Tag - Rule 2

A Tiki Original from Measure & Stir: I Should Buy a Boat
The Tikiphile as Archaeologist
Mixology vs. Bartending, from the Bartenders’ Perspective
Another Bartender Blog You Shold Be Reading
SideBlog: 5 Years for Dr. Bamboo
SideBlog: Dietsch Is Like a Dog With a Bone

A Tiki Original from Measure & Stir: I Should Buy a Boat

One thing I hope to do this year’s Tiki Month is find some good modern original Tiki drinks to try and to feature here. Lo and behold, I wake up first thing the morning of Day One to a Tweet from @Dagreb of Nihil Utopia, alerting my to the I Should Buy a Boat, an original by Joe at Measure & Stir.

If all you people are so Johnny on the Spot with the Tiki tips, this Tiki Month will go smoothly for all of us!
The "I Should Buy a Boat" from Measure & Stir
Above is a picture of Joe’s concoction. You need to click through to his site for more, larger pictures, as well as his exact recipe, and why his proportions are as they are. He unaccountably fails to mention in his discussion that this is a Tiki drink, but with rum, grapefruit and exotic spice syrup, I declare it so. In his post on the original version he did note that its spiritual godfather is Don the Beachcomber, though.

The presentation, though certainly beautiful and elaborate enough to be Tiki, isn’t what I’m looking to do this time of year, so when I took my shot at it, I went with crushed ice and curled the grapefruit slice into a flower with mint stamens. Also, I used equal parts vanilla syrup and cinnamon syrup, rather than Joe’s combined syrup. Frankly, it is still too much sweet, but the ice cuts things a lot. The challenge is to use the minimum of the syrup needed to still deliver the spice flavors. This is the best round I came up with:

I Should Buy a Boat Cocktail
Fez found at FezMonger
I SHOULD BUY A BOAT (My version)

  • 1.5 oz. dark rum (He suggests Doorly’s. I used Chairman’s Reserve)
  • 1 oz. red grapefruit juice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla syrup
  • crushed ice
  • 1 1/2 oz methode champenoise

Shake the first four ingredients and strain over crushed ice. Top with your champers to taste. Sprinkle a touch of cinnamon over the surface and garnish with a thin slice of your grapefruit.

And hey! This post is part of Tiki Month 2013 here at the Pegu Blog! Be sure to look around for LOTS more Tiki stuff all February!

The Tikiphile as Archaeologist

The introduction of Donn Beach’s Zombie
was tough on the Moai of Easter Island….
(Precaptioned photo via io9)

Either that, or they just got hit with the same brutal cold that I’m just now fighting out from under.

Among the things about Tiki I find most fascinating is the genuine scholarship being done in its study. The iconic figure in the field of course is Beachbum Berry. (“Jeff” to his doctor, and “We have no record of this man” to the IRS) As history, archaeology, and anthropology, his body of work is more extensive, better written, and frankly, orders of magnitude more useful than most of the work by college professors. Work that gets them tenure, while making sure that there is no time to teach the students that are paying 50K a year to go to their universities.

But the Bum is hardly alone in this thirst for Tiki lore and lost artifacts. There is a legion of Tikiphiles out there who spend incredible amounts of time digging through the past to find vessels and decor from long passed oases, secrets to the origins of potions, and countless other fascinating details. I’m pretty sure the competition can be pretty fierce at times.

Indiana Jones - Harrison Ford“It’s perfect!
I can put a double Boo-Loo in there and the floating orchid garnish will be clearly visible all the way around the room.”

Today, Indy would wear a fez…

Of course, not every Tiki archaeologist is as badass as Indiana Jones, or Thor Heyerdahl, or Beachbum Berry. Most toil in the relative (to the greater drinks world) anonymity of the Tiki Central message boards. And let’s face it, a lot more of their research is drunk than is written up. But regardless, one of the most fascinating things that these guys do is look into the archaeology of taste. It is a pretty rare field in the mainstream science, and I suspect that the pros might learn a thing or two from folks who do this with Tiki.

A good example, which prompted this post, is a new article by Hurricane Hayward (whose name at least can compete with Indy’s, but probably not Thor’s) at the Atomic Grog Blog. I wrote last year a little experiment on the various versions of the Dr. Funk, one of the few cocktails of genuinely South Pacific origin in the Tiki oeuvre. Hayward’s post is a search for the taste of the legendary Mai Kai’s variant, the Dr. Fong. We both reference some excellent historical research published in the scholarly and peer-reviewed Journal of Faux-Polynesian Studies by Messrs Kirsten and Duncan, PhT.

Hayward does not find an actual recipe for the Fong, alas. So he does, again, what the “real” people in fields like this do, he recreates the recipe, based on lots of other research on the bar in question, its head barman at the relevant time, the other drinks on the menu, etc. It is kinda like putting flesh onto dinosaur bones.

There is some scholarship like this in the larger, broad-spectrum world of classic cocktails, but it is far less common. I am not sure what it is about Tiki that spurs such passions for history and authenticity, especially considering the deliberate inauthenticity of the genre. But we should be glad of it, because going over the research is delicious….

And hey! This post is part of Tiki Month 2013 here at the Pegu Blog! Be sure to look around for LOTS more Tiki stuff all February!

Mixology vs. Bartending, from the Bartenders’ Perspective

Everyone who in in the bar industry, or who simply orbit it as I do, has some vision in their head of the difference between Bartenders and Mixologists. Yes, I know there has also been argument over the term Mixologist in the past. But let’s face it, we’ve all sort of settled on it as a term for craft bartender, at least in the professional context.

Most of the folks I talk with who think about the distinction, do some from the perspective of the Mixologists. It’s who we are, or who we most often are looking at over a bar. When we do talk about Bartenders, it often is in a lightly condescending fashion, as in this tweet of mine recently. The reason for this is simply that all Mixologists are pros. It is in the definition. (Not all are good, but all are over-trained pros.) Where as most Bartenders are not. Most Bartenders are transients, going with temporary employment on their way to somewhere else.

But not all Bartenders are inexperienced amateurs. A small minority are serious pros in their own, different, right. But since there are so vastly more Bartenders than Mixologists, that small minority is likely much larger than the whole body of Mixologists. And some of those pros blog too. And do it entertainingly, with plenty of valuable things to say. I recently highlighted Tales From a Bar as one of these Old Pro Bartender Blogs.

And that was all an over-long introduction to another of these Old Pro blogs, The Truth About Bartending. A recent post, Mixology vs. Bartending, is one of those funny reads I mentioned that has a lot to say.

The post breaks down a lot of the key differences between established professional Mixologists, and established professional Bartenders, both from a customer’s viewpoint, but also as a career choice for each. Each area he breaks down is a very valid point of comparison, and for his non-professional reader of either stripe, he has a good sense of which terms need definition to understand what he’s talking about.

I’ll add that, like CaveMan of the above mentioned Tales From a Bar, “Freddy” blogs anonymously. If you look around at the Old Pro Bartender Blogs, you’ll see that another difference Freddy doesn’t mention is that Mixologists blog under their own name, while Bartenders blog anonymously. Read Freddy’s About page for an in depth list of the practical reasons for this. Then read around his blog for lots more interesting stuff, including his excellent taste in cocktail pundits.

To be clear, I recognize that you can in some cases, and to one degree or another, meld the two species. Take some talent, subject it to enough pressure for 16 years (as of this week), and you get a diamond like this guy.

Another Bartender Blog You Shold Be Reading

Here’s a bar blog that you might be interested in: Tales from a Bar. The author calls himself “Caveman”, and it is likely a good thing that he blogs anonymously, since he pulls few punches about his own workplaces. Tales from a Bar is less that a year old, but Caveman already has made over 60 posts. Further, he posts regularly, so he shows every sign of sticking around. I read him a bit a while back when he was starting out, then lost track. Fortunately, he followed Rule 1 and sent me a blogroll request, which reminded me that he is out there.

Caveman is worth reading because he writes well, leads an “interesting” life, and likes to share it. Most of his posts are tales from a recent night’s work, with lessons to be learned for other bartenders and customers alike. He is a career bartender and a few of his posts discuss issues of how the industry has changed during his career, and how it will change more in the future. He also isn’t above link posts to his favorite humorous video, or keeping interesting and entertaining quotes and trivia in his sidebar. You can get a good idea of his writing style from a recent post Top Ten Most Annoying Cocktail Waitresses, or the entertaining Top Ten Ways To Piss Off Your Bartender. He’s also not above some salty language, so keep that in mind.

One final thing I’ll note about Tales From a Bar is that his posts are pretty consistent in length. They are all long enough to give you something to think about, but short enough so you don’t need to scroll to finish them. This is a lesson I ought to learn one day when I grow up….

SideBlog: 5 Years for Dr. Bamboo

Five Years of Doctor Bamboo. Craig writes this post every year to remind me that he has two months boozeblogging seniority on me.

SideBlog: Dietsch Is Like a Dog With a Bone

Dietsch is like a dog with a bone… on this whole Rose’s in Gimlets thing. Hey, a cocktail blogger who has something that generates comments has to stick with it!

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