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Entries in Don the Beachcomber (1)

Wednesday
Feb232011

The Start of a Tiki Adventure: Beachcomber's Gold

Beachcomber's Gold ChicagoThe other night I caught the tail end of Julie and Julia.  If you aren't familiar with the movie it is about a woman who goes through Julia Child's cookbook making each recipe and blogging about it.  I thought that might be fun to do with Beach Bum Berry Remixed, which is the ultimate guide to Tiki cocktails.  

I'm not expecting any fame like in the movie.  It will just be fun to take a walk through the history and flavors of Tiki cocktails.  I'm going share my thoughts and impressions about each cocktail, and I'd love to hear your opinions too. I'm not going to share the recipes.  Beachbum Berry spent a lot of time putting this book together, and it's not my place to give the recipes away.  If these cocktails sound good to you buy the book.  I have a link to it on your left.

The Beachcomber's Gold is a recipe from Don the Beachcomber.  Actually, there are three recipes for the Beachcomber's Gold.  The Chicago version, the Waikiki version, and the Hollywood/Palm Springs version.  All three are very different from each other.  The one thing they have in common is how they are served.  All three are served in a Champaign saucer with an ice shell.  

The ice shell was unique and fun to make.  You just shave some ice and put it in the glass.  Then using a spoon press the ice against the outside of the glass.  The ice should start to rise up a bit outside of the glass.  Then, freeze the glasses with the ice overnight.  I used some wine glasses and martini glasses since I didn't have any Champaign saucers.  They worked just fine, and it was a unique way to chill a drink.

Beachcomber's Gold WaikikiThe Chicago version is made with light rum, vermouth, Pernod, and Bitters.  It had a strong anise and vermouth flavor.  I wasn't a big fan.  It really didn't feel Tiki at all to me.  I guess you can leave it to Chicago to call something tiki just because it has some rum in it.  I didn't even finish it.

The Waikiki version was better.  It called for light and gold rum, lime juice, passion fruit juice, honey, and bitters.  I used passion fruit syrup instead of juice.  I have no idea where to find passion fruit juice.  The lime, passion fruit, and honey blended well with the rum.  It wasn't amazing, but it wasn't bad.  

The Hollywood/Palm Springs version was pretty good too. It had lime juice, sugar syrup gold rum, dark rum, Pernod and almond extract.  After trying the first version I wasn't too excited about more Pernod.  However,  this cocktail had an interesting complex flavor.  The drink had a kind of daiquiri flavor with the rum and lime juice, but the Pernod and almond extract made a great addition to the cocktail.  The Pernod wasn't overpowering this time, and was a nice addition.

Beachcomber's Gold Hollywood/Palm SpringsIt was fun sampling three very different versions of the same drink.  The ice shell was a lot of fun and made for a unique experience.  If I had to pick a favorite it probably would be the Hollywood/Palm Springs version.  I love a cocktail with several flavors that combine to make something unique.  It is like an orchestra.  You could play the same song with just a piano, but the sound is amazing when you have all the different instruments playing.