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Beachbum Berry's Potions of the Caribbean Hardcover – December 9, 2013

5 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 315 pages
  • Publisher: Cocktail Kingdom; 1st edition (December 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603113800
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603113809
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I'm a huge fan of Beachbum Berry, having met him several times at different events. I own all his other cocktail books. I feel his creative force has been instrumental in ensuring tiki drinks keep in the forefront with the cocktail revival happening now. But this book completely blew me away. The graphics, history and recipes are AMAZING! This book will provide hours and hours of perusal. The recipes are fantastically done. I'm just one recipe in - tried the M-1 this week and love it. I think this book will be a bible for any cocktail lover. Thank you Mr. Bum for bringing this into my life!
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It's lively seas ahead, ye scurvy bilge-rats! But before extolling the plentiful pleasures of Jeff Berry's new instant-classic, let me drop the piratey parlance and note that his previous exploration on a similar theme - 'Sippin' Safari' - is one of the handful of non-fiction books I have honest-to-God re-read several times (and I don't even have a home BAR!), both for the sheer enjoyment of the writing as well as the colorful collection of people whose lives Berry illuminates with wit and wry perception.

But the other potent component in Jeff's tomes is his remarkable knowledge of history -- both of drinks and the countries and people who engendered them.

And if an award were given for the keenest, most perceptive, and best educated palate on the planet with regard to spirits and the various cocktails they haunt, the honor would go, hands down, to The Beachbum himself. And though he could easily found a university specializing in the study of potable potions and teach all the courses himself, this is all academic, if you'll pardon the pun, in the face of just how much FUN Jeff's books invariably are. And his newest is certainly no exception. In fact, he may well have outdone himself.

But though 'Potions Of The Caribbean' is a formidable achievement in alcoholic archeology, unearthing everything you could possibly want to know about the always fascinating, often violent history of rum and the countless elixirs it has inspired over a huge span of years, I can't help but feel this newest foray into the sweet/sour/strong/weak world of tropical cocktail concoctions is an unofficial sequel, of sorts, to 'Sippin' Safari', or certainly a deeper, wider extension of the groundwork previously laid out in that previous volume.
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Jeff Berry is the world's foremost authority on all things tiki. Made with fresh, high quality ingredients, the way these drinks were intended to be, the results are amazing. I have all of the Beachbum's books and go back to them time and time again. Full of great history, photos and more- this is a great gift for the cocktail or spirit enthusiast in your life or your favorite bartender. Take a trip back in time to when Polynesia, the Caribbean and the United States all had an amazing moment. Tiki is on its way back in a big way- this book is the soup to nuts primer to fill all of your thirsty needs.
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If you're used to the lighter "Tiki" tomes from Jeff "Beachbum" Berry, the heft (physical and metaphorical) of this book may surprise you like it did me. Still, it is a breezy read, with a slightly-detached-irony writing style, that nonetheless conveys much insider knowledge.

The recipes are also typically sure-fire but the book is so well written it may take you some time to realize there ARE recipes.

The sections on the great Cuban mixologists of Havana's heyday, and on the history of (and fractious relationship between) Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic are worth the price of the book by themselves. On top of that, included are biographies of characters such as Joe Scialom, a bartender swaddled in Savile Row's finest bespoke suitings who also had the ear of statesmen, generals and monarchs, and narratives on pirates and colonists and explorers, etc., etc. ...it's a great book.

It'd make a GREAT series on Discovery or National Geographic, too.

I'm glad he has taken the time and effort to get all this history down so that one day, when Cuba is free again, they can pick up where they left off and we can all have one (worth having) in Havana.
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Beachbum Berry is the guru of Tiki drinks and this book lives up to his title. It is a beautiful hard covered book with lots of good story telling, history, recipes and pics. I will buy any book that Jeff Berry writes. I have all of the others and am so glad to have this one in my collection. It is a winner, just like all of his others.
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Once you own this book and start reading it, you will want to turn your entire house into a tiki bar. This book is amazing. I own all the Beachbum Berry books and this BY FAR is the best one. You won't regret this purchase.
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This book is an absolute essential for anyone, like myself, who has an interest in rum-based cocktails. It is insightful and entertaining. At times it comes of as a bit glib, but that's probably fine for subject matter that is best treated without too much solemnity. The historical context is fascinating, and the evolution of Tiki cocktails from their Caribbean roots is well laid out. The progression of the daiquiri is beautifully laid out. The few recipes I've tried have been delightful. He's not at all sanctimonious about ingredients, giving us license to utilize some commercial products, like orgeat, when the artisanal stuff might be impractical. This book will create new standards for my little home bar, and it is the rare "recipe book" that also makes great bedside reading.
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