After trying the historical Navy Grog recipes from Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic, I tried a modern riff that included elements of both recipes (see: Search for the Ultimate Navy Grog: Part 1). This combo recipe was even better, but still wasn’t quite the heavy cocktails I was looking for in a Navy Grog. So, I set sail to make my own.
The historical recipes lean on a mix of rums, including some lighter ones. But I felt that the rum should be darker and heavier, so I turned to an old standby: my house Mai Tai Rum blend. This is a mix of rums largely from Jamaica and this blend has a higher ABV ratio as well. I combined this rum with Lemon Hart, a mainstream Demerara rum. I also decided to go for the full three ounces of rum in the cocktail.
As a reminder, the Ultimate Mai Tai Rum mix is equal parts:
- Appleton Estate Rare Blend Aged 12 Years (“Appleton 12”)
- Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaica Rum
- Plantation OFTD
- Plantation Xaymaca
I really liked the soda in the modern riff, so I wanted to keep that in the recipe. But I also wanted a higher amount of honey and other sweeteners to balance the higher amount of rum. I decided to use an equal ratio of Pimento Dram and Vanilla Syrup, a combo historically known as Don’s Spices #2 from the Nui Nui.
Ultimate Mai Tai Navy Grog
¾ oz Lime Juice
¾ oz Grapefruit Juice
1 oz Honey mix
½ oz Pimento Dram (Hamilton)
½ oz Vanilla Syrup (BG Reynolds)
1 ½ oz Ultimate Mai Tai Rum
1 ½ oz Demerara Rum (Lemon Hart)
Shake with crushed ice. After pouring into glass, top with 2 oz of Soda.
I really liked this, and it definitely reminded me of the great Navy Grogs I had at the Kon-Tiki in Oakland. If you like your Navy Grogs thick and heavy, I think you’ll love this recipe.