Well, they finally did it. They put the Bum to work. Fair enough. After 25 years of research and six books, it was time for him to stop writing about Tiki drinks .. and start serving them.

Come see him at his new Tiki saloon in New Orleans, Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29, located in the historic French Quarter at the Bienville House Hotel. For menu, photos, and other info:





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250 exotic drink recipes — many of them “lost” drinks rediscovered by your humble Bum — can now be had on your iPad or iPhone.  Talk about Apple juice!

Total Tiki has been cited as one of the best apps “for the cocktail crazed” by The Wall Street Journal.

Get all the details here:



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Beachbum Berry's Potions of The Carribean

The critics seem to like our Potions.  Here’s what they have to say about the new Beachbum Berry book:

“With his new encyclopedic and entertaining ‘Beachbum Berry’s Potions of the Caribbean,’ the tiki expert Jeff Berry distills 500 years of tropical-drink history into 300-plus pages. He takes you from the days of pirates, explorers and sugar plantations to the adventures of those twin purveyors of Polynesian fantasy, Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic, not to mention the forgotten career of the master tiki barman Joe Scialom, who seems to have worked in every swank postwar bar in New York.”  — THE NEW YORK TIMES

“Berry, one of the instigators of the cocktail revolution, has heretofore confined himself to covering the strange subculture of mid-2oth-century tippling known as tiki.  Tiki drinks are a mutation of the rum drinks of the Caribbean, and with this book Berry turns his gifts for research and snappy, incisive prose to the source, chronicling 500 years’ worth of colorful personalities, potent drinks, and bad behavior.”  – ESQUIRE MAGAZINE

“You’ll pick this up for the recipes, but find yourself captivated by the arcana, such as JFK’s preference for daiquiris made with the addition of canned limeade, and the influence of the Panama Canal Zone on tippling trends.” — THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

“Tiki historian Jeff Berry’s magnum opus.” — NEW YORK MAGAZINE

“He manages to capture an astonishing amount of detail in his tales, the prose effortlessly betraying his screen-writer’s talents for story-telling. He easily paints pictures in your mind’s eye, builds mood and atmosphere, and there’s that familiar mix of humour and considered opinion (Ernest Hemingway created ‘lousy’ drinks, he says).  On Cuba and Havana – a city once of 7,000 bars and 270 brothels, he segues from the origins of Sloppy Joe’s bar, to authentic 1930s recipes by El Floridita’s King of the Daiquiri Constante Ribalaigua, to tales of a copulating showman who received magnificent plaudits for his on-stage talents and charged only $1.25 for the privilege. Bravo!”  – CLASS MAGAZINE

The full-color hardcover first edition is on sale now.  Order your copy from Cocktail Kingdom:





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The closest the Beachbum will ever come to having class is having Class magazine, the high-toned free weekly cocktail digest put out by Simon Difford. Class covers the international drinks scene in general, and the London bar scene in particular, thoroughly and critically — the latter particularly refreshing in a world where trade publications routinely rubber stamp any new press release that finds its way to their inbox.

We’re not sure how he finds the time, but Mr. Difford also puts out a mammoth annual cocktail compendium called Cocktails: The Bartender’s Bible. It’s certainly biblical in scope; the new 11th Edition features over 3,000 recipes, every one of them accompanied by a color photo to take the mystery out of proper glassware and garnish.

Like London’s bars, Mr. Difford was an early adopter of Tiki drinks. Back in the early 2000s, when U.S. cocktail guides routinely turned up their noses at exotic tropical cocktails, Difford’s guide was chock full of Mai Tai, Fog Cutter and Zombie variations. The new edition digs even deeper, attributing authorship of each drink with academic rigor. There’s Harry Yee’s Blue Hawaii, Don The Beachcomber’s Rum Barrel, Tony Ramos’s Hawaiian Eye, Ray Buhen’s Hula Hula, and even such obscurities as José Yatco’s Golden Wave.

But don’t stop there. We encourage you to try Simon’s own Doughnut Martini, his attempt “at mimicking the taste of a Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnut without ending up with an overly sweet cocktail.”  Recipe: Shake with ice 1 1/2 ounce white Puerto Rican rum, 3/4 ounce bourbon, 1/2 ounce Licor 43, 1/2 ounce vanilla schnapps, 1/2 ounce butterscotch schnapps, and 3/4 ounce mineral water. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a doughnut segment on rim of glass.



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“You’re gonna taste a bit of history now, guys,” said Salvatore Calabrese as he uncorked a bottle so old that the dust had fused to the glass, giving it the look of a frosted window pane (pictured above). The dean of London’s expat Italian bartenders, Mr. Calabrese was in his element: at the Super-Bar show in Milan, where he’s held in the same awe that the country’s fashionistas reserve for Armani; at the head of a hotel dining room table, surrounded by cocktailians addressing him wholly without irony as “Il Maestro”; and holding a bottle of vintage spirits, which he has become famous for collecting and decanting at his bar in London’s Playboy Club.

This particular bottle was a circa 1905 Bacardi Carta Blanca rum, which for over a century had rested in a North American hotel basement amid 160 other vintage bottles — including an 1860 rye, an 1848 cognac and an 1885 Château Lafite Rothschild — which all went up for auction last year as a single lot. Il Maestro pooled his money with a Russian wine collector for the winning bid. “The Russian guy got the wine and I got the spirits,” he said as he ceremoniously poured a thimble full of ancient rum into the glasses of his fellow diners, treating us to a low-proof but dramatic dram redolent of hazlenut and tobacco leaf.

Superbarman copy

This wasn’t the only highlight of Super-Bar, where the Beachbum also enjoyed:

— Ben Belmans’ historical survey of genever, which laid bare the centuries-long rivalry between Holland and Belgium as the home of the malty spirit, a dispute not unlike the pisco wars between Chile and Peru. Can you guess which side Belmans was on? (Hint: He’s Belgian.)

— Hidetsugu Ueno’s tutorial on Japanese bartending, which he concluded by hand-carving ice into a perfectly shaped diamond with the speed of a Tōkaidō Shinkansen bullet train.

— Daniele Dalla Pola’s Piña Colada gelato, which he made a la minute on a Coldstone Creamery-like pushcart and served in a hollowed-out pineapple.

— Peter Dorelli, who decanted the wisdom he’d gained during the 1970s behind the American Bar of the Savoy Hotel; after serving musicians from Frank Sinatra to Bruce Springsteen and actors from Peter Sellers to Elizabeth Taylor (but not Savoy regular Noël Coward, whom management deemed too persnickety for the newly hired Dorelli to handle), Dorelli came to the conclusion that “75% of what sells a cocktail is what it looks like.” (He got no argument from the Tikiphiles in the crowd.)

— Alex Kammerling’s session on “The History of Alcohol as Medicine,” which defended the restorative powers of booze with this rebuttal to the overconsumption argument: “If you have a headache, you don’t take a whole bottle of aspirin.”




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