Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rum Punch

Before there was Trader Vic's there was Don the Beachcomber.

Opened in Hollywood in 1934, Don's Beachcomber Café was the original tiki bar and Polynesian nightclub. Featuring exotic and potent Rum cocktails, Don the Beachcomber and his bar became synonymous with living the South Seas lifestyle.

Don The Beachcomber Café, c. 1940
A bootlegger during prohibition, Donn Beach (February 22, 1907 - June 7, 1989) was born Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt when he opened his first bar as Don the Beachcomber. Gantt is credited with the creation of such popular cocktails as the Zombie, the Tahitian Rum Punch, and the Navy Grog, to name a few. He is also claimed to have created the infamous Mai Tai.

It's all in the mix!
As the popularity of his bar grew, Gantt changed his name to Donn Beach and opened his first Don the Beachcomber Restaurant in 1937. Serving exotic Polynesian specialties in addition to his signature, sometimes lethal, cocktails, the place was an instant hit and began the tiki lounge craze that would sweep the United States.

So, on National Rum Punch Day, lets honor Donn Beach!

The Beachcomber Cocktail 
Created by Donn Beach

  • 2 oz. (60 ml.) Dark Rum, like Myers® 
  • 3/4 oz. (23 ml.) Cointreau 
  • 3/4 oz. (23 ml.) fresh Lime Juice 
  • 1/4–1/2 teaspoon Maraschino Liqueur (the juice from the jar, half-wit!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Simple Syrup (OPTIONAL), depending on your tastes
  • Ice
Place all ingredients into a chilled cocktail shaker and shake to a South Pacific rhythm.  Serve in a chilled highball or hurricane glass garnished with a slice of Orange and a Maraschino Cherry.

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