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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food Help! What is Bongo Juice?
Help! What is Bongo Juice?
Site Administrator

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 3434
From: Redondo Beach, CA
Posted: 2005-11-18 10:18 pm   Permalink

I was just in the midst of a Trader Vic's Bartender's Guide study session ('72 ed.) when I spotted on page 210 a recipe for a Bloody Mary #2 as follows:

1 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce lemon juice
Chilled Trader Vic's Bongo Juice

Pour vodka and lemon juice over 1 large ice cube in a fizz glass.
Fill with Bongo Juice. Stir well. Add a lemon wedge.

So okay... now just what exactly IS Bongo Juice? Do I want this?

A Google search turned up nothing concrete so I thought I'd turn this over to you alcoholic experts at TC.

Okay... Go!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 06, 2002
Posts: 322
From: Hockessin, Delaware
Posted: 2005-11-19 07:27 am   Permalink

I have five books by Trader Vic on my book shelf including the 1972 Bartender Guide.

I too can find no mention by Trader Vic of Bongo juice. They do have a Bongo-Bongo soup. It is a cream soup with oysters and spinach puree in it so I think this has nothing to do with Bloody Mary #2 (or at least I hope so). We have a least one Trader Vic bartender on Tiki Central maybe he can help.

There is a "Bongo juice" which is available in African markets in the UK where it is sold in cartons (maybe other places too). It is the juice of the Mbungu fruit a sweet yellow fruit which grows in forested regions of Africa.

Here are some links I found on the internet.

Imagine a citrus drink which tastes like oranges and passion fruit, but comes from the fruits of a liana named the Rubber Vine (!) Saba comorensis (Bojer) Pichon. The local name for the drink is Mbungo, (tourists corrupt this to "bongo juice"!) and many bars on the island will sell you this delicious drink!

Make sure you try some bongo juice ... a rotten looking fruit that grows only here on Pemba and is delicious.

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Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3059
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2005-11-19 11:03 am   Permalink

That's a weird one! If it's for a Bloody Mary, it must be some kind of tomato based juice. It could have been a tomato juice with oyster juice in it, like a kind of Clamato. That would explain the name and how it relates to the soup. Never seen it or heard of it. Vic's does currently make a Bloody Mary mix, which is pretty good, but not for much longer- it's being phased out.

I'll ask Peter Seely about Bongo Juice the next time he's at the bar.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 09, 2004
Posts: 1096
From: The Haole Hut, London, UK
Posted: 2005-11-23 06:21 am   Permalink

"UmBbongo, Umbongo, they drink it in the Congo
The Hippo took an apricot a guava and a mango
He stuck it all together and they danced a dainty tango
The rhino said "I know, we'll call it Um Bongo!"

Though you may have to be English to appreciate this

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 03, 2004
Posts: 53
From: Soton, Hampshire, UK
Posted: 2005-11-23 10:07 am   Permalink

nice one Cheeky,

I think you'll also find...
"The python picked the passion fruit, the marmoset the mandarin. The parrot painted packets, that the whole caboodle landed in. So when it comes to sun and fun and goodness in the jungle, They all prefer the sunny funny one they call Um Bongo!"

and anyone for Kiora? (It was too orangey for crows apparently).

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