Test Pilot

Test Pilot

If I haven’t already said this in another post, you absolutely must pick up a copy of Beachbum Berry’s Grog Log. For $10, it’s the quintessential tiki book purchase. Grog Log is filled fun tiki drawings, great information on tiki culture and history, not to mention an excellent section on rum. Most importantly, the recipes are mouthwateringly good. I’ve enjoyed probably 95% of the recipes and find myself coming back to many of them time and again.

The Test Pilot is one of my favorites, and it’s well worth the effort to find yourself a bottle of falernum or to make it yourself. Hmm… speaking of making my own…

Before I cut out, I’ll leave you with the recipe!


Test Pilot

  • 1/2oz lime juice
  • 1/2oz falernum
  • 1/2oz Cointreau
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1/8t Pernod
  • 3/4oz light Puerto Rican rum
  • 1 1/2oz dark Jamaican rum

Blend with 1c crushed ice for 5 seconds, then pour into a double old-fashioned glass. Add more crushed ice to fill.

Source: Grog Log, Jeff Berry


Very much like the Pancho Villa, all of the ingredients come together to make something entirely new, yet their subtle charactaristics remain. The taste timeline starts off sweet with the falernum, moves to the tart lime, and finishes with the nice bitter orange of the Cointreau. Oh, and there are the two rums, Pernod, and bitters all mixed around in there too balancing everything out. It’s just so tasty.


The only other reference I found in my modest cocktail book collection was in Trader Vic’s Bartenders Guide. It used lemon instead of lime juice, and it lacked the bitters and pastis, two elements that seem integral to the interesting flavor and aroma of the Test Pilot.

12 Responses to “Test Pilot”

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12 Comments to “ Test Pilot”
  1. CraigerNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve never tasted either falernum or Pernod, but based on that beautiful photo, I’d go for it in a heartbeat. Where did you get that mug/cup? I know people who spend their whole lives trolling vintage stores looking for just that kind of drinkware.

    It looks like the kind of prop you’d see on an episode of “I Dream of Jeannie”. I can easily envision Major Nelson being served one of those in some faux-Polynesian restaurant. The name is obviously fitting too!

  2. RickNo Gravatar says:

    Now you’re going to ruin all the mystique and fun of the mug! :)

    I got it at Target.

  3. Ha! That was better left a secret!

  4. RickNo Gravatar says:

    Quite right. I have sort of made it my policy to spend no more than a couple bucks on new drinkware. While limiting, it has definitely afforded me much excitement when I find a new piece.

  5. EricNo Gravatar says:

    probably a good policy if I know anything about your hobbies! :-)

    Mmm… now you got me thirsty for tiki drinks…

  6. AmandaNo Gravatar says:

    Where do you get your falernum and is there a brand you recommend?

  7. RickNo Gravatar says:


    I can only recommend one falernum and that is homemade. Falernum #8 by Paul Clarke is a glory to behold. It is delicious and well worth the effort.

    The only changes I would made to this recipe are for personal preference, so I’d give it a go as is. Let me know what you think!

  8. […] course, I’m not the first cocktail blogger to put up my take on this drink. Enjoy Rick and Paul’s takes on this delicious drink! If you liked that post, then try these…Pearl […]

  9. […] are five more recipes you can use with your new falernum: The White Lion Port Antonio Cocktail Test Pilot Clermont Smash Chartreuse […]

  10. Enjoying your blog. I’ve not investigated the world of Tikis but I *love* rum so this looks like it could be an exciting new avenue of cocktail enjoyment!

  11. NickNo Gravatar says:

    awesome drink! first thing i made with my first falernum. incredible drink.

    going to go make cinnamon syrup right now.

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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.