Tiki Ingredients


Winter’s icy scepter has finally made its killing stroke. The wind chill brought the temperature down to -18F today. Is it wrong that all I can think about is if I can get my ice down to that temperature so I can crush it for tiki drinks?

Truth be told, the tiki gods have entered a deep slumber and my remaining falernum and orgeat syrups have transformed into interesting colors. I dust of Berry’s volumes no more than once a week and I seem to be drinking a lot less fruit juice. Doctor Funk would be disappointed.

For some time, however, I’ve been wanting to compile a list of all the ingredients from Berry’s two tomes that I have either been unable to find or have yet to obtain. I’m presenting the list to you in hopes that you can help me determine which of these ingredients would have other uses than the one or two drinks Berry uses them for. I have my own assumptions about some, but I included the whole list anyway.

  • Pusser’s Rum
  • Amber Virgin Islands Rum
  • Okolehao
  • Pimento Liqueur
  • Creme de Cassis
  • Alize Passion Fruit
  • Blackberry Brandy
  • Barenjager
  • Coconut Snow Powder
  • Parfait Amour
  • Guava Nectar
  • Macadamia Nut Liqueur
  • White Cuban Rum
  • Aquavit
  • Van der Hum Liqueur
  • Peach Brandy

I didn’t want to leave you without a recipe, so I dug deep into the Kaiser Penguin archives. The Waikikian was one of my first posts and is still my favorite picture on the site. Enjoy!


  • 1 1/2oz lemon juice
  • 1oz curacao
  • 3/4oz orgeat syrup
  • 1 1/2oz light Puerto Rican rum
  • 1 1/2oz dark Jamaican rum

From: Grog Log, Beachbum Berry

Blend everything, except dark Jamaican rum, with 3oz crushed ice. Pour into a double old-fashioned glass 2/3 filled with crushed ice. Float dark Jamaican rum on top. Garnish with orchid and lime wheel.

30 Responses to “Tiki Ingredients”

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30 Comments to “ Tiki Ingredients”
  1. MrBaliHaiNo Gravatar says:

    Okolehao hasn’t been around for quite a while. Last spring, Sandwich Islands Distilling Company claimed that they were going to put it back on the market again, but I haven’t heard anything about it since.

    I picked up a bottle of Trader Vic’s Macadamia Nut liqueur last year, and I use it in a number of my “custom” cocktails. It has a very strong flavor, and tends to overpower the drink if I use more than a 1/2 oz. Unfortunately, Vic’s seems to have stopped making it, so I’m unsure where I’m going to find more once this bottle is empty.

    As for Aquavit, as vile as that stuff is straight, I’d be hesitant to ruin a perfectly good drink by adding it to a cocktail.

  2. RickNo Gravatar says:

    Tiki Central has a thread on the topic, though there haven’t been any posts since last September. Let’s see if anything turns up from my reply.

  3. * Pusser’s Rum – A perfectly fine navy rum. Some find it a little harsh. Not a sipping rum.
    * Pimento Liqueur – Yer probably going to have to make yer own with overproof rum and Mr. Taggert’s recipe.
    * Creme de Cassis – Differentiating between all these red syrups is tough. You need this for Kir, Kir Royale, Tequila Sunrise…
    * Alize Passion Fruit – What the heck is this doing in the Berry books? Must be a recent creation of his own.
    * Blackberry Brandy – Liqueur? Or Eau de Vie? Chambord probably. I like it.
    * Parfait Amour – I’ve been putting this off for several years now. “…delicate combination of grape jelly beans and marshmallows,” to quote Ted Haigh, just doesn’t appeal. There just aren’t enough cocktails with it to justify the $25.
    * Guava Nectar – Tasty!
    * White Cuban Rum – I use Flor de Cana Extra Dry. Appleton White is supposed to be another OK sub.
    * Aquavit – Being Norwegian, there is always a bottle of this in my freezer. I’ve made a few memorable cocktails with it. Still pretty esoteric, for just that Viking Fog Cutter or whatever it is called.
    * Peach Brandy – Liqueur? Or Eau de Vie? I’m a bit of a liqueur freak, so I like this too.

  4. DayneNo Gravatar says:

    In my experience, the difference between a good creme de cassis and a cheap one is pretty dramatic. Don’t mess around, get some good stuff; it’s not much more expensive and it’ll last you a long time.

    I think Chambord is raspberry, not blackberry, right? May seem a minor thing, but it depends how close you want to come to the authentic recipe.

    I made my own pimento dram last year and have not regretted it once. Great stuff for tiki drinks. Also added a bit to my Xmas ‘nog — that hit the spot. Just about out; have to whip up a new batch.

    I too have a bottle of Aquavit in the freezer (Linie) — pretty good as straight shots, but I’ve had less luck in cocktails. Might be able to give that one a miss.

  5. erik_flannestadNo Gravatar says:

    Dayne is right. Chambord is a red raspberry liqueur not a blackberry.

    I’ll probably get corrected for this statement as well; but, some of the French liqueurs are of much higher quality than those from American companies. Many involve actual fruit, instead of the New Jersey industrial flavoring industry.

    In the case of blackberry, a Creme de Mure from Massenez, Giffard, Briottet, Mathilde, or Trenel. Or the Creme de Peche from those same companies.

    Brizard is also usually not bad. Quite well known for their Anisette and Cassis.

    I’ve not had very good luck with Vedrenne, so I won’t recommend them.

  6. DeanNo Gravatar says:

    I live on Oahu, and make regular trips to the two great liquor stores to see what’s on sale – absolutely no sign of Okolehao anywhere.

    I have a different take on the Trader’s Mac Nut liqueur – it tastes good, but the flavor is booze syrup. Hardly any mac nut flavor at all. There’s a Kahana Royal brand of mac nut liqueur – I’ve heard tell it’s pretty good and more nutty.

    Bought a can of coconut snow while in California – haven’t opened it yet.

    Truth be told, if you’re into making cocktails – especially tiki drinks – you’re going to have 40 bottles around the house, half of them more than 3/4 full. It’s in the job description.

  7. AdamNo Gravatar says:

    Aye, I find that unless I’m planning a party, I’m typically going to stick to the tikis that don’t require the specialized ingredients. That said, guava nectar (and any nectar, really) is just plain tasty and goes great in a smoothie. It’s also under $5 for a carton/bottle, so it’s not much of a problem.

    Creme de Cassis is also worth having around. Thayer (Forbidden Island’s tiki-bearer extraordinaire) has a drink called “Vitamin T” that really makes a strong case for using the stuff in more tiki drinks.

    As for the various rums, I am not a tiki perfectionist, and so long as I’m within the correct color family (dark, white, or gold), I’ll often substitute what’s on hand for what is called for, when possible.

    BevMo here in CA carries Barenjager and I was planning to pick some up on my next trip.

    And yes, spring has returned to the Bay Area, and I can feel my tiki lust waxing full as the sap rises.

  8. Dr. BambooNo Gravatar says:

    The only one that immediately comes to mind is the Jupiter Cocktail (from Ted Haigh’s book), which requires Parfait Amour. But as Erik said, I don’t know if that one drink makes it worth the trouble to seek out.

  9. JoeNo Gravatar says:

    Avoid Alize like the plague. One of my roommates got it to make a “Thug Passion”, which involves Alize and champange, which was horrid (it’s a prominent feature on many rap videos, I’m told, hence the name).

    Dean, I’m on Oahu too. I know Temura’s on Waialae…what’s the other great liquor store (or do you mean the other Temura’s?). If you make suggestions for Rick, I can bring some back with me next time I visit… and if you find Okolehao, let me know.

  10. AndyNo Gravatar says:

    Pusser’s: Yes
    Pimento Liqueur: You can buy this with much expense and difficulty or you can make it, probably makes about twice as much for the same price. My second batch subbed Jamaican rums for the Demerara and is almost indistinguishable from the commercial product, unlike the one made with Demerara Rum, which I find has a far too distinctive character for liqueur making. If you’d like I can send (or post here) my final recipe.
    Cassis: Marie Brizzard Cassis de Bordeaux. Accept no substitutes.
    Blackberry brandy: the one recipe that uses this is pretty terrible. When this is gone from my cabinet it is unlikely to be replaced.
    Coconut Snow: I ordered some of this last summer and got like 6 cans to make the shipping worthwhile. It’s rather odd and get used up slowly. I’d be willing to send you one for the cost of the shipping if you like.
    Parfait Amour: Unless you enjoy the very peculiar taste of this stuff, the Bum’s recipes that use it are’nt worth the trouble or expense. The Jupiter from Dr. Cocktail’s book is interesting though. If I knew then what I know now though, this would still be on my to-get list.

  11. AdamNo Gravatar says:

    I thought a Thug Passion was Maker’s and passionfruit (or Alize). No?

  12. KurtNo Gravatar says:

    Andy, I’d be very interested in seeing your most recent recipe for Pimento Dram. Thanks.

  13. The JabNo Gravatar says:

    * Pusser’s Rum – A very good rum and essential for a painkiller, which is one of the best sweet tiki drinks IMO.
    * Amber Virgin Islands Rum – Cruzan should be easy to find, and can be used a a less-expensive substitute for amber Puerto Rican rum.
    * Okolehao – nothing new to add
    * Pimento Liqueur – Definitely worth making if you can’t obtain the Wray and Nephew product. In some old cocktails, but the 2 drinks in the Grog Log that use it aren’t exceptional.
    * Creme de Cassis – I agree, get the good stuff. Tasty as a cordial, over ice cream, or in Kir Royale.
    * Alize Passion Fruit – I bought it, but never use it. I’m surprised it’s still on the market. In one of Berry’s original creations.
    * Blackberry Brandy – Rarely used in my bar, but it is cheap. I think for a tiki drink it’s supposed to be the sweet liqueur, not the eau de vie.
    * Barenjager – Don’t bother. In one of Berry’s original creations.
    * Coconut Snow Powder – Gathering dust on my shelf. I like the coconut drinks made with coconut creme better.
    * Parfait Amour – Agree that the The Jupiter is a good use for this, but don’t go out of your way to get some.
    * Guava Nectar – Get it if you like the taste of guavas. I have used Kern’s for tiki drinks. There are better brands out there made from actual fruit but I have not sought them out.
    * Macadamia Nut Liqueur – Could get by without it, but if you find a remaining bottle snag it.
    * White Cuban Rum – I still have some Havana Club that I brought back from Mexico. It’s well worth sneaking a bottle across the border if you’re driving across. I have not compared it to other white rums side-by-side but you could probably try something like Ron Matusalem’s white rum (which they say is Cuban style).
    * Aquavit – One item I still have not bought for my bar.
    * Van der Hum Liqueur – I found an old bottle but I don’t know what to do with it except make the one tiki drink that’s a Berry original creation.
    * Peach Brandy – Same as blackberry brandy. I use a cheap french Creme de Peche.

  14. DarcyNo Gravatar says:

    Ron Matusalem’s white rum is much too light to be compared to a Cuban rum. Matusalem white rum tries to compete with the vodka market almost. I have a bottle and it is very light in flavour. Havana Club Blanco or 3 Anos has much more flavour. If you can get it, try the Flora De Cana 4 Year white rum, it’s been aged for 4 years in oak and then filtered, much more flavour.

  15. CaptnkirkNo Gravatar says:

    How come you do not have contact information on this site?

    Many of the items on the list are available at the liquor store or over the intenet.
    You can still order coconut snow powder from the importer in California. Look it up at Tikicentral, email me and ask for a can of it and I will send it to you.

    I got my Pimento liquor from [url=http://www.geocities.com/caribbeantreasures/rums.htm]Caribbean Treasures[/url]. On their page they now take several payment methods including PayPal (I recomend this in case they don’t send it PayPal will refund your cash). The bottle is now labeled “Berry Hill Pimento Liquor” it is the same stuff by W.J. Wrey and Nephew, just new labels.
    Pimento liquor is complex brown thick and syrupy, the best way to discribe if you have not tasted it is like all spice flavored Jagermeister with a hint of cinnamon.

    Mix yourself several Jasper’s Jamacians (from the Grog Log) you will be glad you did. What a tasty and well balanced drink. Just a little bit of this stuff will infuse your drink with a really nice exotic spice flavor. If you want a few ounces of it I will send it to you for free, just because this site is so informative.

    I have Okloehao in my tiki bar, I don’t like the flavor all that much but I have it in the tiki statue decanter so I have to keep just for looks alone. I was able to find it on eBay a few years back.

  16. RickNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks everyone for all of the excellent and expert suggestions. I’ll see if I can answer everyone’s queries with one comment.

    Erik, it looks like Pusser’s is only available as a special liquor order in PA. I’m working on a huge list of stuff to special order, so I’ll definitely include a bottle of that. I’ve never seen a tiki recipe call specifically for Eau de Vie, so I’m guessing they are all liqueurs.

    Dayne, my choices from creme de cassis in PA if I place a special liquor order are: Briottet, Guyot, and Montbisou (and other crappy brands). Now that I have ready access to Lemon Hart demerara, I’ll definitely be making some pimento liqueur as the tiki season approaches.

    Dean, … “you’re going to have 40 bottles around the house, half of them more than 3/4 full. It’s in the job description.” I couldn’t think of a better way to describe it.

    The Jab, I have access to Cruzan Single Barrel; have you or anyone else tried this? It’ll run me about $30 a bottle.

    CaptnKirk, Unfortunately, Pennsylvania does not allow the purchase of liquor from out of state, online or not. And thank you for the nice words.

  17. I’ve heard great things about the Briottet Creme de Peche de Vigne from bartenders I trust. I would expect their Cassis and Creme de Mure (blackberry) are also very nice. Not familiar with the other two brands.

    The Cruzan Single Barrel is a very well regarded rum that straddles the sipping/mixing line. Isn’t so expensive you feel bad about putting it in a cocktail; but, it is smooth enough, it makes a fine sip all on its own. Makes a great Daiquiri or Bacardi cocktail. Good stuff.

  18. RickNo Gravatar says:

    Well then. It looks like you just secured $60 of my next paycheck.

  19. AndyNo Gravatar says:

    Ok so I must add here that I do not recommend Demerara Rum for making Pimento Dram. I can appreciate the work of Mr. Chuck Taggart of the Gumbo Pages who devised the recipe in common usage but my own experiences have shown that a superior product can be made with a much easier to find base, Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum. Now I will be the first to say that Pimento Dram made with Demerara is a fine thing indeed, lovely to sip on cold splashed over a few ice cubes after dinner. However, the problem comes when mixing with it. The character of Demerara rum is far too distinctive to work well with other flavors. After obtaining a bottle of the real thing from Jamaica and fooling with the recipe a bit, here is what I came up with. It is nearly indistinguishable from the commercial product:

    Pimento Dram #4

    12.75 oz Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum (126 proof)
    12.75 oz Meyers’s Dark Rum
    1/2 cup whole allspice berries
    1.5 lbs brown sugar (dark)*

    Crush allspice and steep two weeks in 12.75 oz W&N. Strain through cheesecloth layers and top up rum to make 12.75 oz. Add Meyers’s. Mix 1.5 lbs sugar (about 3.5 cups) with 1.5 cups water over low heat until dissolved. Add to rum mixture, then top with water to make 52 oz. Let sit 30 days, then strain through coffee filter into bottles. Makes 2 bottles of 50 proof liqueur.

    This is shamelessly derived from Mr. Taggart’s recipe but the use of Jamaican rums lends it a different character which mixes much friendlier.

    And really, I can’t even take credit for the change in rum, since Dr. Cocktail apparently suggested it originally. Good idea.


    *Ran out of brown sugar the last time I made this and used 2.5 cups brown and 1 cup sugar in the raw with no ill effects. Not sure if it tastes any different though.

  20. RickNo Gravatar says:

    I remember Paul raving about the pimento dram made with Demerara, so that’s why I mentioned it. I have only had Wray & Nephew overproof rum once, and I found it to be foul smelling and even worse tasting. Is there a chance I got a bad bottle?

  21. AndyNo Gravatar says:

    Probably not, it has little to recommend it on it’s own, but the strong flavors you will add to it will cover that up. What you are essentially doing is custom-blending a 100 proof Jamaican rum, Meyers’s has such a strong flavor it will obliterate most of the characteristics of the W&N, even without adding allspice (a strong flavor itself) and a boatload of sugar. High proof is definitely a plus when making liqueurs, but in this case I think it’s preferable to sacrifice a little proof for the mellower character that Jamaican rums bring to the table. I’m quite fond of Demerara rum, but to me, it’s not the best choice here. That said, you’d probably still get considerable enjoyment out of it made with the 151 Demerara, but if you want it to be as close as possible to the difficult-to-obtain Jamaican product, this will get you there.


  22. SwankyNo Gravatar says:

    Should Okolehau become available again, get it. Good oke is like Cognac. One of the best libations I have ever tasted. I have just tasted it from a vintage bottle though and that little bit was amazing.

    And then go the The Grogalizer when you are ready to mix some tiki drinks.

    My best piece of advice is to boil up some honey mix just like you make sugar syrup. Make it in a 50/50 mix with water and then double it in the recipes where it calls for honey. These are usually Donn Beach recipes and great. The honey syrup makes the honey mixable without all that heating and crap. Just pour it in. Store it in the fridge. Watch closely as it boils. Honey syrup boils over very suddenly!

  23. MilesNo Gravatar says:

    I must protest the savaging of Wray’s Overproof rum. Different, yet exceptional. Try a rum and tonic with the stuff. Far more flavorful than any gin and tonic. I’ve only got 28 kinds of rum, but the only thing close in this drink is Mt. Gay Special Reserve. Some others are OK, but these two click. (Speaking of tire juice, love a Caipirinha with Pitu cachaca per Esquire recipe.) To me rum is the mixer. You have to have the right rum for a drink or you are dead.

    I am doing my second batch of pimento dram. My first batch I did four bottles with Pulaski dried all spice berries, Wray’s overproof, Myers, Goslings, lime juice, and cinnamon sticks. Recipe and rankings:
    1. Myer’s, Wray’s 50/50 with cinamon sticks and lime juice (courtesy the very nice little limes from Trader Joe’s which are better than the big limes typical at grocery stores.) Recipe per Jamaica Cultural Development Commission.
    2. Same recipe as above but with one third the cinammon and lime juice
    3. Goslings and Wray’s with no cinammon or lime juice
    4. Myer’s and Wray’s no c or l.

    Researching next batches and its looking like 4 more bottles based on Gosling’s and Wray’s per the Commission recipe. Last time used Billington light brown moscovado sugar. This time I intend to vary the sugars. Trying turbinado, several kinds of molasses, and cane syrup. Still deciding on what to do. Steeping the rum tonight.

  24. technococcusNo Gravatar says:

    Barenjager is delicious. Buy it. Use it to make this cocktail that a college friend of mine invented:

    1 shot Barenjager
    1 shot Disaronno
    1/2 shot Vodka
    1/2 shot distilled water

    Prepare a double rocks glass with ice and add the Vodka, then the Barenjager, followed at last by the Disaronno. Last of all, add the water, slowly. This is to cut the thickness and sweetness of the drink and will cause the drink to cloud nicely. Stir and serve.

    My friend never named the drink, but I’ve named it (appropriately, I think) so I can actually tell people about it!

  25. […] The circumstances which created my long absence from posting also meant that I didn’t have time to check in with my favorite drink blogs as I usually do. As such, I was woefully behind in my reading and am just now beginning to feel like I’m catching up. While perusing the ever-delightful Kaiser Penguin last week, the Waikikian caught my eye. […]

  26. KristinNo Gravatar says:

    It’s beautiful and I want to try it…… That’s not an orchid. It’s an African Violet.

  27. RickNo Gravatar says:


    I don’t have the best of climate for orchids. Tulips do nicely here in central PA, though.

  28. KristinNo Gravatar says:

    Rick — This might not be the right reply spot, but the Regan’s Orange Bitters came to my Sequim house a few days ago. Thanks!!

    I’ve been making The Last Word with Milady Cherry Liqueur which is all I could find between Victoria and here. It is from Moldova and the ingredients are natural cherry juice blended with the “finest of spirits” and natural flavor of cherry. Nobody in the liquor stores seems to have heard of Maraschino Liqueur. They seem suspicious.

    I picked up Havana Club white Cuban rum. Have no idea if it’s a good one, but being a beginner probably won’t know the difference.

  29. Kauai BobNo Gravatar says:

    Okolehao no longer unavailable, though your website was accurate until now about it.

    A little distillery on Maui has re-introduced it. Made from Ti roots grown on East Maui. I have a bottle; excellent stuff. Website printed on bottle:


    Love your site. Keep up good work!

  30. KauaibobNo Gravatar says:

    Real Okolehao, made from East Maui Ti root now available again!!! Here is a website listing outlets and on the “News” tab some articles from Maui publications. Tried a bottle recently —- heavenly…


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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