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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » The fight of the century: Mai-Tai vs. Suffering Bastard
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The fight of the century: Mai-Tai vs. Suffering Bastard
donhonyc
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2003-02-21 12:20 pm   Permalink

Aloha people-

Here is an question for all of you out there in tikiville. What is the difference between the Mai-Tai and the Suffering Bastard? In the coveted 'Book of Tiki' there is a recipe, as you probably all know, for a Mai-Tai and it is:

1 oz aged jamaican rum
1 oz st james martinique rum
1/2 oz curacao
juice of one lime
1/4 oz orgeat syrup
1/4 oz sugar syrup

Now this is how I make it (measurements are approximate):

1oz meyers rum
1oz bacardi (light)
1/2 oz orange curacao
1/2 orgeat
dash of lime juice
garnish with cherry/pineapple on cocktail umbrella

I don't know how this measures up for all of you, but to my taste, it says Mai-Kai all over it. Now....here's the clincher. I just got a 1968 hardcover copy of 'Trader Vic's Pacific Island Cookbook' and the recipe for a Suffering Bastard is:

juice of whole lime
1 dash rock candy syrup
1 dash orgeat syrup
1 dash orange curacao
1 ounce light rum
2 ounce dark rum

Am I wrong or is this just a Mai Tai with slightly different amounts of the same stuff. And why is it a bastard. Furthermore why is it suffering?? Did it run out of the drink mixers. It's also shaken and not stirred. Anybody know any of the history behind this??

Mahalo





[ This Message was edited by: donhonyc on 2003-02-21 12:25 ]


 
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Tiki Rider
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Joined: Oct 05, 2002
Posts: 497
From: South Orange County, CA
Posted: 2003-02-21 4:33 pm   Permalink

Aloha
I checked out Beachbum Berry's Grog Log on page 79 and he gives a history of the SB and a completely different recipe.


 
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Pacific Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 17, 2003
Posts: 193
From: Tahiti
Posted: 2003-02-21 4:41 pm   Permalink

Wasnt the name difference because Don the Beachcomber made the original "Mai Tai" and Trade Vic copied him but had to change the name. I am not positive but I am sure someone out there knows. I do 2 oz of everything and a splash of Curaco as a floater

 
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Traitor Vic
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 02, 2003
Posts: 428
From: Greenville, SC
Posted: 2003-02-22 12:38 am   Permalink

The Suffering Bastard I make has absolutely nothing to do with a Mai-Tai (they won't even SPEAK TO EACH OTHER!). I was led to believe it was created at Shepheard's Hotel in Cairo in the 30's. Story goes that the Bartender was going on about his "Poor Suffering Bar Steward" and some drunken Brits misheard him and got all excited about the new drink he hadn't even invented yet. When he did he used...

1.5 oz Gin
.5 oz Bourbon
3 oz Ginger Ale (best to use Blenhiems)
The Juice of 1/2 Lime
Sprig of Mint for Garnish

The True Suffering Bastard stands apart from most Tiki Drinks in that it is not a Rum Drink. It should be a bit astringent and slightly bubbly.

Keep in mind that both Don and Vic used Rum in just about everything because it was cheaper than other liquors in those days. To this very day, when I order a Suffering Bastard at my favorite local Tiki Drink Supplyin' Chinese Restaurant I get a Rum Based Concoction. The only True Suffering Bastard I've ever met was in my own home (and sometimes appears in the mirror in my bathroom on the morning after).


 
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Traitor Vic
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Joined: Jan 02, 2003
Posts: 428
From: Greenville, SC
Posted: 2003-02-22 12:50 am   Permalink

Also... Trader Vic Bergeron invented the Mai-Tai in 1944. Anyone who say's he didn't is a dirty stinker. Don the Beachcomber was responsible for the Zombie and the Missionary's Downfall, among others, and so deserves the highest honors of all Tiki Drink creators along with Victor Bergeron, who created the greatest drink known to mankind.

 
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PolynesianPop
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2368
From: Corona, Ca
Posted: 2003-02-22 10:25 am   Permalink

Yes, Trader Vic's invented the Mai Tai, not Don the Beachcomber - it was even settled in court as such.

Here's an interesting tidbit: The Original Suffering Bastard mugs (sold in 4-packs by Trader Vic's) were actually called Mai Tai Joe.


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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2003-02-22 11:23 am   Permalink

I think we can all agree that Trader Vic invented the Mai Tai, but donhoyc made an interesting observation that the recipe for the Suffering Bastard in Vic's 1968 cookbook is actually a recipe for a Mai Tai and is nothing at all like the true Suffering Bastard that's in the Grog Log! I checked all my old Trader Vic's recipe books and there is no mention of the SB (or the Mai Tai). Perhaps before it was settled in court (which I think occured in the mid 70s) Trader Vic didn't serve the Mai Tai under that name because Don the Beachcomber claimed rights to the drink. Maybe that's why what we call Suffering Bastard mugs these days were originally sold as a Mai Tai gift set. Did Vic's serve Suffering Bastards or Mai Tais in these mugs? Old drink menus might shed light on this subject. Anyone have some they could check?
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PiPhiRho
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 1017
From: Redondo Beach
Posted: 2003-02-22 1:26 pm   Permalink

If you order a suffering bastard at a Trader Vic's today, you will get a drink made with the same mai tai mix that the mai tai is made with. The navy grog is made with the mai tai mix, too. The Vic's SB is nothing like the Suffering B at Tiki-Ti, which is made with rum but is closer to the recipe in the Grog Log.


 
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donhonyc
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2003-02-22 2:02 pm   Permalink

Interesting information, thejab. I never thought about it like that. I guess Vic was trying to cover his ass before he went to court to prove the Mai-Tai was his. Can I get the 'grog log' at Barnes & Noble or somewhere like that?



 
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Doctor Z
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2002
Posts: 1613
From: The Hale Moana Lounge, Torrance, CA
Posted: 2003-02-23 11:32 am   Permalink

By the time the 1972 revision of "Trader Vic's Bartenders Guide" came out, both the Mai Tai and Suffering Bastard recipes were included. The Mai Tai is the same one we all know and love, but SB recipe is now only slightly different from the one that donhonyc mentioned, in that the curacao/rock candy/orgeat has been replaced by the standard "Trader Vic's Mai Tai Mix". (It is still totally different from the one in the Grog Log...)

The recipe for "Menehune Juice" is also nearly identical to the Mai Tai, the only exception being that it asks for 2 oz. Puerto Rican Rum instead of 1 oz. Martinique and 1 oz. Jamaican.

When Vic found a combo that he liked, I guess he stuck with it for as many drinks as possible!
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stentiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 892
From: Huntington Beach
Posted: 2003-02-23 1:41 pm   Permalink

Hey Donhonyc,

Try Amazon for a the Grog Log and Intoxica (Grog Log II). You can buy them both for a special price, although you may have to wait for Intoxica.

Once you start mixin' from the Grog Logs there's no turning back...

Cheers!

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KahunaMilu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 08, 2002
Posts: 114
Posted: 2003-02-23 1:48 pm   Permalink


Wow, I just found the cookbook at the library yesterday and was wondering the same thing.

Thanks for all of the clarifications!


 
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Tiki Rider
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 05, 2002
Posts: 497
From: South Orange County, CA
Posted: 2003-02-23 2:15 pm   Permalink

Hmmmmm...did anyone see the book "Hawai'i Tropical Rum Drinks and Cuisine By Don the Beachcomber" its written by a couple named Arnold Bitner & Phoebe Beach... the copyright is 2001 and they're telling some story on page 31 and 32 that Don tne Beachcomber invented it. so whats up with that?

 
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Luckydesigns
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 15, 2002
Posts: 2183
From: Costa Mesa
Posted: 2003-02-23 2:56 pm   Permalink

Okay, this doesn't have anything to do with the Suffering Bastard, but since we are on the topic of Mai Tai's, why does every tiki bar in SF use pineapple juice and grenadine in their mai tais?
I don't get it and they taste nothing like a mai tai.
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stentiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 892
From: Huntington Beach
Posted: 2003-02-23 7:40 pm   Permalink

LuckyD,

I think a lot of it has to do with the lost art or mixology. Many of the main stream bars don't take the time to create the great drinks like the Mai Tai that calls for very specific ingredients like orgeat syrup, curacao and especially fresh squeezed lime juice.

Somehow it became more effecient and economical to use pineapple juice and grenadine as a cheap subsitute. Don't get me wrong, these ingredients certainly have their place in other drinks, but I personally don't think they belong anywhere near the Mai Tai.

Also, somehow I think the Mai Tai became confused with Planter's Punch. But how this started, we may never know. One thing is for sure, unless you're at Trader Vic's or one of the other great Polynesian establishments others can vouge for, you're taking your chances every time you order a Mai Tai!

That's just my take. Other theories or facts will follow I'm sure!
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