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Navy Grog recipes
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 29, 2006
Posts: 18
Posted: 2007-01-11 8:54 pm   Permalink

Has anyone tried making allspice syrup? I stumbled upon a recipe and think this might be one of the ingredients used in some Navy Grog recipes as a stand in for the ultra rare Pimento Liqueur.

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
and 6 level tablespoons crushed dried allspice berries in saucepan

Heat until sugar is dissolved, simmer for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 1-2 hours.
Strain and refrigerate.

I can't wait to try it.

I've also tried the recipe listed above and it was very good. Next time I think I'll add more allspice and ginger to give it a little more kick.

[ This Message was edited by: TraderJonah 2007-01-11 20:54 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1784
From: Orlando
Posted: 2007-01-12 07:28 am   Permalink


On 2007-01-11 20:54, TraderJonah wrote:
Has anyone tried making allspice syrup?

Yes. The recipe you have listed is Beachbum Berry's, which is the same I used. Essential for a Nui Nui, unless you have Pimento Liqueur, which would be even better. I'm working on the liqueur, which takes about a month and a half. That's a long time to wait for this microwave slave!

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Registered Astronaut
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 05, 2006
Posts: 66
Posted: 2007-05-31 6:21 pm   Permalink


Navy Grog Mix Recipe
Inspired by the Navy Grog mixed and served by David Chan, owner of the Late Great Honolulu Restaurant

Makes one 750ml bottle

Note, recipe can easily halved.

Ingredient List:
2 12oz cans Coca cola , preferably warm (no substitute)

1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger root (you CANNOT substitute dried ground ginger powder for this, the only acceptable substitute is candied ginger, whole or puree)

12 whole cloves (very important that they be whole and not ground for clarity of the finished product, if you absolutely must use ground cloves, substitute a scant ¼ teaspoon and use a fine sieve with cheesecloth to strain later)

2 Whole Dried Allspice berries (no substitute, you cannot put in little enough of the powder to not dominate the taste)

1 teaspoon Orange Bitters (available from Fee Brothers or put in the peel of one orange)

1 Tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon “sour salt” (this is pure citric acid powder used in canning and pickling, it can often be found near Kosher for Passover products, it allows you to add sour without adding sweet and keeps fruit from darkening due to exposure to air, if unavailable, leave it out and add more lemon or lime juice when making the drink itself)

Traditional Bitters to taste- 1 or 2 dashes (I prefer Fee Brothers to Angostura brand for its more complex flavor)


Okay, Neal's hands down spot on Trader Vic's Navy Grog uses this mixture instead of the honey that Beachbum Berry calls for in Grog Log. I tweaked it a little, because Trader Vic's bartender guide calls for Pimento Liquer. Given that fact, I felt I needed more than just two allspice berries. I added about a tablespoon of ground allspice and a alot of honey because I wasn't going to use any other sweetener in the drink.

This is the closest thing to Tv's Navy Grog after countless attempts. The scret is the compination of the mixture and by using Trader Vic's brand Dark Rum, which seems to be perfumed up and may contain some vanilla, though it is not labeled as a "spiced" or "flavored" rum.

Juice One lime
1 oz navy grog mix
1 oz FRESH grapefruit juice
heavy dashes of bitters

1 oz Trader Vic's Dark Rum (as used in Trader Vic's FOR navy grogs, I've seen 'em do it)
1 oz Demerara Rum
1oz Gold Bacardi

Shake with ice and, pour, then add club soad dash, (even though Trader's never did this.)

The Dark Rum gives it that authentic almost black look, which is essential.
Thanks to WillTiki for this great recipe.

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The Mayor Of Exotica
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 09, 2005
Posts: 400
From: Boston
Posted: 2007-06-01 08:52 am   Permalink

I work with honey all the time mixing Rum Barrels. The trick is just to add it to the rum and other room temp. liquids first, shake without ice. This will dissolve the honey completely in the rum, and it won't congeal again.

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 19, 2007
Posts: 73
From: Barcelona
Posted: 2007-11-26 02:52 am   Permalink

OK, I have brewed a small batch of this brew and it's pretty tasty. But I used it to mix a Tiki Puka Puka, that asks fos TV's Navy Grog Mix, and the drink tasted quite different to the TV's. So, should I understand that Chan's mix is very different to TV's?

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jan 20, 2009
Posts: 31
From: Los Angeles/Las Vegas
Posted: 2010-04-17 7:22 pm   Permalink

Enough of the theory! Come out to Surf City, USA and Marie at Don the Beachcomber will show you what a REAL Navy Grog tastes like! But she surely WON'T give you Don's Original recipe!

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jan 20, 2009
Posts: 31
From: Los Angeles/Las Vegas
Posted: 2010-04-17 7:48 pm   Permalink

The other night a sports journalist from the Long Beach Press Telegram dropped into Don the Beachcomber in Surf City USA, and ordered a Navy Grog, but substitute the Rum with Vodka. My bartender refused, saying that we don't serve Donn's drinks in any form but his original formula. He walked out, saying that he was insulted, and wrote me an eMail to the effect that our policy was screwed up, and that every other Tiki bar would make it for him.
And today he put the following in his column:
"Incidentally, Mr. Selmanson, who, contrary to widespread belief, has not been to every bar in America although he has been to every other one, was stunned to hear about my recent dark experience at Don the Beachcomber in Sunset Beach when the bartender refused to mix me a Navy Grog because I wanted it with vodka rather than rum."
I would like to hear the comments of any fellow Tikihead on the subject of whether we should just have served it to him, in spite of the fact that it was insulting the name given by our Great Leader? Or, for the moment should we have re-named it "Russian Navy Grog"?
Please respond!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2720
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2010-04-17 8:11 pm   Permalink

Anyone who insists on subsituting rum with vodka in a classic Tropical drink should be exited head first out of the Tiki Bar !! Thank you Art and Marie for maintaining the highest of Tiki standards.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 10, 2007
Posts: 388
From: Koala Kabana, New England
Posted: 2010-04-18 10:21 am   Permalink

A bartender should prepare drinks to order as the customer prefers them. Period.

I can go into any bar (tiki or not) and modify a cocktail by adding or removing something or order a call drink if I prefer a particular brand of liquor. If the bar has the necessary ingredients on hand this is not an unreasonable request and they can charge me extra for this service.

The idea might even catch on, at some point someone ordered a Bloody Mary with gin instead of vodka and now this is an accepted variant.

If you don't want to call it a Navy Grog then don't, just ring it up as a call drink.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 23, 2006
Posts: 323
From: Oahu, Hawaii
Posted: 2010-04-19 11:58 pm   Permalink

I gotta agree with rev_thumper. I salute you for offering properly mixed Don the Beachcomber drinks, but refusing to make a substitution seems a wee bit precious. Don't call it a Navy Grog, and definitely no refunds if he doesn't like it, but why chase away patrons? Especially patrons from the media.

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Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2277
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2010-04-20 05:23 am   Permalink


should we have re-named it "Russian Navy Grog"?

Yeah for maintaining some standards in classic drinks.

Boo for not being a gracious host and accommodating your (their?) guests.

A Navy Grog with Vodka would not be as good, at least in my opinion, but I'm not the one drinking it. Making the substitution should not have been an issue except in how to put it in the register machine. And calling it a Russian Navy Grog would have been an entertaining way to handle the situation.

If the bartenders actually care about what their doing and not just blindly following provided recipes they should have enjoyed the challenge of trying to balance the flavors in the drink without the rum.

But that is just my opinion, your mileage may vary.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 05, 2003
Posts: 1195
From: Texas Tikiland
Posted: 2010-04-20 05:45 am   Permalink

Agreed with the comments above.

Bartending is like cooking in some ways & it's surprising what you can learn by switching-up just a single ingredient.

Of course it's not a "real" navy grog when vodka is used rather than rum (the "navy" part of grog = RUM), but that doesn't automatically make it a drink unworthy of being made.

Have you tried it?

me either.

but you never know.....

I do know that I once tried a Trader Vic's MaiTai at a Trader Vic's made with Vodka. The bartender suggested it & I said "no. I don't think so....." He brought me one to try anyway - to prove to me that it wasn't so bad. And, you know what? It was actually quite drinkable. Surprisingly so, I'll say. Did it replace the standard MaiTai for me? Absolutely not! But is wasn't a horrible drink unworthy of being made either.

Your bartender should have made what the customer wanted.

& then maybe served-up a 1/2 size one to the patron (on the house) made the traditional way to work with the patron & maybe (or not...) educate them a bit with both the flavor & the history of why it is traditionally made the way it is made. Give 'em what they want & then try to bring them into the light. They may or may not come into the light, but there's no harm in trying. If something like this had transpired, the write-up may have been a very very different one about how knowledgeable the bartenders are, a reco for an outstanding place to go for a well-made cocktail by bartenders who know their stuff, etc, etc.....

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Rum Balls
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 04, 2004
Posts: 900
From: Da Big Island
Posted: 2010-04-20 06:34 am   Permalink

OK, in general, yeah "the customer is always right." But as a member of the media in my wage-earning life, I'm more than a little disturubed by a SPORTS writer complaining about this in his column. Unless it's a column/story/feature/etc. about dining or drinking, he should've kept his personal complaints & vendettas out of it.

I've seen too many self-important media folks use their celebrity & access to whine about personal stuff.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2720
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2010-04-20 06:47 am   Permalink

Hey, I dare any of you guys to visit the Tonga Hut on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and ask Kelly to add some pineapple juice to your Mai Tai.

See what happens then.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 05, 2003
Posts: 1195
From: Texas Tikiland
Posted: 2010-04-20 06:58 am   Permalink


Yeah, a patron at our local Tiki Bar (The Rendez'vous - Kenosha, WI) complained a few months back that there wasn't enough pineapple juice in his MaiTai.

The comment was met by much laughter & a few eye rolls.

And, the patron proclaimed to "know" his MaiTais because he visits many tiki bars (but had never been to a Trader Vic's, just an hour away....). I think he must be visiting those "Florida-style" bars with a thatch roof & a sign above the bar that says "tiki bar"...

Then there was the patron who said that his MaiTai wasn't "sweet enough".
I kid you not.
He's a regular. And a jerk. I still give him crap about it, too.

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