Daiquiris of Hope: Keeping the spirit of our favorite bars and bartenders alive

Updated May 21, 2020

The world’s hospitality community is experiencing an unprecedented shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, with ramifications still undefined and the “new normal” still open to debate. As our favorite bars agonize over layoffs, and the lucky ones eke out a living via takeout and delivery, many of us have tried to help the best we can.

Daiquiris of Hope

The Atomic Grog compiled a list of links to buy merchandise, donate to crowd-sourced fundraisers, and learn more about efforts to assist Tiki bars in need. This blog post focuses on the Tiki revival and adjacent rum bars, but we don’t want to forget all the others in the bar industry that also need assistance sooner rather than later. All deserve our support.

But we also need to blow off some steam and relax. In these days of social distancing (we prefer the term physical distancing) and stay-at-home orders, many are cranking up their home bars to 11, posting photos and recipes, hosting virtual happy hours, and more. While all of these are worthy pursuits, I’m focusing my efforts here on the bars and bartenders I most admire.

Rather than just repost their recipes, I thought it might be appropriate to pay tribute with something new … but also something old and comforting. So belly up to the home bar for Daiquiris of Hope (#daiquirisofhope), an attempt to put a small but loving spotlight on those influential establishments that are unfortunately dealing with a potential business disaster. Of course, this comes on top of all the personal toll the virus is taking.

But let’s focus on the positive: Those memorable and distinctive flavors that stay with us long after we’ve left the bar. The challenge is how to best translate that simply, with no fuss or muss. Not everyone is stocked to the gills in their home bar. But everyone at the very least should have access to rum, lime (or some other sour citrus) and a sweet ingredient of some sort. If you have bitters and other enhancements, all the better.

My hope is that others – enthusiasts and professionals alike – will join me in sharing photos and recipes on social media using the hashtag #daiquirisofhope in an effort to raise awareness for our friends in their time of need. Let them know we’re thinking of them as we spread the word via their great gift: A well-crafted cocktail.

UPDATES: Jump below: Daiquiris of Hope photos, recipes
From The Atomic Grog:
Beachbum’s Special Daiquiri (Jeff “Beachbum” Berry) NEW
Martiki’s Merchant Daiquiri (Martin Cate)
More coming soon!
Contributed: The Underground Cardamom Daiquiri (Dedicated to Tiki Underground by Mark Hooper)

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Support Tiki bars now by visiting their online stores, contributing to fundraisers
UPDATES: Support Tiki bars now by visiting their online stores, contributing to fundraisers
We need to do our part to assist those in need: Buy merchandise, donate to crowd-sourced fundraisers.

THE DAIQUIRI: The classic “shift drink”

The humble Daiquiri (rum, lime and sugar at its most basic) is a cocktail that transcends all eras, trends, styles, and social status. It’s the great equalizer behind the bar, often used as a litmus test to judge a bartender’s chops, but more often used as a stress-breaker and common denominator as perhaps the most ubiquitous “shift drink.”

A classic Daiquiri. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, December 2014)
A classic Daiquiri. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, December 2014

For all those reasons and many more, we chose this classic Tiki template – embraced by both Trader Vic and Don the Beachcomber and featured in some shape or form on every tropical cocktail menu over the past century – as the means to salute bartenders dealing with today’s state of affairs.

Of course, the history of this Caribbean standard goes back to the town of Daiquiri, Cuba, in the early 1900s, where it was reportedly invented by an American working there during the Spanish-American War. Others may beg to differ, and the drink’s origins are still hotly debated in Cuba’s prestigious cocktail bars.

Unlike the frozen, blended version (often flavored with fruit) that many mainstream drinkers may associate with the name, a classic Daiquiri is always shaken with ice and strained into a coupe or other small glass. Rum, lime and sugar are constants – though Victor Bergeron and Donn Beach kicked off an era of post-Prohibition experimentation that continues to this day.

Sidebar: Fans of the frozen variety may point to an equally classic variation: La Floridita Daiquiri, invented at Havana’s El Florida bar by the legendary bartender Constantino Ribalaigua Vert. The historic bar’s most famous regular was Ernest Hemingway, who favored a version known as Papa Doble (aka the the Hemingway Daiquiri). But that’s another story, one you can read in depth in Potions of the Caribbean: 500 Years of Tropical Drinks and the People Behind Them by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry. This must-have book includes fascinating stories about the Daiquiri and the people who put the drink on the cocktail map.

La Florida Daiquiri Number 3
From “Potions of the Caribbean,” by Jeff “Beachbum Berry (2013, Cocktail Kingdom).

What Constantino and Hemingway proved is that it’s OK to tweak a classic template. While there’s nothing as refreshing as the traditional recipe, it’s hard to find a consensus on what exactly that is. A white Cuban rum is a given, typically 2 ounces, but you could adjust that up or down to suit your taste. Fresh lime juice is the standard, but I’ve seen variations in recipes from as low as 1/4 ounce up to a full ounce. Also, Berry revealed in Potions that lemon juice may have been featured in the first Daiquiri. Traditionalists will insist on a teaspoon of white granulated sugar, but others prefer different sugar syrup recipes in varying amounts.

What’s clear is that this is a highly adjustable template, as bartenders recognized from day one. Constantino had so many versions that he just numbered them (La Florida Daiquiri Number 1, 2, etc.). He experimented with curacao, orange juice, grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur. Our Tiki forefathers took things to a whole new level, substituting different rums, juices and syrups, adding bitters and spices to create much more complex flavors.

But when you call a drink a Daiquiri, it should come close to the classic rum/sour/sweet template, if not the same proportions. At least that’s the theory that I subscribe to. The Daiquiri is my favorite drink to test out a new rum, syrup or bitters. It’s easy to make at the end of a long night at the office (or bar), and the quick-but-hard shake can be equally invigorating and cathartic.

The Mai-Kai's Special Reserve Daiquiri. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, June 2013)
The Mai-Kai’s Special Reserve Daiquiri. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, June 2013)

Another reason I chose the Daiquiri for this exercise is its iconic status as a shift drink, the traditional tipple that bartenders enjoy at the end of their workday. For all the reasons discussed above, it’s the perfect way to unwind. Not too complicated, if that’s your mood, but also open to endless tweaks. Considering our lockdown status, it fits the current climate nicely.

So what’s my favorite Daiquiri? The Mai-Kai’s Special Reserve Daiquiri, a descendant of Don’s Special Daiquiri (yes, that Donn) is pretty damn special. It’s also hard to argue with the Appleton Reserve Daiquiri, an approximation of the drink that Appleton Estate Rum master blender Joy Spence calls her all-time favorite.
* A-Z Cocktail Guide: See more Daiquiri recipes on The Atomic Grog

Below you’ll find The Atomic Grog’s latest Daiquiri of Hope recipes, dedicated to modern Tiki VIPs whose influence reaches far and wide. Look for more to be added in the coming weeks.

When you post your own Daiquiris of Hope on social media, be sure to use hashtag #daiquirisofhope and we’ll add them below.

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The Atomic Grog’s Daiquiri of Hope No. 2
BEACHBUM’S SPECIAL DAIQUIRI
(Dedicated to Jeff “Beachbum” Berry)

Jeff "Beachbum" Berry is an acclaimed author and owner of Beachbum Berry's Laittude 29 in New Orleans
Jeff “Beachbum” Berry is an acclaimed author and owner of Beachbum Berry’s Laittude 29 in New Orleans. (Official photo)

The seed was planted in the mid-1960s, when Jeff Berry was a wide-eyed kid tagging along with his parents to their favorite culinary destination: Chinese food at Cantonese restaurants. Little did he know that more than 50 years later, he would be sitting on top of his own empire of exotic delights: Six acclaimed and award-winning books on Tiki cocktail history, his own line of custom barware, a namesake restaurant and bar (Beachbum Berry’s Laittude 29) in the French Quarter of New Orleans, plus so much more.

Now a household name in Tiki and cocktail circles worldwide, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry luckily carried his childhood obsession into adulthood. He even held onto it through the “dark days” of Tiki in the 1980s, when it was nearly impossible to find a proper tropical drink except in the few establishments that survived from the mid-century’s golden era. A few bartenders survived as well, and Berry sought them out for just one simple reason: He wanted to know how to make those legendary cocktails, such as the Navy Grog and Zombie, and find out what all the fuss was about.

A dogged researcher, the fledgling Hollywood producer/writer/director spent most of his off hours in the pursuit of Tiki. He was on the ground floor of what became known as the modern Tiki revival in Los Angeles in the late 1980s, well documented in the highly recommended new film on artist Bosko Hrnjak, Bosko and the Rebirth of Tiki. Berry became the bar and cocktail yin to The Book of TIki author Sven Kirsten’s art and architecture yang. Together, they planted the flag that proudly flies today at the dozens upon dozens of new Tiki bars around the world.

Hurricane Hayward shares a Zombie with Beachbum Berry at The Mai-Kai on Halloween 2018. (Atomic Grog photo)
Hurricane Hayward shares a Zombie with Beachbum Berry at The Mai-Kai on Halloween 2018. (Atomic Grog photo)

Berry’s path has been guided in no small part by his wife, Annene Kaye (aka Mrs. Bum), whom he met in 1990 and who now manages Laittude 29. A writer and former bartender, she became Berry’s partner in crime as his books slowly crept into the Tiki cocktail consciousness. Together, they “reverse engineered” the classics that “the Bum,” as he would quickly become known, had gleaned from the dwindling roster of veteran Tiki bartenders from the early days.

When it came time to name his first book, a slapdash affair based on a recipe list that he had been circulating among the Tiki in-crowd, Berry found a font that he really liked from an old place called Beachbum Bert’s. He simply transposed a few letters and Beachbum Berry’s Gog Log was born. This simple spiral-bound book’s appearance in 1998 is arguably one of the landmark events in the Tiki revival, as well as a future waypost for the craft cocktail movement.

As the years went by and the revival gained traction, more books appeared. Beachbum Berry’s Intoxica! (2002) was wall-to-wall vintage Tiki cocktail recipes, much like Grog Log, while Beachbum Berry’s Taboo Table (2005) was dedicated to his parents’ fascination: classic mid-century Polynesian food. The bar was raised in 2007, when Beachbum Berry’s Sippin’ Safari combined impeccably researched stories and historical treasures with the vintage recipes, including 48 (among them the elusive original Zombie) revealed for the first time.

Beachbum Berry talks about the Daiquiri during a symposium at The Hukilau 2015 in Fort Lauderdale. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)
Beachbum Berry talks about the Daiquiri during a symposium at The Hukilau 2015 in Fort Lauderdale. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

After Beachbum Berry Remixed (2009), which pulled Grog Log and Intoxica! into one expanded and enhanced package, Berry wrote the magnum opus that had been hinted at in Sippin’ Safari. With Potions of the Caribbean: 500 Years of Tropical Drinks and the People Behind Them, the Bum finally earned the accolades he deserved with the 2014 Spirited Award for Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book. He even got is own Wikipedia page.

The 317-page hardcover book, which began Berry’s fruitful partnership with book publisher and barware purveyor Cocktail Kingdom, is a true cocktail history book – meticulously-researched, wryly written, lavishly illustrated. Meanwhile, the release of Beachbum Berry’s Total Tiki app whet the appetite of enthusiasts looking for recipes from all of the books (and more). At last count, it featured more than 250, plus an ingredient guide and other cool features.

The Cocktail Kingdom partnership led to the release of a 10th anniversary edition of Sippin’ Safari, enhanced and redesigned with new, never-before-published recipes, a preface on how the Bum discovered the long-lost recipes, plus an afterward that details the book’s influence on today’s Tiki and craft cocktail scene. It may top the list as The Atomic Grog’s all-time favorite cocktail book.

Annnene Kay and Jeff Berry opened Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29 in November 2014. (Latitude 29 photo)
Annnene Kay and Jeff Berry opened Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 in November 2014. (Latitude 29 photo)

There was also an endless stream of barware (see below), from the Navy Grog Ice Cone Kit to the Pearl Diver Glass. But what good is barware if you don’t have a bar? A dream that had been simmering for many years finally reached its fruition when Mr. and Mrs. Bum moved to New Orleans.

After a few years of searching for the perfect location, they opened Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 in the fall of 2014. In addtion to the flawless drinks, the dark yet inviting space features tons of vintage decor from Berry and Kaye’s personal collection, classy interior design by Bosko, and even old chairs from The Mai-Kai.

In the years since, Latitude 29 has established itself as one the world’s top Tiki destinations, featuring both lost classics (Missionary’s Downfall, Nui Nui, Lapu Lapu) and inventive originals (South Seas Sinner, Hawaii 504, Beachbum Bowl). Fans flock to the French Quarter to taste the cocktails created by Berry and his longtime head bartender, Brad Smith. The Bum’s journey even inspired a new song, Latitude 29: The Journey of Beachbum Berry, by The Crazed Mugs.

Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29Critics also rave about the humble “exotic drinks and chow” in the cozy space nestled inside the Bienville House hotel. Latitude 29 was honored this year as one of the Top 10 nominees for Best American Cocktail Bar at the Spirited Awards at Tales of the Cocktail, set for July in New Orleans.

The bar’s success and Berry’s association with Cocktail Kingdom owner Greg Boehm spurred an annual holiday pop-up concept, Sippin’ Santa, which in 2019 expanded to 28 venues across North America.

But what does the future hold? The coronavirus pandemic is having a devastating effect throughout the bar and restaurant industry, especially in New Orleans. We hope Mr. and Mrs. Bum are able to emerge from the crisis and get back on track in providing one the best contemporary Tiki bar experiences in the world. In the meantime, we’d like to show our support with the following Daiquiri of Hope, which pays tribute to the Bum’s vintage style and signature flavors.

Among the many cool items you can find on BeachumBerry.com are four classic books: Taboo Table, Remixed, Sippin' Safari (10th anniversary edition), and Potions of the Caribbean; plus drinking vessels and barware including the Coconut Mug, Pearl Diver Glass, Zombie Glass, Swizzle Cup, Pearl Diver Glass, Navy Grog Ice Cone Kit, Bora Bora Bum Mug, Skull Bar Spoon, and Tiki Cocktail Picks. You can also order Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 Formula Orgeat and Falernum, which were used in our tribute recipe, Beachbum's Special Daiquiri.
Among the many cool items you can find on BeachumBerry.com are four classic books: Taboo Table, Remixed, Sippin’ Safari (10th anniversary edition), and Potions of the Caribbean; plus drinking vessels and barware including the Coconut Mug, Pearl Diver Glass, Zombie Glass, Swizzle Cup, Pearl Diver Glass, Navy Grog Ice Cone Kit, Bora Bora Bum Mug, Skull Bar Spoon, and Tiki Cocktail Picks. You can also order Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 Formula Orgeat and Falernum, which were used in our tribute recipe, Beachbum’s Special Daiquiri. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, April 2020)
Beachbum's Special Daiquiri By The Atomic Grog. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, April 2020)
Beachbum’s Special Daiquiri By The Atomic Grog. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, April 2020)

Beachbum’s Special Daiquiri
(By The Atomic Grog)

* 1/4 ounce Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 Formula Orgeat (Orgeat Works) (*)
* 1/4 ounce Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 Formula Falernum (Orgeat Works) (*)
* 1/4 ounce passion fruit syrup
* 3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
* 1/4 ounce fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
* 3/4 ounce Plantation O.F.T.D. rum (**)
* 3/4 ounce Caña Brava rum (***)
* 1/4 ounce Hamilton Jamaican Pot Still Gold rum (****)
* 1 dash Angostura bitters
* 3 drops Pernod (or absinthe)

Shake hard with ice and strain into a coupe or small glass with ice shell.

Big, bold flavors grab you by the throat and don’t let go. Spicy, sweet and boozy, just as the Bum would like it.

The ice shell (or cove) is a signature feature of quite a few Don the Beachcomber classics, and still employed by The Mai-Kai. We cover the basics of how to create one in our Special Reserve Daiquiri tribute recipe. In fact, we’re much more proud of that previous version than the one above. Maybe the Bum can come up with an “Ice Shell Kit” for us. ;>)

Tasting notes

An homage to the Special Reserve Daiquiri, a descendant of Don’s Special Daiquiri and a Bum favorite at The Mai-Kai. The rums, syrups and spices are turned up to 11 in honor of the Beachbum, our modern day Don.

Warning: You’ll be throwning these back with abandon if you’re not too careful.

The Bum pours Plantation O.F.T.D. rum into his festive holiday cocktail, Christmas Eve of Destruction
The Bum pours Plantation O.F.T.D. rum into his festive holiday cocktail, Christmas Eve of Destruction. Click here for the tribute recipe. (SippinSantaPopUp.com)

Ingredient notes

* Everything here is from the classic Don the Beachcomber (and/or Beachbum Berry) playbook, so if you’ve read even one of Berry’s books you should already know the drill: Fresh-squeezed juices, careful application of the bitters and Pernod (or absinthe), only the highest quality syrups. We make our own passion fruit syrup, from a recipe we originally found in our dog-eared copy of the original Sippin’ Safari. Berry also recommends the all-natural syrup made by Small Hand Foods.

* As stated in his books, Berry’s preference is white grapefruit juice (not pink or ruby red), even if you have to use a commercial brand. Just make sure it’s 100 percent juice, unsweetened.

Ingredient substitutions

This flavor bomb loses none of its punch with a few strategic substitutions, if necessary.

Orgeat Works syrups, including two specially made for Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29, are made in Brooklyn by Adam Kolesar. (BeachbumBerry.com)
Orgeat Works syrups, including two specially made for Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29, are made in Brooklyn by Adam Kolesar. (BeachbumBerry.com)

(*) – When Berry launched Latitude 29, he reached out to Brooklyn-based Orgeat Works and “Tiki Adam” Kolesar to create both orgeat and falernum to his own specifications. He was looking for specific flavor profiles in these signature syrups and was not happy with most products on the market. The orgeat, a rich and fragrant almond syrup, is engineered to shine in Trader Vic’s original 1944 Mai Tai recipe. The falernum – a thick nonalcoholic blend of lime, clove, ginger and almond – is designed to replicate the old A.V. Stansfeld brand, Don the Beachcomber’s preferred “munrelaf,” as he coded it in many classic recipes. If you can’t wait for your Orgeat Works order to arrive and have Fee Brothers orgeat and falernum on hand, those are both recommended in the ingredient glossary of Berry’s books. Homemade versions are also fine, as long as they come close to those same flavor profiles.

(**) – Berry was one of the six rum and Tiki experts (along with Martin Cate, featured below) tasked by Plantation Rum’s Alexander Gabriel with helping him create O.F.T.D. (aka Old Fashioned Traditional Dark), a perfect mixing rum for Tiki cocktails. It combines the high proof and smokiness of a 151 Demerara rum with the funk of a dark Jamaican rum and sophisticated flavor a Barbados rum, clocking in at 138 proof. Since there are two other lower proof rums in this cocktail to balance things out, you could substitute Lemon Hart 151 or Hamilton 151 from Guyana and get no complaints.

(***) – Caña Brava is a Berry favorite, a 3-year-old aged and filtered rum created by the legendary Cuban distiller Francisco “Don Pancho” J. Fernandez in Panama in the “Spanish white” style found in classic Daiquiris as well as many Tiki staples. It has a slightly higher alcohol level (86 proof) and is known for its simple sophistication, managing to be both sweet and dry, rich and crisp. You really need to own this rum, but if you can’t find it, I’d recommend another slightly aged white rum from the Spanish Caribbean, preferably above 80 proof. The 89-proof Bacardi Heritage fits the bill best, but any of Havana Club’s white rums would also do the trick. Bacardi Maestro Gran Reserva, Flor de Cana Extra Dry, and Brugal Ron Blanco Especial are also viable options.

(****) – Importer and longtime rum guru Ed Hamilton has long provided some of the best products for Tiki cocktails via his Caribbean Spirits Inc. The Hamilton Jamaican Pot Still Gold and Black rums from Worthy Park Estate are essential in any bar and are identical in their fruity and grassy flavor profile, a proto pot still Jamaican rum. I went with the gold in this cocktail to keep the color relatively bright, but the black would be fine. If you’re lucky enough to have the limited-edition Blonde (same flavor, less color), by all means use that. It was designed for Daiquiris. If you lack these Hamilton rums, you should first demand your favorite store place an order, then seek out a replacement like the old reliable Coruba Dark or the more sophisticated Plantation Xaymaca. For even more funk and another high-octane kick, you could opt for Smith & Cross or Two James Doctor Bird.

More on Beachbum Berry
See past Atomic Grog stories, including several interviews, recaps of his symposiums at The Hukilau and other events, plus more than 50 of his vintage and original recipes (from the 151 Swizzle to the Zombie).

HOW TO HELP NOW
Buy books, syrups, barware via BeachbumBerry.com
* Funds and support initiatives for the New Orleans service industry

BEACHBUM BERRY’S LATITUDE 29
Official website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter
Beachbum Berry on social media: Facebook | Instagram
Listen: Beachbum Berry on the NOLADrinks Show (May 20) NEW

Beachbum Berry's official website

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The Atomic Grog’s Daiquiri of Hope No. 1
MARTIKI’S MERCHANT DAIQUIRI
(Dedicated to Martin Cate)

Martin and Rebecca Cate represented Smuggler's Cove in the Tiki Tower Takeover at The Hukilau 2016 at the Pier 66 hotel in Fort Lauderdale
Martin and Rebecca Cate represented Smuggler’s Cove in the Tiki Tower Takeover at The Hukilau 2016 at the Pier 66 hotel in Fort Lauderdale. (Photo by Go11Events.com)

Martin Cate’s influence is as vast as his long list of job titles and accomplishments: Acclaimed bar owner, in-demand rum expert, oft-quoted Tiki cocktail historian, revered master mixoloist, award-winning author. If you know Martin, you also know that he’s just one of the guys, an easygoing sort whose achievements overshadow his humble and kind nature. In other words: The kind of guy you hate to see fall onto hard times.

He’s also a hero in the home Tiki bartending community, having risen from the ranks of enthusiast to professional in the early 2000s. After losing his corporate job, he jumped head-first into hospitality and cut his teeth at Trader Vic’s in San Francisco before opening his first bar, Forbidden Island in Alameda, with partners in 2006. While that bar remains a modern Tiki torch-bearer, Martin and wife Rebecca had bigger things in mind.

Smuggler's Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum and the Cult of Tiki

In 2009, they moved on to open Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, creating an experience that paid tribute not only to Tiki and rum history, but also embraced the burgeoning craft cocktail ethos with a passion and precision that paved the way for dozens of bars to follow. “The Cove” racked up numerous industry awards and led to the couple writing Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum and the Cult of Tiki (2016), which won numerous honors, including the prestigious James Beard Award.

Along the way, Cate expanded his Tiki empire, becoming partners at numerous bars across the country: Hale Pele in Portland, Ore.; Lost Lake in Chicago; False Idol in San Diego. Finally, he and his partners reached for the sky with his latest venture, Max’s South Seas Hideaway in Grand Rapids, Mich. It’s the first Tiki bar and restaurant to be built on such a large scale since the genre’s mid-century heyday. Cate is also a partner in the San Franciso gin joint, Whitechapel.

Now, with everything shuttered, Cate’s bars and restaurants need our help more than ever. The following recipe is just a small tribute to raise awareness and hopefully spur folks to visit the links below and spend a few dollars. We look forward to a day when we can visit all of the above establishments unfettered, but in the meantime, here’s a small taste of what I associate with the Martin Cate and Smuggler’s Cove style, served up in a Daiquiri. (Note: Martiki is Cate’s username on Tiki Central, the gathering place for Polynesian Pop enthusiasts since 2000. (The message board is also undergoing some difficulties, unfortunately, but we hear it should be rebooted soon.)

Martiki's Merchant Daiquiri by The Atomic Grog
Martiki’s Merchant Daiquiri by The Atomic Grog. You can pick up the book by Martin and Rebecca Cate, plus the Kuhiko mug designed by Crazy Al Evans, in the Smuggler’s Cove online store. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, April 2020)

Martiki’s Merchant Daiquiri
(By The Atomic Grog)

* 1 1/2 ounces Denizen Merchant’s Reserve rum (*)
* 1/2 ounce Plantation O.F.T.D. rum (**)
* 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
* 1/4 ounce fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
* 1/4 ounce Smuggler’s Cove Demerara syrup (***)
* 1/8 ounce cinnamon syrup
* 1/4 teaspoon allspice dram

Shake with plenty of ice and strain into a small but rugged cocktail coupe.

Strong, spicy and rummy. This is a Daiquiri for all seasons, in all ports of call.

Tasting notes

Warning: These go down way too easy. Every flavor pops in subtle ways, from the warm cinnamon and allspice to the rich rums to the tart juices. The deep and potent rums are balanced by the spicy, sweet and citrus flavors that perfectly represent the Smuggler’s Cove ethos.

Ingredient notes

Denizen Merchant's Reserve

* Cate had a hand in the creation of both rums in this cocktail. The 8-year-old Denizen Merchant’s Reserve, a creative blend of aged pot still rums from Jamaica and the forgotten grand arome rhum style from Martinique, is the result of research by Cate into the original rum used by Trader Vic to create the Mai Tai in the 1940s. The rich and powerful O.F.T.D. – a 138-proof blend of rums from Jamaica, Guyana and Barbados – was crafted as the ultimate Tiki overproof mixing rum by Plantation’s Alexander Gabriel after consulting with a who’s who of modern cocktail experts, including Cate.

* Cinnamon syrup is a common ingredient in classic Tiki cocktails, and not too difficult to make at home. Martin and Rebecca included a recipe in their book. My old standby is the one in Beachbum Berry’s Sippin’ Safari. You can also order a fine bottled version from BG Reynolds.

* Allspice dram, aka pimento dram or allspice liqueur, is another old-school ingredient that has made a big comeback in the Tiki revival. There are plenty of recipes online, but most are somewhat time-consuming and won’t necessarily yield the correct flavor needed here. In his book, Cate calls for the St. Elizabeth brand, which is typically the easiest to find.

Ingredient substitutions

I don’t recommend too many changes, or else you’ll lose the signature flavors this cocktail strives to attain. However, if you must, these swaps are fine and would result in an equally excellent Daiquiri.

(*) – The namesake rum is crucial, but in a pinch you could use a premium aged Jamaican rum, such as 12-year-old Appleton Estate Rare Blend.

(**) – It’s also very hard to replace the distinctive O.F.T.D., but if necessary a 151 Demerara rum such as Hamilton or Lemon Hart would do the trick.

(***) – The Demerara syrup recipe published in the Smuggler’s Cove book and featured at the bar is one of my go-to sugar syrups. I always have a bottle handy in the fridge. It’s also fairly easy to make. If, for some reason, you lack Demerara sugar and have a bottle of Martinique sugar cane syrup lying around, feel free to use that (or any quality rich simple syrup).

More on Martin Cate
See past Atomic Grog stories, including the memorable “Rum Rat Pack” gathering at The Hukilau 2011, our 2013 interview, plus 10 of his delicious recipes (including the 2070 Swizzle, Formidable Dragon and The Undead Gentleman).

HOW TO HELP NOW
Smuggler’s Cove: Buy merchandise | Donate to the staff
False Idol: Buy merchandise
Hale Pele: Buy merchandise | Donate to the staff
Lost Lake: Subscribe to newsletter, donate to the staff
Max’s South Seas Hideaway: Order takeout, delivery Buy merchandise | Donate to the staff
Whitechapel: Takeout booze, merchandise | Donate to the staff

OFFICIAL WEBSITES, SOCIAL MEDIA
Smuggler’s Cove: SmugglersCoveSF.com | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter
False Idol: FalseIdolTiki.com | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter
Hale Pele: HalePele.com | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter
Lost Lake: LostLakeTiki.com/ | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter
Max’s South Seas Hideaway: MaxsTiki.com/ | Instagram | Facebook

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CONTRIBUTED RECIPE

The Underground Cardamom Daiquiri
(Submitted by Mark Hooper, dedicated to Tiki Underground in Akron, Ohio)

The Underground Cardamom Daiquiri is simple yet full of flavor. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, May 2020)
The Underground Cardamom Daiquiri is simple yet full of flavor. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, May 2020)

Served at Tiki Underground when The Pith Crew did a bar takeover last April. Also featured at Inuhele: Atlanta’s Tiki Weekend in March.

1 ounce fresh lime juice
3/4 ounce Pink House Alchemy Cardamom Simple Syrup (*)
2 ounces Plantation 3 Stars rum
1/2 ounce Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao

Shake all ingredients until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a floating lime wheel

A rich and decadent Daiquiri that goes down easy. The exotic cardamom syrup perfectly balances the dry curacao, which can dominate a drink if you’re not careful. There’s still room for the rum to breathe and shine through in this truly savory sip.

(*) Note: I did not have Pink House Alchemy Cardamom Simple Syrup, which Hooper highly recommends, but this recipe gave me a chance to try out the Royal Rose Cardamom Clove Syrup that I recently picked up from Total Wine. I know the flavor profile is slightly different, but this syrup is heavy on the spicy cardamom and seemed to work very well in this Daiquiri. I have a feeling I’ll be using this syrup again soon.

HOW TO HELP NOW
* Get to-go orders, buy merchandise, donate to the Tiki Underground staff

OFFICIAL WEBSITES, SOCIAL MEDIA
* TikiUnderground.com | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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#daiquirisofhope on social media

Show your support for your favorite or most admired bars and bartenders during these rough times by mixing up a special Daiquiri. Make your creation as simple or as complex as you’d like. The most important thing is to send a message that we’re thinking about them and we miss them. Use hashtag #daiquirisofhope on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We’ll try to add as many as we can below.

Okole maluna!

View this post on Instagram

Another week almost down and that means Tiki Thursday. This week I made Beachbums Special Daiquiri for #daiquirisofhope in honor of @latitude29nola and @official_beachbumberry. Such a great drink with so many flavors. I subbed Doctor Bird for the Hamilton Jamaican Pot Still Gold and Real McCoy 3 for Cana Brava. Sorry, no ice shell this time. . Thanks to @theatomicgrog for such a great idea. We can’t wait to make another road trip to New Orleans and park ourselves at the bar inside Latitude 29. . .. #tikithursday #daiquirisofhope #daiquiris #daiquiri #tikidrinks #tikicocktails #tiki #tikitime #tikilife #tikistyle #tikilifestyle #drinkmorerum #cocktails #rumdrinks #rum #tastybev #craftcocktails #spirits #tikilove #rumcocktails #tropicaldrinks #tikilounge #homebartender #dallastiki #quarantiki #plantationoftd

A post shared by Rick Beyer (@strangelibations) on

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The Hukilau hits the road to spread aloha, benefit closed Tiki bars
The Hukilau hits the road to benefit closed Tiki bars
The tour will include The Mai-Kai, other stops across U.S., plus The Hukilau London in October.
The Tiki Times: Live online meet-ups, interviews and happy hours
Latest on canceleled and rescheduled events

Expanded hot food menu joins cocktail ‘Gallons to Go’ as The Mai-Kai plans reopening
Expanded hot food menu joins cocktail ‘Gallons to Go’ as The Mai-Kai plans reopening
Get the latest news on curbside pickup at the historic Polynesian restaurant, plus behind-the-scenes photos and reviews of the cocktails and exclusive new rum.

Hurricane Hayward on Inside the Desert Oasis Room
Hurricane Hayward on Inside the Desert Oasis Room
Listen to the “Covid Chronicles” episode recorded live with Adrian Eustaquio as The Atomic Grog blogger made his way to The Mai-Kai to pick up Gallons to Go. Also available on iTunes, Spotify and Google Play.

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