Q.B. Cooler – Classic 1934 Don the Beachcomber Tiki Cocktail Recipe

Don the Beachcombers Forgotten Recipes

Immediately after prohibition had been repealed by the 21st amendment Donn Beach opened Don the Beachcomber in Hollywood California. Donn single handedly created the first Tiki bar and with it tiki culture. but like most innovators Donn was worried about others coping his Hollywood style Polynesian themed bar and profiting off his ideas. Donn would show up a few hours before the bar opened and mix large batches of his spice mixes and mixers, and give them non descriptive labels like Donn’s spice mix #1, #2, #3, or Donn’s Zombie Mix, Grog Mix, Gardenia mix. This was all done to hide the recipes. Donn never told the other bartenders, or published a recipe, and while he did open other bars his recipes never got out. Thus Donn’s original recipes died with him in 1989. So keep that in mind anytime you see a Don the Beachcomber cocktail that it is never an original recipe but another bartender best guess as to what it was. And some guesses are better than others. For a little over a decade Tiki was kinda a lawless free for all with no continuity between drinks of the same name. There is still a lot of that today. How many Mai Tai recipes have you seen even though we know the original canon recipe for it?

In the late 90s a Tiki cocktail enthusiast named Jeff Berry came along with the intent of preserving the old recipes and Tiki culture and helped revitalize the publics interest in it. Jeff interviewed old bartenders of Donn the Beachcombers and set out to recreate Donn secret recipes to the best of knowledge. Gathering whatever information he could and testing recipes against people who remembered what the old drinks tasted like, he is credited with having saved recipes that would otherwise be lost to time. Keep in mind though that these are not Donn’s original recipe but Jeff’s best attempts at recreating them and that Jeff Beachbum Berry is probably the closest one to getting it right.

What Does Q.B Mean

If you are former Air Force you probably already know the answer to this but the Q.B. in the Q.B. Cooler stands for Quite Birdmen. Donn Beach served in the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) from 1942 – 1945. The Quite Birdmen is an invite only club of former military aviators that formed at the end of WWI in France. Originally a drinking club named The American Flying Club they eventually earned the name Quite Birdmen as a joke since they were often very loud and drunk. As former Lieutenant Colonel of the Army Air Forces if seems fitting to name a drink after the Air Forces drinking club. (Originally arial warfare was apart of the Army as the Army Air Corps till 1941, then Army Air Forces in 1942, It wouldn’t become a separate branch till 1947 when the US Air Force was formed)

Inspiration for the Mai Tai

There is a common story that Victor Bergeron (Trader Vic) was inspired by Donn Beach’s Q.B. Cooler and in an attempt to imitate it made the Mai Tai. But I don’t really buy that. 1). The Mai Tai and Q.B. Cooler are almost completely different drinks. It doesn’t help that there are countless recipes of the two but the more or less agreed upon canon recipes are very different. If Victor Bergeron was trying to copy the Q.B. Cooler than he completely missed the mark. 2). Victor Bergeron did not hide when he was inspired by Donn Beach. He was very open that he started tiki because he loved what Donn had invented. Also he sited the cocktails he did try and mimic from Donn as cocktails inspired by and originally from Don the Beachcomber. Why would he suddenly act differently with this one drink? 3). From what I gather this story was started by a bartender of Donn’s and not Donn himself. Donn did not hide his frustration with others trying to copy his work and it was not the Mai Tai trying to copy his Q.B Cooler that he took issue with but Victor Bergeron’s Mai Tai trying to copy his own Mai Tai recipe that pissed him off. Which leads to my final point. 4). Victor Bergeron and Donn Beach actually went to court to argue who’s Mai Tai was the original. Victor sold a pre-made “Original” Mai Tai mixer and in the 1970s when Donn Beach began selling a pre-made “Original” Mai Tai mixer too the two went to court to argues who was actually the original. Victor Bergeron won and Donn removed “Original” from the label. I personally believe if Victor Bergeron tried to copy the Q.B. Cooler he would have just made drink called the Q.B Cooler and credit Donn Beach with having invented it.

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Q.B. Cooler – Classic 1934 Don the Beachcomber Tiki Cocktail Recipe

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

256

kcal
ABV

27%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make an Q.B. Cooler

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice

  • 1/2 oz Orange Juice

  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

  • 2 dashes Absinthe

  • 1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup

  • 2 oz Black Rum

  • 1 oz White Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into a shaker, and add a scoop of shaved ice. If you do not have shaved ice then crushed ice will do.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Pour the whole shaker into the serving glass. Ice and all

Notes

Bahama Mama – Oswald Greenslade’s Caribbean Cocktail Recipe

The History Of The Bahama Mama

The Bahama Mama is not just a cocktail that gets you thrown out of an Applebees for disorderly conduct. It’s actually a unique and tasty Caribbean cocktail. The only person who claims to have invented the Bahama Mama was Caribbean bartender Oswald Greenslade in his 2012 Cocktail book “One More Cocktail: A Guide to Making Bahamian Cocktails” Oswald Greenslade’s website says didn’t start his bartending career until 1961 but the Bahama Mama was already a known drink by the 1950s. So chances are he didn’t actually invent it, but this may still be the closest we have to an early 1950s Caribbean recipe.

Bahama Mama Variations

There are as many Bahama Mama variations as there are Bahama Mamas. there are some that look like tequila sunrises, some that are grapefruit based, orange based, passion fruit, etc and they come in all colors. There is nothing to say this is the definitive recipe but Oswald Greenslade is the only one I can find who lays claim to having the authentic recipe/ inventing it. Most likely thought there is no singular authentic recipe and there maybe never was.

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Bahama Mama – Oswald Greenslade’s Caribbean Cocktail Recipe

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Course: DrinksCuisine: Caribbean
Servings

1

servings
Calories

278

kcal
ABV

12%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Bahama Mama.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Lemon Juice

  • 4 oz Pineapple Juice

  • 1/3 oz Coffee Liqueur

  • 1/2 oz Coconut Liqueur

  • 1/2 oz 151

  • 1 oz Black Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker and add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass filled with ice.

Notes

Zombie Cocktail – Classic Don The Beachcomber Tiki Cocktail

The Zombie Cocktail History

On the menu it seems from day one, or at least very soon after, the Zombie is one of Donn Beaches most famous tiki cocktails. The Zombie was said to be so strong that it would put someone into a blackout drunk automaton state. The Zombie proved to be so famous it was probably one of Donns most copied cocktails. Even though Donn tried to keep the recipe a secret, even from his own bartenders, Zombies started popping up at other tiki bars all over the USA. The Aku Aku at the Sahara Casino in Las Vegas, La Mariana Sailing Club in Honolulu, The Tonga Room in San Francisco, Even Trader Vic’s had a Zombie on the menu (but he did credit Donn for inventing it). The Zombie gained the slogan of being often imitated but never duplicated. As with all Donn Beach cocktails there is no definitive recipe because he never published them and kept them secret from everyone, even the staff. You couldn’t do anything like that today with allergies and such. You don’t want to be known as the bar that withheld information that ended up killing somebody. Donn is also believed to have changed the Zombie recipe several times to improve it and stay ahead of competition.

I also find it very cool that he went with this name as Night of the Living Dead didn’t debut till 1968, starting the american zombie craze. Zombies are also traditionally Haitian folklore, and not Polynesian. Which really goes to show that Tiki was a mish-mash of exotic island Hollywood imagery and not something born of actually Polynesian tradition.

From just looking at the Don the Beachcomber menus there is nothing exciting. It just has the zombie listed as a cocktail with a little voodoo man next to it on some versions. If you wish to google it yourself and check it out the major menu years you can find online are 1934, 1941, 1954, and there is a separate 1960s drink menu.

Zombie Cocktail Taste

This drink will knock you on your ass. It goes down like a tropical Long Island Ice Tea, and I won’t lie, I had just one of these (the one in the picture) and I had a hard time walking straight. In 1934 Don the Beachcomber sold these for $2.00 and had a limit of 2, and even that seems a bit generous. This cocktail is really good, and very successful at having just enough juice and sweetener to not make the volume of booze overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, its still very alcohol forward and you for sure feel it, but it toes the line that even a non-old fashion drinker would like it. Something the Long Island does not do.

Zombie Cocktail Variations

There are as many variations of the zombie as there are bartenders, and that’s fine considering there is no definitive known recipe. The recipe I have provided here is the Jeff “Beachbum” Berry recipe as it is considered the most accurate and probably the closest to one of Donn Beach’s Zombies. Again Donn was thought to have changed the recipe several times in his life so this maybe an amalgamation of several versions.

The Most Important Ingredient

The Most important ingredient in the Zombie is actually the 151. Surprising right? It’s only a half ounce float on top but the 151 you use will make or break this cocktail. I personally like Lemon Hart’s 151. It’s the original and surprisingly flavorful for being such a high proof. Donn Beach was said to hunt for this particular brand because it was just that good, and I will agree with that. Other lighter 151s add booze (something this cocktail doesn’t need more of) but the Lemon Hart ads booze and flavor. If you can’t find this particular brand I would try using a navy strength (57% ABV) rum that is a bit darker in color instead. For an excellent article on 151 and its history check out this link to The Lone Canner. The Lone Canner also has a great article on the proof system, its history and technical details here

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Zombie Cocktail – Classic Don The Beachcomber Tiki Cocktail

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

414

kcal
ABV

27%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Zombie.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Lime Juice

  • 2/3 oz Pineapple Juice

  • 2/3 oz Papaya Juice

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 oz Apple Brandy

  • 1 oz Black Rum

  • 2 oz Gold Rum

  • 1 oz White Rum

  • 1/2 oz 151

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into a shaker except the 151.
  • Add a scoop of shaved ice. If you do not have shaved ice then crushed ice will do.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Pour the whole shaker into the serving glass. Ice and all.
  • Top Cocktail off with a float of 151.
  • Garnish with maraschino cherries, pineapple, and mint.

Recipe Video

Notes

Navy Grog – Victor Bergeron’s Version of This Classic Tiki Cocktail

Victor Bergeron Recipe Vs Donn Beach Recipe

Donn Beach and Victor Bergeron’s Navy Grog recipes are very similar and practically the same drink. The only difference between the two recipes is Donn Beach’s uses honey instead of allspice dram and has an ounce of soda water added too. The Biggest difference is actually the ice. Donn Beach’s recipe calls for a cone of shaved ice around the straw. Victor Bergeron’s recipe call for shaking the cocktail with shaved or crushed ice and then pouring the whole contents of the shaker, ice and all, into the glass.

If you pick up Trader Vic’s cocktail book the recipe will call for 3 ounces of Vic’s Navy Grog Mix. Obviously this was just to sell his own Trader Vic branded mixers that no long exist, but fortunately for us Victor Bergeron never really kept his Navy Grog mix recipe a secret. Vic’s Navy grog was equal parts lime juice, grapefruit juice and Allspice Dram. Knowing that and the rest of the recipe printed in the book we can perfectly recreate the Trader Vic’s Navy Grog cocktail.

The Most Important Ingredient

The allspice dram is what sets the Victor Bergeron version apart from the Donn Beach recipe and I personally feel this is the better version. While the honey in Donn’s adds a bit more sweetness the allspice liqueur adds a nice cinnamon, clove spice to this one. So try the two. They are nearly identical and see which one you prefer.

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Navy Grog – Victor Bergeron’s Version of This Classic Tiki Cocktail

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

339

kcal
ABV

25%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Navy Grog.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Lime Juice

  • 1 oz Grapefruit Juice

  • 1 oz Allspice Dram

  • 1 oz White Rum

  • 1 oz Black Rum

  • 1 oz Anejo Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into a shaker.
  • Add a scoop of shaved ice. If you do not have shaved ice then crushed ice will do.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Pour the whole shaker into the serving glass. Ice and all.

Notes

Planter’s Punch – Original Mid 1800s Planters Inn Recipe

Like many cocktails this one’s history is kinda muddy but I’m going to go with early 1800s Planters Inn in South Carolina. Here’s why. The Planters Inn was opened in 1803, many of these old hotels with attached bars had house cocktails, and there is not other mention of it till 1873 in Fun magazine. The one in Fun also just sounds like a not as good watered down daiquiri. Its dark rum, lime juice, sugar and water. Which leads me to my next issue. Like the Mai Tai, this poor cocktails name is just thrown around and slapped on anything. A quick google search will show you everything from bright pink, yellow and orange drinks. I found one that had red wine in it.

So here is my best mildly informed guess. The Planters Inn opened in the early 1800s and made their own signature cocktail. Different bartenders come in and out and add their own twists until the recipe that sticks and saved is the one I have written down. Writer for Fun magazine comes along and needs to write about some cool Caribbean drinks and asks someone. This guy either gives some other previous bartenders version or doesn’t know and basically gives him a daiquiri recipe with dark rum. The article gets published and confusion spreads. Most sources identify the Planters Inn as the creator of this drink and if you go to their website they give you the recipe right there. So I’m sticking with that. The recipe I have here for you is exactly what you would get if you went to their website of ordered one from their bar. Kinda like how there are tons of Mai Tai recipes but if you just open Trader Vics book and look you can find the real one.

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Planter’s Punch – Original Mid 1800s Planters Inn Recipe

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

147

kcal
ABV

16%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a Planter’s Punch.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Orange Juice

  • 1 oz Pineapple Juice

  • 1 tsp Grenadine

  • 1.5 oz Black Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Shake the ingredients till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Pour into glass filled with crused ice.

Notes

Golden Glow – A Refreshing Whiskey & Rum Cocktail

How can you go wrong with this drink. It has everything good in it. It kinda toes the line between being an Old Fashion style cocktail and a Tiki drink.

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Golden Glow – A Refreshing Whiskey & Rum Cocktail

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

177

kcal
ABV

25%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Golden Glow.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 oz Orange Juice

  • 1 tsp Grenadine

  • 1/2 oz Black Rum

  • 1.5 oz Irish Whiskey

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.

Notes

Rum Swizzle – Classic Caribbean Mixed Drink

Some say that to truly experience an authentic swizzle cocktail one must use a swizzle stick to swizzle the drink. What the hell, you may ask, is a swizzle stick? What is swizzling? A swizzle stick is a long branch with a bunch of smaller branches coming out of the end and it comes from the Caribbean Swizzle tree. You then use the swizzle stick to mix the drink by spinning it between your palms quickly. This has a similar effect to shaking the cocktail since it mixes, aerate and rapidly cools the cocktail.

Now you don’t have to live in the Caribbean and use real swizzle tree branch to do this. If you try to buy one online they run about 20 bucks a branch! and it literally just a stupid stick. There are metal swizzle sticks and those go for about the same price but at least those are metal. What I would do if I were you is just swizzle it with your bar spoon for the same effect or just use a shaker. The shaker will make for a better product anyway.

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Rum Swizzle – Classic Caribbean Mixed Drink

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Course: DrinksCuisine: Caribbean
Servings

1

servings
Calories

225

kcal
ABV

14%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Rum Swizzle.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz Orange Juice

  • 1.5 oz Pineapple Juice

  • 1/2 oz Orgeat

  • 3 dashes Angostura Bitters

  • 1 oz Gold Rum

  • 1 oz Black Rum

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass. Combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Swizzle the cocktail for 20 – 30 seconds to properly mix, chill and dilute the drink. If you do not have a swizzle stick then simply shake the drink.

Notes

Dark N’ Stormy – Bermuda’s Classic Gosling Cocktail

My HR department has advised me to say that you can only make a Dark N’ Stormy with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. That being said there are other good black rums out there so I say find the one you like, but oddly enough i do find it taste just a tad bit better with both Goslings rum and ginger beer. I really do mean that.

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Dark N’ Stormy – Bermuda’s Classic Gosling Cocktail

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Course: DrinksCuisine: Caribbean
Servings

1

servings
Calories

197

kcal
ABV

10%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Dark N’ Stormy.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice

  • 2 oz Gosling Black Seal Rum (Black Rum)

  • 5 oz Ginger Beer

Directions

  • Add ice to the serving glass. Combine all the ingredients in the serving glass.
  • Give the drink a couple turns to chill and mix.

Notes

Chocolate Fizz – An Elegant Chocolate Mousse like Cocktail

How Does It Taste

The Chocolate Fizz taste similar to a chocolate mousse, and surprisingly the majority of the flavor comes from the black rum and not the white chocolate liqueur. No naturally aged spirit is black and the black color in black rum comes from molasses that is added to gold rum at the end of the aging process. This gives black rum a deep, dark, brown sugar flavor. combined with the light creaminess of the egg whites, and the subtle chocolate favor from the chocolate liqueur and you have a cocktail fit for anyone who likes boozy desserts. A surprisingly subtle and elegant dessert cocktail that still packs a punch.

THE MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENT

Fizzes are actually difficult cocktails to get right and anyone who says otherwise is projecting a false image. Everyone who has made a fizz has had one of these pop open on them while shaking, only to make a mess. The best advice I can pass on to making any fizz cocktail is it comes down to 2 things; Technique and chemistry. A common technique that works very well is the dry shake. A dry shake is shaking all your ingredients together without ice first to make forming the foam easier. The foam will still form with ice but you will end up working twice as hard for half the result if you shake with ice first. The first shake is only about 20-30 seconds of vigorous shaking but this is the part that forms most of your foam. A little tip here is to wrap a kitchen towel around the seal of your shaker because no matter how strong you are or how tight your grip it will pop open a little. as the egg whites unfold they can expand up to 8x their original size, thus increasing the pressure inside the shaker and forcing small amounts of the sugary egg mix to squirt out. Wrapping a small towel around the shaker will catch this and keep things clean.

Next and more important is chemistry. For a fizz to properly foam you have to get the science right. Denaturing/unfolding egg protein into a meringue is more science than brawn and a friend of mine who is a baker once gave me this advice for how she made meringue at the bakery.

  1. Keep it room temperature.
  2. Use an acid to help break the proteins hydrogen bonds and unfold it in addition to beating it.
  3. Use sugar to stabilize the foam from collapsing and to form smaller bubbles.

A mistake I made for a long time is using is using eggs fresh from the fridge. Even if I’m doing a dry shake I’m still starting off with cold ingredients. So take the eggs out and let them come to room temperature first. Cold egg protein is much more stable and difficult to break apart than if it is room temperature. The next tip is to use acid. Bakers will use cream of tartar as the acid helps accelerate the denaturing process along with beating it. In the cocktail we use lemon or lime juice. Without using an acid it is much much harder to form a foam. The last bit of advice is to use sugar to stabilize the foamed protein from collapsing. A sweet liqueur alone isn’t enough. I’ve tried making fizzes with just liqueurs for sweeter alone and they have never formed a good foam. This needs actual simple syrup. If you don’t use sugar in your Fizz what will happen is the foam will form but it will collapse back into the liquid-y cocktail just as fast and you will be left with a thin layer of lame bubbles on top. It will still taste the same and be good but that beautiful foam will be gone, and for these drinks the large foam head is the garnish. The sugar also somehow makes the water “wetter” and helps keep the suspended air inside from combining into larger bubbles. This helps form a smoother micro bubble head.

Fizzes are some of the most elegant and sublime cocktails but they are not the easiest to make. Eventually you can get to a point where you can make them correctly and consistently but it can take a while and many failed attempts. Hopefully the tips I gave help shorten that journey. Also theres a lot of tips and tricks out there for making fizzes and I tried to keep mine reasonable and realistic, but see what works for you. I’ve been doing this for a long time and still I have the occasional one that doesn’t foam up well, even though I make them all the exact same. Its just the nature of the egg sometimes and I just accept it and make it again.

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Chocolate Fizz – An Elegant Chocolate Mousse like Cocktail

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

283

kcal
ABV

13%

Total time

4

minutes

Learn how to make an amazing Chocolate Fizz.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Egg Whites

  • 2/3 oz Lime Juice

  • 2/3 oz Simple Syrup

  • 2/3 oz White chocolate Liqueur

  • 2 oz Black Rum

  • 1.5 oz Soda Water

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients except for the soda water in the shaker.
  • Shake dry for 30 second – egg foams better when it is not cold.
  • Now add ice to the shaker. Vigorously shake again till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards. Lastly gently add the soda water to maintain its carbonation

Notes

Mai Tai Cocktail – Original 1944 Victor Bergeron Recipe

History of The Mai Tai

The Mai Tai has unfortunately become the rum dumpster of tiki drinks. Anything remotely tiki like is called a Mai Tai. The recipe here is the original recipe for the Mai Tai created in 1944 by Victor Bergeron at his Trader Vic’s bar in Oakland, California. The Mai Tai predates the Tiki craze of the 1950-60s and is viewed as the quintessential tiki cocktail. The book describes how Victor Bergeron created the drink and how it got its name. The Mai Tai got its’ name when Victor gave the first two he made to two Tahitian friends of his. One of them exclaimed “Mai Tai-Roa Ae” which translates to “Out of this world-the best”. Thus the cocktail earned it’s name, the Mai Tai. Contrary to popular belief the Mai Tai is not Hawaiian or Polynesian in any way. The cocktail was created in 1944 by Victor Bergeron in Oakland, California at his Polynesian themed bar, Trader Vic’s Bar. The Tiki drink craze originated in California immediately after the repeal of prohibition. Both Victor Bergeron and Donn Beach are credited with creating the first tiki themed bars. In 1933 Donn opened Donn the Beachcomber in Hollywood and in 1934 Vic opened Trader Vic’s Bar in the Bay Area, and still to this day, almost every famous Tiki cocktail was one of their creations.

So how does it Taste

The Mai Tai doesn’t taste like most people think it does because most people have not had a real one made with good ingredients. Most are just overly artificially sweet drinks made with pre-made Mai Tai mixer. While there are better Mai Tai mixers out there, even the best don’t compare to one made with real ingredients. So what should a good Mai Tai taste like? A good Mai Tai should have a slight molasses taste with strong notes of almond, cherry, orange, and citrus. Most mixers and orgeat syrups just taste like almonds and the flavor most of these syrups miss is the cherry flavor. Which leads into why orgeat is the most important ingredient in the mai tai and why there is absolutely no substitute for good orgeat.

The Most Important Ingredient

The most important ingredient in the Mai Tai is the Orgeat syrup. The orange liqueur is important too but the orgeat you use will either make or break this drink. So what is orgeat and what does a good orgeat taste like? The classic 1800s French orgeat is a bitter almond syrup. Bitter almonds taste very different from sweet almonds which are what we typically eat. Almonds are part of the rosaceae (rose) family of plants and all rosaceae plant’s seeds contain varying levels of amygdalin which the body processes into cyanide. Bitter almonds are not really sold in the US anymore because they produce around 1000x the level of cyanide than sweet almonds. You could eat sweet almonds all day and be fine but just 10 bitter almonds will kill a grown man. Thats also why they say not to eat apple seeds since they are part of the same family too. Amygdalin smells and taste like cherries. If you are curious to smell and taste this exact flavor then go to the grocery store and in the baking aisle buy some almond extract. Almond baking extracts are made from bitter almonds with the amygdalin neutralized. Orgeat should not taste like just sweet almond milk, Orgeat should taste like almonds and cherries. And this is what 90% of orgeat syrup and Mai Tai mixers get wrong. They just taste like almonds. If you wanna know what made the Mai Tai famous and taste the original then do some research and buy a bottle of top shelf orgeat. These ones sold in stores have the cyanide neutralized and still taste great. I recommend just spending the money and buying a good one. I’ve tried making my own with an old 1800s barley water orgeat syrup recipe I found and used bitter almond extract instead of real bitter almonds. It tasted spot on in the end but it cost 2x as much as buying it, took a whole day to make, was a lot of work, and in the end not much better than a 9 oz bottle I could have bought for 13 bucks. Sure that’s a steep price for 9 oz but your only other option is a gross drink. Sadly there is no substitute for a good orgeat.

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Mai Tai Cocktail – Original 1944 Victor Bergeron Recipe

5 from 1 vote Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

227

kcal
ABV

24%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the original Mai Tai cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Lime Juice

  • 1 tsp Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 oz Orgeat

  • 1/2 oz Orange Liqueur

  • 1 oz Gold Rum

  • 1 oz Black Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker and add ice to the shaker.
  • Shake the ingredients till the shaker is ice cold and develops a frost.
  • Strain into glass with ice and garnish with a bouquet of mint leaves.

Notes