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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » Beachbum Berry's Potions of the Caribbean, released Dec. 2013
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Beachbum Berry's Potions of the Caribbean, released Dec. 2013
Sunny&Rummy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2013
Posts: 455
From: Melbourne, FL
Posted: 2013-12-30 6:18 pm   Permalink

Ahh, this is one of the things I love about craft cocktails!

I just spun up The Caribbean. . . and I think it's the best thing I've had so far from the new book. It is certainly the most balanced classic Tiki drink so far, although I have been doing more of the Caribbean-vein and less of the mid-century Tiki-vein drinks so far.

This drink is so perfectly early Donn Beach — Despite the fact that it was a Kon-Tiki menu item. The Beachcomber link is Bob Esmino who was an early Donn bartender before moving to Kon-Tiki, and who helped the Bum decipher all of those secret syrups and spice mixes.

The Caribbean is very similar to the Caribbean Punch from Sippin' Safari, with Coca-Cola subb'd for the Sarsaparilla. It's got the Donn Beach dark rum/Ango/Herbsaint combo and the the Donn Beach flash blend. I think this is the best Donn Beach cocktail not created by Donn.

I used a combination of Appleton 12 and Smith & Cross for my dark Jamaican, and Flor de Caña 4 dark as the PR-style gold. I also made a point of stopping at the store today and getting Mexican sugar cane Coke specifically for this drink and for some Cuba Libres as well. Finally, for the ginger syrup I used Sir Henry's Jamaican ginger beer syrup concentrate which I think really makes an awesome ginger syrup and when cut 1:5 with soda water makes a great Jamaican ginger beer as well.

I agree the photo if this drink in Potions us beautiful. I just served it up Mai-Kai Mutiny style in a big snifter. But I think this one is a winner for sure. TikiSan, what rums did you use? Maybe swapping out there will make a more satisfying drink.
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OceaOtica
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 29, 2003
Posts: 906
From: near Atlanta, Georgia
Posted: 2013-12-31 07:38 am   Permalink

Just got my copy in the mail, and read up to page 41 last night. Really enjoying the read, i enjoy how the Bum strings them words together.
Tikisan and Sunny&Rummy, thanks for the compliment on the Caribbean photo, i had a fun time shooting that one.


 
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Sunny&Rummy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2013
Posts: 455
From: Melbourne, FL
Posted: 2013-12-31 08:11 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-12-31 07:38, OceaOtica wrote:
Just got my copy in the mail, and read up to page 41 last night. Really enjoying the read, i enjoy how the Bum strings them words together.
Tikisan and Sunny&Rummy, thanks for the compliment on the Caribbean photo, i had a fun time shooting that one.



Man, you have a bunch of awesome photos in there! Now I'll have to go back to Surfin' Safari and Remixed and see which contributions are yours. Nice work!

In addition to The Caribbean, the wife and I road-tested two more drinks from the book last night (both of which are also OceaOtica photo contributions! Something about your photos must really make me thirsty.):

• Queen's Park Hotel Super Cocktail. Trinidad Rum, red vermouth, lime juice, grenadine and Ango, it's a really good Prohibition era shaken & strained cocktail.

• Bird of Paradise Fizz. Had this during Jeff's Hukilau seminar and didn't think much of it, which was surprising because I am a big fan of the Ramos Gin Fizz. Shook it up last night (gin, lime, cream, raspberry syrup, egg white, club soda and orange flower water) and I have completely revised my opinion on this drink. Mass-batched samples served to a couple hundred audience members didn't do this one justice. If you like the Ramos you will certainly dig this one.
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"If you keep on drinking rum, the world will soon be quit of a very dirty scoundrel."
Robert Louis Stevenson


 
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White Devil
Deleted

Joined: Jun 26, 2009
Posts: 0
Posted: 2014-01-02 11:33 am   Permalink

My copy arrived today. Congratulations on your fantastic graphic presentation: from the standpoint of book arts, this earns its place alongside Sven's BOT. A substantial, albeit pricey, volume that's already worth every cent (and I haven't even tried the recipes yet!).
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Hurricane Hayward
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 590
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2014-01-02 8:20 pm   Permalink

Quickly catching up here. My nose has been buried in "Potions of the Caribbean" as I battled a nasty holiday flu. But from what I've been reading, it sure beats yellow fever, dysentery and malaria. I HAVE been treating it with rum, however.

@ Sunny&Rummy: Wow, that's quite a Christmas stash. Your family certainly has you pegged.

@ TikiSan: I would definitely recommend the Bum's ice cone mold to anyone who wants to make a proper Navy Grog. It takes some getting used to, as mentioned above, but it's quite nifty. I have one of my usual exhaustive reviews in the works that will compare it head-to-head vs. the old pilsner glass method and also reveal a new recipe. I'll post a link when I finally get that one wrapped up.

I too am trying to pace myself as I make my way through "Potions," not unlike a night at The Mai-Kai. You don't want it to end. I'm also making an effort to try the drinks as I go along, enjoying them along with the text and visuals. Plus, I need to slow down and take notes for an upcoming interview with Mr. Berry.

I've completed four chapters and around a dozen new cocktails that I hadn't tried before. Once I get off the cold meds, I'm sure I'll ramp that up a bit.

The highlights so far:

* Planters Punch (the simple version on page 73) and Daiquiri (Improved, page 83). If there's one overriding influence I'm getting from the book so far, it's a much better appreciation for simplicity. The early versions of these classics, when made correctly as Jeff spells out, put many more complex creations to shame. It's easy to see why they were so influential. And some of the stuff he dug up on the daiquiri I don't think has been published anywhere before.

* Donn's Myrtle Bank Punch, which easily topped Vic's version in a head-to-head comparison. It has all the hallmarks of some of his other classics (Jamaican rum, honey mix, grapefruit juice, bitters) but as usual has a slightly different spin. Vic's version just came off as unbalanced and heavy on the maraschino and LH 151. Seems like it would make a better short, strained cocktail.

* Hitler's Jitters was a surprise, another simple daiquiri with a unique twist (creme de cacao).

* Petit Punch Vieux was one of the better, if not the best, Ti Punch recipes I've sampled. Once again, simple and elegant rule the day.

I hope Jeff's reputation as a "Tiki guy" doesn't keep a broader base of readers from checking this out. I would rank "Potions" right up there with any current book on craft cocktail history. It should be considered a must-read for anyone seeking to go back to the roots and learn the foundation of what's going on today.

Chapter 5 is next, so I'm sure the best is yet to come ...


 
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Sunny&Rummy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2013
Posts: 455
From: Melbourne, FL
Posted: 2014-01-02 10:02 pm   Permalink

I'll echo the thumbs-up for the Titchfield Planters. Went with Coruba. A slight tweak of the ratios and a couple of dashes of Ango and you'd have a Remsberg Planter, one of my favorites. With the equal sugar, lime and rum though, this basic planter is really good.

Sadly, my ambitions of following up with a Vic's Tortuga have been dashed because my wife and daughter drank all the orange juice.

The Joe Scialom chapter of the book has probably been my favorite so far. Made Joe's Sol Y Sombra last night and it came off just a little too tart so I threw a 1/4 oz of cane syrup in and that improved the balance. Went with Coruba as the dark Jamaican but will revisit with Appleton 12 and see how that changes it up.


 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 936
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2014-01-03 1:18 pm   Permalink


Some additional thoughts on making ice cones.

Quote:

On 2013-12-26 16:11, TropicDrinkBoy wrote:
I got the ice cone maker a few months ago and have used it a number of times... I find that you need to have very finely crushed ice for it to work well. If the ice is too coarse the cone will fall to pieces before it can be used.



I have a vintage Oster ice crusher attachment for my Osterizer blenders and it makes very finely crushed ice. These attachments are always available on eBay and is one of the reasons I am so happy with the Oster brand blenders -- accessories from 50 years ago are still available for purchase and are interchangeable with today's blenders. (Photo below.) This solves the problems encountered with ice not being crushed fine enough from your fridge, or from your Lewis bag, or from your Jerry bag, heh.


These are on eBay all the time. It's as if millions were made and suddenly millions of non-cocktailians and/or their descendants don't need or want them anymore.


 
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MrHaiku
Member

Joined: Jan 04, 2014
Posts: 7
Posted: 2014-01-04 11:07 pm   Permalink

Ugh. Sold out, via the link. Totally went to his page in early/mid December and figured I'd get back to it. Any word on more stock? (kinda wish he'd address it in his blog)

 
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thePorpoise
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 23, 2011
Posts: 1169
From: Tampa Bay
Posted: 2014-01-05 11:36 am   Permalink

poor Mister Haiku
looks for ways to cut coolness,
but Mister misses.


 
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lunavideogames
Grand Member (2 years)  

Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 1085
From: San Diego
Posted: 2014-01-05 12:34 pm   Permalink

I see what you did there...

 
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Sunny&Rummy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2013
Posts: 455
From: Melbourne, FL
Posted: 2014-01-05 5:00 pm   Permalink

Well done Porpoise!

 
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MrHaiku
Member

Joined: Jan 04, 2014
Posts: 7
Posted: 2014-01-06 10:54 am   Permalink

very nice ;D
(small batch release....more coming to that site soon, fwiw)


 
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SoCal Savage
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 20, 2013
Posts: 172
From: Los Angeles via Brooklyn NYC
Posted: 2014-01-06 2:27 pm   Permalink

My lady got me a copy for the holidays. Beautiful book. The layout and graphic presentation is outstanding.

I've started experimenting with some of the recipes and have really been enjoying the Golden Glove. Kudos to the Bum.


 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7254
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2014-01-06 2:32 pm   Permalink

Mr Haiku, welcopme to Tiki Central. I went to go buy one the other day too and noticed they were out of stock. Hopefully they will be back soon ~ I started drinking late in life and have a lot of catching up to do!
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Sunny&Rummy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2013
Posts: 455
From: Melbourne, FL
Posted: 2014-01-07 8:28 pm   Permalink

Just finished the book and I'm bummed out it wasn't a couple hundred pages longer. Thoroughly engrossing stuff. Still lots of.cocktails to try out.

 
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