The golden age of Tiki drinks lasted over 40 years, from the end of Prohibition to the dawn of Disco. Now a global Tiki bar revival is in full swing. But as Robert Simonson put it in his article The Rise of the Zombie King, “Without Jeff Berry—and his dogged diligence in tracking down former barkeeps from Trader Vic’s and Don the Beachcomber and prying from them the drink recipes secreted in their brains—the current tiki revival simply never would have happened.”
A great history of rum and Caribbean cocktails
Winner of the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book, Beachbum Berry’s Potions of the Caribbean strains five centuries of West Indian history through a cocktail shaker, serving up 77 vintage Caribbean drink recipes – 16 of them lost recipes that have never before been published anywhere in any form, and another 19 that have never been published in book form. Even more delicious are the stories of the people who created, or served, or simply drank these drinks. As a hybrid of street-smart gumshoe, anthropologist and mixologist (The Los Angeles Times), Jeff “Beachbum” Berry is uniquely qualified to tell this epic story-with-recipes, lavishly illustrated with vintage graphics and rare historical photos.
Tiki pioneers like Don The Beachcomber (the New Orleans native who single-handedly invented the Tiki bar in 1934) rarely revealed their recipes, which were valuable trade secrets. Having nothing better to do with himself, the Bum has spent the last 20 years unearthing and publishing these “lost” exotic drinks. Now the time has come to stop writing … and start serving.
Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29, a full-service restaurant and bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans, opened for business in the historic Bienville House Hotel on November 2014. A mere five months later, Esquire magazine named it one of the Best Bars in America. “Damned if the drinks aren’t the best of their kind,” wrote Esquire’s cocktail guru David Wondrich. The Tiki Texan agrees.
The bar at Latitude 29 in New Orleans
The Beachbum graciously presented the T.I.K.I. Knights a sample from his private selection