Gardenia Mix – Make This Classic Flavorful Tiki Ingredient

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Gardenia Mix
Gardenia Mix

Gardenia Mix Recipe.

A Google search for gardenia mix will yield a few recipes, and most are variations of Jeff “Beachbum” Berry’s recipe. Jeff Berry’s recipe is:

  • 1 oz honey
  • 1 oz unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon syrup
  • 1/2 tsp allspice dram

You heat it a little, just enough to melt the butter, and then blend it all. Easy enough. I don’t have cinnamon or vanilla syrup around all the time or feel like making it, so a recipe without those would be:

  • 2 oz honey
  • 2 oz unsalted butter
  • 2 dash vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice

I also doubled the volumes as the normal recipe makes too little batter. There are other variations for emulsifying the butter fats better, so they don’t clump, and others to be different and “improve” the recipe.

What Is Don The Beachcomber’s Original Gardenia Mix Recipe?

The issue for everyone alive today wanting to make Pearl Divers is Donn Beach never published his recipes and went to great lengths to make sure no one ever knew them. He even named it gardenia mix, even though the mixture has nothing to do with a real gardenia flower. It was all to throw people off. There is also a high likelihood that he even slightly changed his recipes several times during his career and ultimately took those recipes to the grave in 1989. (read my general tiki description for more information) During the mid-90s, Jeff Berry met with former bartenders, gathered information, and tested recipes with people familiar with how the cocktails tasted and were constructed. All that hard work ultimately paid off in giving us the Donn the Beachcomber recipes we have today.


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Gardenia Mix

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American




Total time



Make gardenia mix for a classic pearl diver.


  • 2 oz Honey

  • 2 oz Unsalted Butter

  • 2 dash Vanilla Extract

  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp Ground Allspice


  • On very low heat or using a double boiler, just melt the butter and then turn off the heat. Don’t cook and separate the butter, just melt it.
  • Next simply add all the other ingredients to the melted butter.
  • Stir till the honey has fully mixed in. Cover gardenia mix and refrigerate to store it. Let it come room temperature before you use it.

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