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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food Trader Vic's Grog Concentrate-Aye or Nay?
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Trader Vic's Grog Concentrate-Aye or Nay?
happy buddha
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Joined: Sep 13, 2008
Posts: 186
Posted: 2013-03-01 7:59 pm   Permalink

I totally agree, BK.

Using the concentrate tastes 'like' a Navy Grog w/ pimento dram, but for my tastes it creates a more balanced drink overall.


 
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Rawim
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Joined: Aug 04, 2010
Posts: 117
From: Palmdale, CA
Posted: 2013-03-01 8:28 pm   Permalink

Coruba is easily available at Hitimewine in Costa mesa or via mail order. Also I think mission wines & spirits also carries it.

 
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TropicDrinkBoy
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Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 270
Posted: 2013-03-02 08:50 am   Permalink

In northern California you can get Coruba at Beltramos, between Atherton and Menlo Park. They ship free in California for orders of $250 or more. Beltramos is family run from the 1880's, has a huge selection of spirits and wine, and usually has the best prices around. I consider it to be the best liquor store in NorCal. Check out their inventory at http://www.beltramos.com and http://www.beltramos.com/spirits/Rum . Other favorites in the bay area are Ledgers, Cask, K&L, and Moraga Liquors but Beltramos is the best for overall selection and price and to my knowledge none of the others mentioned carry Coruba. None of them carry everything in my inventory so I have to shop around.

[ This Message was edited by: TropicDrinkBoy 2013-03-02 08:54 ]


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The Blue Kahuna
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Joined: Jun 01, 2011
Posts: 365
From: Points East & West
Posted: 2013-03-02 12:25 pm   Permalink

Awesome, thanks!

[ This Message was edited by: The Blue Kahuna 2013-03-02 12:27 ]


 
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TropicDrinkBoy
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Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 270
Posted: 2013-03-02 1:27 pm   Permalink

My pleasure. It is the least I could do for the person who brought the Grog Concentrate deal to my attention!

 
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TropicDrinkBoy
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Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 270
Posted: 2013-03-02 1:36 pm   Permalink

By the way. I just tried the Tiki Puka Puka recipe as sent to us with the concentrate but adjusted it to 1/3 oz. grog concentrate and 1/8 oz. Trader Vic's Grenadine. It was closer to the restaurant version but still not quite right. I then tried it again the same way, this time leaving out the 1 oz. lemon juice and that was a pretty good Tiki Puka Puka. I'm not sure if I like it better than my usual recipe but it was pretty good. Since I have some chores to do today I can't have a third at this time to compare it with my usual recipe but I think they are pretty close. I'll follow-up with pictures later. The chores will be a pleasant distraction from my Tiki Puka Puka experiments now!

 
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The Blue Kahuna
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Joined: Jun 01, 2011
Posts: 365
From: Points East & West
Posted: 2013-03-02 4:42 pm   Permalink

Can you list your two Tiki Puka Puka versions, I'd like to sample them . . . off to make the version that came with the concentrate. Went to BevMo this morning and they had two bottles of TV Dark Rum (was there last week and there weren't there then) so grabbed them up - made the perfect Navy Grog for lunch! Yumm!

 
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TropicDrinkBoy
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Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 270
Posted: 2013-03-03 09:39 am   Permalink

B.K., I think the 1oz. lemon juice in the recipe included with the concentrate causes the flavor to differ from the restaurant version. I used fresh lemons from my backyard so the freshness of the ingredients isn't the problem!

Here is the formula for the one I made yesterday that I liked. It just lacks the 1 oz. lemon juice, reduces the Trader Vic brand grenadine to 1/8 oz. and ups the grog concentrate to 1/3 oz.:

1 oz. OJ (I freshly squeezed mine)
1/3 oz. grog concentrate
1/8 oz. Trader Vic grenadine
1 oz. light rum (I used Eldorado Silver)
1 oz. dark rum (I used Appleton 12 year)
1 oz. Lemon Hart 151 (I used the old label)

The version that I had yesterday that I didn't like as much is the same recipe except it included the 1 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice.

The above recipe is essentially the same recipe as printed in Trader Vic's 1972 Bartender's Guide, except it uses 1/3 oz. of the grog concentrate instead of 3 oz. of the retail Navy Grog Mix listed in the 1972 guide and only 1/8 oz. grenadine instead of 1 dash grenadine. I would probably use more grenadine (1/4 oz.?) when using another brand.

I specify the Trader Vic grenadine above only because I had it on hand and you mentioned your interest in attempting to reproduce it as they make it in the restaurant. I don't know for sure if they really use the retail version of the Trader Vic's grenadine in the restaurant. I've never been served a Tiki Puka Puka in either NorCal Trader Vic's restaurant as red as the one I made with 1/4 oz. of Trader Vic's retail grenadine. Let's just say that it isn't my favorite grenadine! It has tons of red food coloring, ultra strong flavor and questionable ingredients.

I currently also have Monin, Sonoma Syrup Classic Grenadine, Sonoma Syrup Pomegranate Grenadine Simple Syrup, and Small Hand Foods Grenadine. I even bought "Mid East Pomegranate Molasses" from a Middle Eastern food market. Previously I've used Stirrings and Roses as well. I've tried so many because for some classic cocktails with few ingredients the quality of the grenadine can make a big difference. The Small Hand Foods Grenadine (made in Berkeley) is easily the best, and may be the best commercial grenadine in the world. It is very hard to find and is expensive, $12 for 8.5 ounces or $20 for 17.5 ounces. They sometimes have it at Cask (in San Francisco) or Ledgers (which is in Berkeley).

All that is to say that my favorite home made Tiki Puka Puka is the same recipe that I listed above but it uses a more liberal dose (maybe 1/4 oz.) of Small Hand Foods Grenadine. I've used various white rums so I don't think El Dorado Silver is essential for this drink.

By the way, to measure small amounts I use the Oxo mini measuring cup:
http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Grips-Angled-Measuring-Capacity/dp/B004VLYQEK/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1362332261&sr=8-5&keywords=oxo+measuring+cup . They also stock them at Bed Bath and Beyond.



[ This Message was edited by: TropicDrinkBoy 2013-03-03 09:51 ]


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TropicDrinkBoy
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Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 270
Posted: 2013-03-03 11:12 am   Permalink

I did a few experiments to see if I could approximate the flavor and consistency of the Trader Vic's Grog Concentrate. These were just quick and dirty experiments and not comprehensive by any means. The only Allspice liquor I have on hand is St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, which has some pretty harsh flavors.

I settled on equal parts 2:1:1 honey syrup (I used orange blossom honey), Allspice Dram, and Trader Vic's Rock Candy Syrup. That's a lot of sweetener but I think it is needed to counteract the bitter flavors of the Allspice Dram. The result is a little sweeter than the concentrate and has a little more of the Allspice flavor but the overall flavor profile is similar, but not exactly the same. Next time I would cut back on the Allspice Dram a little bit. I think the orange blossom honey is important in that its flavor helps counteract some of the harsher notes of the Allspice Dram. The Rock Candy Syrup helps tame it further and gives it a consistency closer to the concentrate. I tried going without the honey but the Allspice Dram harshness couldn't be tamed with Rock Candy Syrup alone.

Trader Vic's Rock Candy Syrup isn't just a 2:1 "rich simple syrup". I think it is closer to a gum (or gomme) syrup in that it has an additional thickening agent. It might have a little vanilla flavor as well:
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=14074&forum=10 .

I invite others with the concentrate to contribute to this endeavor and share their recipes.

I haven't tried a drink with this yet but plan to do so later today.

[ This Message was edited by: TropicDrinkBoy 2013-03-03 11:14 ]


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poutineki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 12, 2012
Posts: 80
From: Ontario, Canada
Posted: 2013-03-03 12:13 pm   Permalink

Thanks T.D.B. I'm going to give your formula a go one day soon. We don't have the St. Elizabeth's here in Ontario but I have a big bottle of my homemade allspice dram on hand. I've been perfectly happy with just adding a 1/4 oz of my allspice dram to my standard Navy Grog but with all this discussion of the concentrate, I'm curious now. My homemade allspice dram is pretty potent in flavor but I don't know how it compares to St. Elizabeth's. I don't syrup mine down as much as most recipes say to, I keep it at about 30% abv, so the sweetness may balance out more than it did with the St. Elizabeth's. If the rock candy syrup has vanilla in it, are you basically doing honey syrup and Don's #2 at 1:1? Or is the rock candy a lot lighter on the vanilla flavor than that? I've never tried it.

 
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Little fragrant Tiare
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Joined: Oct 12, 2007
Posts: 198
Posted: 2013-03-03 1:29 pm   Permalink

Thanks TropicDrinkBoy for keeping us updated! i have the St Elisabeth too.I wonder how a gomme syrup would work? i got some gomme at home so i could make some.
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heylownine
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Oct 05, 2008
Posts: 598
From: Agoura Hills, CA
Posted: 2013-03-03 7:45 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-02-25 06:56, Little fragrant Tiare wrote:
Quote:

On 2013-02-22 19:54, heylownine wrote:
You know, I was on the fence about buying the concentrate, and due to procrastination the choice was made for me. Oh well.

On the other hand, using other threads in Tiki Drinks and Food, I've been able to come up with a spice syrup (sans HFCS) that when combined with fresh lime and grapefruit juice, comes really close to the Trader Vic's Navy Grog taste (and thereby the Tiki Puka Puka taste). So that'll help temper any disappointment I may have felt.

Thanks for the reports from those that obtained the concentrate!

kevin




I missed the grog concentrate..but most likely they didn`t ship outta the states anyway...

Kevin, do you have a recipe for your spice syrup to share?

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[ This Message was edited by: Little fragrant Tiare 2013-02-25 06:57 ]



Sorry, it's been a busy week and I've been meaning to post to this thread. This is a funny, circular topic.

I found the spice syrup recipe on Sloshed! in
a post detailing their attempts to piece together a Tiki Puka Puka. The author of the piece wanted to replicate not just the Tiki Puka Puka, but also just the Trader Vic's Navy Grog mix in general. The article itself (keep in mind this was written in 2008), referenced this 2007 thread on Tiki Central which was started by PiPhiRho and his attempts to replicate the Trader Vic's Navy Grog mix. Clearly this is a topic that has managed to captivate these here forums for many years.

Anyway, the author on Sloshed! settled on this recipe for spice syrup:
"Using a hammer or other blunt object, break up 3 sticks of cinnamon, 2 whole cloves, 1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds and 2 generous tablespoons allspice berries. Add the broken up (but not completely pulverized) spices to 3 cups of water in a small saucepan. Boil vigorously until reduced by half, then strain out the spices. Return the spiced water to the pan and add 1 cups of sugar. Simmer over low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture has thickened slightly. Cool before using."

I follow this recipe pretty much as written, except that I double the cardamom.

This spice syrup is then combined as follows into makeshift Trader Vic's Navy Grog mix:
1/3 cup spice syrup
1/3 cup lime juice
1 1/2 oz grapefruit juice

I use this mix when I make Tiki Puka Pukas at home, and I feel it comes pretty close to a good Trader Vic's version (the LA Live Trader Vic's has varying success with their own recipe). I also use this mix when I'm making Navy Grogs from the "Trader Vic's Tiki Party!" book, though my typical Navy Grogs are not that recipe.

kevin
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TropicDrinkBoy
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Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 270
Posted: 2013-03-03 10:56 pm   Permalink

Here is a picture of the Tiki Puka Puka I made today with my home made substitute for the grog concentrate:

and here is the Navy Grog:

.

They both tasted pretty reasonable although the Allspice flavor was not quite as subtle as with the grog concentrate. If I didn't have the grog concentrate I would work the recipe a little more but it is pretty close as it is.

I hope my meager efforts to recreate the grog concentrate are useful Helena! amountainofcrushedice.com is an awesome blog!

[ This Message was edited by: TropicDrinkBoy 2013-03-04 00:18 ]


 
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Little fragrant Tiare
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Joined: Oct 12, 2007
Posts: 198
Posted: 2013-03-04 02:32 am   Permalink

Quote:


Sorry, it's been a busy week and I've been meaning to post to this thread. This is a funny, circular topic.

I found the spice syrup recipe on Sloshed! in a post detailing their attempts to piece together a Tiki Puka Puka. The author of the piece wanted to replicate not just the Tiki Puka Puka, but also just the Trader Vic's Navy Grog mix in general. The article itself (keep in mind this was written in 2008), referenced this 2007 thread on Tiki Central which was started by PiPhiRho and his attempts to replicate the Trader Vic's Navy Grog mix. Clearly this is a topic that has managed to captivate these here forums for many years.




Oh my! i didn`t know Marleigh at Sloshed also been into this! ;-D thanks for the recipe and links, i`m gonna try her version as well as others to try find the one i like the best. The bad thing, for me is that since i don`t have the grog concentrate i can`t make any comparaison. But anyway, the one that tastes best to me will do...


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Little fragrant Tiare
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Joined: Oct 12, 2007
Posts: 198
Posted: 2013-03-04 02:35 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-03-03 22:56, TropicDrinkBoy wrote:
Here is a picture of the Tiki Puka Puka I made today with my home made substitute for the grog concentrate:

and here is the Navy Grog:

.

They both tasted pretty reasonable although the Allspice flavor was not quite as subtle as with the grog concentrate. If I didn't have the grog concentrate I would work the recipe a little more but it is pretty close as it is.

I hope my meager efforts to recreate the grog concentrate are useful Helena! amountainofcrushedice.com is an awesome blog!

[ This Message was edited by: TropicDrinkBoy 2013-03-04 00:18 ]




Thank you TropicDrinkBoy! the pictures makes me thirsty! i`ll def try these recipes too.
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