50th Anniversary of Black Tot Day

Today we remember Black Tot Day, the day in 1970 when the British Navy provided the last daily rum ration to sailors.

To celebrate, I made my own Navy Rum blend. This is generally accurate though the actual blend was a state secret and few on the planet know the actual recipe (which in any case changed over the years due to supply and demand). I made this out some rums I had in stock at home using rums from the traditional supply countries.

Ultimate Navy Rum Blend
2 oz Skipper Rum (45% ABV Guyana)
3 oz Wood’s Navy Rum (57% ABV Guyana)
4 oz Pussers Gunpowder Proof (54.5% ABV Guyana)
2 oz Denizen White (40% ABV – Trinidad and small Jamaican portion)
1 oz Real McCoy 5 (40% ABV – Barbados)
.5 oz Pussers 15 year (40% ABV – Guyana) because it is a special occasion

If I’ve done my math correct this is just about 50% ABV, so just below typical “Navy Strength,” but still boozy. This is a complex and bold rum blend.

I’m sure we could have had some really cool celebrations today in person, but due to COVID it’s all online. Nonetheless, I’d like to thank and salute all my rum friends on Black Tot Day.

The Black Tot Toast
There are tall ships,
And there are small ships,
And there are ships that sail the sea,
But the best ships, are friendships,
So here’s to you and me!

Better Than You Think

It is fashionable among rum nerds to naysay Myers’s but this White Jamaican rum ain’t bad for the price. Way better than the unaged Puerto Rican rums to me. Don’t get me wrong though, this is a mixer not a sipper.

It made a very nice Daiquiri.

Khukri: Rum from Nepal

This seems like one of the last countries you’d associate with rum, typically produced in the tropics. But I found this at a local, independent liquor store and gave it a try.

Not bad. This is an old bottle style, but is equivalent to the Khukri XXX that’s currently available. Tragically, no longer pot stilled, and only lightly aged. Feels like maybe some sugar added. Not the finest rum but plenty fine in a cocktail or even to sip with an ice cube. And definitely unique.

Luau Lounge: Outdoor Tiki at Pier 39

Traveled Sunday to SF and along the way we went over to Pier 39 to check out the new patio experience at the Luau Lounge. I’ve had some mixed experiences over the years at the Luau Lounge, but it is always good to see when businesses are trying to hang on and maybe even thrive in COVID times. Hence the Luau Lounge taking over the former stage space at the end of the pier.

The set up looks good, with tables spaced out well. The cocktail menu still includes a few tiki favorites, along with mainstream cocktails, beer, and wine that are necessary for a tourist restaurant. Food has been good here when we’ve visited before.

We didn’t stay for a drink or meal, though. We’re still a little hesitant about the outdoor dining with strangers, but mostly for us on Sunday at noon was lack of shade. I think there will be many times during the day where the sun won’t be too bad, but our timing wasn’t great.

If you’re in SF and hankering for some tiki, the Luau Lounge seems like a reasonable choice right now.

Mai Tai Rums

What kind of rum should you use in a Mai Tai? We discuss the history of Mai Tai rums and offer some suggestions for making great Mai Tais at home.

Samoan Fog Cutter with Harvey’s Bristol Creme

Finally got some Sherry so I could try this Trader Vic’s classic at home. It’s delicious.

The classic Fog Cutter recipe dates from the 1940s and was included in the 1947 Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide. With four different spirits, it has been compared to a Long Island Iced Tea.

Fog Cutter (1940s)
2 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Orange Juice
½ oz Orgeat
2 oz Puerto Rican Rum
1 oz Brandy
½ oz Gin
Sherry wine float

Shake all except for Sherry with cracked ice. Pour into 14 oz glass and fill with more cracked ice. Add Sherry float.

The original Fog Cutter is also notable in that it is likely one of the first exotic cocktails to be served in a ceramic mug.

In the 1950s, Trader Vic adjusted the recipe to reduce the amount of rum and brandy. This new recipe was given the moniker Samoan Fog Cutter and remains on the Trader Vic’s menus today. 

Samoan Fog Cutter
2 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Orange Juice
½ oz Orgeat
1½ oz Light Rum
½ oz Brandy
½ oz Gin
½ oz Cream Sherry, floated

If I was going to make it again, I probably would float a full ounce of sherry on top. It really is the special ingredient in this cocktail.

As a kid growing up in the 1970s, commercials for Harvey’s Bristol Creme were common. It’s actually pretty tasty.

Orange and Black Cocktail

It is Aloha Friday and opening day for all Major League Baseball teams. To celebrate, I made this cocktail in honor of our home team San Francisco Giants, known colloquially as “the Orange and Black.” It’s a refreshing cocktail perfect for finally being able to relax on the weekend with a baseball game.

Orange and Black
1 oz Lime Juice
2½ oz Orange Juice (fresh-squeezed Valencia recommended)
¾ oz Coconut Creme
½ oz Blood Orange Cordial (Liber & Co.)
½ oz Light Rum (I used Cruzan)
Shake with ice and pour into a tall glass
Float with 1½ oz Black Rum (I used Dark Rum from local favorite Trader Vic’s)

Orange and Black