Elixir for the Soul

This is a blog about sophisticated drinking, because alcohol doesn't have to be a poison, it can be a medicine for the soul.

Shawn, 21. Currently studying foreign language at university in China. Researching about cocktails is one of my passions, and I hope this blog can introduce others to the true way of imbibing. Every drink on this page is mixed, tasted and photographed by me.

Feel free to ask.

Mai Tai
Aged Jamaican Rum - 1 oz
Amber Martinique Rum - 1 oz
Lime Juice - 1 oz
Orange Curaçao - 1/2 oz
Orgeat Syrup - 1/4 oz
Simple Syrup - 1/4 oz
Shake everything with crushed ice and pour unstrained into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a mint sprig and a spent lime shell.
Don the Beahcomber’s Zombie and Trader Vic’s Mai Tai are the two drinks that should jump to mind when thinking about Tiki; but unlike the Zombie, the Fog Cutter, or the Scorpion, no one knows who actually came up with the original Mai Tai.The name came from the Tahitian phrase “maita’i roa a’e”, basically means “out of this world, the best!”
Without getting too deep into the “Mai Tai Battle”, I’d just like point out a few facts:
According to Trader Vic’s story, he invented the Mai Tai in 1944 in his Oakland bar, and even won a court case for this. Most people believe this.
Don the Beachcomber’s widow Phoebe Beach provided a recipe of Mai Tai Swizzle and she claims it dates back to 1933.
Don the Beachcomber’s Q.B. Cooler cocktail created in 1937 resembles Trader Vic’s Mai Tai in terms of flavour, but contained very different ingredients.
No matter what you believe, it can’t be argued that Trader Vic had a significant role in this cocktail, as his recipe became the standard, followed by most bartenders around the world.
Beachbum Berry updated Trader Vic’s recipe slightly: using a combination of dark or aged Jamaican rum and Martinique rum to recreated the flavours of the original 17-year-old J. Wray & Nephew rum used by Trader Vic, that sadly is no longer available; he reduced the amount of orgeat by half and replaced rock candy syrup with simple syrup, for a much more balanced drink.
For the Jamaican rum I’m using Appleton Estate Extra 12-year-old; Myers’s will do, but it’s too rich in molasses and doesn’t have nearly the same complexity. As for the Martinique rum, the only one I have is Saint James Royal Ambre, but an aged Clément would likely to produce a better result.

Mai Tai

Aged Jamaican Rum - 1 oz

Amber Martinique Rum - 1 oz

Lime Juice - 1 oz

Orange Curaçao - 1/2 oz

Orgeat Syrup - 1/4 oz

Simple Syrup - 1/4 oz

Shake everything with crushed ice and pour unstrained into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a mint sprig and a spent lime shell.

Don the Beahcomber’s Zombie and Trader Vic’s Mai Tai are the two drinks that should jump to mind when thinking about Tiki; but unlike the Zombie, the Fog Cutter, or the Scorpion, no one knows who actually came up with the original Mai Tai.The name came from the Tahitian phrase “maita’i roa a’e”, basically means “out of this world, the best!”

Without getting too deep into the “Mai Tai Battle”, I’d just like point out a few facts:

  1. According to Trader Vic’s story, he invented the Mai Tai in 1944 in his Oakland bar, and even won a court case for this. Most people believe this.
  2. Don the Beachcomber’s widow Phoebe Beach provided a recipe of Mai Tai Swizzle and she claims it dates back to 1933.
  3. Don the Beachcomber’s Q.B. Cooler cocktail created in 1937 resembles Trader Vic’s Mai Tai in terms of flavour, but contained very different ingredients.

No matter what you believe, it can’t be argued that Trader Vic had a significant role in this cocktail, as his recipe became the standard, followed by most bartenders around the world.

Beachbum Berry updated Trader Vic’s recipe slightly: using a combination of dark or aged Jamaican rum and Martinique rum to recreated the flavours of the original 17-year-old J. Wray & Nephew rum used by Trader Vic, that sadly is no longer available; he reduced the amount of orgeat by half and replaced rock candy syrup with simple syrup, for a much more balanced drink.

For the Jamaican rum I’m using Appleton Estate Extra 12-year-old; Myers’s will do, but it’s too rich in molasses and doesn’t have nearly the same complexity. As for the Martinique rum, the only one I have is Saint James Royal Ambre, but an aged Clément would likely to produce a better result.

Blue Reef
Light Puerto Rican Rum - 2 oz
Lime Juice - 1 1/2 oz
Blue Curaçao - 1 1/2 oz
Galliano - 1/2 oz
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a snifter filled with crushed ice.
From Beachbum Berry’s “Grog Log”. Unfortunately no information about the inventor was given.
It’s another blue drink that’s actually delicious; generally speaking, none of the drinks picked out by Mr. Jeff Berry are too bad.
This is a quite a mild drink with a dry base; pronounced lime and orange flavours; the Galliano adds that very needed extra sweetness as well as a beautiful anise and vanilla finish. The drink would have been very boring without it.
Scorpion Bowl
Light Puerto Rican Rum - 6 oz
Brandy - 1 oz
Orange Juice - 6 oz
Lemon Juice - 4 oz
Orgeat Syrup - 1 1/2 oz
Blend everything with 2 cups crushed ice and pour unstrained into a Tiki bowl. Garnish with a gardenia.
From “Beachbum Berry Remixed”. This is the Scorpion by Trader Vic, of course he updated his Scorpion several times during his life, and this is the final version. In terms of ingredients, this Scorpion is nearly the same as Trader Vic’s Fog Cutter, but with gin and sherry removed. Designed to serve two to four people.
Mr. Manhattan
Gin - 2 oz
Lemon Juice - 1/4 tsp
Orange Juice - 1 tsp
Gum Syrup - 1/2 tsp
Mint - 4 leaves
Press the mint in the bottom of the shaker, add everything else and shake with ice cubes. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “The Savoy Cocktail Book”.
Definitely not a bad drink, if you are a gin lover. This is a Julep-ish mixed drink with gin as the base, sweetened up a little, mixed with some mint leaves, and lightly flavoured with orange and lemon. I’ve translated it slightly, turned all the “dashes” into “fractions of a teaspoon”; changed “one lump of sugar”, that’s as much as I can handle in a cocktail composed mostly of a spirit served up.
Jack Pine
Dry Gin - 1 1/2 oz
Dry Vermouth - 1/2 oz
Orange Juice - 1/2 oz
Pineapple - 1 slice
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
"The Savoy Cocktail Book" seems to like to experimenting with the Bronx formula, there are many recipes consisting of gin, vermouth(s), and something orange related; this is one of them: a dry Bronx with pineapple.
I really liked the flavour, dry and refreshing, with pineapple adding a little exotic notes, and lending some of its sweetness.
Piña Paradise
Gold Puerto Rican Rum - 3/4 oz
Amber Martinique Rum - 3/4 oz
Lime Juice - 1/2 oz
Orange Juice - 1/2 oz
Grapefruit Juice - 1/2 oz
Simple Syrup - 1/4 oz
Pineapple - 2 chunks
Angostura Bitters - 1 dash
Almond Extract - 6 drops
Blend everything without ice to liquefy the pineapple, then pour into a shake and shake with ice cubes. Strain into a Tiki mug of hollowed-out pineapple.
Unlike the Pineapple Paradise I did last year, this one is from Sam Denning’s Club Luau, Miami, 1955. It’s a much more complex version, three citrus juices and two different rums blended with fresh pineapple.
You will need a Vacu Vin pineapple slicer to hollow out a pineapple (other brands are available).
Pololu
Gin - 2 oz
Cognac - 1 oz
Pineapple Juice - 1 oz
Orange Curaçao - 1/2 oz
Elderflower Liqueur - 1/2 oz
Coconut Cream - 1/2 oz
Orange Bitters - 2 dashes
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Grate cinnamon on top and garnish with a pineapple leaf.
The drink is invented by Craig Mrusek aka Dr. Bamboo, who writes for the Bachelor Pad magazine and also his own website drbamboo.blogspot.com. Its name came from the Pololū Valley in Hawaii, “Pololū” literally means “long spear” in Hawaiian. The aim was to create a Tiki-style cocktail that doesn’t contain any rum, and he based the Polonu on one of his favourite drink: Painkiller. It retained many of the essences from the Painkiller, particularly the pineapple + orange, coconut cream, and cinnamon part. Now with brandy and gin (inspired by the Fog Cutter cocktail) replacing rum; curaçao replacing orange juice; and additional elderflower liqueur.
The drink is quite enjoyable, if not a little too sweet, with two liqueurs plus coconut cream and no citrus juice for balance; but for those who drink Piña Colada regularly, I don’t think it would be an issue. The recipe called for ground cinnamon, but there’s no reason not to used freshly grated cinnamon instead.
Lord Suffolk
Dry Gin - 1 1/4 oz
Sweet Vermouth - 1/4 oz
Cointreau - 1/4 oz
Maraschino - 1/4 oz
Stir everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “The Savoy Cocktail Book”. I have no idea which “Lord Suffolk” this was named after.
All the flavours seem to work perfectly here, a little bit of orange, and a little bit of cherry, none of them are too dominating. The drink is sweet, which is to be expected, but enough to be sickening, compared to some of the other cocktails I have tasted composed of multiple liqueurs.
Summit
Brandy - 1 oz
Orange Curaçao - 1/2 oz
Lemon Juice - 1/2 oz
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From the “Café Royal Cocktail Book”.
Almost identical to a Sidecar cocktail, with the minor change from triple sec to curaçao. Flavour-wise it’s not too different, but curaçao does have a richer body in comparison, particularly if you’re using Grand Marnier; it’s also slightly sweeter, as equal amount of this liqueur to lemon juice will result in a more balanced Sour, while Cointreau or triple sec would usually give a drier drink.
It’s been a while since I’ve used the ice garnish.
Sir Walter
Rum - 1/2 oz
Brandy - 1/2 oz
Lemon Juice - 1 tsp
Orange Curaçao - 1 tsp
Grenadine - 1 tsp
Shake everything with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
From “The Savoy Cocktail Book”. Commonly known as the “Swalter.”.
It’s unknown which “Sir Walter” the drink was named after, It could be one of the following: Sir Walter Raleigh (1554 - 1618), the English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, politician, courtier, spy, and explorer; or Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832), the Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet. The former is far more well-known.
The flavours seem to work nicely, except being a little sweet. You have the typical brandy and rum combo, cognac and a gold Jamaican rum or Bermuda rum is my favourite choice when the styles weren’t specified. You can bring up the amount of lemon juice for a balanced Sour.