Search for the Ultimate Navy Grog: Part 2

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.

Glassware and tiki mug by B-Rex

Further Adventures:

2 Replies to “Search for the Ultimate Navy Grog: Part 2”

  1. I don’t think the recipe we have seen listed as the “historical recipe” for Don the Beachcomber is correct. If you read Jeff Berry’s book, he says he got the recipe from watching a bartender at a bar in an old Chinese restaurant. He never has shown a source from Don the Beachcomber.

  2. Hello Arriano, thanks for commenting.

    Page 74, Beachbum Berry Remixed and page 53 of the Grog Log, the Navy Grog is attributed to Don the Beachcomber. Same with the Total Tiki app.

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