Monday, July 22, 2019

Captain's Grog (Smuggler's Cove Recipe)

There's a lot going on in the Captain's grog, the signature drink from the Captain's Inn at Long Beach, CA. It is really rich, a little sweet, and loaded with intense flavors. On the sweet side, there's maple syrup, falernum, and black rum. There's spice from the vanilla and almond extract, and a ton of citrus with lime juice, grapefruit juice, and dry curacao. I've used Vitae's Virginia hearty orange spirit with a rum base to substitute for the curacao.

Curiously, there an ounce of sparkling water thrown in, which is odd for a blended drink. I believe it is to help in the blending of the ingredients rather than to add fizziness. That all gets wiped out when you blend. But the sparkling water could help with spacing out the extracts and sugars. It also seemed to help create a smooth blend with a consistency in the size of the ice chunks.
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz. maple syrup
  • 3 drops vanilla extract
  • 3 drops almond extract
  • 1 oz. sparkling water
  • 1/2 oz. falernum (homemade falernum used)
  • 1/2 oz. dry curacao (Vitae orange liqueur used)
  • 3/4 oz. black blended rum
  • 3/4 oz. blended light rum
  • 3/4 oz. blended aged rum
Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend and open gate strain into a double Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with swizzle sticks, umbrellas and fruit as you like. 


Avua cachaça mades an awesome Caipirinha cocktail, the native drink of Brazil. Though old recipes don't require lime hulls be poured into the glass, they do use them in the shaker with the sugar and spirit. The point, I think, is to make use of the bitterness of the lime zests and add chunky pulp to the drink. 

Originally, this cocktail would be built in the glass because bar tools would have been hard to come by in Brazillian cafes. Once the drink evolved to being shaken, the lime hulls would be shaken but caught by the strainer so that the drink could be served on fresh ice. But the revival of this cocktail and it's migration to the U.S. has meant that drinkers expect to see the lime hulls in the drink and bartenders still insist on shaking the cocktail to encourage the sugar to dissolve. 
  • 2 oz. cachaça (Avua used)
  • 1 lime juiced and its hulls
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
Juice a lime and add the juice and leftover halves to the shaker. Add sugar, cachaça and ice and shake. Pour into a double Old Fashioned glass.

Grand Royal Hotel

This is an unusual drink that combines rum, creme de cacao and light rum. The recipe for the Grand Hotel in the New American Bartender's Guide lists Grand Marnier as the orange spirit. Royal Combier is a similar cognac and orange spirit that also includes some complex exotic spices that distinguish it from Grand Marnier. Combier is less sweet, which is fine, and the spice notes match the flavor that this rum drink is going for: chocolate, orange, lemon and baking spice.
  • 2 oz. light rum (Flor de Cana extra seco used)
  • 1/2 oz. Royal Combier
  • 1/2 oz. white creme de cacao
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Jet Pilot (Smuggler's Cove recipe)

The Jet Pilot sounds a little mundane in the 21st century, But Martin Cate reminds us that in the 1950s, these pilots were modern day explorers who pushed the limits of machine and human ability. This cocktail is also designed to push the limits--coming out of nowhere with a full-force of flavor, and overwhelming the drinker with a powerful belt of strong rums.

For this cocktail I used my own falernum rather than John D. Taylor's. I also made black, overproof rum by adding black strap molasses (right).  

Cinnamon syrup is also a must. I simply made it by adding cinnamon sticks to my usual simple syrup recipe. This goes great with the ginger, allspice, clove, and cardamon I used in the falernum.

One final note: Aguardiente is an anise flavored cane spirit from Columbia, which makes it perfect for a rum cocktail. It is great by itself, it's taste sweeter and more mild than absinthe or Herbstura. I used a little more than a dash because of this. 
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz. cinnamon syrup
  • 1/2 oz. homemade falernum
  • 1 oz. black blended rum (homemade black rum used)
  • 3/4 oz. blended aged rum (Pusser's Navy Rum used)
  • 3/4 oz. black overproof rum (Homemade black rum used)
  • 1 dash herbstura (a drizzle of Aguardiente used)
Add all ingredients to a blender with ice and blend. Open strain into a double Old Fashioned glass with a gated finish to catch the large ice chunks. (No garnish stated, but flowers are lovely.)

Batida (de mango)

A Batida is a Brazilian cocktail that's similar to a Rum & Coke in that it is a simple rocks drink to mix. Beyond that, there are no similarities. Cachaça is a fresh cane spirit that is similar to rum except that it has a rich sugary taste. This drink adds a bit of tropical fruit juice and sugar to play up the Brazilian spirit's relaxed funkiness.
  • 2 oz. cachaça (Avua used)
  • 1 oz. fruit juice (mango/passionfruit used)
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a highball or Old Fashioned glass.

The Golden Gun

Sounding a lot like a James Bond film, this exotic cocktail from Martin Cate's Smuggler's Cove cookbook is an easy way to go Tiki with just a handful of ingredients. The key, of course, is good rum and fresh ingredients. Demerara syrup makes the sweet flavor taste more earthy and exotic. Apricot liqueur ups the fruitness, and the rum is all important.
  • 3/4 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz. demerara simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz. apricot liqueur (Jaquin's used)
  • 1 oz. blended aged rum (Pusser's Navy Rum used)
  • 1 oz. blended lightly aged rum (Flor de Cana extra seco used)
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Fill a Collins or highball glass with cracked or cubed ice. Add all the ingredients to the cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into the Collins glass. Garnish with your choice of fruits, stir sticks, and herbs. (I chose a peach slice as an appropriate pairing with apricot liqueur.)