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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food Beachbum Berry's recipes differ from Don the Beachcomber cocktail book?
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Beachbum Berry's recipes differ from Don the Beachcomber cocktail book?
The Ragin' Rarotongan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 26, 2004
Posts: 282
From: Now, Ocala Florida
Posted: 2007-02-08 9:01 pm   Permalink

I was at Hilo Hatties in Orlando over the weekend and I picked up don the beachcomber's little hawaiian tropical drink book. I see several of the same drinks that are in grog log and intoxica, but several of them are quite different in ingredients. Can someone tell me why this is so? Just curious to which way I should make the proper drink. By the way the don the beachcomber rum barrel is fantastic, as good or better than the mai kai's!

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[ This Message was edited by: The Ragin' Rarotongan 2007-02-08 21:02 ]


 
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GatorRob
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Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2007-02-09 05:02 am   Permalink

The Beachcomber book is a beautiful book and has some fine cocktail recipes in it. But it's also notorious for its typos and sometimes goofy instructions. Other than that, there are discrepencies in recipes simply because drinks evolved and branched in different directions over time as people took ownership of them. I think finding the single "authentic" recipe for a drink is sometimes an elusive goal (see Singapore Sling). Then there's the whole Donn's Mai Tai versus Vic's Mai Tai can o' worms. Won't go into that...

When in doubt, I'd trust the Berry books.


 
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arriano
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2006
Posts: 1279
From: Dog Patch - San Diego
Posted: 2007-02-09 08:49 am   Permalink

I think Jeff Berry did a lot of research in tracking down old cocktail recipes. I don't think the drink recipes in the Don the Beachcomber book are the real deal. Nothing to base this on, just a gut feeling.

 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5010
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2007-02-09 09:17 am   Permalink

Although many of Don's recipes have become standards, in the early days they were trade secrets. In some cases, bar owners were just trying to figure them out. Often, the bartenders were hired away from Don's and used to set up some new bar. They kept their recipes secret even then. The secrets kept getting passed around and nothing original was in print. If a bartender gave out the recipes, he was no longer needed. So I imagine, the bar owners worked to get subordinates to figure them out and if they got close, the real bartender with the secrets was sent on his way. Or he just got hired away.

Berry spent many years tracking down these original bartenders and finding their code books and recipes. It is not a case of buying some recipe book and copying the recipes down and selling them to you. The Bum did the detective work. He either got the recipes from the masters or he had some recipes and he got the masters to make the drink and he compared and worked through getting a recipe that was close.

I would say your best source is the Bum. The other book, I have no idea what their sources are. I know the Bum's sources and his diligent efforts. He had real Don Beach trained bartenders to help him get the right recipes.

I think The Bum is working on his own book about our Dad, Don the Beachcomber.
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thinkingbartender
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 06, 2006
Posts: 62
From: London, England
Posted: 2007-02-09 09:23 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-02-09 05:02, GatorRob wrote:
...I think finding the single "authentic" recipe for a drink is sometimes an elusive goal (see Singapore Sling). ...




Well, I think I have a treat in store for you!-)

15th of February.
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Chip and Andy
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Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2176
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2007-02-09 2:04 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-02-08 21:01, The Ragin' Rarotongan wrote:
... the same drinks that are in grog log and intoxica, but several of them are quite different in ingredients. ..



I would favor Beachbum Berry's recipes since he was reasearching the drink recipes from the bartenders and not from the 'companies.' Most of the Bum's recipes come from the little black books of the fine folks who were actually making the drinks and not from the point of view of the company tring to publish a cookbook (so to speak).

When in doubt, make both and see which you like better.


 
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The Ragin' Rarotongan
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Joined: Mar 26, 2004
Posts: 282
From: Now, Ocala Florida
Posted: 2007-02-09 2:10 pm   Permalink

Thanks for all your input guys, I am a stickler for making true old school tiki drinks and follow the recipes in grog log, intoxica, and taboo table to the letter. I was just curious to see how the beachcomber book stacked up to Berry's recipes. I did try a few of the varied recipies in the Don book and found them to be quite good. The zombie recipe is strange though, it calls for a rum substitution for some rum no longer produced with captain morgan private stock spiced rum? I find it starnge that a hard core tiki drink would have spiced rum in it, I am not a big fan of spiced rum myself. I did try sailor jerry's once because the bottle was cool, but it tasted ehh ok. I do have a don the beachcomber barrel mug and it is really cool having the correct drink go in the vintage mug though.

Aaron
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Quince_at_Dannys
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Joined: Mar 29, 2004
Posts: 155
From: Command Records International HQ
Posted: 2007-02-09 3:36 pm   Permalink

Another thing to keep in mind is that Donn usually left most of the actual mixology to his star bartenders (like Mariano Licudine of the Mai Kai and Ray Buhen of the Tiki Ti) who were the real masterminds behind the drinks. The Beachcomber knew the recipes of "his" drinks, but contrary to his showy, showbiz style was not necessarily their inventor. I get the impression that the Phoebe Beach book is a hastily compiled collection of scribblings and notes, and is probably not representative of the final creations that were served in the Don the Beachcomber restaurants. Beachbum Barry's book is more accurate in that he spent the time talking to many of the actual bartenders of that era.

That's not to say that both books aren't a valuable resource--the recipes in the Grog Log are amazing as written, while the Don the Beachcomber book is a great resource for intrepid mixologists looking to backwards engineer their favorite drinks. My advice--buy them all and enjoy!


 
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TraderPeg
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 10, 2006
Posts: 91
From: Haunted Hudson Valley
Posted: 2007-02-10 11:21 pm   Permalink

What I really appreciate about the Beachbum's books, is not only his impeccable provenance with the recipes, but his attempts to follow the ingredients through time as well. We can't always get the same stuff the great mixologists used, but the Beachbum really goes to the wall to try and offer reasonable -- and delicious -- modern substitutions.

I've gone from one lousy bottle of white PR rum to a shelf of 8 rums and now the syrups, bitters and liqueurs are starting to crowd me, too.

And there's a package due any minute from Surfa's (peeks out window for the UPS truck...)


 
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Chip and Andy
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Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2176
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2007-02-11 07:10 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-02-10 23:21, TraderPeg wrote:
...I've gone from one lousy bottle of white PR rum to a shelf of 8 rums and now the syrups, bitters and liqueurs are starting to crowd me, too.

And there's a package due any minute from Surfa's (peeks out window for the UPS truck...)



Ahhh, and so another one joins the ranks of the Lushes. Welcome. There is no shame in drinking, only in drinking bad drinks. And always remember, we are lushes and drunkards, NOT alcoholics. Alcoholics go to meetings.

It starts simple enough, a bottle of this kind for that drink, then a bottle of something else.

Soon.....

You are trying to convince your spouse that you need to remodel the living room to include a bigger bar area.

Enjoy the journey and share with us wht you find along the way!


 
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finkdaddy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 11, 2004
Posts: 2061
From: Wisconsin
Posted: 2007-02-11 07:29 am   Permalink

I know this is a bit off the topic, but has anybody tried the Missionary's Downfall recipe from the Grog Log? I'm curious to know if there is a typo in there somewhere or if it was really served that way.
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Rum Balls
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Joined: Oct 04, 2004
Posts: 877
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2007-02-11 2:45 pm   Permalink

Speaking of questionable recipes in Don's book, I'm amused/perplexed by the mixing instructions for some drinks: "pour ingredients into a blender and shake. Strain into glass." Huh? Shake stuff in a blender? I'm assuming that if you're supposed to "shake" a drink and then "strain" it that it should be done in a shaker, and not a blender!
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2007-02-11 3:35 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-02-11 14:45, Rum Balls wrote:
Speaking of questionable recipes in Don's book, I'm amused/perplexed by the mixing instructions for some drinks: "pour ingredients into a blender and shake. Strain into glass." Huh? Shake stuff in a blender? I'm assuming that if you're supposed to "shake" a drink and then "strain" it that it should be done in a shaker, and not a blender!


Yeah, those are the goofy instructions I was talking about. I got the feeling the book was edited in Japan by the same people that tell you how to hook up your home theater.


 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2007-02-11 3:41 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-02-11 07:10, Chip and Andy wrote:
Soon.....
You are trying to convince your spouse that you need to remodel the living room to include a bigger bar area.


Uh... boy does that sound familiar. Once upon a time we had a living room. Now we have the Tiki Drink and Classic Cocktail Historical Society and Research Center. Hey, at least the room gets used now.


 
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TraderPeg
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 10, 2006
Posts: 91
From: Haunted Hudson Valley
Posted: 2007-02-11 5:27 pm   Permalink

Chip, you are so right -- it's over the top and there's no turning back.

But my husband is all for it. After sampling last week's Mai Tais, his comment was, "Knitting was OK but this is the BEST hobby you've EVER had!"





 
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