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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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T

Aloha everyone! For a New Year's resolution this year I decided to make and drink all 78 cocktails in BBB's "Grog Log". Although I can't go there without a major trip, I wanted to sort of approximate doing the "Grog Log Challenge" at the Tonga Hut in LA, where you have a year to finish them all.

I recently finished the challenge (the first New Year's resolution I have ever followed through on hahaha), and I made a slideshow of all the pictures of the drinks I took as I went along. I also wrote and recorded a little exotica song I set it to.

If you want to check it out, here it is.

Cheers!

78 cocktails in 130 days, nice 👍

Well done, congrats!

Yeah, you gotta want it. ;o)

Thanks Kevin I appreciate that! Love your website and all the work you do!

So what are your thoughts having tried all those cocktails? Being that this was Jeff's first book I imagine many were meh, some not very good, and a few downright wretched. What were the standouts, good or bad?

T

That's an excellent question! Honestly out of 78 drinks, I'd probably make maybe a dozen of them again. A lot were really quite "meh", some were flat-out not good, but there are some tasty drinks in there for sure as well.

I've often wondered that since a lot of the drinks on the list came from the 1930s through the 1960s, how much of an influence smoking had on the "general" tastes of the times, since it was so prevalent. Drinks that tasted great to a smoker from the 1930s might not be all that awesome to a non-smoker in the 2020s. I don't have any empirical evidence to back that up, but suffice it to say, a number of these drinks don't really translate well to the modern palate.

Some highlights:

The Spindrift, which my notes say is lemony and creamy from the vanilla, and packs a nice kick.

The Ancient Mariner, which has a nice spice component to it (it's a "modern" drink, from the 1990s) that most of the other drinks on the list lack.

The Shark's Tooth, which is fruity and balanced, with a strong and satisfying kick.

The Astro Aku Aku, which was complex and layered, sweet with a note of licorice.

Some lowlights:

The Rum Runner, which I noted was "a sweet sweet mess", and "like a gross cough drop".

The Tahitian, which was "disgusting, bitter, not good, with a weird note of chocolate at the end. One of the worst ones on the list."

The Tortuga, which was "not good. A very odd taste, the combination of creme de cacao and red vermouth."

Appreciate the feedback! Ancient Mariner has been in regular rotation with me for a long while.

Such a good one! Any fun rum combinations you can recommend for it? I've used Coruba/El Dorado (both 8 and 12 at different times) and various Appletons with Hamilton 86, but I'm always looking for new blends to try. Seems like this drink lends itself to some experimentation.

S

Now go to the Grogalizer and document it!

I've found that "standard" rums like appleton 12 and el dorado play nicely together in this drink. The Hamilton Navy as a 2 oz pour does a nice job as well. But if you go too extreme with a super funky Jamaican it throws the balance off. It's a fun template to experiment with for sure. I also recommend St Elizabeth allspice over Hamilton pimento.

Excellent recommendations. I love experimenting. I do have St. Elizabeth although I made my own allspice dram awhile ago and have been using it exclusively. Perhaps I'll go back and change it up.

I definitely will! I just updated my list of ingredients on the Grogalizer, so the next step is logging all my ratings.

S

That's how the Grogalizer started. After going through the Grog Log and Intoxica and working through all of them I needed a better way to track what I had and hadn't made, as well as what I could and couldn't make, so I made it for me, and shared it with everyone.

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