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Beachbum Berrys Grog Log Spiral-bound – February 23, 2003

5.0 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

SIPS - Trader Vic Drank Here
By WILLIAM GRIMES

As John Glenn was orbiting the earth for the first time, his fellow Americans were deep into the long-lived craze known as tiki. This gaudy life-style package -- a blend of Polynesian kitsch, fake island food and lethal rum drinks -- began in the late 1930's and early 40's with Los Angeles restaurants like Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic's, and gradually spread to the suburban patio before fizzling out in the early 1970's.

It's back, of course. Jeff Berry and Annene Kaye, serious students of tiki, have compiled a serious tiki cocktail book, "Beachbum Berry's Grog Log."

In 96 spiral-bound pages adorned with tiki illustrations, the authors have ranged far and wide to gather classic Polynesian fakes, like the Fog Cutter from Trader Vic's, the Missionary's Downfall from Don the Beachcomber and the Sidewinder's Fang from the Lanai Restaurant in San Mateo, Calif. They have even managed to unearth Manhattan tiki cocktails, like the Hawaiian Room, served at the old Hotel Lexington in the 1940's, and the Headhunter, served at the Hawaii Kai in the 1960's.

The authors have also come up with their own tiki-inspired originals, like Hell in the Pacific (151-proof Demerara rum, lime juice, maraschino liqueur and grenadine), and the Waikikian (light Puerto Rican Rum, dark Jamaican rum, lemon juice, curaao and orgeat syrup).

It's no longer possible to eat Tonga Tabu Native Drum Steak, which was a featured menu item at the now-defunct Islander in Beverly Hills ("from the ovens of the ancient goddess of Bora Bora, Pele, Mistress of Flame"), but you can shake up a Shark's Tooth or a Shrunken Skull.

As Mr. Berry and Ms. Kaye see it, they are giving the country the perfect drink book for the age of malaise. "If we're going to feel like zombies," they write in their preface, "we may as well be drinking them." END -- Publisher Comments

About the Author

Jeff Berry is a learned fan of tropical drinks and is perhaps the foremost authority on the subject. He is also a screenwriter and filmaker.
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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 96 pages
  • Publisher: SLG Publishing; 1 edition (February 23, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0943151201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0943151205
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.3 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,242,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Spiral-bound
This book is great fun! My copy is already stained with the Blue Curacao, and sticky with Marachino Cherry juice. Lots of great recipes- some easy to make and others an adventure to find all the ingredients, but all of them are tasty and impressive. Wonderful graphics to check out while your blender is running. There is even a guide to how potent your potion will be and what type of glass to serve it in. Really a great book--
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By A Customer on February 6, 2004
Format: Spiral-bound
Alright, I'm going to keep it short and to the point. I'm a Tiki geek, I've got every book related to the subject and, along with The Book of Tiki, this book and it's sequal Intoxica are the Holy Trinity of the Tiki Religion. There is no better book on Tropical Drinks anywhere, ever. Buy it. Now.
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By A Customer on January 30, 2001
Format: Spiral-bound
You finally found it -- the ultimate cocktail recipe book. Click that "buy now" button and begin your exciting journey into a land of exotic tastes and potent potions. I've had a blast hunting down the ingredients and whipping up drinks for my friends. I own many cocktail recipe books, but this is the one I always use.
Most highly recommended!
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Format: Spiral-bound
I essentially have the same review for both this book and Berry's follow-up book, Intoxica: Jeff (Beachbum) Berry is, without question, the most learnéd authority on "tiki" beverages alive today. The cheap production characteristics of the book in no way detract from that fact, and it will be evident to both drink historians and harkeners after the tiki experience alike. Well-considered recipes, delicious and examined minutely=buy this book.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
Joe Bob Briggs from UPI called this "the best bartender's guide for tropical and rum drinks ever published". That, my friends, is an understatement. Forget those fancy and useless trendy tiki books that have to be gussied up with Shag illustrations and glossy printing, if you've already bought those: use 'em as coasters for the wonderfully entertaining and informative "Grog Log". From a pair who can navigate the tikiphyte through the Singapore Slings and arrows of the sugary crap that give tropical drinks a bad name. Easily worth 5 times the cover price, "The Grog Log" and the follow-up "Intoxica!" are the only Tiki drink books you'll ever need or want.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
Looking at all the other reviews for the Grog Log, I see nothing but five stars awarded to this nifty little book, and I am not going to break with precedent.

For the uninitiated, "tropical", "exotic" or "tiki" drinks are part of a subgenre that the more snobby elements of the cocktail world would refer to as kitsch. A succesful mainstream cocktail book presents itself as emmaculately as a James Bond tuxedo (see Dale DeGroff). A successful tiki drink book on the other hand presents itself as a hawaiian shirt. The hook however, is that a good tiki drink is no less sophisticated as a mainstream cocktail...and truth be told...it is usually more complex.

Unlike some of the other tropical drink recipe books, Grog Log is no frothy collection of colorful cocktail photos with some syrup-heavy recipes thrown in. Instead, like good tiki bartenders, Jeff Berry along with Annene Kaye have created a sophisticated concoction. Grog Log is equal parts (1) overview of the tiki drink movement, (2) reproduction of the uniquely crude, tacky, and delightful visual style of the classic tiki bar era, and (3) substantive recipes of the drinks themselves. This last element sets this book apart from others as "THE" authority on tiki drinks (along with its companion volume "Intoxica").

For the most part, to fully appreciate these recipes, you need to have a taste for rum and preferably a liking (or love) of citrus fruits. Fear not, because after sampling an authentic Mai Tai, it is hard not to meet both requirements.

Finally, at the time I write this, the book appears to be out of print and is fetching some high prices in the used market. Again fear not: as an FYI, Beachbum Berry states on his website that: "Our publisher plans to reprint the Grog Log [and Taboo Table] this summer."
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I have all the Beachbum Berry books and wouldn't part with them for anything! We have a local tiki bar that uses these books exclusively for their drink menu and I can make them all at home instead of paying $14 for a single drink. Sometimes they take some time to concoct but they are a labor of love and worth every sip! If you have an opportunity to purchase ANY of Berry's books, snatch them up! They are pure gold.
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