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


Hot stuff!

Posted by TraderTiki on August 14th, 2007 — Posted in Rum, Sippin' Safari

First off, I want to thank Rick for inspiring me to try this, and also going through all the motions and writing them down before I tried my own failed cooking skills on Don’s Coffee Grog Batter. I am so happy to have a good batch made up now.

Pearl Diver StrainingSo, here are some pics from my painstaking attempt at the Pearl Diver Punch. Sadly, I got nowhere near the beautiful bubbly top as on Kaiser Penguin, but it did start to do so during the last phases of the liquid. Mixing the batter wasn’t difficult, plus the smell of creaming butter always reminds me of baking cookies. What was interesting to me was that the butter still creamed, even though the sugars were dissolved in water. I’m just so used to the idea of the sugar cutting into the butter, but, I suppose it did but just on a more minute level.

Don’t those butter solids just look delish? The good thing is, only the lovely oily essence of the butter was imparted into the drink, so it wasn’t a chunky texture, but instead an oily smooth feeling. It wasn’t very strong, but it was certainly present.

I’m going to have to make this a few more times. Like the Jamoca, I still feel I didn’t capture the true essence of the drink. There are still a lot of tricks to learn and develop.

Pearl Diver Punch

The best part about having the batter done is that I now had Don’s Batter to mix all the other drinks with! Well, what other drink called for it, but Don’s Coffee Grog!

I am a huge fan of the hot Tiki drinks. I think a lot of it comes from the nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon combination (the Thanksgiving spices) that bring the feel and flavor of a good pumpkin pie. Of course, that has absolutely nothing to do with Pumpkin Smash, a pumpkin based liqueur that is just awful. Hot drinks that also come to mind, at least for me, are a nice warm egg nog, or a Thomas and Jeremiah. Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t wait for November to start into those.

But anyway, Don’s Coffee Grog really emphasizes not only the flavors in the coffee, bringing out the citrus and spice, but the vapor from the coffee, combined with the vapor from the Rum, brings the drink up to the nose like nobody’s business. I think that’s one of the truly enjoyable things about alcohol. The vapor brings so much of the essence up to the nose, bringing along with it the scents, spices and flavors of the contained ingredients, really opening up the drink to be enjoyed not only on the way down, but all throughout the system.

Now, unfortunately I had no small metal ladle to use in preparation for the drink. So, for presentation I instead used a metal jigger. This almost became a post about how I lit my copy of Sippin’ Safari on fire, but that would have just been unpleasant. However, I’m finding as I mix more from there, just like my copies of Grog Log and Intoxica, my Sippin’ Safari is now coated with about half an ounce of rum and various citrus.

I’ll have to do a comparison, but something about that 151 Demarara burns a lot better than 151 Bacardi. Maybe it’s the history of the spirit escaping in the form of a flame, or the slight impurities that make it oh so special adding heat and energy. Maybe it’s just really really high proof booze. But anyhow, make a Don’s Coffee Grog yourself, it’s a true delight.

Don's Coffee Grog


Cigar Pairing, and the Donga Punch

Posted by TraderTiki on August 11th, 2007 — Posted in Rum, Sippin' Safari, Tasting

Tonight, tonight… what a night indeed.

Tonight’s Sippin’ Safari drink was the Donga Punch. A delicious little number featuring Martinique Rum.

I have one bottle of St. James Extra Old I use on rare occasion. The only reason I open it so infrequently is because it is my favorite Martinique of what I’ve tried, and while I could easily drown in the stuff (and the debt which would incur), I prefer to save and savor it for special occasions. A Donn Beach recipe, of course, is a very special occasion indeed. There are only a few ingredients, but in them you can really feel the brilliance of Donn’s drinks. Now, this is not a typical Beachcomber, in that it is missing out on the Absinthe-Sub and Blender mixing he seemed oh so fond of, but it does contain Donn’s Mix, which is Grapefruit Juice and Cinnamon syrup. This pairs with the Martinique fantastically, with the lime to balance the spicy and earthy tones with citrus. This is certainly my new favorite cocktail. Until the next one, of course.

Rum & Cigar pairing

Down at Forbidden Island in Alameda, this is done monthly. For my budget, it’s done a bit less frequently, but is savored when done so. This evening, it was Ron Pampero Aniversario with a Cubano Limitido Fonseca Robusto. The cigar was recommended by the fine folks at Rich’s Cigar shop on Alder in downtown Portland. The Cigar, medium-bodied, carried a nice strong spice which really mixed well the the flavors in the Aniversario. The spice in both mellowed out, bringing out a lot of the calmer sweet flavors. The Rum & Cigar combination is not as commonly done as the Scotch and Cigar, such as those held at Mcmenamin’s, but is just as much the experience. Just choose a good rum, Sea Wynde or Zaya also come to mind as potentially good pairings, and get a recommendation from your local tobacconist. I’m still a newbie to cigars, but this seemed to work pretty well for me.


Cream Gin Fizz

Posted by TraderTiki on August 9th, 2007 — Posted in Gin, Morning Cocktails, Sippin' Safari

Cream Gin FizzTurning through the pages of Sippin’ Safari, what instantly catches my eye but the Cream Gin Fizz!  How wonderful that my obsessions with Breakfast Cocktails and Tiki mix so wonderfully.

So, gathering up my trusty shaker, some ice, and other accoutrements, I set about to the recipe from page 73.

A delightful mix, the all lime really makes it sparkle, and differentiates it from the flowery sweetness of the Ramos Gin Fizz.  The other advantage?  No egg white.

Understand, if someone told me the Zombie was originally mixed with bull’s blood and sheep urine, I’d be in the pasture with a knife and measuring cup.  However, there are some folk out there that find animal ingredients just a bit too “ooky”.  So, while not my choice, I’m always up for whatever the crowd is paying for, and glad to add this non-egg morning fizz to my menu.


Pith Helmet, check!

Posted by TraderTiki on August 8th, 2007 — Posted in Sippin' Safari, Tiki-Kon

After a few full reads of Sippin’ Safari, tonight was the night to syrup the night away!

Still having a few of the leavings from Tiki Kon V, I was ready to mix, boil, muddle and strain. Good thing is, I only had a few things to do!

So, now with Vanilla Syrup, Donn’s Mix, Donn’s Spice #2, Cinnamon Syrup, Pimento Dram (a bit immature still), and Hanalei House mix, I am ready for my own personal Sippin’ Safari!

Trader Tiki on Safari

The first adventure began tonight. Well, almost. It began with an awful stumble. Too late into the night, and weary from the syrups, I mixed a rather off Nui Nui. I’ll just say this. Mason Jars, while fine for storing, are no pouring devices. Still, a lot of the flavors coming out in it are new and exciting. I do believe, however, this will have to be explored much more thoroughly. Perhaps even nightly.

It tears me I won’t be able to make it to San Diego for Tiki Oasis. Oh well.

Our own adventures await!