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Navy Grog recipes
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 127
From: Los Angeles
Posted: 2004-12-22 7:21 pm   Permalink

Hello all. I've been using the navy grog recipe in the Grog Log, but have found it lacking in one main area. Honey. This stuff is a pain in the ass to work with. The recipe calls for it to be heated until liquid. Unfortunately, it returns to semi-solid as soon as it hits any liquid colder than it, aka, all the other liquid ingredients, and you end up with a big lump of it in your drink. Not too appealing.
So, I'm looking for something new. Let me see what ya's got.
All night drug prowling wolf.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 15, 2004
Posts: 361
From: Springfield, Ohio
Posted: 2004-12-22 7:30 pm   Permalink

Hey Sinner,

There's a Navy Grog recipe on that little tag tied to the neck of Sailor Jerry's rum. If I find one laying around here I'll post it. I've still never tried it or any Navy Grog recipe so i can't tell you how it stands up.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5307
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2004-12-22 8:01 pm   Permalink

Make a honey syrup the same as the sugar syrup. Heat 1 part honey to 1 part water to a boil and bottle it. It'll mix well, stay a more usable liquid and work in a drink. Just increase the "honey" part of the recipe to compensate for the water dilution.

"Mai-Kai: History & Mystery of the Iconic Tiki Restaurant" the book

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 07, 2003
Posts: 407
From: J'ville
Posted: 2004-12-22 8:07 pm   Permalink

This is now one of my faves, but I had the same problem first time out. Plus, I think using a blender for mixing one drink makes too much cleanup work. So, I prepare the drink a little differently than Mr. Berry suggests.

Same exact ingredients but I microwave the honey for 15 seconds in a glass measuring jigger which gets it very liquid. Then, in a shaker, I vigorously stir in the rums which are at room temp. At that point, the honey is pretty well mixed and I add the juices which are usually not real cold. Finally I add the chilled club soda and pour. Good honey flavor, but no globby residue.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 1025
From: Redondo Beach
Posted: 2004-12-22 8:48 pm   Permalink

The Navy Grog recipe in the Grog Log is based on the Don the Beachcomber version of the drink. As much as I was a fan of Don, I find that I prefer Trader Vic's Navy Grog to Don's. It is very similar to the mai tai, but clearly has at least one ingredient that is different, something spicy and slightly bitter. I think that originally it may have been pimento liqueur. I don't know what they use now. Does anyone have any insight on this?

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Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3059
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2004-12-22 11:33 pm   Permalink

Vic's Navy Grog is made with a house Navy Grog Mix called "Navy Grog Concentrate" with is NOT the same as the retail Navy Grog Mix that Vic's sells. The "concentrate" is considerably better. I do not know what's in it exactly, I'm afraid.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 127
From: Los Angeles
Posted: 2004-12-23 2:21 pm   Permalink

Thanks all. I think I will give some of these suggestions a shot, especially those syrup and mixing order ones. Swanky, does that stuff have to be refrigerated, or can I just leave it out?
I fell in love with this drink at the Tiki Ti and now find that I crave it all the time

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5307
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2004-12-23 3:58 pm   Permalink

It does not have to be refridgerated, but I would. It will stay mixed, but, last time I did not, it grew mold on top.

"Mai-Kai: History & Mystery of the Iconic Tiki Restaurant" the book

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I, Zombie
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 14, 2003
Posts: 539
From: the Les Baxter Grotto (Minneapolis)
Posted: 2005-01-03 11:22 pm   Permalink

Don't give up on the honey!

I had the same trouble with the honey glob. But the microwave heatup suggested here works well. As was said, just mix it with the room temp ingredients real well before adding the cold ingredients and ice.

Also, when making the honey syrup, I strongly suggest you buy some Florida orange blossom honey (available online) and try that. It's that special flavor you taste at the Mai Kai, and is wonderful.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5307
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2005-01-04 09:45 am   Permalink

That probably does work well, and better than the boiling water on the stove method. I tried that a few times with poor results and lots of suffering. But both mean a good bit of headache if you have guests over and are in the bar itself. No microwave in there and it would just not work. So mix up the syrup and use it behind the bar and you can make those drinks with ease!

"Mai-Kai: History & Mystery of the Iconic Tiki Restaurant" the book

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 29, 2003
Posts: 952
From: near Atlanta, Georgia
Posted: 2005-01-05 6:16 pm   Permalink

I have had the Trader Vic's, made it our of three recipes, but bar none the Tiki Ti Navy Grog is my favorite. (big surprise)
I sadly do not have their recipe.

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Tiki Royale
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 06, 2002
Posts: 891
From: The Aloha Room in Beautiful Belmont, CA!
Posted: 2005-04-23 10:50 pm   Permalink

Mmmmm... I must say that the "Trader Vic's Grog" from the Grog Log is one of my new favorites.
Quick and easy to make and quite tasty! I like to add a little grapefruit juice for some bite.

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 29, 2004
Posts: 56
Posted: 2005-04-29 08:32 am   Permalink

The recipe for the Trader Vic's Navy Grog was discussed here about a year ago (use search to find the thread) and on the Maryland DC Tiki Forum
pertaining to the recipe for Navy Grog from the now closed Honululu Restaurant in Alexandria VA where the owner was once a bartender at the DC Trader Vic's. I have copied here my posts on that subject:

I first tasted a Navy Grog at the Honululu and that spoiled me. I purchased some Trader Vics mix thinking it was the same thing and was sorely disappointed. I asked David Chan about the drink and he said it was a secret recipe of his (based upon the TV drink I wonder ?) and that he made his own mix. I now have a fine collection of new and vintage bar books after unsuccessfully searching for a recipe for Navy Grog. Since it was a Trader Vic drink, that spurred my collecting all of his books.
The drink does not appear at all in his earlier books. When it does appear in later editions, the recipe uses the mix as posted earlier. I suspect that it was one of the earlier mixes (versus syrups such as grenadine or Orgeat) in their product line due to more advanced prep time needed to make it for use behind the bar (hint: it is cooked).
David Chan, owner of the recently closed Honululu in Alexandria Va, makes a mean Navy Grog that is markedly different from the Trader Vic version. Now, remember, Mr Chan was a bartender at the DC Trader Vics before opening his own place. He made his own Navy Grog mix for use at his bar. He mentioned to me that he might make that mix available (along with the MaiTai mix) on their website. However, I heard from another regular that he said the MT mix would be the only one he kept for himself. Anyway, the last week they were open, I asked him to taste my homemade Navy Grog mix that I had been making based upon tasting his mixed drinks, and he allowed me to taste his NG mix stright (i.e. not diluted into a drink). His was very dark (like the MaiTai mix) and much more complex in flavor than the bottled Trader Vic stuff. He proclaimed mine very good and asked for my recipe which he said was very close and told me where I was off from his. I will share as soon as I determine if he is actually going to sell his commercially. Our discussion then ventured into Trader Vic's commercial mixes. Mr. Chan made some very interesting comments regarding them. He said that the drink recipies and the mixes had changed over the years. Now we know that the mixes and syrups were originated for and are still used in the restaurants (except in the case of the MaiTai if you ask for a San Francisco style).
This leads to some question as to what really is the recipie to their drinks? It would not surprise me if the old Trader changed the recipies for publication to make the in house drinks a little better than you could make at home and to delete hard to find ingredients while promoting his own line of mixes etc. Now back to David Chan. He took over the Honululu back in 1978. Prior to that, he had another place in Canada and before that worked at the DC Trader Vic's. That location opened in 1961. It stands to reason that there were original employees there when Mr. Chan worked there in the early 70's. It is entirely possible that what we were tasting was Mr Chan's version (changed a little and made his own perhaps) of 1961 vintage drinks.
Just look at the variations and use of esoteric ingedients (Van Der Hum, Parfait de Amour etc) in some of the other drink books including Don the Beachcomber and Grog Log compared to the relative simplicity of the published versions of T.V. drinks for further support to my theory that T.V. drinks may not be what they once were.
To close, the Navy Grog recipie from the Honululu use a homemade mix plus light and amber rums (cheap stuff: Ronrico), sour lemon (bar supply house bottled reconstituted unsweetened lemon juice), quarted of a lime squeezed in and shell left in and pink grapefruit juice. In other words, it is basically a MaiTai with the addition of grapefruit juice and the substitution of a different flavored sugar syrup.

So, is anyone else out there a Navy Grog fan and do you have your own recipie?

Okay, I think I finally have a workable recipie for replicating the Honolulu Navy Grog at home. Please try it out (cut the recipie in half if in doubt) and try it over the weekend.

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)


Open cans of coke and pour into pot or saucepan.
Scrub ginger to remove loose peel segments and slice thinly (dime thickness). Slices can be further divided if they are larger than about dime sized. It is important, however, not to be tempted to dice or shred the ginger too finely since it will break apart some when cooked and make it harder to strain out later.
Add ginger to pan of coke.
Add orange peel (if using) to pan. (If using bitters, it gets added later)
Add cloves to pan.
Add Allspice to pan. (if using)
Allow this to steep at room temp while the coke goes flat. (This keeps it from foaming too much when heated)
Add honey and sour salt (if using) and simmer the contents of the pan for about 30 minutes.
Allow to cool.
Strain out all solids (ginger, peel, cloves)

Add Orange Bitters (if using)
Add Traditional Bitters (if using)
Put into empty clean 750 ml bottle
Add water to make up full volume
Note, some alcohol: grain, vodka or even rum, could also be added as a preservative.

To make one Honolulu Restaurant Style Navy Grog Drink:
1 oz Navy Grog Mix
1 oz bottled reconstituted lemon juice (ReaLemon or equivalent)
1 to 1 ½ oz Pink Grapefruit Juice (to taste)
1 oz Amber Rum
1 oz Light Rum
¼ Lime squeezed and shell left in
Combine all; shake with ice, garnish and serve.

I have had folks who taste tested this tell me that it is too gingery. If you are worried this might be the case, reduce the amount of ginger and the simmer time. Also, feel free to substitue fresh lemon or lime juice for the RealLemon; I was simply being true to the original I was trying to duplicate.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 20, 2005
Posts: 299
From: The Abyss.
Posted: 2006-12-11 9:37 pm   Permalink

Okay, I just tried the recipe for the mix. RIGHT ON. In my experience the Trader Vic's Navy Grogs have the same spice flavor, but some club soda, and a bit sweeter than the one listed above. But the mix...BRILLIANT. Well worth the effort. Made the whole house smell nice.

Thanks a million for posting this!

TT <----- who is imbibing in his favorite...a Navy Grog.

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Tiki Kaimuki
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 25, 2006
Posts: 832
From: OAKLAND, baby
Posted: 2006-12-16 8:09 pm   Permalink

I have to try this recipe. I never would have thought Coke.
Navy Grog became one of my favorite drinks after having it mixed up at Forbidden Island. Now I am thirsty!


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