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Apr6

Remixed: From Astro to Zadar

Beachcomber's Gold

Like many blogs before me, I’m embarking on a insurmountable quest. One so perilous, so epic, and so filled with rum that I may die from joy before its completion.

My Mission

Blog every drink in Beachbum Berry Remixed from beginning to end.

Beachbum Berry's Remixed

The impetus for this grand quest is the last potion in this tipular tome, the Zadaran Storm. It just so happens to be a Kaiser Penguin original and finds itself among some of the most prominent bartender and tiki aficionados. So why not work my way from the very beginning?

What to Expect:

  • Brand Recommendations: Though unique products (e.g. Lemon Hart 151, Angostura bitters, Licor 43) are called for by name in the recipes, there are many general suggestions for spirits like light Puerto Rican rum or gold Jamaican rum. In those instances I’ll offer what I feel makes for the tastiest drink. In rare instances I’ll supersede one of Jeff’s brand choices… at my own peril.
  • Tips and Tricks: One of the huge pillars of awesome that Remixed erects is its updated technique. Whether blending ice for 5 seconds or making sure to only use 6 drops of pastis, there are endless kung fu moves for the new generation. Occasionally, as you’ll see in this recipe, there will be tricks to make your life easier. These will be provided when applicable and I hope you’ll flame me in the comments for doing it the wrong way.
  • Variations and Comparisons: There will often be a recipe that warrants exploration beyond the original receipt. I’ll add these as often as possible and encourage you to suggest variants when you know them. If there is a recipe that appears in multiple tiki guides, I’ll try to wrangle them into a comparison, though Jeff has done most of the work in this area already (thank the tiki gods!)

Beachcomber’s Gold (Chicago)

  • 1 1/2oz light Puerto Rican rum (Oronoco)
  • 1/2oz dry vermouth (Dolin Blanc)
  • 1/2oz sweet vermouth (Dolin Rouge)
  • 6 drops Pernod (Herbsaint Legendre)
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a glass sporting an ice shell.

Notes:

  1. Oronoco’s voodoo magic works wonders here, offering a base of liquid silk for the delicate vermouths. El Dorado 3-year will surprise if you want a little more bite. Cruzan light is sufficient but won’t be as luxurious.
  2. Dolin Blanc’s flowery fanfare portends a pleasurable aroma and slight sweetness, though Noilly Prat dry would be an interesting substitute.
  3. Dolin Rouge supplanted my near-perfect allegiance to Carpano Antica. With so much richness from the Oronoco and Dolin Blanc, a lighter vermouth was needed.
  4. Herbsaint Legendre is new to the market and quickly finding its way into many of my tiki drinks. It may even supplant the original Herbsaint as my go to when it comes to drips and dashes. If you can’t find either, try an angrier absinthe like Vieux Carre or St. George, but please leave the Pernod in the fridge next to your simple.
  5. Don’t Blend. When I first made this drink, it was whazzed with 2oz of crushed ice, per the recipe’s recommendations. The result was far too watery, as even a rock-hard ice shell quickly donates water to your drink. Stir instead.

In my great excitement to start this grand foray, I apparently drank too much Lemon Hart, as I managed to skip over two cocktails: the Astro Aku Aku and the Aurora Bora Borealis. I’ll be covering those next, but first we start with Beachcomber’s Gold (pictured above).

Donn the Beachcomber liked to change his recipes, and the “Gold” is no exception, with at least three recipes dug up by the Bum. The Chicago edition is the one published in Grog Log, but the subsequent ones have a bit of history behind them. (book plug alert!) As a recipe book, Beachbum Berry Remixed is the quintessential tiki guide. But as a tome of tiki knowledge, it’s the paragon. Maybe even the apex.

Chicago’s edition of the Beachcomber’s Gold reminds me of a perfect martini or even a muted Martinez. It’s subtle, aromatic, and slightly too easy to sip down. Not too many exotic cocktails call for vermouth, but this one is worth trying.

KP Question

  • What’s your favorite pastis or absinthe to use in tiki drinks?

20 Responses to “Remixed: From Astro to Zadar”

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

20 Comments to “ Remixed: From Astro to Zadar”
  1. La Muse Verte remains my favorite pastis, but I’ve yet to find a very compelling reason to use pastis over absinthe except on the odd occasion you want specifically to recreate a drink from an era absinthe wasn’t available, just as it would have tasted at the time. Otherwise, absinthe seems always to be at least equal, and usually superior, to pastis.

    My go to absinthes these days are Obsello, Vieux Carre, and Kübler. I’d probably ditch them all for Marteau if they would send me a sample, but having already gotten a lifetime supply of other brands in the liquor cabinet, I probably wont buy Marteau any time soon.

  2. AndrewNo Gravatar says:

    I always use Pernod in my tiki drinks. This is probably a mistake, though. I messed up a Aku Aku Zombie b/c I think I added an extra 1/8t Pernod (I’m amazed at how strong that stuff is). That said, I like the element of danger it introduces. Also, what the hell else am I going to do with this bottle of Pernod?

  3. AndrewNo Gravatar says:

    Also, as a follow-up, I think Don the Beachcomber was specific about Pernod in his recipes. At least, that was the impression I got from Jeff’s books. Maybe he can speak more about that.

    Anyway, the Pernod does pair well with bitters and Demerara rum as a base for tiki flavors, so maybe I was too harsh above.

  4. Sunny&RummyNo Gravatar says:

    Actually, the Bum notes on a couple of occasions that Pernod is his substitute for the Herbsaint Donn would have originally used, since it is more widely available. I’m in the same boat as you though, at 6 drops a drink, I’ve been using my bottle of Pernod for 2 years and probably have enough for 10 more!

    The Legendre Herbsaint does look intriguing though, and I’ll snatch that up if I ever get the opportunity. It was probaby enough that I had my friend just bring me back a bottle of ONO Cajun Spiced Rum from New Orleans last week, so I didn’t feel right asking her to track down the Legendre as well :-)

    I have my brand new copy of Remixed in hand, and I’m looking forward to many months of mixing along.

  5. Matt RoboldNo Gravatar says:

    You can always spot a Don The Beachcomber drink by the tell-tale “drops of absinthe/pastis/pernod” on nearly every freaking recipe. It’s like seeing “garnish with an elaborate woven portrait of Millard Filmore made using orange, lemon and grapefruit peels and a pineapple leaf” and just sort of knowing that that’s a Kaiser Penguin drink.

    I typically grab my Herbsaint for pastis. And now that I have the Legendre, well I’ll have to start trying out drinks with that.

  6. SwankyNo Gravatar says:

    Ah, I have a new tool for this endeavor! Grogalizer 2.0 is now live with the new and old recipes! When I started the Grogalizer I had just the Grog Log and I made it to keep track as I worked my way through every recipe. I didn’t have some of those rare ingredients like Maraschino Liqueuer back then and it helped me figure out what I could make. And after I graded each recipe, I could see which I had not made before.

    http://www.grogalizer.com

    I can’t keep up with The Bum anymore. I am slowly getting through all the recipes…

  7. Sunny&RummyNo Gravatar says:

    Love the Grogalizer, Swanky! Thanks for sharing your creation and I look forward to playing with version 2.0.

    A heads-up for everybody about to jump into Remixed. In switching from honey to the easier to use 50/50 honey/water mix, I think Jeff got some of his amounts a little mixed up in translation. I realized this accidentally last week when I was mixing up something I was familiar with from Grog Log, and when I tasted it the honey was way too light. Cross-checking the old and new recipe confirmed that what was originally 1/2 oz of honey was now listed as 1/2 oz of the 50/50 honey mix instead of the full ounce that the recipe should be adjusted to.

    A totally minor quibble with a great book that I’ve waited for for a long time, but something to be on the lookout for.

  8. AndrewNo Gravatar says:

    @Swanky – Great news. The grogalizer is a truly great resource. I use it at least weekly.

  9. RickNo Gravatar says:

    John, I definitely recommend picking up Marteau. It’s easily the best absinthe I’ve ever tasted in the U.S. and I’d be using it in tiki drinks if I could get more of it easily.

    Andrew, I’ll see if I can get Jeff to chime in on whether or not Donn used Pernod exclusively. The only other use I can think of for your Pernod is for Death in the Afternoon’s or Frappes. It will suit, sort of.

    Matt, Cheers on the garnish complement, but that’s Tiare who uses the pineapple leaves. Speaking of garnishes, the ones in the book are crazy. Totally getting a lot of new ideas.

    Sunny&Rummy, Nice catch on the honey mix. I wonder if that additional bit of water will throw off the balance of any of the recipes?

  10. SwankyNo Gravatar says:

    The water in the honey mix is minimal, and I am positive this was the way it has always been done. When I first went to the Mai Kai, the closest we might have to a DtB establishment today, I asked Kern if they used a honey mix, as that was what I did before the Bum suggested it, and he confirmed they did. Probably have since Mariano started their bar.

  11. Sunny&RummyNo Gravatar says:

    I recall Sippin’ Safari has a combination of instructions, where some recipes call for the honey mix while others called for straight honey with instructions to either heat and/or dissolve in lime juice and/or be sure to add ice last so the honey doesn’t glop up. Once I got the hang of quick-zapping a shot of honey in the microwave without a messy boilover, I pretty much stuck with the straight honey as it keeps longer than a bottle of honey mix. Trying to mix lots of drinks fast though, I certainly see the advantage of a mix that is a liquid at room temperature.

  12. RowenNo Gravatar says:

    Well, I’ve got that seemingly endless bottle of Pernod. And St. George finds its way into things too.

  13. Andrew, Donn’s earliest recipes call for absinthe, which is odd since absinthe was illegal then; my guess is he used it as a generic term for pastis. But his later recipes specify Pernod by brand name. Since the amount in most of his drinks is so small (6 drops usually), I don’t think it matters that much which brand you use (Pernod, Herbsaint, etc.) — but actual absinthe will give you a more bracing drink…

  14. RowenNo Gravatar says:

    Hm. Maybe whazzing Oronoco isn’t the greatest in general. Did this for a Daiquiri last night and really didn’t taste much except the ice.

  15. JayNo Gravatar says:

    A couple of comments on vintage absinthe substitutes.

    The most likely one used, would have been Marion Legendre’s Herbsaint, as Mr. Legendre was the only one of the U.S. rectifiers to really gain any market traction back then. (Today Herbsaint is the only survivor)

    Legendre initially called their product “Legendre Absinthe” for the first couple of months following repeal of prohibition, which caused some confusion during those days. (The name Herbsaint appeared in March ’34)

    L.E Jung & Wulff, the old New Orleans distiller had a well made absinthe substitute called “Milky-Way” that appeared on a few other names until Jung & Wulff sold out their business in 1941, they would have been a possibility during that time period.

    Sazerac’s newly revived Herbsaint Original tastes like vintage Herbsaint, which is something that I have a bit of experience with, I’d use it over modern Pernod Pastis.

  16. Sounds like fun, Rick! Good luck!

    I know, I for one, am excited to see a few more of those great patented KP drink photos than we’ve been seeing lately!

  17. [...] post is part of the Martian Chronicles, “Remixed: From Astro to Zadar” featuring recipes, brand recommendations, tips, and time-slips to help you navigate the [...]

  18. [...] huge pillars of awesome that Remixed erects is its updated technique,” seconds Rick Stutz, a.k.a. Kaiser Penguin.  “Whether blending ice for 5 seconds or making sure to only use 6 drops of pastis, there are [...]

  19. Eric AngleNo Gravatar says:

    Why do you say leave the Pernod in the fridge? I was under the impression that only vermouth, juices, syrups, etc. need to be refrigerated.

  20. [...] post is part of the series, “Remixed: From Astro to Zadar” featuring recipes, brand recommendations, tips, and quirky knowledge to help you navigate [...]

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Kaiser Penguin is a cocktail blog featuring original recipes, homemade ingredients, classic cocktails, and tiki drinks.

Why on Earth did you name your blog “Kaiser Penguin?”

It is a well-known fact that penguins are members of high society and enjoy fine cocktails. Our very own kaiser penguin would like me to mention that he also enjoys various treats from the sea.

Contact: rick@kaiserpenguin.com