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Rum Review: Sammy's Beach Bar Rum


Wow how time files.  I'm really sorry, that I haven't posted anything in quite awhile! I miss posting recipes, and talking with all of my Tiki friends on Facebook and Twitter.  My day job has been really busy this summer, and I haven't had much free time.  I am a software developer by day, and in that field you have to update your skills all the time. So I have been doing a lot of learning.  

Last week I was at the airport for work, and saw a big sign for Beach Bar Rum.  That feeling of a tropical escape by way of a Tiki cocktail was calling my name.  I knew immediately that I had to get a bottle of that rum and try it out!


The rum is actually called Sammy's Beach Bar Rum, and is named after Sammy Hagar of Van Halen.  Sammy wanted a rum for his restaurants.  So he joined up with a distillery in Hawaii.  The rum is make with sugar cane from Hawaii. 

Sammy's beach bar rum is a nice smooth white rum. It is a bit on the sweeter side, and is a lot like a Cachaça. Drinking a little bit of this rum will transport you to Hawaii.  As you will see in the video I just cannot pronounce Cachaça no matter how hard I try. :-)  Maybe another drink would have made it easier. 

Sammy's Maui Rocker

The website for Sammy's Beach Bar Rum had a number of drink recipes.  One that stood out to me was Sammy's Maui Rocker

To make a Sammy's Maui Rocker combine the following ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice:

  • 1.5 oz Sammy's Beach Bar Rum
  • 1.5 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz fresh sour mix
  • .5 oz orange Curacao
  • .25  oz grenadine

Shake the drink up really good and pour it, unstrained, into a tall glass. 

Sammy's Maui Rocker is a little on the sweeter side, but it was still pretty good.  When you pick up the glass the aroma of pineapple, orange, and lime fill your nose and transport you to the beautiful Hawaiian Islands.  After the first sip you taste the sweet flavors of pineapple, and orange.  Then, the lemon and lime balance out the drink nicely.  You can start to hear the gentle ocean waves, the warm sea breeze rustle the palm trees, and in the distance a steel drum playing that oh so familiar Hawaiian music.... Ah.. paradise.


How to Make an El Diablo - Happy Cinco De Mayo!


Cinco de Mayo is upon us! If you are looking for an alternative to the margarita try an El Diablo.  The El Diablo is one of the few Tiki cocktails with tequila.

This cocktail was made popular by Trader Vic.  He may or may not have invented it.  Trader Vic was the first to publish the recipe in the 1940s. Then, in the 1960s Trader Vic had a chain of Mexican restaurants, and the El Diablo was featured at the restaurants. Unfortunately, the Mexican restaurant chain didn't do well, and the El Diablo drifted into history. Now that tequila is becoming more popular the El Diablo has a chance for a come back.  

A friend of mine on Twitter, @WongsGrogs, gave me a variation on the El Diablo recipe that I like a lot better than the version I tried last year. This version uses Mezcal instead of tequila.  Mezcal is a cousin to tequila that is higher quality.  It has a nice smooth smoky flavor. 

To make the El Diablo you will need:

  • 2 oz mezcal
  • 3/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 oz creme de cassis
  • ginger beer 

Put the mezcal, fresh lime juice, creme de cassis, and some crushed ice into your cocktail shaker. Shake it up real good. Then, pour the El Diablo, strained, into a high ball glass that is full of crushed ice.  Top the cocktail off with ginger beer. Stir the ingredients together, garnish with a lime wheel and enjoy!

The El Diablo is a nice refreshing alternative to the margarita. It has a great red devilish color.  The mezcal and ginger beer go together nicely.  The creme de cassis gives a nice unique sweetness, and the lime balances it out with a bit of sour.  This is one of those drinks that would be great on a hot day.




How to Make A Pineapple Upside Down Cake Martini


Today we are making a Pineapple Upside Down Cake Martini.  

A few weeks ago I was at a local bar where a friend of mine bar tends.  The distributor gave him a bottle of cake flavored vodka.  So we did some experimenting to see what we could come up with. We mixed the cake vodka with a variety of things but nothing was tasting quite right.  Finally, we tried some pineapple juice.  That is when we knew we were on to something.  We added a little amaretto to the drink and it tasted just like a pineapple upside down cake.  

Later, at home, I added some dark rum and the recipe was even better.  The first time I tried cake flavored vodka I was surprise at how good it was.  It truly tastes just like cake.  Mixed with the pineapple juice, rum, and amaretto the cocktail is truly amazing.  

To make a pineapple upside down cake martini put some ice in a cocktail shaker.  Then add:

  • 2 oz cake flavored vodka
  • 2 oz pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz amaretto
  • 1/2 oz dark rum

Shake it up real good and then pour the drink, strained, into a martini glass.  Garnish the drink with a cherry, and enjoy!  

Let me know what you think about the martini by leaving a comment below.  I would love to hear your thoughts on what might make it even better.




A Tiki Adventure: Don's Special Daiquiri


It was such a hectic week at my day job this past week.  I couldn't wait to get away from it all in my very own Tiki bar. So, to relax and unwind I'm continuing my Tiki cocktail adventure through Beachbum Berry's Remixed and having Don's Special Daiquiri.  

Don's Special Daiquiri

I love a daiquiri!  Now, I'm not talking about those sickeningly sweet blended monstrosities that most places pass of as a daiquiri. I'm talking about a simple little cocktail made from rum, lime juice, and a little sugar.  An original daiquiri is shaken and then strained into a cocktail glass. A daiquiri like that is simply perfection.

Originally, a light rum was used in the daiquiri, but it is fun to experiment with different rums in a daiquiri.  When sampling a new rum for the first time I like to try it in a daiquiri.  It gives a great sense of what the rum is like.

So, while I was thumbing through Beachbum Berry's Remixed to see what cocktail I wanted to try next I was excited to see Don's Special Daiquiri. So I mixed one up right away.  

Don's Special Daiquiri was a little different than the traditional daiquiri, but the recipe didn't veer off course too far.  It has a little less lime juice, honey mix (equal parts honey and water) instead of sugar, and some passion fruit syrup.  Instead of one rum there was a light Puerto Rican rum, and a gold Jamaican rum.  

After pouring the drink into the cocktail glass a nice aroma of citrus and passion fruit was in the air.  Don's Special Daiquiri had a nice yellow color that came from the passion fruit syrup.   My first sip started with a great passion fruit flavor that was followed by a hint of honey.  That gave way to a hint of lime juice and a little tartness.  You could also taste the rum.  I used Appleton Jamaican rum and it worked beautifully in this drink.  

With the honey and passion fruit syrup Don's Special Daiquiri is sweeter than the original, but it isn't too sweet.  I really enjoyed it.  If you find an original daiquiri too sour try Don's Special Daiquiri.  It isn't nearly as sour as the original.

As usual, I'm not giving out the recipe to the cocktails in my Tiki Adventure series.  Instead, I would encourage you to buy Beachbum Berry Remixed.  You'll find this recipe in the book along with many other amazing Tiki cocktails.

After one of these, the stress from the week had melted away, and I was off to paradise.




Book Review - Murder on Tiki Island


I want to tell you about a great book I recently read, Murder on Tiki Island.  I really enjoyed the book. It made me feel like I was on a tropical vacation when, in reality, I never left Wisconsin.  Murder on Tiki Island was written by Tiki Chris Pinto.  The book takes place in October, 1956, and follows the story of New York City detective Bill Riggins. 

After being forced to take a vacation, Bill decides to spend some time in the Florida Keys.  Shortly, after arriving on Tiki Island Riggin's vacation turns into anything but relaxing.  He gets tangled up with two women, a murder mystery, and some paranormal activity.  

The author, Tiki Chris, describes the island resort so well that I truly felt like I was there. He combined all the best elements of Tiki places from around the world and put them into one island resort.  There were even mermaids swimming in the pool that you could watch from a ship wreck style bar.  Sound familiar? Tiki Chris really did his homework to make you feel like it was truly the fall of 1956.  Many of the details and references in the book took me back to that time period.

The contrast when following Riggins from cold grey, dirty New York, to the bright, vivid, and colorful Florida Keys was amazing.  It reminded me of the transition in The Wizard of Oz from black and white Kansas to the Technicolor Land of Oz. That transition of opposite places, made Tiki Island all the more beautiful.  

Although, Riggins was the hero; he wasn't without his own faults and vices.  He was young, and good at what he does, which gave him a bit of an ego.  I also got the sense that he felt invincible.  All of this made the character more human, and truly likeable.  

I would highly recommend Murder on Tiki Island to any Tiki fan, or really anyone who likes a good mystery.  So, travel down to the Florida Keys with Detective Riggins, and escape the winter that is almost upon us.

You can buy the book at Amazon.  For more information about the book visit, Tiki Chris also has a great blog,