Citrus and three types of rum make this a Tiki classic
Tiki drinks tend to be rum heavy. Especially this one.
The Navy Grog combines three different rums with two types of citrus. The result is magic.
Rum thing, that.
Recipe: The Navy Grog Cocktail
The Navy Grog has smooth, deep flavor that’s reminiscent of the Mai Tai, another Tiki favorite.
The creator of the Navy Grog was Donn Beach, owner of a chain of restaurants called Don the Beachcomber. Beach was secretive about his drink recipes, but Tiki authority Beachbum Berry ferreted out this one. For that we thank him.
This recipe takes about five minutes to prepare and makes one drink. But it’s a hefty drink, so we usually call this two servings.
- 1 ounce white rum, preferably Puerto Rican or Cuban
- 1 ounce dark rum, preferably from Jamaica
- 1 ounce Demerara rum (see Notes for substitution)
- ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- ¾ ounce unsweetened white grapefruit juice (not pink; see Notes)
- ¾ ounce soda water or club soda
- 1 ounce honey mix (i.e., honey simple syrup; see Notes)
- garnish of lime twist or wheel (optional)
- Add all ingredients (except garnish) to a cocktail shaker half filled with ice. Shake until well chilled (about 20 seconds).
- Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish, if you wish, and serve.
- Our recommendation for serving this drink is simpler than the classic presentation. If you want to go the classic route, here’s how: Pour the chilled drink from the cocktail shaker into an empty rocks glass. Then add an “ice cone” (see below), inserting a straw for easy sipping.
- To make an ice cone: Pack a pilsner glass firmly with shaved or crushed ice. Run a chopstick through the middle of the ice to make a hole for the straw, then pack the ice once again. Carefully remove the cone from the glass, remove the chopstick, and freeze the cone overnight.
- If that’s too much trouble (and of course it is), you can buy mold kits that make it easier to craft an ice cone.
- Or just skip that nonsense altogether and serve the drink as we suggest. Not authentic, but a whole lot easier – and the drink tastes the same.
- Demerara rum, which is made in Guyana, has a flavor profile similar to that of Jamaican rum. But it has a distinctive smoky note that makes it more complex. The brand you’re most likely to see at your liquor store is El Dorado. Their 12-year-old rum is excellent, but pricey. For cocktails, we generally use their 8-year-old variety. Lemon Hart also makes a good Demerara rum.
- There’s no substitute for Demerara rum. But if you don’t want to buy a bottle just for this drink, you can double up on the dark rum. The flavor of the drink won’t sparkle as much, but it will still be good.
- Speaking of dark rum, we favor Myers’s from Jamaica for Tiki drinks. But there are other good brands available. Just don’t use spiced rum – it’s a completely different animal.
- Our usual disclaimer: We’re noncommercial and don’t receive any compensation for mentioning brands. We buy our own booze with our own money, and recommend what we like and use.
- Always use unsweetened white grapefruit juice in this drink. The pink stuff is too sweet (not to mention the wrong color).
- Remember, grapefruit doesn’t mix well with and some medications, like statins (it intensifies the effects of the drug). If in doubt, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
- Honey mix is basically honey simple syrup, and it’s easy to make: Just place equal parts of honey and hot water in a bowl or measuring cup. Then whisk or stir until the honey is dissolved. Store the honey mix in a squeeze bottle in the refrigerator, where it will last several weeks.
“Yo ho ho,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “And a bottle of rum. Or half a bottle, at least.”
“So it seems,” I said. “This drink lives large.”
“And it channels the Mai Tai, one of my other Tiki faves,” said Mrs K R. “Can’t argue with that.”
“After a couple of these, we won’t be arguing about anything,” I said. “We’ll be plenty mellow.”
“Good thing you’re splitting each drink into two,” said Mrs K R. “So I can live to drink another day.”
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