Happy Birthday, Donn!

Nui Nui at Banjolele Grotto, my summertime tiki bar

Today is Donn Beach’s birthday!  Born on February 22, 1907, Donn Beach, aka Don the Beachcomber (real name Ernest Raymond Beaumont-Gantt) is the grand papa of the faux Polynesian bar/restaurant concept.  In other words, the TIKI BAR!  Donn created many amazing drinks, among them the infamous Zombie. One of my favorite Don the Beachcomber creations is the Nui Nui.  It combines rum, citrus and an alluring blend of spices to create a superb tropical drink.  According to the master of tiki drink lore, Jeff ‘Beachbum’ Berry, Donn created the Nui Nui in Hollywood in the mid-1930s, when it was first known as the Pupule. Here is the recipe from Beachbum Berry’s Sippin’ Safari:

Nui Nui

  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz orange juice
  • 1/4 oz cinnamon-infused sugar syrup
  • 1/4 oz Donn’s Spices #2 (equal parts vanilla syrup & pimento liqueur)
  • 2 oz amber Virgin Islands rum
  • Dash Angostura bitters
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) crushed ice
  • Spiral-cut orange peel (6 inches to a foot long)

Put everything in a blender – except orange peel – saving ice for last. Blend at high-speed for no more than 5 seconds. Pour into a tall glass. Add crushed ice to fill. Sink the orange peel in the drink, with top of peel hanging over the glass.

Vanilla Syrup & Cinnamon Syrup

To make this drink the best it can be, I use freshly squeezed OJ and make my own syrups.  To make vanilla syrup combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water with a vanilla bean, split and scraped. Bring all to a simmer for a few minutes. Take off heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain into a clean bottle. I add a teaspoon of Wray & Nephew Overproof White rum as a preservative.  Make the cinnamon syrup the same way, using three crushed cinnamon sticks. Let sit for up to 2 hours before straining into a clean bottle.

Note: Pimento liqueur is also known as Allspice Dram. I use St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram which can sometimes be found at BevMo.

Published in: on February 22, 2010 at 10:35 pm  Comments (1)  
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More Olympic Cocktails

Flickr: TylerIngram

I don’t know about you, but here at the League we’ve been watching a lot of the Winter Olympic games.  Seeing all that snow and ice has inspired me to try some new drinks with the Olympic theme in mind. Here are a couple of the good ones:

Alpine Glow

  • 1 part Cointreau
  • 2 parts Lemon Juice
  • 4 parts Cognac  (I used Rémy Martin VSOP)
  • 4 parts Gold Label Rum (I used Appleton Estate V/X)
  • 1 or two dashes of grenadine to each drink (use a real pomegranate grenadine, not Rose’s)

This is from David A. Embury’s The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks (1948), hence the proportions instead of exact measurements. If you let 1 part equal an ounce, this will make 4 cocktails. Do some simple math and you can adjust it to your needs (frankly, this is about the only math I care to do these days).  I mixed this for the first time last night for my ol’ man and myself while watching some rad womens’ downhill action. It was a cocktail up to the event and one I will definitely add to my quiver. Try it, you’ll like it.

Also from Mr. Embury’s fine tome:

Olympic

  • 1 part Cherry Heering liqueur
  • 2 parts Lime Juice
  • 8 parts White Label Cuban Rum

As Mr. Embury points out, this is a basic Daiquiri with Cherry Heering substituted for the simple syrup. Obviously, the Cuban rum was unavailable, so I took some liberties and substituted 10 Cane Rum. This makes a tart, dry drink.

Published in: on February 21, 2010 at 10:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Oh Canada!

Flickr: qousqous

What does one drink while viewing the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics?  Here at the League we thought a Snowshoe seemed àpropos.  I recently learned of this drink through SLOSHED! A frosty, yet warming drink, the Snowshoe combines peppermint schnapps with bourbon for the perfect waiting-out-the-snowstorm-by-the-fire cocktail.  The recipe over at SLOSHED! calls for equal portions bourbon and schnapps, but I prefer it this way.

Snowshoe

  • 2 oz bourbon (I used Buffalo Trace)
  • 1/2 oz peppermint schnapps (I used Rumpleminze, as suggested by the folks at SLOSHED!)

Stir ingredients in an Old Fashioned glass and fill with crushed ice.  Stir again, sip and put your feet up by the fire.

After the Snowshoe, I mixed this up in honor of the 2010 Winter Games. I call it the

Vancouver Swizzle

  • 2 oz Laird’s 7-1/2 year old apple brandy (or use Calvados)
  • 1/2 oz Appleton Estate V/X Jamaica rum
  • 1/2 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
  • 1/2 oz grade B pure Canadian maple syrup
  • 1/2 oz fresh-pressed apple juice or apple cider
  • 1 oz Meyer lemon juice, or regular lemon if not in season
  • 1/4 oz Allspice Dram
  • Dash Fee Bros. Whiskey Barrel bitters
  • Dash Urban Moonshine Maple bitters

Mix ingredients in a highball and fill with crushed ice. Mix with a swizzle stick and settle down to watch some amazing Winter Olympics competition!

Published in: on February 13, 2010 at 12:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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