Old Gold

Posted by TraderTiki on September 19th, 2008 — Posted in Drinks, Events, Original Drinks, Recipes, Rum, Tiki Drinks

This here’s a new drink I whipped together for the recent Forbidden Island cocktail contest on Tiki Central, held by Martin Cate of Forbidden Island!  I revealed this last night at the Thursday Drink Night.  No awards for this one, but I still think it’s a doozy of a drink.

Old Gold

Old Gold

  • 1 1/2 oz El Dorado 12 (sub Lemon Hart 80)
  • 1/2 oz Clement VSOP
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 3/4 oz Ginger Syrup
  • 3/4 oz Grapefruit juice (1:1 white and red, if available)
  • 2 dash Fees Bitters
  • 2 drops Vanilla Extract
  • 2 drops Don’s Spices #2

Mix with 6 oz crushed ice in top-down, and pour into a small Hurricane glass (sub chimney).  Garnish with a dash of Cinnamon and piece of Candied Ginger.

If you’re looking for something to hit your sweet spot, this’ll do the trick.  It needs a few moments in ice to cool its jets though, so let it sit a spell, it’ll still be there waiting for you.

I just can’t stop mixing with the El Dorado 12 lately, it’s a bit addictive.  I may have to start weaning myself away with Mount Gay Extra Old.  A new shipment of bottles just got into the galley, these are exciting times indeed!
Like it?  Tried it?  Got a tweek?  Post a comment!

Test Pilot

Posted by TraderTiki on March 1st, 2008 — Posted in Don the Beachcomber, Drinks, Grog Log, Recipes, Rum, Teardrop Tiki Menu, Tiki Drinks

When celebrating Don the Beachcomber’s legacy, or his recent birthday (Feb. 22d), what better way to remember the man than through his signature 1-2 punch of Bitters and Pastis (Herbsaint preferred, Pernod in a pinch), and the drink I think really brings it out best, the Test Pilot.

The bitters/pastis combination adds a lot of complexity and roundedness to the drink. Pastis, Herbsaint in particular (drop the R, rearrange the letters to find the origin), in small amounts, adds the strange sweetness of anise, while extending the life of the flavor. For my palate, it’s almost like an envelope, wrapping a bit around the rest of the flavors, keeping them together. The bitters, in this case Angostura, gives a nice spicy start and clove and sarsaparilla-like depth to the drink. Combined, the two are a bit of a circle and spike to the drink, if I can be allowed to make such a visual example of the taste.

The Test Pilot, according to the Grog Log, is by Don the Beachcomber circa 1941, and for my money, is one of the top examples of Don’s mastery of mixology.

Test Pilot

Test Pilot (source Beachbum Berry’s Grog Log)

  • 1/2 ounce Lime
  • 1/2 ounce Falernum
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau (3 tsp in Grog Log, same measurement)
  • 3/4 ounce Light Puerto Rican Rum (Don Q Cristal recommended)
  • 1 1/2 ounce Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba recommended)
  • dash Bitters
  • dash Herbsaint

Mix/Blend with 1 cup crushed ice, pour into Double Rocks glass. Add crushed ice to fill.

One thing I notice while making this drink is that it really makes the falernum shine. Using more of a sweetening falernum, like Velvet Falernum, makes a very good drink, but using a spicy homemade, like Paul’s Falernum #8 really brings out all the spice and complexity the drink has to offer. My last batch of Falernum, similar to Paul’s but double the spice, and adding one whole star anise, comes heavily and heartily recommended.

And of course, this will be on the menu for the March 18th Tiki Third Tuesday at Teardrop Lounge! Shameless self-promotion? You got it!

Of course, I’m not the first cocktail blogger to put up my take on this drink. Enjoy Rick and Paul’s takes on this delicious drink!

My kingdom for a sour orange!

Posted by TraderTiki on August 7th, 2007 — Posted in Bitters, MxMo, Tasting

Alrighty, the first Mixology Monday for Trader Tiki! Hooray!MxMo18

This MxMo theme, hosted by The Intoxicated Zodiac, is ORANGE! Dear lordy, what am I in for?

Well, I figured I’d put my bout into the foray with a listing and review of all Orange items in my bar, including two types of orange fruits!

I am not the biggest orange fan. I can’t say I don’t like it, but well, perhaps the 5+oz. of various Curaçao and other liqueurs floating through my system has deranged my senses. There was a flavor in there, citric acid, that I thought I remembered well but, the flavor of everything left me a bit unsatisfied. Luckily, I procured some Citric Acid recently, so I may have to start mixing with a pinch… a tiny, tiny pinch. As well as the list below, I’m going to be attempting a drink featuring orange as the featured flavor, but so far the results have been… unsatisfying. I’m going to have to return to Grog Log and Intoxica for further study. Anyhoo, onto the booze!

The Lineup

Orange Liqueurs

The Process

Tasting was done with an initial sniff from the open bottle, poured into a shot glass, allowed to open up, tilted for a few seconds, sniffed again, and two tastes. One taste staying in the mouth, one taste straight down the gullet. Palate cleansing done by bread and water.


A liqueur made from the peels of the bitter Larahas orange, grown on the island of Curaçao. I’ve got three different brands, so here’s the review!

Hiram Walker Orange Curaçao: A smell of light orange oil, with a vodka like alcohol tinge. The taste was instantly sweet orange, very smooth, with the flavors strongest down the throat. A bit syrupy, very sweet.

Dekuyper Blue Curaçao: A strong liqueur alcohol smell, some orange after opening up. The taste a bit of orange mixed with rubbing alcohol. Not recommended. Also, stains the hell out of everything it touches. Smurfy fingers! Ack!

Bols Curaçao: A nice, light orange smell with an alcohol frame. The taste was very lightly sweet orange, not sickly or syrupy, with very little aftertaste. Probably my favored Curaçao for Mai Tais and other drinks. Incidentally, BOLS was the manufacturer noted for the Curaçao in the original Mai Tai! Not that I’m so easily persuaded, except that I totally am.

Triple Sec

Monarch Triple Sec: The smell is a nice orangey scent, with a bit of neutral-grain spirit burn in the nose. The taste is sweet, like an orange popsicle. Truly reminiscent of an otter pop, but with a mild burn in the throat.

Cointreau: The smell is lightly orange, with a strong, cordial alcohol kick. The taste is a well-refined alcohol and orange blend, delicately blended in, with a slight fresh orange aftertaste.

Grand Marnier: The smell is entirely alcohol, but a hint of orange mixes in after being allowed to open up. The taste is strongly alcoholic, but with a very nice orange oil flavor. The aftertaste burns a bit, but very pleasantly.


Well, not that they all aren’t, but these don’t fit into the Triple Sec or Curaçao category, as far as I can tell

Sublime: smells of orange hard-candy, with a light brandy-like perfume. The taste is very sweet on the tongue, a bit harsh down. Tastes like a really good Curaçao, with a bit of alcohol burn. An orange and bubble-gum kind of aftertaste.

Marie Brizzard Parfait Amour: What a strange one this is. The smell is sweet, grapey, and has a candy flavor I have smelled before, but cannot place it. There is some alcohol to the scent after opening up, as well as some nice orange oil. It hits the tongue with a very nice, medium sweetness, and continues on for quite awhile into the aftertaste. It’s a very nice, light, slightly candy-like orange.


Oh boy, orange bitters! It’s the bitterness in oranges I tend to blend towards in cocktails. I was very excited to try these, particularly after getting some Regan’s Orange Bitters #6, and Fee Bros. Orange, and.. well, see below!

Regan’s Orange Bitters #6: The smell is a bit of orange, and cherry, with a smoky-sweet fragrance. The liquid evaporates in the mout immediately, leaving a strong smokiness and orange pith, with a smokey aftertaste. Nice stuff, and I’m anxious to try in other cocktails.

Fee Bros. Orange Bitters: A Bitter orange pith smell, the taste is spicy, and has that consistent Fee Bros. clove spice to it. A very bitter, Campari-like aftertaste.

Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters: Sweet, Tokay-like qualities of fig and cherry. Very much blood orange juice, but with a candy-sweet pomegranate sort of personality, but without the sting of pom. Definitely something you can use a 1/4 oz. of in a drink.

Campari: Tasting this stuff just makes me want a Negroni time and time again. I’m still working towards Campari and Cola, but me and Italian Bitters have a lot to work on, particularly after trying Cynar. There is a bit of an almond, cherry and smokiness to the smell. The taste, well, bitter, with a bit of cherry, blood orange, and smokey bitterness.


Orange Flower Water: Smells like perfume, tastes like perfume. Pretty much enough said. Great for bring out the florals in a drink!


Yes, actual oranges! Crazy!

Sunkist Valencia: Bittersweet, more emphasis on the sweet, with a light citric acid sting. A bit watery.

Australian Navel Orange: Sweet, full-bodied orange flavor.

So there you have it, according to my palate. Anyone interested is of course welcome to have a swig at my home bar.

Time for Miehanas!

Feeling revived

Posted by TraderTiki on July 31st, 2007 — Posted in Classic Cocktails, Drinks, Gin, Recipes

Nothing beats the mid-afternoon blur like a little pick me up.

In my case, however, after the latest Tiki Kon I need something to wake the dead.

As I was searching through other cocktail blogs, I found the perfect solution in the Corpse Reviver #2.

Corpse Reviver #2

Corpse Reviver #2

  • 3/4 ounce Dry Gin (Bluecoat highly recommended for this)
  • 3/4 ounce Cointreau
  • 3/4 ounce Lillet blanc
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 2 dashes absinthe (sub. Herbsainte)

Combine in a shaker with cracked ice; shake and strain.  Garnish with a stemless cherry.

What an incredible balance. It’s funny, in drinks such as this, and The Final Word (which I still need to go up to Seattle to get from Murray), having an even blend of ingredients makes it just fine and dandy. With tropical cocktails, not to discount the rest, there is so much balance with the fruit and liqueurs. I think working with juice can tend to make the difference. To tart or too sweet and next thing you know out comes the simple syrup to balance it out. It’s refreshing to have a nice drink made out of ingredients that won’t go bad in two days.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why the Maraschino cherry came out so dark? Well, that ain’t no corn syrup and red #5. That’s the real deal. Made by Luxardo, and found at the Uptowne Liquor Store in town. $15 far a small jar, but the difference makes all the world. I was introduced to real Maraschino cherries by Martin Cate, and I haven’t been the same since. The surrounding syrup is thick like blood, it clings to the cherries delicately, and moves around in the drink, without harming the flavor, but encouraging the berry and citrus to come out. And when that delicate little morsel is finally partaken of, it leaves the memory of itself on the bottom of the glass. Red, thick, and fantastic.