FEATURES | MUSIC | BOOKS | DRINKS | FORUMS | GAMES | LINKS | ABOUT


advertise on Tiki Central

Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop
  [Edit Profile]  [Edit Preferences]  [Search] [Sign Up]
[Personal Messages]  [Member List]  [Help/FAQ]  [Rules]  [Login]
Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » Suggestions for what tiki drink I could order at local bar with great tender/great selection?
Goto page ( 1 | 2 Next Page )
Suggestions for what tiki drink I could order at local bar with great tender/great selection?
TorchGuy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 204
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2010-10-24 07:25 am   Permalink

There's a bar here in Seattle called the Zig Zag Cafe. They have a website that has their menu, their house cocktails list, and lists of some (but by no means all) of the liquor they carry. Tender is named Murray Stenson; he's there Mon. through Sat., and must be seen (and his drinks tasted) to be belived. No good tiki bars left in Seattle, but this is my favorite bar here. Only a good TV's comes close, and aside from a good TV's, no other bar I've been to anywhere comes close. Murray knows his stuff. I have never had one single drink from him that wasn't sublime. The back bar has bottles stacked two and three deep (and what's in front is NOT what's behind). He has secret stashes, like vintage liquor and homemade bitters. I've never seen so much bitters. I've seen tenders who do 'speed tending', where they try to make a simple drink at hyperspeed, and I've seen tenders who mix like an alchemist, taste, add what's missing, experiment (with experience) and make amazing things. Only Murray does both together - careful mixing, a splash of this or that that's the exact amount needed, at jaw-dropping speed. He's mixing, he's talking to you, he's back in the kitchen, he's back mixing... He happily uses eggs, whites or yolks, whips heavy cream by hand, and grates a whole nutmeg. Mint sprigs are fresh and massive, and a Julep or Mojito must have four or five of these giant plants worked in, so you can't take a sip without the heady aroma of mint. Citrus zest is cut over the glass, sending visible clouds of oil over the drink. He'll happily work without a recipe - give him an ingredient or a flavor profile and he's off. I have had cocktails that took me an hour to finish, and whiskey that was casked in 1916 and sold legally during Prohibition as medicinal spirits (ask either Murray or Erik, the Fr/Sat/Sun only whiskey guy, who is also an amazing bartender, about this one!). The bar has *everything*, including some things not sold in the US that people have brought him, such as an amazing Creme de Violette (better than Rothman & Winter) from Suntory in Japan. Yes, if you look at the House Cocktails menu, Pimento Dram and Swedish Punsch are mentioned; Zig Zag can't get them commercially, so they make their own, and they're heavenly neat if you're swayed by sweet stuff like I am - Murray and I agree that St. Germain is "magic in a bottle". They also make their own Habanero tequila and vodka, and both Murray and Erik make amazing spicy drinks. Stuff not listed on the site includes Chartreuse VEP (yellow and green), Xtabentun, a South American honey/herb/anise liqueur, Elisir M.P. Roux, a wonderful sweet, herbal liqueur, and Creole Shrubb.

Glowing review aside; the length of same was intended to convey that this isn't like most high-end bars that'll try a mix with single-malt just to be 'edgy' or serve lots of insert-candy-flavor-here-tinis. Now, down to tiki tacks: I told Murray that, with no Trader Vic's, Mai Kai, etc. here, I was looking for someone to make me a good Poly cocktail. Rum? They have rum in spades. Ignore the Captain's Lists on the Zig Zag website - the actual list (it just so happens that I have a hard copy here on my desk) lists 22 rums, up to things like El Dorado (12, 15 and 21yr), Flor de Cana (12 and 21yr), etc. (Aside: It also lists 31 single-malts, 5 Irish, 25 bourbon, 7 rye, 19 rum/mezcal, and more Coghnac, brandy, applejack etc.)

Murray is more than willing to try out some mixes of I give 'em to him. If other people there hear us discussing them, chances are more people will order them, too - this is the sort of place where conversations always start (my last visit had me seated next to one DrinkBoy and what I was told were the two heads at Fee Bros.) Knowing what you do, having read the above, what does TC-at-large suggest I order? I do like Mai Tais if they're scratch-made, but I adore things like Dr. Funk and his cousins, Zombies, Navy Grog, Fogcutters, etc. I love drinks that pack a punch, have that great lime/rum, sweet/tart interplay, and have crushed ice, a mint sprig to inhale and a nice lime husk in there too.

Can anyone post some recipes they'd like me to pass him? Next I go in there - probably late next month or early December - I'll bring 'em in, tell Murray where I was given them, and ask him to make me some Polynesian goodness. If you're in or will be visiting Seattle, check the place out, but please, do stand around and wait for a bar seat. You really do need to be able to talk to the tender at Zig Zag - do it and you'll see why. Food's good, too. Tell Murray and/or Erik that Jonas sent you.
~ TorchGuy

P.S. If you have trouble finding it, you're not alone. It's impossible to drive past the front. The Zig Zag Cafe is on the Pike Street Hillclimb, a steep stairway. Park under the Alaskan Way Viaduct - parking areas run directly beneath it - as far to the north end of these parking areas as you can. Walk up the steps, and watch on your left for the knot of smokers standing around. You can walk down, too, either from Western Ave., or further, from the Pike Place Market at the top. If you come down from the very top, it's a LONG climb back up, but on your way down, don't get discouraged; it really feels like there's no way anything is open that far down, until you cross Western, go down the steps further, and suddenly see people!

[ This Message was edited by: TorchGuy 2010-10-25 03:43 ]


 
View Profile of TorchGuy Send a personal message to TorchGuy  Email TorchGuy     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
TorchGuy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 204
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2010-10-24 11:04 pm   Permalink

Reason I ask for specifics is: The board is filled with great recipes, some easy and some not-so... I can find twenty different recipes for some drinks. I'm looking for suggestions for things I can order here, and they can definitely include some unusual rums, but I'm not looking for debates on which recipe is the best or the original, as fun as they are to read.

This tender is fully willing to experiment. I've seen him make the same base drink three or four times as he and a customer bounce ideas off each other, until the drink is 'right'. A customer on my last visit suggested mixing a few ingredients, Murray liked the idea and tried it, and both agreed it needed improvement, so he remade it with four different brands of vermouth until it came together.

I admit I'm fairly new to the tiki drink world, so my best experiences have been at a TV's (my "home" TV's is Dinah's Garden, Palo Alto, though I live in Seattle - boyfriend lives in San Jose) and, without exception, everything I've ordered there has been good. Dark, deep, rich, sometimes spicy, complex, and potent. Anyone can serve a Long Island Iced Tea and have potency and lots of ingredients, but only there have I had tall, potent cocktails that pull me in head first with their depth and subtlety. Might not be the best tiki cocktails out there, but I'm smitten by 'em. I'd like to think Murray can and will recreate some of these for me, and I'll thus have a place to find good Poly cocktails in Seattle.

I'm not looking for ONLY Trader Vic's recipes, mind. I'll happily take anything TCers offer. I'll leave the written recipes with Murray in case someone here wants to visit and order them and, chances are, after trying them he can elaborate and make variants. I'll also add a little review once I've tried them with him.

Here's Murray, taken on my first visit; my last visit was my 5th or 6th. Not sure what drink that is, but it had a whole egg in it and was very good. Barely visible behind him is some of the bar's wall-o-liquor.

~ TorchGuy

P.S. Most tenders have a speed rail down front, containing the stuff they use constantly. Murray's speed rail holds 75 bottles. Like I said, the stuff he uses constantly; the more unusual stuff fills the big wall behind the bar, stacked two- and sometimes three-deep.

[ This Message was edited by: TorchGuy 2010-10-24 23:17 ]


 
View Profile of TorchGuy Send a personal message to TorchGuy  Email TorchGuy     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
The Gnomon
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 01, 2007
Posts: 1293
From: MD-DC-VA
Posted: 2010-10-25 05:48 am   Permalink

Perhaps, you could treat him to the Bum's books.

 
View Profile of The Gnomon Send a personal message to The Gnomon      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
TorchGuy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 204
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2010-10-25 08:45 am   Permalink

Good idea! Might be next year before I can afford that, but it's a great idea! I know Murray has some interesting cocktail books, and will bring them over to show you a drink that might be up your alley or discuss a recipe with you.

 
View Profile of TorchGuy Send a personal message to TorchGuy  Email TorchGuy     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
CincyTikiCraig
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2009
Posts: 368
From: Cincinnati, Ohio USA
Posted: 2010-10-25 8:43 pm   Permalink

i just pulled the Zig Zag's website, and they have a nice rum selection. There are several drinks that you could have the bartender make, the first of which that comes to mind is a Mai Tai. Have the bartender use the Appleton Extra and the Barbancourt 15 Yr. They might not have orgeat (unless they have used it for a previous house cocktail), so use a mixture of a good amaretto 7 simple syrup. I've used this combo in bars many times and while imperfect, it works. My Wife & I call it 'emergency bar orgeat'.

Makeshift Mai Tai
3/4oz Fresh Lime Juice
.5oz Grand Marnier (which is a very good brandy based Curaçao)
.25oz quality amaretto (DiSaronna etc)
.25oz simple syrup
1oz Appleton Extra
1oz Barbancourt 15 Yr

Shake well with lots of ice, pour ice & all into large double rocks glass. Garish with fresh mint & lime shell.

If you are having a bartender custom mix cocktails to your recipe, you should always tip the bartender extra generously. Tipping well for the extra service will yield you more and better drinks, and chances are that the bartender will won't charge you as much for the custom made drink as he or she otherwise might. I have found that if you frequently imbibe at a particular establishment, and if you tip the bartender at that establishment more money and more often then is necessary, that you will end up saving money in the long run.

[ This Message was edited by: CincyTikiCraig 2010-10-25 20:48 ]


 
View Profile of CincyTikiCraig Send a personal message to CincyTikiCraig      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
TorchGuy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 204
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2010-10-25 9:28 pm   Permalink

I always tip bartenders, but Murray gets big tips. Erik, too. They're both amazing.

Is there anything better than amaretto + simple syrup? He does have orgeat, and falernum. Also, as for orange, you name it, he's got it, from basic curacao to Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Gran Gala and even Creole Shrubb. If there's a better way to make a good scratch Mai Tai, please tell me and there's a good chance they can do it.

This bar has just about everything you could want for mixing. They don't do bottled sour mix, or bottled/commercial mixes for anything. Thing to remember: The Zig Zag's owners are both bartenders themselves. They lured Murray away from Il Bistro up in Pike Place, where he'd worked for years, I think partly because they managed to best Il Bistro's selection by a good few notches.

The rum selection on the web site isn't quite all of their regular list, AND there's the Captain's List, which I'll recount here:
Brugal Extra Viejo $9
Clement (VSOP $9, Hors D'Age $20)
Diplomatico *** $12
El Dorado (3yr Blanco $9, 12yr $15, 15yr $14, 21yr $25)
Flor de Cana (4yr Blanco $7, 12yr $10, 21yr $16)
Gosling's Family Reserve $22
Rhum J.M. Blanco $8
Ron Centenario Reserva Especial $16
Ron Matusalem Platino $6.50
Ron Zaya 12yr $12
Ron Zacapa (23yr $12, XO Solera $30)
Plantation Barbados $10
Santa Teresa 1796 $10
Scarlet Ibis $8
Smith & Cross Navy $9

These are the prices for 2oz. pours.

~ TorchGuy

[ This Message was edited by: TorchGuy 2010-10-25 21:43 ]


 
View Profile of TorchGuy Send a personal message to TorchGuy  Email TorchGuy     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
CincyTikiCraig
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2009
Posts: 368
From: Cincinnati, Ohio USA
Posted: 2010-10-25 11:07 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-10-25 21:28, TorchGuy wrote:
I always tip bartenders, but Murray gets big tips. Erik, too. They're both amazing.

Is there anything better than amaretto + simple syrup? He does have orgeat, and falernum. Also, as for orange, you name it, he's got it, from basic curacao to Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Gran Gala and even Creole Shrubb. If there's a better way to make a good scratch Mai Tai, please tell me and there's a good chance they can do it.

This bar has just about everything you could want for mixing. They don't do bottled sour mix, or bottled/commercial mixes for anything. Thing to remember: The Zig Zag's owners are both bartenders themselves. They lured Murray away from Il Bistro up in Pike Place, where he'd worked for years, I think partly because they managed to best Il Bistro's selection by a good few notches.

The rum selection on the web site isn't quite all of their regular list, AND there's the Captain's List, which I'll recount here:
Brugal Extra Viejo $9
Clement (VSOP $9, Hors D'Age $20)
Diplomatico *** $12
El Dorado (3yr Blanco $9, 12yr $15, 15yr $14, 21yr $25)
Flor de Cana (4yr Blanco $7, 12yr $10, 21yr $16)
Gosling's Family Reserve $22
Rhum J.M. Blanco $8
Ron Centenario Reserva Especial $16
Ron Matusalem Platino $6.50
Ron Zaya 12yr $12
Ron Zacapa (23yr $12, XO Solera $30)
Plantation Barbados $10
Santa Teresa 1796 $10
Scarlet Ibis $8
Smith & Cross Navy $9

These are the prices for 2oz. pours.

~ TorchGuy

[ This Message was edited by: TorchGuy 2010-10-25 21:43 ]



Well, if he has orgeat then you are all set. scratch the amaretto/simple syrup and make it 1/2oz orgeat. i prefer Grand Marnier in a Mai Tai, but many like the Creole Shrubb. Either way you have the makings for a first class Mai Tai-one of the greatest classic cocktails ever. go for it.


 
View Profile of CincyTikiCraig Send a personal message to CincyTikiCraig      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2691
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2010-10-25 11:19 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-10-25 08:45, TorchGuy wrote:
Good idea! Might be next year before I can afford that, but it's a great idea! I know Murray has some interesting cocktail books, and will bring them over to show you a drink that might be up your alley or discuss a recipe with you.


The new "Remixed" is only $25, about the price of just 2 cocktails. Gone are the days when you'd have to spend a fortune on the former out-of-print books.

How about a Jet/Test Pilot ?? That's a classic complex Tropical drink.

Also it took me a while to figure out what you meant by "tender". Is that the industry term ??



[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2010-10-25 23:21 ]


 
View Profile of JOHN-O Send a personal message to JOHN-O      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6071
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2010-10-25 11:26 pm   Permalink

Tender is what they call a "Touchy Feely" mixologist.

 
View Profile of Atomic Tiki Punk Send a personal message to Atomic Tiki Punk      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2691
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2010-10-25 11:33 pm   Permalink

At first I read it as "what tiki drink I could order at local bar with great (chicken) tenders"

Ya know, like Chicken McNuggets. Is that Tiki Food ?? (DON'T ANSWER THAT !! It's a rhetorical question).


 
View Profile of JOHN-O Send a personal message to JOHN-O      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6071
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2010-10-26 01:24 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-10-25 23:33, JOHN-O wrote:
At first I read it as "what tiki drink I could order at local bar with great (chicken) tenders"

Ya know, like Chicken McNuggets. Is that Tiki Food ?? (DON'T ANSWER THAT !! It's a rhetorical question).



Trying to get me into trouble? John-O


 
View Profile of Atomic Tiki Punk Send a personal message to Atomic Tiki Punk      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
TorchGuy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 204
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2010-10-26 02:46 am   Permalink

Yep, tender = bartender. The only place up here where the term "mixologist" gets used is at the Red Robin hamburger chain, and their cocktails have never impressed me. Murray is a pretty down-to-earth guy. One review I found online noted that, after a night of great drinks, the writer told Murray he'd done amazing, special stuff. Murray looks surprised and said, "...did I do something unusual?" He's also the only tender I've found who, when ordering an oddball cocktail, has told me, "I don't make that as well as Erik (other tender), he'll make you a great one." Murray and Erik are bartenders you'll want to get a rapport with.

I'll pass him the recipe for the basic Mai Tai, and I'll look up the Jet/Test Pilot. Thanks for the recipe and advice!


 
View Profile of TorchGuy Send a personal message to TorchGuy  Email TorchGuy     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6071
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2010-10-26 03:31 am   Permalink

Try a Painkiller,he should have everything for one, well nutmeg? maybe.

2 oz Pusser's® dark rum
1 oz cream of coconut
4 oz pineapple juice
1 oz orange juice
Shake ingredients, and pour over ice in a tall glass. Sprinkle nutmeg on top, and serve,




 
View Profile of Atomic Tiki Punk Send a personal message to Atomic Tiki Punk      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
TorchGuy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 204
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2010-10-26 05:15 am   Permalink

Nutmeg? Yes. Fresh grated, not a shaker of the powdered stuff.

Doesn't sound like my kind of drink, but I'll happily pass him the recipe either way. Thanks!


 
View Profile of TorchGuy Send a personal message to TorchGuy  Email TorchGuy     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
CincyTikiCraig
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2009
Posts: 368
From: Cincinnati, Ohio USA
Posted: 2010-10-26 9:43 pm   Permalink

I see that you wrote that they have Pimento Dram. Well then you, my friend, can enjoy one of the greatest cocktails of all time: The Navy Grog. This drink was a trademark cocktail for both Don The Beachcomber and Trader Vic's (and still is at TV's). It was also one of Frank Sinatra's favourite drinks.

The Navy Grog
.75oz lime
.75oz grapefruit
1oz white Virgin Island/Puerto Rican Light Rum
1oz Dark Jamaican Rum (they have Myers on their list)
1oz Demerara Rum (NOT 151 proof)
1oz Honey Syrup (50/50 honey/warm water mix)
.25oz Allspice (Pimento) Dram

Add 4oz crushed ice, blend on high for 5 seconds and pour into mug. Enjoy!


 
View Profile of CincyTikiCraig Send a personal message to CincyTikiCraig      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Goto page ( 1 | 2 Next Page )
U-Moderate:
  
v1.5

[ About Tiki Central | Contact Tiki Central | Advertise on Tiki Central ]
(c) 2000-2014 Tikiroom.com (tm), Tiki Central (tm)

Credits & copyright infomation