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Was Donn Beach really behind the Zombie?
wizzard419
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Joined: Jul 10, 2013
Posts: 341
Posted: 2014-06-23 2:23 pm   Permalink

There is actually a map of prohibition era alcohol consumption...



California was mostly drinking wine, a small portion might have been home-made rum since there was a sugar cane industry in California at one point, and heavy seepage in from the boarder.


 
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Thortiki
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Joined: Jul 29, 2006
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From: Maryland (Land of Pleasant Tiki Living)
Posted: 2014-06-23 2:31 pm   Permalink

Wizzard GREAT post!!!

 
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LostIsland
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Posted: 2014-06-23 2:57 pm   Permalink

Ray's claim that the bartenders invented the drinks isn't really disproved by the syrups and flavoring mixes in that it would have pre-dated their existence, formulation and naming process. Any anomalies that may exist within the syrup or drink mix line may only be related to the development of the syrups themselves rather than the original development of the drink in question.
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TikiTacky
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Posted: 2014-06-23 3:39 pm   Permalink

Rum as an alcohol was most common in Florida during prohibition, as it was smuggled in from the Carribean. This is likely the origin if the term "rum runner." However low profits eventually pushed them into smuggling other liquor a that were more profitable, such as whiskey.
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thePorpoise
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Joined: Jan 23, 2011
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From: Tampa Bay
Posted: 2014-06-23 5:03 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-06-23 14:17, arriano wrote:
From what I can tell, most of Don's drinks are riffs off Caribbean cocktails. Would Filipinos who had immigrated to California know anything about them? I don't know the answer, but I have my doubts. Prohibition had ended only a year before Don the Beachcomber opened, and most bars in town were more likely serving gin, Canadian whiskey, and Scotch than anything with rum.




if i'm not mistaken, rum production in the Philippines dates back to the 1800's, fwiw...


 
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AceExplorer
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Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2453
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2014-06-23 5:12 pm   Permalink

Good discussion.

Aren't we diffentiating between simple "production of rum" versus "using rum in cocktails?"


 
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AceExplorer
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Joined: Apr 03, 2008
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From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2014-06-23 5:15 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-06-23 14:23, wizzard419 wrote:
There is actually a map of prohibition era alcohol consumption...
California was mostly drinking wine, a small portion might have been home-made rum since there was a sugar cane industry in California at one point, and heavy seepage in from the border.



I would like to apologize for my state's weak showing according to that map. I, along with my friends, are doing everything we can to make up for lost time.

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wizzard419
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Posted: 2014-06-23 6:01 pm   Permalink

How much of Florida's area was developed/populated with large numbers during prohibition?

What is produced heavily by a country/region is a key influencer of what cocktails they used to come up with. For most of the existence of hard liquor, the idea of the cocktail itself was to help cover up strong/bad flavors and possibly dilute the potency of the spirit.


 
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AceExplorer
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Joined: Apr 03, 2008
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From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2014-06-23 7:46 pm   Permalink

I don't entirely agree with you, I think you made some very broad generalizations, but I see your point and appreciate it.

With regard to Florida, I was joking. However Florida's population was generally congregating around ports and waterways and rail lines. With its myriad waterways, Florida offered bootleggers, privateers, pirates, and tourists alike relatively easy access from the ocean. Much more could be said, but the same is true of many coastal cities and harbors along the eastern seaboard.


 
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wizzard419
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Posted: 2014-06-23 8:00 pm   Permalink

The map reflects that, with high concentrations for seepage from other countries. Though, you forget one important thing when talking about bootlegging. It's a bitch to haul materials into backwater places, process it into alcohol, and then transport it back out. Since the areas were still mostly rural, going to get processed sugar, corn, etc. in quantities to make moonshine and then find an audience willing to buy it vs just getting the stuff flown in severely impacts the viability of the process. Moonshiners existed in Florida but they most likely were only able to produce for themselves/immediate surroundings.

 
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AceExplorer
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Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2453
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2014-06-24 06:29 am   Permalink

This would be a good research topic. How much bootlegging, when was it done, how did they get their raw materials, how did they distribute their product, etc.

Bootlegging in Florida has not been mentioned in any of the places I have been, and I don't recall seeing it mentioned in any museums and exhibits or books. There were, however, a number of railroads along coastal areas for both transporting people and for transporting cypress lumber to ships. And there were some pretty cool steamers on major rivers offering fairly regular service. I'm not sure how many records we have of what exactly they transported. I'd guess there probably was at least some contraband moving around here because there were some major resorts around the state 100 years ago, and they operated through the prohibition era. And major millionaires vacationed in northern Florida and southern Georgia. I would guess there was some market for bootleg liquor here, I'm just not sure how big it was. My city has been a major logistics hub since before the turn of the century, and several of the schooner docks still exist along the waterfront.

Interesting stuff here! I'm going to remember to start asking people about this when I visit historical sites or run into local historians. I can't wait to see their reactions.


 
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*Bamboozled*
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Joined: Jul 16, 2013
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Posted: 2014-06-24 08:49 am   Permalink

I have it on good authority, although I suppose it is anecdotal oral history, that, during prohibition, members of the Columbia Yacht Club here in Chicago would sail down to Cuba/the Caribbean in the winter and bring back decent quantities of rum to share with other members of the club over the summers. There has been some documentation of this in the club newsletter over the years -- I'd be curious to see when the first account appears in the newsletter. From the accounts I have read, the popular drink at the club made with the rum at the time was the Cuba Libre.

 
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AceExplorer
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Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2453
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2014-06-24 09:45 am   Permalink

I like it! Very cool!

1: "Hey, guys, let's go down to the Caribbean and bring back some rum. I know this cool little bar in Havana..."
2: "Nah, that's a way long trip down there."
1: "But it's worth it - kinda like camping with all your buddies, but on a boat!"
2: "Yeah, but no trees to hide behind when you need to take a leak."
1: "Shut up. RUM!"
2: "Ok! Deal!"

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AdOrAdam
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Joined: Jun 16, 2013
Posts: 630
From: Wolverhampton, UK
Posted: 2014-06-24 3:32 pm   Permalink

I just reread the last page or so... that went on to a different topic quickly!

To revisit earlier comments, it's widely accepted that Don had many secret spices mixes, Dons Mix being one of them (more info on its discovery & use in the Zombie in Sippin Safari page 115 onwards). It's also evident that Don tinkered with his cocktails because of the variation that have been uncovered (eg the Beachcombers Gold variations through the ages, Beachbum Berry Remixed page 32 onwards).

To re-approach the question 'did Don really create the Zombie?' another way; it is good to put it in context against other drinks.

I think you can see the increasing numbers of ingredients & levels of spice in Dons drinks across the years. They start relatively simple with 1934 Sumatra Kula /1937 Donga Punch / 1941 Navy Grog becoming the more complicated & spicy 1941 Test Pilot /1945 Three Dots / 1950s Colonel Beach's Plantation Punch).

There are other drinks that don't fit the pattern because they are different:

The 1937 Nui Nui & contains spicy ingredients but they are softer & the drink does not contain dark rums to pep up its complexity. The 1940s Rum Barrel contains many ingredients (including dark rums) but the spices are in smaller amounts against quite a lot of fruit juice so it is less 'spicy'. The 1940s 151 Swizzle is certainly strong but contains very little spice beyond Angostura & Pernod, it is more about the LH151.

So judged against the few drinks mentioned above, the cacophony of ingredients in a 1934 Zombie is a little different to most of Dons other earlier cocktails - there are lots of ingredients & it is spice laden! For those reasons, the 1934 Zombie sticks out as an odd ball to me.

Can anyone provide any similarly spice laden cocktails Don made in the early 30s to keep the Zombie company? Is it possible he created just one drink a head of its time complexity & spice wise... then didn't make anymore for 5 years or thereabouts?


 
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TikiTacky
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Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1319
Posted: 2014-06-24 4:20 pm   Permalink

Remember the context of how he claims he created it: on the spot, for a hung over friend named Jack (talk about the hair of the dog that bit you!). I can imagine him just pouring in a thing here or there. I also imagine him not remembering everything that went into it if it was so complicated, but he said he made three of them for poor Jack.
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