The Bar

Let centuries of alcoholic excellence, honed in the sultry islands of the Pacific or the Caribbean, guide you in your pursuit of cocktail ecstasy.

Please read the note scratched on the palm frond before experimenting.


Enjoy the Tropics
  • Jamaican Sunset
  • Mai Tai
  • Zombie
  • New Orleans Fizz
  • Tropical Cocktail
  • Bermuda Highball
  • Indigo Island
  • Coral Marina
  • Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Hyper Scout
  • Shark Attack

Jamaican Sunset

Splash Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum over ice
1/2 oz. Appleton Estate Special Rum
1/2 oz. Kingston Coconut Rum Liquor
1/2 oz. Tito's Vodka
3 shakes Peychaud's Bitters
Pineapple Juice

Stir. Repeat sunset.

Bianca made this. There are other Jamaican Sunrises that are utterly unrelated to this, but she was fishing for a name and it stuck. The Overproof you can get here in the States is one percent less heady than that from Jamaica, so it sounds like we need to go back and stock up.

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Mai Tai

I do love Mai Tais. Or, wait... I love the Mai Tais you get nowadays. They might be orange, or reddish, and utterly unlike the original, but most sweetish combinations of rum and orange/pineapple juice please me immeasurably.

But that isn't the original. Donn Beach had a drink called the Mai Tai Swizzle in the '30s, but that disappeared. Victor Bergeron, therefore, has the strongest argument for having created this in 1944, but to our collective sorrow it uses a 17-year-old Wray & Nephew Jamaican rum that isn't available any more. Even Vic's recipe changed over the years.

Since then, the Mai Tai has evolved into the diabetes-inducing but still lovely sunset-colored sugar bomb it is now.

Trader Vic's Original Mai Tai
80 proof J. Wray & Nephew Rum over shaved ice
Add juice from half a fresh lime
Some orange curacao
A dash of rock candy syrup
A dollop of French orgeat
sprig of fresh mint.

From various sources, the story goes: "In 1944 after success with several exotic rum drinks, I felt a new drink was needed. I thought about all the really successful drinks - martinis, manhattans, daiquiris, all basically simple drinks.

I took down a bottle of 17-year old rum. It was J. Wray & Nephew from Jamaica - surprisingly golden in colour, medium bodied, but with the rich pungent flavour particular to the Jamaican blends. The flavour of this great rum wasn't meant to be overpowered with heavy addition of fruit juices and flavourings. I took a fresh lime, added some orange Curacao from Holland, a dash of rock candy syrup, and a dollop of French orgeat for its subtle almond flavour. I added a generous amount of shaved ice and shook it vigorously by hand to produce the marriage I was after. Half the lime shell went into each drink for colour and I stuck in a branch of fresh mint.

I gave the first two to Eastham and Carrie Guild, friends from Tahiti who were there that night. Carrie took one sip and said, 'Mai tai roa ae.' In Tahitian this means, 'out of this world, the best.' Well, that was that. I named the drink 'Mai Tai.'"

Surf Room Mai Tai
1 oz Demerara Rum
1 oz dark Jamaican Rum
1 oz white Puerto Rican Rum
1/4 oz Orange Curacao
1 oz orange juice, freshly squeezed
1 oz pineapple juice, freshly squeezed
3/4 oz lime juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 oz orgeat syrup
1/2 oz sugar syrup

from The Surf Room of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki, who's been doing this since 1953, when Vic Bergeron introduced it to Hawaii.

Mai Tai, Dead Lounge Style
1 ounce rhum (Rhum Clément VSOP Martinique or Rhum J.M. Gold)
1 ounce Jamaican rum (Appleton Estate 12-year or El Dorado 12-year)
1/2 ounce white rum (Myer's Platinum or Bacardi) 1/2 ounce orgeat syrup (Latitude 29 or Fee Brothers)
1/2 ounce Orange Curaçao
1 ounce orange juice
1/2 ounce pinapple juice
splash fresh lime juice

Add ingredients to a shaker and shake well. Pour unstrained into a double old-fashioned glass. Drop half the expended lime shell in the glass and garnish with mint if you like; I generally don't bother.

Rhum (with the h) agricole is originally a West Indies rum distilled from sugar cane juice rather than molasses. It's generally a little higher proof and earthy in tone, and totally worth it if you can find it.

By the way: National Mai Tai Day is August 30th, per the city of Oakland. Remember to celebrate.

Recommended knowledge:

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Zombie aka The Skull-Puncher

1 1/2 ounces dark rum (86 proof)
3/4 ounce Jamaica rum (90 proof)
3/4 ounce light rum (86 proof)
3/4 ounce pineapple juice
3/4 ounce papaya juice
1 ounce lime juice
1 teaspoon powdered sugar

The roots of the Dead Lounge sink deep into tropical soil, among the humid green forests of the Caribbean.

Shake ingredients well with ice; strain into a chilled pint glass, or alternately, pour unstrained into a large zombie glass. Garnish with a pineapple wheel and a cherry, preferably spiked on a toothpick. Float a high-proof, heavy-bodied rum (such as Demerara: 151 proof) atop, and sprinkle powdered sugar over all. Add a sprig of mint if desired.

Invented by Donn Beach, arguably the founder of tiki restaurants and bars.

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New Orleans Fizz

1 1/2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce lemon juice
3 dashes orange flower water
1 teaspoon simple syrup
2 ounces cream
One egg white (See Description)
Soda water

Then again, rumors abound that the Lounge hails from the French Quarter, perhaps behind the St. Louis Cathedral; it certainly shows considerable panache with the cocktails of the South.

Place ingredients into blender with one scoop of cracked ice; flash blend for 15 to 30 seconds. Pour mixture into large wine goblet and top with soda water. Garnish with a small flower blossom. For a Golden New Orleans Fizz, use the yolk of an egg; for a Royal New Orleans Fizz, use an entire egg.

Created in the late 1800s by Henry C. Ramos in New Orleans. Once called the Ramos' Original Gin Fizz. (The cocktail, not Henry.)

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Tropical Cocktail

1 1/2 ounces white rum
3/4 ounce curacao
3/4 ounce lime juice

On the other hand, rumours also abound that the Lounge's source is flavored by the lwa, and lies somewhere near Tortuga.

Shake ingredients with cracked ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a squeeze of lime.

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Bermuda Highball

3/4 ounce gin
3/4 ounce brandy
3/4 ounce dry vermouth
Ginger ale or club soda

Mix liquors; fill with ginger ale or club soda. Serve in a highball glass with a lemon twist. You'd better not be a rookie when ordering this one.

It is reasonably certain that, despite the loveliness of Bermuda, that the Lounge does not hail from there.

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Indigo Island

1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 ounce Wray & Nephew Overproof White Rum
1 ounce Malibu Banana Rum
1 ounce Trader Vic's Authentic Dark Rum
splash of Chambord

Use a clean mixer vodka like Svedka. Shake vodka and rum over ice and strain into a tall glass with ice. Splash Chambord on top and gently stir.

Invented by Dave and Bianca, when we were bored and rooting through our available bottles.

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Coral Marina

1 1/2 ounces Appleton Estate Signature Blend Rum
1 ounce Svedka Vodka
splash Doña Engracia KETZALLY Peach infused Tequila*
splash grenadine
1 1/2 ounces orange juice

Stir rum, tequila, vodka with ice in an old-fashioned glass. Splash the grenadine, then top with orange juice. Produces a rapid-onset kind of tipsy.

* Only available from Ensenada, Mexico. Sorry about that. We were on an excursion during a cruise.

Invented by Bianca, when Dave really needed a drink after a rough day.

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Dead Men Tell No Tales

1 ounce Appleton Estate 12-year rum
1 ounce Wray & Nephew Overproof White Rum
1 ounce Bacardi Superior light rum 1/2 ounce dark rum (Whaler's or Trader Vic's will do)
1 ounce orange juice
1/2 ounce pineapple juice
1/2 ounce grenadine

Pour ingredients together into a double old-fashioned and stir with an ice cube or two.

Invented by Bianca when we had a surplus of rums after attending a Hawai'ian-themed party.

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Hyper Scout

2 ounces Trader Vic's Kona Coffee liqueur
1 ounce vodka
1 box black sesame soy milk
3 Thin Mint® Girl Scout cookies
4 ice cubes

Bring out the blender for this one. Combine all ingredients into the blender and let it fly for 20 or 30 seconds. The result is a happy-go-lucky summer shake. The ingredients will separate a bit, so stir it up with a straw and enjoy life.

You can use regular milk if you like, but black sesame soy milk adds a neat nutty flavor. You can find this at your local Asian market.

Spun around until dizzy by Bianca. The "Hyper Scout" name emerged from a bloody battle of Facebook comments, from which our son Jesse arose triumphant.

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Shark Attack

1 ounce Meyers dark rum
1 ounce Bacardi 151
1 ounce Malibu Rum
3 ounces red grapefruit juice (w/ pulp for effect)
3 ounces orange juice w/ pulp
1 Tbsp Rose's Grenadine
several chopped cherries or red grape pieces

C'est une libation peculiar a les plages du Floride! Mix these ingredients and shake with ice, serve with a small amount of ice chips -- to simulate bone, of course -- in a tall glass. Sure to provoke a feeding frenzy near your bar.

Recipe and extra French submitted to the Dead Lounge by Zeke. My Thanks, and we shall create a gris-gris bag in your honor.

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If you know of a liquid tropical sensation that inspired you, please send it on.