl can see from Brooklyn Heights.  I’ll be participating as a contributer to the Tales of the cocktail blog, which should make for a nice work-style vacation, with plenty of drinking.  Tickets are on sale today, so go and get yours!  Gird your livers gentlemen and women!

I’ve added a page for TraderTiki on “teh FaceBook“.  Check it out, become a fan, write on my wall… and yes, I have a personal profile and will gladly accept a game of Scrabulous.

I haven’t been putting up much as far as drinks lately, for which I apologize.  The bar is undergoing a bit of a makeover for more storage space, and cocktails and sawdust don’t tend to mix too well.  It’s pretty much popero aniversario on the rocks for a few more days.

Speaking of sipping rums, I got a chance to try the Tommy Bahama “White Sands” white Rum.  It’s purportedly of Barbados origin, aged for 2 years in oak barrels.  If you ask me, it’s distilled and filtered ’til there’s nothing left.  No body, no nose, a nice buttery texture on the palate, but any flavor in there was far beyond the reach of my tastebuds.

I’ve got a few posts in the works, and a trip down to California next week, where there is no state board to double the cost of liquor.