The Navy Grog

  • To make a Navy Grog, place in your shaker 3/4 ounce each fresh lime juice, white grapefruit juice, and club soda; 1 ounce each gold Demerara rum, dark Jamaican rum, and white Cuban or Puerto Rican rum; and 1 ounce honey mix, shake with ice, then strain into a glass containing your ice cone.
  • This recipe was reconstructed by Jeff Berry by watching an old bartender in Playa del Rey mix the best Grog he’d ever tasted by adding heated, (thus runny and mixable) honey to the drink as called for in Don’s original recipe.  He then discovered a Navy Cookbook from 1950 to which Don had detailed how to mix honey and water half and half, heat to dissolve and then refrigerate till needed, much like making simple syrup. 
  • The requisite ice-cone can be made by purchasing a cone mold on-line for use at home.  The original method was to freeze shaved ice overnight in a pilsner beer glass with a straw inserted—too much work!

Mai Tai!

  • Don the Beachcomber’s second most famous drink, but interestingly, Victor Bergeron’s (Trader Vic’s) recipe is the better one, and the most famous to this day.
  • A proper Mai Tai has a deep amber hue, because it’s the liquor that should dominate the drink, not the sweeteners.
  • Unfortunately, 17-year-old J. Wray & Nephew rum is a thing of the past. But by replacing it with an aged Martinique rum mixed with a premium Jamaican rum, we can approximate Vic’s original goal ofmai-tai-photo “creating a drink that would be the finest drink we could make, using the finest ingredients we could find.”
  • In your shaker pour 1 ounce each fresh lime juice, Rhum Clément VSOP Martinique rum, and Appleton Estate Extra dark Jamaican rum; 1/2 ounce orange Curacao; and 1/4 ounce each orgeat syrup and sugar syrup. Add at least 2 cups of crushed ice, then shake well for around 10 seconds. Pour unstrained into a double old-fashioned glass. Sink your spent lime shell in the drink, and garnish with a mint sprig. (Drink pictured above.)

© 2015 Jeff Berry

The Zombie!

  • zombie-drinkDon the Beachcomber’s original recipe, his first concoction, and in its original form the source of his undying fame…
  • Jeff “Beachbum” Berry spent over ten years tracking down this recipe and its secret “numbered spice” ingredients, and this probably dates from Don’s original formulation, as the source worked for Don beginning in 1937.
  • To make one, combine 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice, 1/2 ounce falernum, 1 1/2 ounces each gold Puerto Rican rum and gold or dark Jamaican rum, 1 ounce 151-proof Lemon Hart Demerara rum, 1 teaspoon grenadine, 6 drops Pernod, a dash of Angostura bitters, and 1/2 ounce Don’s mix (2 parts grapefruit juice to 1 part cinnamon-infused sugar syrup; see Sippin’ Safari or Beachbum Berry Remixed, or the Total Tiki app for syrup recipe).
  • Put this mix in an electric blender with 6 ounces (3/4 cup) crushed ice, then blend at high speed for no more than 5 seconds. Pour into a tall glass. Add ice cubes to fill. Garnish with a mint sprig.
  • Don called his signature drink “a mender of broken dreams.” We think you’ll agree. But proceed with care: Don himself would serve no more than two to a customer.

© 2015 Jeff Berry