One of the highlights of Tiki in Waikiki was the Friday cocktail reception at the International Market Place‘s treehouse. This was set up as a tribute to Donn Beach, who envisioned the original market place back in the 1950s. A treehouse for two was a key feature back in those days, used by honeymooners and others who wanted a private dining experience. A. Private. Dining. Experience. You know…
We can thank our friends at Skull & Crown Trading Co. for setting up the cocktails being served in the treehouse for the first time in decades. There were a series of delicious options, including a very nice Zombie, but I was totally blown away by the Mai Tai on the menu.
The Banyan Mai Tai was made with Appleton Estate 12 rum, Kō Hana Kea rum, Smith & Cross rum, Dry Curacao, Lime, Orgeat, Demerara Syrup, and a topping of Angostura Bitters. Purists would say that bitters don’t belong in a Mai Tai, but I’m here to tell you that it was just fine to add them. With three rums amongst my favorites, this Mai Tai totally hit me perfectly. Especially considering the setting, too. Cocktails, in a treehouse under the banyan tree, what’s not to love? One of the top Mai Tais of 2023 and it will for sure make the yearly top 10 list.
Skull & Crown will be doing cocktails here on Fridays and Saturdays through the rest of the year, so if you’re in Waikiki be sure to check it out.
This cocktail was recently featured on the Cocktail College podcast and so I thought I’d make one at home. An interesting aspect of this cocktail is that it called for an Aged Martinique Rhum, and I’ve heard specifically that this should be a sugar cane juice-based Agricole Rhum, not a Grand Arôme from Molasses. But the guest on Cocktail College seemed to not dial this in and even suggested an unaged Agricole might be better.
Having made the cocktail I can say that an aged Agricole for sure works better to compliment the spicy notes from the Falernum and Allspice Dram. The cocktail I made turned out really great and only served to remind me that I ought to order this more when out at bars.
Three Dots and a Dash by Don the Beachcomber ½ oz Lime Juice ½ oz Orange Juice ½ oz Honey Mix ¼ oz Falernum ¼ oz Allspice Dram / Pimento Liqueur ½ oz Demerara Rum 1½ oz Aged Martinique Rhum 1 dash Angostura Bitters Flash blend with 6 oz crushed ice. Garnish with three cherries (dots) and a pineapple front (dash).
Spirts: Falernum: John D. Taylor (heavy pour) Allspice Dram: Hamilton Demerara Rum: Skipper Rum Aged Martinique Rhum: Clement VSOP
This is the 1941 version, published by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry via the private papers of Mariano Licudine – a Don the Beachcomber bartender. Quite different from the Trader Vic’s version and clearly following common Don the Beachcomber recipe traditions.
Overall this is pretty good, though I tasted more grapefruit and less honey than I expected. Maybe I had a bad grapefruit.
Myrtle Bank Punch ¾ oz Lime Juice ¾ oz White Grapefruit Juice ¾ oz Clover Honey Syrup (2:1) ¾ oz Gold Jamaican Rum (Appleton Reserve) 1½ oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Worthy Park 109) 2 dashes Angostura Bitters ¾ oz Club Soda Strain into tall glass
This is the location of the original Don’s Beachcomber Cafe, the forebear tiki bar that opened in Hollywood in 1934. A couple years later Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt opened a larger place across the street called Don the Beachcomber, then subsequently changed his name to Donn Beach.
There’s nothing to see really, and as far as I can tell there’s nothing technically at 1722 anymore. There is a condo sitting over location of the second location.
I decided to use some of this year’s most highly anticipated new rum releases and put them into a cocktail together. I love the Worthy Park 109, which is a Dark Jamaican rum that to me approaches the flavor profile of a Demerara rum. And the aged Clairin expression from Saint Benevolence is an amazing alternative for cocktails calling for an aged rum from Martinique.
So, I chose a cocktail where the new rums would drop right in. The Three Dots and a Dash is a popular Don the Beachcomber cocktail, the recipe for which was unearthed a few years ago by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry. Thanks, Bum!
Three Dots and a Dash (modified) ½ oz Lime Juice ½ oz Orange Juice ½ oz Honey Syrup ¼ oz Falernum ¼ oz Pimento Dram 1½ oz Saint Benevolence Aged Clairin ½ oz Worthy Park 109 Jamaica Rum 1 dash Angostura Bitters 6 oz Crushed Ice Flash blend and garnish with three cherries (three dots) and a pineapple (and a dash)
I keep trying Zombie variants but aways come back to this one. Don the Beachcomber really got it right the first time, as future variants, while interesting, do have the complex and transformative characteristics of this Planters Punch on steroids.
The glassware features a stylized Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, who through sleuthing and relationship building was finally able to piece together Donn’s original recipe. The Zombie chapter in Berry’s book Sippin’ Safari might be my favorite chapter in any book I’ve ever read. So many historical details, written in Detective-style first person as only the Bum can. If you don’t have the book, you need to get it now. The 10th Anniversary edition is printed in beautiful hardback with additional material compared to the original 2007 paperback version.
The glass is available from Cocktail Kingdom and is the perfect compliment. And if you need the recipe it’s right on glass for easy reference. Enjoy a Zombie today.
I first tried this amazing cocktail at Longitude, the Oakland adventure-themed bar that sadly closed but lives on today as The Kon-Tiki.
Every time I try this I think I should have it more often, featuring Jamaican rum, Passion Fruit Syrup, and Honey mix. So delicious. Thanks to Jeff Berry for publishing the recipe in Beachbum Berry Remixed and in the Total Tiki app.
It’s Friday so I made myself a double version of this. Thankfully I have these cool tiki style coupe glasses that are extra large.
Don’s Special Daiquiri ½ oz Lime Juice ½ oz Honey Mix ½ oz Passion Fruit Syrup ½ oz Light Rum 1 oz Gold Jamaican Rum