Pi Yi Cocktail – Vintage Donn Beach Tiki Cocktail

PI YI Taste And Recipe

This is an amazing spiced tropical juice flavored cocktail. Its actually one of my favorite tiki drinks and in my opinion is much better than many of the more popular tiki cocktails. The honey and juice perfectly match the strength of the rum and the spice of the bitters. Not much to say other than this is a must try and one you will most likely make again.

Making a PI YI With a Fresh Pineapple

The original way to prepare this was to scoop out a small pineapple and use the inside, blend it, and use the juice of it in the drink. Once the drink was shaken and done it is poured back into the hallowed out pineapple. To keep with tradition I cut a pineapple and used a small bit of blended fruit as the juice for this drink and it turned out really good. I did not pour it back in since I want the drink to be visible in a glass. Also I ended up eating most of the pineapple on its own, and a hallowing out a pineapple would give me way more than 1 oz of juice. My assumption is all the extra fruit and juice from the fresh pineapple was used in other drinks too at Don The Beachcombers.

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Pi Yi Cocktail – Vintage Donn Beach Tiki Cocktail

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

1

servings
Calories

181

kcal
ABV

17%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Pi Yi.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice

  • 1 oz Pineapple Juice

  • 1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup

  • 1 tsp Honey Syrup

  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

  • 1 oz White Rum

  • 2/3 oz Gold 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

Hot Toddy – Classic 18th Century Style Toddy

History Of The Hot Toddy

A lot of these old drinks that we still make today are actually really hard to find information on. Hot buttered rum, hot ale flip, buttered beer, toddies, etc. Most actual written recipes are around the mid 1800s and later. Books were mostly published for histories and stories, but skills and trades were just taught from master to apprentice. There were a few but not like there is today. One tries to piecemeal as much as they can together.

In a 1769 book “A Dissertation On The Oleum Palmae Christi” by Peter Canvane he mentions adding medicines to “warm milk punch, common punch, or toddy, in which a hot poker has been quenched.” as ways of administering medicine to those who complain about the taste. (Total side note. All the really old stuff has the long “S” character ( “ʃ” ) but I changed it to a normal “s” in the quote, it looks like kinda like an f but it’s just another symbol for s that we don’t use anymore. Thats why the Declaration of Independence looks like they spelled everything wrong.) In an 1783 fictional book “Smyth’s Tour of The United States” by J.F.D. Smyth, he notes that his character likes to “take a draught of Bumbo, or toddy, a liquor composed of water, sugar, rum and nutmeg.” There was also a kinda funny romance story from 1741 I found, where a beautiful lady walks into the kitchen and ask the lord of the house for a toddy. “Would you like it hot, or cold? warm I replied.”

All silliness aside the point I am trying to get at is, there is no actual formal recipe to make a toddy but the parts and qualities of a toddy. There are as many toddies as there are people. What matters are the parts, so based on the works I referenced lets brake those parts down.

  1. The first reference points to the colonial American way of heating up drinks. Not by using a stove but by using a hot fireplace poker often called a toddy rod or loggerhead. In a home setting a stove probably was used as it was already fired up for cooking food but in a tavern it was more efficient to simply place iron rods in the already running fireplace. Rather than having a stove run all night just to be ready for the occasional warm drink they could simply dip the toddy rod into the drinks people request warmed.
  2. The second reference give us the ingredient of the toddy. The 4 parts are water, sugar, rum, and nutmeg. Now any spice will do but it is worth noting that even in the early 1862 Bartenders guide only nutmeg is mentioned when adding spice toddies.
  3. The third reference lets us know that toddies were served both hot and cold and sometimes warm. Now I am willing to bet that a cold toddy was just not a heated one. Commercial refrigeration was not invented till the 1850s so access to blocks of ice was limited mostly to business. and while they did have ice houses that saved ice for most of the summer (some stayed in use up to the 1930s), something as special as ice was not going to be wasted on a single drink.

So for this hot toddy recipe I will stick to those points. Using only rum, water, sugar and nutmeg. Heated up with a toddy rod. Almost every recipe you find has lemon juice added it to add to its medicinal qualities but since that is not traditional to the 18th or 19th century I will leave it out and stick to the classic structure. On a fun side note, did you know the original name for the muddler was actually the toddy stick. Thats right, It was based off the pestle from the mortar and pestle but made of wood so it wouldn’t shatter glass cups. The shape was perfect for smashing together fruits, spices and sugar cubes.

Do Hot Toddies Actually Help You Feel Better When You Are Sick

So the short answer is, I guess… sure. The long answer is it depends on what ailment you hope to relieve. Western medicine has come a long way since the 18th century but there are three reasons a person makes a hot toddy today other than it just tasting good. 1). When they have a soar throat. 2). When their sinuses are congested and 3). It just feels nice to cozy up with one during the winter. The main health benefit from a hot toddy comes from honey, if you use sugar then you are missing most of the benefits of a hot toddy. Honey is actually a pretty awesome nectar and has shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. In some lab studies if is found to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines, this combined with the warm steam from the drink can help reduce congestion as that is a inflammation of the sinuses. Or you can pop some Sudafed during the day and Benadryl at night as those are some of the present day gold standards of over the counter anti-inflammation medication.

Ignoring mechanical irritation of ones throat like screaming a bunch, the most common reason for a sore throat is infection and the bodies natural response to infection is inflammation. So again its honey with that anti-inflammatory response, or you could just pop an ibuprofen or naproxen as they would be a more effective treatment. And the last point is it just feels good to cozy up with one, and it does. Being cozy just makes you feel happy, but did you also know that nutmeg is a hallucinogen. The dose is so low that its hard to credit any effect on the brain to the nutmeg but it does contain myristicin which in large doses can make people trip. Maybe that good feeling is just a psychedelic nut and alcohol induced feeling. Some people are very sensitive to nutmeg and the active chemicals in it and get pounding headache from even the smallest amount. So don’t ever use too much nutmeg and don’t use it for the purpose of getting high and be careful as it can be dangerous in large doses. Make wise choices.

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Hot Toddy – Classic 18th Century Style Toddy

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

1

servings
Calories

180

kcal
ABV

10%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a vintage style hot toddy.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Honey Syrup

  • 2 oz Gold Rum

  • 5 oz Water

  • light dusting Nutmeg

Directions

  • Combine honey and rum into heat resistant or ceramic mug.
  • Either add hot water and stir or add room temperature water and dip a hot toddy rod in. Stir with the rod as the water boils.
  • Garnish with a dusting of nutmeg.

Recipe Video

Notes

Hot Ale Flip – Early Colonial Hot Beer Cocktail

A Short History Of Cooking Beer

Before the days of bottling and refrigeration, fresh beer had a very limited shelf life and having to waste any brought a tear to many peoples eyes. So like any food item on its way out, people tried to find ways to get just a couple more uses out it. I’m sure you do this all the time. Strawberries are starting to get soft, make a smoothie. Worried about your gigantic bag of onions getting too old, make French onion soup. There are lots of things you can do before food turns and during the 17th century cooking beer with honey and spices was one way to mask the flavor of a beer going bad.

Earlier forms of the hot ale flip we simple hot ale and honey drinks and if you want to find these recipes you’ll need to look in old cookbooks. One such recipe from the 1669 book “The Closet” by Sir Kenelme Digbie is an ale with honey recipe specifically for beer that is about to go bad. Sir Kenelme Digbie described cooking old beer with honey would would help the turned old beer and “set the whole a working a fresh, and casting out foulness”

Some very old books had tips and tricks for old food but with the invention of commercial refrigeration in the mid 1800s that kinda stopped being such a big problem. Most of those recipes either got lost to time but many still live on as things you eat normally. Fruit pies, jellies, alcohol, pickles, hell even banana bread. Hence why most recipes specifically call for nasty old soft brown bananas no one wants to eat. It’s for flavor but it comes from much older tradition. Old meat was a little harder to repurpose and was something you needed to persevere before it started to turn. Although old meat could be used at bait to catch fresh meat or go fishing and once food went really bad it could just be composted.

What Does It Taste Like

Depending on the beer you use, these can be really really good, or really really bad. To make it more difficult its almost impossible to know which beers are good as a flip and which are not, without actually trying them. A beer you think would be good warmed with spices, whiskey, and sugar, like a super cool peanut butter stout, are awful. The really flavorful beers just seem to turn too bitter, but lighter more drinkable beers like boston lager and Budweiser are amazing. The only way to know is to try. I started doing a whole YouTube series on which beers taste good hot and which taste bad and my goal is to try every beer I can get my hands on hot. I have hot beer tier list on my website and so far my favorite one is hot fat tire. I like fat tire to begin with but hot it was amazing.

Keeping in mind that this is a way of making old beers taste good again. I opened a bottle of beer, poured it, set it on the counter for a day, and it made a better flip than a fresh bottle of the same beer. The fresh beer taste better cold but the old beer taste better flipped. My mind was blown. No of these results were expected. In fact I believed the opposite to be true of what the actual results ended up being. I only tried it with this one beer (boston lager since I really liked it flipped to begin with) but I feel I should do the same experiment for others. Doing this will likely make me gain quite few pounds in the next year but I think it will be fun.

What Is A Flip

No one really knows where the term flip came from. Some guesses are that it was used to describe the bubbles leaving the drink. Like the bubbles flipped from the inside to the outside, or the drink was so strong it would make you flip out of your chair. No one really knows but I have my own idea. Some 18th century and earlier books provided ways to repurpose food that was going bad or loosing its freshness. I wrote a bit about that in the paragraphs above. It is often referred to as the food or drinks turning. My guess is the term flip was a cleaver play on words to describe making a turned beer taste good again. Again I have no evidence of this. Its just a feeling.

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Hot Ale Flip – Early Colonial Hot Beer Cocktail

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

1

servings
Calories

330

kcal
ABV

9%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a hot ale flip.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Dark Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz Gold Rum

  • 12 oz Amber Ale

  • Light dusting Nutmeg

Directions

  • Add rum and simple syrup to a large beer glass.
  • Stir rum and syrup together and next add beer.
  • Dip a hot toddy rod into the drink and stir with the rod as the drink boils.
  • Garnish with a dusting of nutmeg.

Notes

Hot Buttered Rum – A Classic Early Colonial American Drink

The History Of Hot Buttered Rum

Adding butter to hot drinks was not new during colonial America, butter beer dates back to the 16th century, but hot buttered rum was an early american twist on this type of drink. In the Americas rum and molasses were plentiful and fairly cheap because of it’s close proximity to the Caribbean. In fact rum was the first real spirit of the Americas, not whiskey. I looked high and low but I was unable to find a hot buttered rum like recipe till the 1860s with Jerry Thomas’s book. I scanned drink and food recipe books and eventually just started looking for any historical book older that 1860 that might have a recipe or at least mention a hot buttered rum. Trust me I put more effort into this cocktail than any reasonable person should. I did find a mention of it in the 1826 edition of the Pennsylvanian Historical society. I mentioned how it is common at birthing for “good women” to have hot buttered rum, wines and cordial water served to guest. And if the baby be unwell or fretful a dose of spirit, water and spices could help too. I found an 1855 British book called the Practical housewife, gave a very similar recipe to the one provided but called the drink a buttered toddy. A a book from 1830 called “Three Courses and a Dessert” mentions the hot butter rum and says how its a terrible meaty drink. There were a couple times I found this referred to as a buttered toddy but not much, the much more common name was still hot buttered rum.

Lord knows I tired but the earliest I could find this drink mentioned was in the 1826 Pennsylvanian Historical society. The titles of most of the books that had hot buttered rum recipes were like, the domestic blah blah blah, housewife so and so, or friendly neighbor such and such. They all revolved around the house and made no mention of going out to a tavern, which leads me to think this was very much a home made cocktail. This ultimately means the history of it is a bit muddy and there is no single canon recipe, so take this recipe, modify it, make it your own have fun.

What Does Hot Buttered Rum Taste Like

This is an amazing drink that is spiced well with great texture and flavor. The butter doesn’t come across as heavy or greasy, it adds a nice creamy mouthfeel similar to gum syrup, egg whites or a very full bodied wine. This drink is not weak either. You can really feel the warm rum but the light creamy butter and pumpkin pie spices make it pleasant and not too strong. When I was younger I use to think of this drink as more of an overly sweet almost milk shake like drink but it doesn’t have to be. And again since there is no real single canon recipe for this, the recipe I have here is an amalgamation of older recipes I liked. The sweetness and spice toned down a bit with a little bit more rum. The 2 ounces of rum helps keep the drink from feeling flat and the sugar and spice level make it so the drink taste like a cocktail and not a dessert. The hot buttered rum batter is great on anything. I sometimes add it to coffee, on toast, biscuits, pancakes, etc. Add a little more sugar, spice or butter if you feel the drink needs it. Here is the recipe for the batter but feel free to check out my article on Spiced Butter Batter.

Spiced Butter Batter Recipe

  • 1/4 tsp (1.5 g) Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp (1.5 g) Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp (1.5 g) Ground Clove
  • 1/4 tsp (1.5 g) Ground Allspice (or 1/2 tbs: Allspice dram)
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 g) Vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) Brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) Unsalted butter
  1. 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.
  2. Next simply add all the other ingredients to the melted butter.
  3. Stir till the brown sugar has fully mixed in. Cover spiced butter batter and refrigerate.

This recipe will make about a cup (240 grams) of spiced butter batter mix which is about 12 drinks. This is really good on biscuits too and my kids love this spread on toast.

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Hot Buttered Rum – A Classic Early Colonial American Drink

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

1

servings
Calories

220

kcal
ABV

10%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a Hot Buttered Rum.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Spiced Butter Batter

  • 2 oz Gold Rum

  • 6 oz Hot Water

Directions

  • Drop spiced butter batter into a ceramic or heat resistant mug.
  • Add hot water and stir till the butter is completely melted and incorporated into the water.
  • Lastly add the rum and give a couple last stirs to finish mixing the drink.

Notes

Pearl Diver – Classic Don the Beachcomber Cocktail Recipe

How Does a Pearl Diver Taste

The Pearl Diver is a very unique cocktail. Even in the tiki world its inclusion of Creamed spiced honey butter is unique. What the Gardenia mix adds is a creamy texture and hot buttered rum flavor to a tropical drink. Pretty consistently I have found that people who don’t like hot buttered rum also don’t like this. I have also noticed that people who do like hot buttered rum also like this. It taste kinda taste like a citrus-y cold buttered rum and I absolutely love it.

Don the Beachcomber’s 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. Check out Jeff Beachbum Berry’s post here on the Pearl Diver

What is Gardenia Mix and How to Make It

The secret Gardenia mix recipe Jeff Berry eventually settled on was:

  • 1 oz Honey
  • 1 oz unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Syrup
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Allspice Dram.

The stuff taste and smells amazing. Although not everyone has vanilla or cinnamon syrup around, so I wrote a recipe that is a bit more accessible. Here is my specific article on gardenia mix and how to make it.

The Most Important Part Of This Cocktail

The most important part of the pearl diver is how you mix it. Butter is mostly milk fat and protein and it does not stay emulsified in water. So you have two options. 1). Use a blender and turn it into a slushy. 2). Use an emulsifier like gum syrup or something to evenly mix the gardenia mix while you are making it and it is still warm . If you don’t blend it or use an emulsifier then the butter oddly sits at the top and it looks pretty gross.

The first option of using a blender is the more common one. There will still be very small particles of butter but the speed of a blender helps to evenly mix them and the slushy ice prevents them from forming together. If slushies are not your style then try option #2.

The second option is to use an emulsifier while you are making the gardenia mix and it is still warm. That way you’re not fighting the fat when the cocktail is cold. I’m not the most versed in that method but there are guides online that talk about how to do it that way.

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Pearl Diver – Classic Don the Beachcomber Cocktail Recipe

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

1

servings
Calories

456

kcal
ABV

19%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Pearl Diver.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice

  • 1 oz Orange Juice

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 1 oz Gardenia Mix

  • 1/3 oz Falernum

  • 1.5 oz Gold Rum

  • 1 oz Anejo Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into a blender with a single scoop of ice cubes.
  • Blend on low for 10 seconds or till the ice is mostly pulverized.
  • Now blend on high for 5-10 seconds to completely crush the ice and turn the drink into a slushy texture.
  • Pour into serving glass. Garnish with an orchid flower.

Recipe Video

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

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
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

Brandy Daisy – Original 1862 Jerry Thomas Recipe

The History Of The Brandy Daisy

Emerging around the same time as the crusta and many other early standard sour cocktails, the daisy was another early cocktail style. The Daisy is essentially a crusta with an ounce of soda water to cut the intensity and make the cocktail a bit more refreshing. First appearing in the 1862 edition of the bartenders guide by Jerry Thomas, The daisy is a wonderful cocktail if you find the standard sour is a bit too strong.

How Does It Taste

The Brandy Daisy is a wonderful little cocktail that adds a bit of refreshing soda water to a delicious sour cocktail. The small amount of Orange Liqueur adds a nice orange flavor on top of the citrus. The primary flavor is still the brandy and the subtle flavors of the brandy shines through in this cocktail.

The Most Important Ingredient

The most important ingredient in this cocktail is the brandy you use. I don’t often use fine sipping spirits for cocktails but the proportion of the other ingredients is so small that a nicer more mellow brandy makes for a better balanced drink where you can still appreciate the subtleties of a nicer brandy. The brandy daisy is a wonderful drink but its not for everyone. If you love brandy and find the side car cocktail to be too sweet than this is the cocktail for you.

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Brandy Daisy – Original 1862 Jerry Thomas Recipe

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

300

kcal
ABV

21%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Brandy Daisy.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1 tsp Gum Syrup

  • 3 dashes Orange Liqueur

  • 1 tsp Gold Rum

  • 2 oz Brandy Daisy

  • 1.5 oz Soda Water

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients except for the soda water 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 and add the soda water.

Notes

Mint Julep | Classic 1862 Jerry Thomas Recipe

The History of Julep Cocktails And Their Ancient Origins

The history of the Julep goes all the way back to ancient Persia (modern day Iran). Rosewater was thought to have health benefits and the word for rosewater in old Persian is gulab (gul=rose, ab=water). Gulab slowly made it way to the surrounding Arabic cultures and over time the word Gulab changed to Julāb and it was used to describe any kind of sweetened medicinal syrup. Julābs eventually made their way to western Europe an in England and syrupy medicines are called Julaps or Julapums. By the mid 1700s there were all kinds or julaps. Rose water julap was called Julapum Rosatum and used for treating Heart issues, Julapum tabaci was tobacco infused syrup for treating asthma, Julapum sedativum was opium syrup, and Julapum Stomachicum was a mint infused syrup used to settle upset tummies. I found many kinds of other Julapums but this is good enough. Also most of what I found was written in latin and google translate can only do so much. A medical journal I found online from the 1750s calls for a Julapum Stomachicum to be a peppermint infused sweetener mixed with sherry. What we today consider a mint julep emerges around the early 1800s. The British 1827 home medical book Oxford Night Caps refers to a mint julap as a mint syrup mixed with brandy that a parent can make to ease the upset tummy of a child.

With it’s unique drinking culture, the mint julep ended up taking on a different identity in the United States. Mint juleps were dressed up and made fancy for saloon patrons looking to get buzzed. The oldest printed recipe of this saloon style julep comes Jerry Thomas’s 1862 edition of The Bar Tenders Guide and the recipe is: 1 table-spoonful of white pulverized sugar. 2 1/2 table-spoonfuls of Water, mix well with a spoon. 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh mint. 1 1/2 wine glass Cognac brandy, dash with Jamaica rum and sprinkle white sugar on top. Jerry Thomas also has recipes for a gin julep, whiskey julep, and a pineapple julep which is a pineapple syrup and gin cocktail.

The mint julep stays a brandy cocktail for a very long time and most bartenders and recipe books copy Jerry Thomas till around the late 1800s. Books in the late 1880s mention how the once loved julep had fallen in favor to other more complex cocktails and is typically something only the older men order. It is also around this time that the mint julep recipe replaces brandy for bourbon. The first instance of this is in the 1888 book Bartender’s Manual by Theodore Proulx where he has his recipe for a mint julep that uses bourbon instead of brandy. Whether this change is accidental or intentional it figures it would happen when the cocktail begins to fade from bartender’s repertoire. As decades passed the mint julep and whiskey julep merged till it just became standard to make a mint julep with whiskey.

Mint Julep Variations

This is the original version of a classic mint julep. Had you ordered a mint julep in the 1800s you would be given this cocktail instead of the whiskey variation most common made today. The most common variation of the mint julep made today is what we would actually consider a whiskey julep. Jerry Thomas had recipes for a gin julep, whiskey Julep, pineapple julep and a plain brandy julep. Harry Johnson added the Champagne Julep too in his 1882 book Harry Johnson’s Bartender’s Manual. An 1885 book called New guide for the hotel, bar, restaurant, butler, and chef by someone named Bacchus has 9 different Julep recipes. Granted they are not worth listing here as they are all kinda lousy.

The Most Important Ingredient

I personally feel the most important part of any julep is the crushed or shaved ice you will pack the cup with. This cocktail should have the spirit of a snow cone that taste of sweet mint and booze and the ice should be rounded over the rim. Otherwise it comes across as an old fashioned if you don’t pack the cup with ice and the julep should be more of a refreshing hot daytime summer drink and not a smoky old nighttime bar drink.

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Mint Julep Cocktail | the Classic New Orleans Pre-Prohibition Recipe

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

1

servings
Calories

193

kcal
ABV

32%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Mint Julep as it was often made before the 1900s. This version is from the 1862 edition of the Bartenders guide but the mint julep similar to this had been used in medicine for hundreds of years.

Ingredients

  • 5 Spearmint Leaves

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz Brandy

  • 3 dashes Gold Rum

Directions

  • Add the simple syrup and mint to a tumbler glass.
  • Press the mint leaves into the syrup to infuse it with the mint’s flavor.
  • Fill the mixing glass with ice and add the base spirit.
  • Mix the drink for 20 – 30 seconds.
  • Fill your serving glass with crushed ice and strain the drink into the serving glass.
  • Garnish with a bouquet of mint and dust with powdered sugar.

Recipe Video

Notes

Santa Cruz Sour – Classic 1862 Jerry Thomas Rum Sour Recipe

Rum Sour vs Santa Cruz Sour vs St. Croix Sour

The rum sour, Santa Cruz sour, and St. Croix Sour are all the exact same drinks and one name is not more correct than the other. Even though rum sour is the name used today, the reason I went with the name Santa Cruz Sour is its the name used in the oldest cocktail book to reference it. The oldest name for this cocktail that I could find was Jerry Thomas’s Santa Cruz Sour in his 1862 edition of The Bartenders Guide. The reason he used that name was the island the very popular Cruzan rum used in the cocktail came from was St. Croix, but he used the original Spanish spelling of the island. Even into the early 1900s the name of this cocktail was still the Santa Cruz Sour or the St. Croix Sour. St. Croix is the more modern French spelling of the island’s name so some bartenders preferred to use that spelling instead of the older Spanish spelling. This cocktail doesn’t start being called the rum sour till around the 1930s when cocktails books start to group all sours together as a general recipe. Most books would say “Sours are usually all prepared the same. The juice of half a lemon, 1 tablespoon of syrup, and 2 oz of any spirit. Gin, whiskey, brandy, rum, etc”. The name Santa Cruz or St. Croix got dropped and the more generic name rum sour became common.

To Add Egg Whites Or Not To Add Egg Whites

This has been the absolute single hardest cocktail to document and I try to keep my sources to only published books. Sometimes I use newspapers but I don’t give them much weight. The conclusion I have come to is a traditional rum sour, all sours for that matter, do not have eggs whites. Yes there were cocktails like the clover club or pink lady that had egg whites, or you can go back even further to the Fizz style cocktails from the 1880s that had egg whites. But not until the early 1950s am I able to find anyone use egg whites in a cocktail labeled a rum sour. Sour cocktails prior to the 1950s that used egg whites in this way all seem to have fun names and were presented as cocktails for the ladies. In the 1930s or 40s if a man ordered a rum sour and he was handed one with egg whites in it, he would probably be offended or think the bartender mixed his drink up with some woman’s at the bar. I looked through maybe 100+ books ranging from the 1880s to the late 1960s and this was pretty consistently what I found.

The earliest use of egg whites in a standard sour I could find was from King Cocktail by Eddie Clark. Who in 1947 was the successor head bartender to Harry Craddock at the Savoy. The 1955 official British Bartenders union cocktail book, The UKBG, also mentions using egg whites in sours, but both books say they are optional and not traditional. Assumedly egg whites were added upon request and not the normal way a gin sour was made. Keep in mind Harry Craddock, 1920 – 40s, did not make his sours with egg whites. All those cocktails had different fun names. Eddie Clark even grouped those fun cocktails in the “For ladies only” section of his book. Is this an example in”toxic”ated masculinity?

A Short History Of Sours

While a standard American style sour is most likely as old as the country itself, it actually traces its origins to the Age of Exploration. In the mid 1500s the Spanish Navy began preserving concentrated lime juice in high proof spirits that could last on long voyages as medication to fight prevent scurvy. These medications were known for being super sour and not tasting good. In the early 1800s there attempts at improving these into actually good drinks and one of these is the standard Sour cocktail of 2 oz base spirit, 1 oz citrus, and 1/2 oz simple syrup. This standard recipe still has its roots in the overly sour medication but by reducing the citrus by 1/3, you end up with a tastier product. Please enjoy this early rum sour pulled from the 1862 edition of the Bar-Tenders guide by Jerry Thomas.

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Santa Cruz Sour – Classic 1862 Jerry Thomas Rum Sour Recipe

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

1

servings
Calories

183

kcal
ABV

25%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Santa Cruz Sour.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz Gold Rum

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

Milk Punch – Classic 1862 Jerry Thomas Punch Recipe

So you may notice this is a milk punch but I use half & half and not milk. Mixing with dairy is kinda a pain in the ass and that’s because alcohol, like acid, cause milk protein to bind together and make cheese. What protects the protein from binding together is fat. Normal milk just doesn’t have enough fat and so you will make a curds and whey punch every time instead. The trick is to balance the higher ABVs with the correct percentage of fat. This one comes in around 15% and at that abv half & half works well. Something like a white russian, which is 30%, needs heavy cream because thats too much booze and would curdle half & half. If you use milk then you would need to add less alcohol and water it down some to hopefully not have it curdle.

On a side note I experimented making this with oat milk and almond milk and it was ok. They tasted fine but they lacked the creaminess of actual dairy. Kinda like substituting almond milk in coffee. Its fine but not actually good. Also this follows older recipes pretty closely but I feel this is a superior version. One of the oldest ones I could find was Jerry Thomas’s version which is.

• 15mls/ tea spoon of sugar
• 60mls/ 2 ounces of brandy
• 30mls/ 1 ounce rum
• remainder of glass filled with milk and ice

I like booze but his was a bit too boozy and the milk curdled. I took the ingredients of most of the milk punches I found, increased the fat content and decreased the booze by a 1/4 and that’s what this recipe is. It won’t curdle and I think the parts are a better balance.

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Milk Punch – Classic 1862 Jerry Thomas Punch Recipe

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

1

servings
Calories

335

kcal
ABV

22%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Milk Punch.

Ingredients

  • 3 dashes Vanilla Extract

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz Half & Half

  • 1 oz Gold Rum

  • 2 oz Brandy

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