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Tiki Drinks: Tropical Cocktails for the Modern Bar Hardcover – June 1, 2015
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About the Author
Robert Sharp is a Los Angeles–based mixologist and bartender with more than seventeen years of experience in the bar industry, both working behind the bar and in front of it as a consultant. Sharp also has extensive experience developing cocktail recipes for bars of all types.
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Most of those involve specific rums either no longer available or very difficult (not to mention expensive to source) nowadays.
So why should we all miss out on the fun?
Sure some of these recipes may have been simplified,....but how many of us have liquor cabinets stocked with the hundred or so rare and esoteric rums that Don the Beachcomber listed?
Many of them now extinct.
This book starts with a brief history of the genre of "Tiki" ...or more accurately "Exotica" then gives simple, easy to follow recipes for each exotically named drink, accompanied by a little blurb about its origins.There are also some very creative ideas here for really impressive garnishes to dress up the results and give that magical Tiki touch.
In addition are some very helpful formulas at the back for making the various syrups called for in some of the drinks.
Many of us can't just run out and pick up a bottle of falernum or even orgeat at our supermarket.
A timely word of warning here for anyone NOT American.
Many of these recipes will tend to taste disgustingly sweet to the rest of us. The American palate seems to be conditioned to such sugary overload.
If the ingredients list "simple syrup" (which is nothing more than a saturated mix of sugar in water), you would be best advised to at least halve it, or even leave it out altogether if you wish to avoid an immediate need for a dose of insulin, or even maintain your own teeth for any length of time.
Many already contain the addition of curaçao or orgeat anyway, both of which are already very sweet without the need for further addition of any extra sweetener.
Attractively and humorously illustrated in full colour and well bound....although I think any cocktail book SHOULD really be spiral bound so that it will lay flat as you make the drink. Propping it flat is difficult and forcing the page to stay open is not good for any book.
I have all the Beachbum Berry cocktail books, many of Trader Vics and Don the Beachcomber "originals" but for simplicity and ease of mixing, this book is hard to beat for a fun night in the imaginary tropics.
No host wants to spend hours constructing each cocktail when the party is in full island mode !
So put on your loudest Aloha shirt or sarong, set all your Arthur Lyman, Les Baxter and Martin Denny albums on random play and mix up your own Hurricane, Monsoon or Typhoon.
Just pass this by - it is only a reminder of what uninspired nonsense we had to deal with before Jeff Berry showed us the way to the real, historical tropical exotics and how they came to be.
Now we have this, "Tiki Drinks", ten years later, another Johnny Come Lately rehashing what others have written, offering nothing new of any value (The subtitle owes a nod to Beachbum Berry for reviving the use of the term "tropicals"). A few new recipes that we can live without, and some nice garnish shots and cocktail shots (cocktails are a very easy subject to shoot by the way, unlike food and people). Don't waster your money or your time on these books. All three of these books will end of in pulp shredders at recycling centers ten years from now.
When it comes to "Tiki drinks" or tropicals no one knows more than Jeff "Beachbum" Berry. And he has laid out the entire history and how to and recipes and ingredients over the course of a couple decades of research and publishing of over 5 books. Buy Grog Log remixed, then Sippin Safari, then Potions of the Caribbean. You will not look back.
If you find yourself yearning for more, or if you are looking for a gift for he Tiki cocktail enthusiast who already has EVERY Beachbum book There are a few others out there.
If you want new cocktails (aka modern?) you can get 77 gonzo Las Vegas style Tiki drinks in the Frankie's Tiki Room book or dig deeper and find Kahuna Kevin's homemade cocktail companions [...]
If you want some history, Trader Vic's vintage books are readily available on Amazon or the newish compilation Stephen Siegelman is pretty good at explaining the Trader Vic style. There are also two Don the Beachcomber recipe/history books out there that are interesting because of their first-person content as they are written or sourced from his his ex-wife Phoebe Beach.
So don't buy into the cheap imitators. Get the books from the originators!
Just a couple slight annoyances. I wish the authors could have gone into more detail on the different rum brands, and spelled out a little clearer what rum to use in a recipe. For example, aged rum can be white or amber, but a recipe will just call for aged rum.
There are several typos throughout the book, sorry, it brings out the English major in me. In one instance a particular recipe called for a particular kind of rum, but the text for that recipe named an entirely different rum.
The format is easy to follow and the instructions for mixing the different drinks is generally clear. If you are a novice drink mixer, like I am, this is a great place to start. The photos, in particular, are a nice touch. Love the creative garnishes!