Mixology Monday “Trader Vic’s Navy Grog


Greetings everyone from Orlando, a land that peddles itself to have pretty much everything. Which I thought would lend itself well in discussion with my uncle Doug Winship on all forms of tiki drinks. After being humbled at the hands of the master, I had to rethink my standing in life. So I come to you as a Grasshopper, a student on the TAO, to share what the way as taught me so far.
So my first lesson was in mixology, is a recipe from one the grandmasters. Trader Vic’s Navy Grog!!! First lets run down what is in this Recipe.

1 part fresh lemon juice (Great Citrus is easy to get in Florida)
1 part unsweetened pineapple juice (Unsweetened is important)
1 part Passion Fruit Syrup (I will describe this maneuver in more detail in a sec)
2 parts dark Jamaican Rum
1 dash of Angostura Bitters per ounce in a part

So, armed with my new-found knowledge, I head to my small corner of my home bar. It is a small amount of real estate that my wife would allow me to own.
It is kinda sad compared to the mammoth sized basement size bars that some heavy weights I know have, but the little corner is mine so I love it. Anyhow, I start running down the list. Jamaican Rum, Check, Angostura Bitters, Check, Lemons, Check, unsweetened pineapple juice, Check even!! Passion Fruit Syrup??? This one stopped me in my tracks. SO reaching back out to my teacher, I wondered how I would acquire said syrup. Like the voice in field of dreams, he spoke to me. He said to make it yourself. I had my doubts, I would say that cooking would not be my strongest skill. Amazing enough, it is a simple task. First, you need to get your hands on Passion fruit puree.
I found this little gem in the ethic frozen food section of my local Publix. I mixed equal parts by volume of sugar, water, and half the passion fruit. Bring this to a boil!! When it hits a boil add the second half of the fruit. When everything is nice and dissolved. There will be some pulp left. You will have to strain it. When it is all said and done you should have something that looks like this!!! Mix according to proportions listed above and enjoy!!. I made a large batch for my super bowl party. I had to make two large batches for everyone to get their fill. This is the second one I made. It was a hit to say the least. So to all the little grasshoppers out there, welcome to the big wild world of cocktails. To the Grandmasters, WATCH YOUR PEBBLES!!! Everyone else enjoy TIKI month!!!! Good thing it is a leap year, we all get to enjoy an extra day of tropical delights. So from Orlando, I am signing off.

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Duncan Winship

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  • The recipe that you’ve posted is actually “Trader Vic’s Grog”, which is a very different animal than “Trader Vic’s Navy Grog”.

    http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=24004&forum=10&start=15

    Trader Vic’s Navy Grog, courtesy of Beachbum Berry’s Grog Log:

    3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
    1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
    1/4 ounce Allspice (Pimento) Dram
    1 Ounce Soda Water
    1 ounce Light Puerto Rican Rum
    1 ounce Gold Jamaican rum
    1 ounce Demerara rum onds. Pour and serve.

    Blend all ingredients with crushed ice for 5 seconds (preferably in a top down blender). Pour and serve.

    Don The Beachcomber had a very similar Navy Grog, but Don’s recipe called for 3/4oz each of the fruit juices, 2 dashes of Angostura bitters in place of the allspice dram, and the addition of an ounce of honey.

    IMHO the tastiest incarnation of this wonderful drink is a combination of the two recipes:

    3/4oz Lime Juice
    3/4oz White Grapefruit Juice
    1oz Honey Mix
    1oz White Virgin Islands Rum
    1oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba/Myers)
    1oz Demerara Rum (not 151)
    1/4oz Pimento Dram

    BTW, several biographers have written that TV’s Navy Grog was Frank Sinatra’s all time favorite cocktail.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • I had my (Navy) Grog terminology mixed up too. I saw the post title and started looking for honey mix in the post.

    Thanks for posting, Duncan. I like how this MxMo is already shaping up to be a persistent lesson in making passionfruit syrup! We need to spread the gospel.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

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