Grog Cocktail

Grog Cocktail

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From the famous and famously-hard-to-find PX Lounge in Alexandria (hint: look for the blue light) comes this recipe for the bar's own version of pirate grog, engineered this time for a more refined audience. The spiced rum, soothing lemon tea, and citrus juice creates a nice, bright refreshment that's just as good for enjoying slowly as it is for fighting off scurvy (kidding).


  • 1 1/2 ounce Captain Morgan rum
  • 3 ounces brewed lemon tea
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 ounce sour mix
  • Ice
  • Lemon wedge, for garnish

Hot Grog

Place bar spoon loaded with honey in warmed glass. Add other ingredients and STIR until honey dissolves.

3 spoon Honey
1 shot Navy rum (54.5% alc./vol.)
1 &frasl4 shot Lime juice (freshly squeezed)
2 1 &frasl2 shot Boiling water

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How to make grog

Twice a day the men would be called to the decks as the ship’s purser, usually accompanied by “Jack Nastyface” (a collegial term used for the cooks assistant), would mix the potent brew as thus:

One Part Sour In 1753 the effects and remedy of the lack of ascorbic acid (scurvy) were well documented and a daily regimen of citrus juices were adopted to the rationing of all sailors, landlocked or at sea

Two Parts Sweet Refined sugar or potable molasses were typical thanks to strong output from the colonies

Three Parts Strong Insert Rum, Pussers Rum is the official British secret recipe

Four Parts Weak Water, even if it wasn’t fresh, the belief was that mixing the rum and water would clean it up. Brilliant.

Alas, this tradition became too good to be true and on July 31, 1970, the last of the daily Grog rations were handed out aboard British Ships. Among sailors, the fateful day is known as Black Tot Day.

For over 300 years the British Navy issued a daily 'tot' of rum, sometimes with double issues before battle. In 1740, as an attempt to combat drunkenness, Admiral Vernon gave orders that the standard daily issue of half a pint of neat, high-proof rum be replaced with two servings of a quarter of a pint, diluted 4:1 with water. The Admiral was nicknamed 'Old Grogram' due to the waterproof grogram cloak he wore, so the mixture he introduced became known as 'grog'. Lime juice was often added to the grog in an attempt to prevent scurvy, lending British sailors their 'limey' nickname.

The 'tot' tradition, which started in Jamaica in 1665, was finally broken on 31st July 1970, a day now known as Black Tot Day, although by then the 'tot' had been reduced to a meagre two ounces.

We hate to let truth ruin a good story but drinks historians now say that grog emanates from an earlier period than Old Grogram.


There are approximately 233 calories in one serving of Grog.

Mai-Kai Cocktail Recipes

Updated April 11, 2021
This is a handy index of all the cocktails reviewed in our Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide. They’re listed alphabetically by source for easy reference. Check the guide and the links below for full details and more on these amazing drinks.
* Downloadable, printable checklist of our cocktail ratings (PDF)
* Downloadable, printable checklist of The Mai-Kai cocktail ancestry (PDF)

UPDATED: The classic Demerara Float rises again … and again
Check out the updates to our review of The Mai-Kai’s Demerara Float, plus complete back-story of this classic.
NEW: Demerara Float featured on Spike’s Breezeway (video)

The Atomic Grog on Spike’s Breezeway Cocktail Hour
Hurricane Hayward joins Spike for a Black Magic tribute, talks about The Mai-Kai.
Review, recipe: The Black Magic emerges from the darkness as a true classic





Special recipes (8)
* 1862 Rhum Punch (The Hukilau 2015)
* Blood Island Green Potion #2 (Hulaween 2020)
* Don Q Cocktail (Miami Rum Festival 2014)
* Hamilton Navy Grog (Hamilton Rum master class, February 2019)
* Molokai Swizzle (“The Art of Tiki: A Cocktail Showdown” at SoBeWFF 2015)
* Pupule Punch (“The Art of Tiki: A Cocktail Showdown” at SoBeWFF 2016)
* Santero’s Elixir (2016 Miami Rum Festival party)
* Spicy Hula Girl (The Hukilau 2016)


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Ice Cone for Tropical Drinks

&ldquoIce cone,&rdquo you say? This was listed as the garnish for the Navy Grog in Tiki bars and restaurants around the country for many years. But, apparently no one ever bothered to publish how an ice cone is done. In the 90s, Tony Ramos, a past bartender from Don The Beachcomber, would use a pilsner glass filled with finely shaved ice.

You would fill the pilsner with ice, then run a chopstick through the middle to make a hole for the straw, remove the ice cone, and then freeze the cone overnight. In the 2000s, another Tiki bartender said that the Kon-Tiki restaurant chain had a metal cone mold made specifically for the Navy Grog, to make the perfect cone every time. The cone fit perfectly in to a double old Fashioned glass, which the bigger cone didn&rsquot do.

This secret was given to Cocktail Kingdom, who have now recreated the mold.

What Ingredients are Needed for the Navy Grog Cocktail Recipe?

  • Gold Rum &ndash aged or lighter color
  • Dark Rum &ndash a dark rum with dark sugar cane flavor
  • Demarara Rum &ndash rum made in Guyana
  • Honey Simple Syrup (water/sugar 1:1)
  • Lime Juice
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Club Soda

The Navy Grog cocktail recipe is described on Don the Beachcomber&rsquos menu as, &ldquoA robust rum punch dedicated to the gallant men of the American navy&rdquo, it certainly ticked all the boxes of &lsquomanly appeal.

So, it&rsquos a classic Don the Beachcomber recipe, with all of his tiki trademarks &ndash 3 rums instead of 1 (why would you only use one rum?), grapefruit juice and of course a spectacular garnish!

We definitely hope you try out this classic tropical cocktail. It&rsquos a doozy with all the rum, but oh so tasty!

Also, don&rsquot forget to follow us on Instagram and tag #gastronomcocktails so we can see all the wonderful recipes YOU recreate from this site!

Created by Donn Beach at his Don the Beachcomber restaurant and subsequently reimagined by others, most notably Trader Vic. This version is closest to Trader Vic's 1940 recipe, but the ice-cone is a Donn Beach touch.


There are approximately 321 calories in one serving of Navy Grog.

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Blending cocktails

When a cocktail recipe calls for you to 'blend with ice', place all ingredients and ice into a blender and blend until a.

The spectrum of rum ranges from light, vodka-like extra-light white rums through to characterful cognac-like aged rums.

Allspice Pimento Dram

Allspice Pimento Dram is a spicy liqueur made by steeping pimento berries in rum. Pimento Dram is a dried, unripened.

Honey syrup

Mixing honey with water to make honey syrup (AKA honey water) makes it easy to pour, measure and integrate with other.

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One of the truly classic liqueurs, Bénédictine contributes honeyed herbal notes to cocktails. All those below call.

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Falernum is a versatile and flavoursome cocktail sweetener. Spiced (but not hot spiced) falernum is a characterful yet.

Admiral Vernon's Lime Grog

In a large bowl or jar, mix the fresh-squeezed lime juice and the brown sugar (you may want to use less sugar -- try starting with 1/2 pound and working your way up). Dilute with the water and rum (use an old-fashioned dark rum -- Jamaica, Demerara, Bermuda, like that). Drop in the mint. Refrigerate and serve on the rocks (unless you're a stickler for historical accuracy).

This is a so-called "four water" grog, 4 parts water to 1 part rum. You can always tighten it up, although once you're in two-water territory you'll quickly find your guests "stupefying their rational qualities, which makes them heedlessly slaves to every passion," as the good admiral warned. But then again, your guests probably don't have a ship to run.

Leave the rum out and use the full pound of brown sugar and you've got a delightful punch for your kid's birthday party. The grownups can always hit their ration with a "stick," as it used to be called, of the ol' kill-devil. Just keep the bottle out of range of little hands.

For an individual dose: juice of 1 lime, scant 1 ounce brown sugar (or less), 4 ounces water, 1 ounce rum (or more, or none at all).

The Wondrich Take:

On August 21, 1740, Admiral Edward "Old Grogram" Vernon of the Royal Navy issued the following Order to Captains:

"Whereas it manifestly appears. to be the unanimous opinion of both Captains and Surgeons, that the pernicious custom of the seamen drinking their allowance of rum in drams, and often at once, is attended with many fatal effects to their morals as well as their health. and which. cannot be better remedied than by ordering their half pint of rum to be daily mixed with a quart of water, which they that are good husbandmen may. purchase sugar and limes to make more palatable to them."

We've never heard "husbandman" used to mean "bartender" before, but there it is -- the Rosetta Stone of the rum drink. All is now clear: We don't add lime juice and sugar to rum to make us drink more of it, but rather less of it. As any true pirate knows, good dark rum goes down so easily on its own that it doesn't really need a mixer taking up valuable rum space. Only something really tasty can make us forget that.

It's obvious the good admiral didn't invent this combination he would've said something if he did. Rum, sugar, lime juice, water were the rock-bottom basics of tropical tippling, then as now. Freeze the water and you've got a daiquiri or, depending on the size of the ice and the color of the rum, a Planter's Punch. But if you've a mind to "splice the mainbrace," as they say in the Royal Navy, Old Grogram-style ("grogram," by the way, was a kind of heavy, water-resistant cloth that the admiral used to sport it was quickly shortened to "grog"), you should probably use brown sugar -- it's doubtful that Jack Tar could get his hand on the ultrarefined white stuff.

It’s Time to Bring Back the Lost Art of Filipino Cocktails

The Filipino drinking I grew up with wasn’t of Tiki cocktails or tropical twists on classics. Instead, I remember the Coors and Jack Daniels that fueled family gatherings and hometown fiestas. But local blogger/cookbook author Marvin Gapultos opened my eyes to a part of the Filipino culture that was sadly absent from my upbringing: Filipino cocktails! Yes, there is such a thing. In his new book The Adobo Road Cookbook: A Filipino Food Journey — From Food Blog, to Food Truck, and Beyond he has a section dedicated to them, which follows the path of the American military’s introduction of cocktail bars and nightclubs to the Philippines in the 1900s and the first exotic cocktails’ appearance in a 1939 international cocktail book The Gentleman’s Companion. It’s a good primer on Filipinos’ contribution to the Tiki cocktail culture.

Sure enough, when Tiki bars first started popping up in the ‘30s they employed Filipinos to work behind the scenes: juicing limes, shaving ice, and prepping the exotic cocktails in the back bar. Eventually these guys were creating their own recipes. “With the Tiki thing, a lot of bartenders during that time were Filipino Americans,” said Marvin. “I don’t think it started out on purpose but once you hire one ‘Hey, do you have any buddies?’ ‘Yeah, I have a cousin who could work here.’ So it just grew kind of like that and guys poached Filipinos from other bars.”

One of the most famous L.A. Filipino bartenders, Ray Buhen, worked at iconic tiki bar Don the Beachcomber and was the first non-white bartender at The Luau’s front bar in Beverly Hills. He went on to open the beloved Los Feliz bar Tiki-Ti which is run today by his son and grandsons.

Unfortunately, cut to now, and Filipino cocktails haven’t exactly caught on in Los Angeles like they have in New York. In the Big Apple, there are bar/restaurants that actually feature them, like Maharlika and Jeepney, and even the annual cocktail event Manhattan Cocktail Classic threw a Filipino Fiesta this year. No such love in L.A.

You’d think that with the frenzy that was generated by the now-defunct Filipino food truck Manila Machine (co-founded by Marvin and Let Me Eat Cake blogger Nastassia Johnson), interest would be reignited. But Filipino anything has never really gained traction here, other than as a form of extreme eating thanks to balut.

I still have hope that bartenders around town may begin to draw attention to this much-overlooked aspect of Filipino culture. I’m looking to our few Filipino-American bartenders, like Devon Espinosa (Pour Vous) and Ken Baranda (1886, Jax Bar & Grill), for inspiration. Baranda occasionally features homeland-inspired cocktails on his menu at Jax in Pasadena, like the tiki-style “MacArthur’s Revenge” (great name), and he will be mixing some up tonight at bartender competition May Mix-Off in JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live’s Mixing Room.

But for hot summer nights at home, try out his boozy version of a favorite Filipino dessert, Halo Halo, which means “mix mix” in Tagalog.

Mix Mix
by Ken Baranda of Jax

½ oz calamansi
1 oz sweetened coconut milk (1 fresh coconut and 1 can condensed milk)
1 oz Rhum Clement VSOP (Rum Agricole)
1 oz Appleton VX
1 oz pineapple juice
Halo Halo mixture*

1) Half fill and layer a Collins glass with the Halo Halo mixture.
2) Shake with an ice cube and strain first five ingredients over crushed ice and Halo Halo mixture. Optional, if you dare: Garnish with a hollowed-out calamansi shell filled with flaming overproof rum and a pineapple leaf. But blow out flame before drinking!
3) Enjoy with a spoon and straw.

*Halo Halo mixture: Pinipig (or Rice Krispies), jack fruit, sweet red beans, sweet plantains, mango, shredded coconut (use the coconut from your milk mixture), ube ice cream (purple yam). Or, if you want to simplify, you can get a premade Halo Halo mixture at any Filipino store, like Bahay Natin in Palms.

For something to enjoy with Filipino cuisine, Marvin’s favorite cocktail to drink with Sisig and spicy chicken wings (both recipes are available in his book) is his “Manila-Acapulco Grog.” “I like the Grog with Sisig — I like anything with Sisig—but I like that one because it comes in a tall glass and there’s a lot of it and it’s refreshing and cooling,” he said.

Manila-Acapulco Grog
Excerpted from Marvin Gapultos’ The Adobo Road Cookbook
Makes 1 drink

4 oz coconut water
2 oz rum (such as Tanduay Dark, or Bacardi Gold)
½ oz coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua)
½ oz fresh calamansi juice, or lime juice
½ oz Calamansi Simple Syrup*, or regular simple syrup

1) Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously until well chilled, about 30 seconds.
2) Strain into a large mug filled with fresh ice cubes. Garnish the drink with a lime wheel or a calamansi lime.

* Calamansi Simple Syrup
Excerpted from Marvin Gapultos’ The Adobo Road Cookbook
Makes 1 ½ cups of simple syrup

1 lb calamansi, washed and stems removed
2 cups sugar
1 cup water

1) Cut each calamansi lime in half, and then squeeze the juice through a sieve and into a small container. Set aside the calamansi rinds. Discard the seeds in the sieve and save the calamansi juice for another use.
2) Place the reserved rinds, sugar, and water into a saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil while stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, and then cover the pot and allow the syrup to cool completely to room temperature.
3) Pour the syrup through a fine mesh sieve set over a large bowl. Press down on the rinds in the sieve to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the rinds. Store calamansi syrup in a lidded container and refrigerate for up to a month.

Taking Flight – The Resurgence of the Aviation in Newcastle

The Aviation is one of those drinks which, a few years back, could probably pretty conclusively be described as dead. Decommissioned. Out of service. It was an elegant creation that simply didn’t sit well with a contemporary climate for mixed drinks consisting entirely of pitchers of Woo-Woo, Sea Breeze or Sex on the Beach, not least because of the relative difficulty locating one of the key ingredients (Crème de Violette), but also because of the tastes of the time. However, with the revival of the classic cocktail, I’ve noticed the Aviation migrating from menu to menu recently, seemingly turning up when I least expect it. And this is nothing but a good thing – the Aviation is an incredibly unappreciated concoction, a twist on the gin sour which tastes surprisingly like an alcoholic lemon sherbet.

Its most recent landing spot is Pleased to Meet You’s pleasantly extended cocktail menu, which offers it in its most classic no-frills format of gin, lemon, crème de violette, and maraschino. Other destinations on the Aviation’s long-haul tour of the Toon have included Livello, Tokyo, MSA, and Jalou (sadly no longer offered there, but perhaps it may make a return for the summer? Just a suggestion…). Westgate Road’s Tokyo and MSA (Music Slash Art) are also both adherents to the original century-old recipe which has, honestly, yet to be topped – and they both adhere to it very well indeed. As to the others, Livello are currently offering a pleasant twist on the original which they have christened the Aviation Mach – essentially your standard Aviation upgraded to business class via the addition of being fire-poured over fresh rosemary. Another interesting detour can be found at the newly-reopened Popolo quayside location. Their variation (christened the Aviatrix, the product of the 2011 CLASS bartender of the year Tristan Stephenson) uses egg white powder and cologne spray to add a distinctly masculine edge to the drink. In general I’m not a fan of egg white, feeling that it adds an unnecessary frothiness to already foamy drinks such as the Whiskey Sour. In this case, however, I think that it works – perhaps the drink being served without ice prevents the unwanted milkshake effect. Of these two new twists I’d have to say I preferred the rosemary twist from Livello, purely because of my own personal dislike of egg white (and I’m also quite a fan of rosemary). Needless to say, though, it’s largely a subjective choice as the cocktails served at both venues were otherwise superb. However, if in doubt, you absolutely can’t go wrong with PTMY, MSA, or Tokyo’s offering of the original. As a note, the vast majority of locations are electing to serve their Aviation’s with Bombay Sapphire or Bombay Dry gin (other than Popolo, who are opting for Hayman’s). It works perfectly serviceably with the drink, though I feel that a slightly less floral gin and one more citrus-based, such as Beefeater, may be better suited to the overall flavour of the Aviation. Just a thought.

The first place where I noticed the Aviation making its reappearance in Newcastle, however, was the perennial Alvino’s. It seemed to be a menu staple there for quite some time, until their move last summer to an entirely in-house cocktail list featuring their own creations meant that it was sadly removed. However, the incredibly knowledgeable bar staff have never had a problem serving one up for me on the occasions when I’ve ordered one there (which is actually *a lot*…because they make them really, really well). They even introduced me to the tweaked non-maraschino version known as a Blue Moon. I’ve never been a particular lover of maraschino liqueur (which is kind of odd since I’m such a fan of this drink, of which it is such a major part), and so they suggested the alternative. Which was nice.

With that, here’s my own recipe for making a proper Aviation (or Blue Moon if, like me, you’re just not that into maraschino liqueur).

45ml Gin (I recommend Beefeater, or a London Dry Gin with similar body)

15ml lemon juice (roughly half of one average sized lemon, squeezed)

15ml Crème de Violette (available from Fenwick Wine Store, or online from retailers such as The Whisky Exchange)

15ml maraschino liqueur (omit this to make a Blue Moon, instead using 30ml of crème de violette)

Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake for roughly 20 seconds, or until the shaker turns frosty. Strain straight-up into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry or a slice of lemon peel if you’re making a Blue Moon. You can thank me later.

Watch the video: Matina Sous Peau - MetamorfoseisVlassis Mponatsos (August 2022).