Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The Never Say Die Cocktail

 

The Never Say Die Cocktail
3 rums, 4 fruit juices, one terrific Tiki drink

It’s hot in our part of the world, folks. And humid.
 
So we need a hit of cool, refreshing Tiki. The Never Say Die is one of the most interesting Tiki potions we know. It’s a bit of a production to make, but totally worth it.

‘Cause the heat is on.

The Never Say Die Cocktail

Recipe: The Never Say Die Cocktail

Tiki drinks often require a fairly lengthy list of ingredients – and this one takes more than most.

It was created by Tiki legend Donn Beach (who founded the “Don the Beachcomber” restaurant chain). We discovered a recipe for this drink in Jeff “Beachbum” Berry’s Grog Log.

This recipe takes about 5 minutes to make and serves 1.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce gold Barbados rum (see Notes)
  • ½ ounce light Puerto Rican rum (see Notes)
  • ½ ounce dark Jamaican rum (see Notes)
  • ½ ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce orange juice (fresh-squeezed is best, but bottled works)
  • ½ ounce white grapefruit juice (fresh-squeezed is great, but bottled works)
  • ¼ ounce pineapple juice (we generally use canned; see Notes)
  • ½ ounce honey simple syrup (see Notes for how to make)
  • dash or 2 of Angostura bitters
  • lime wedge for garnish (optional)

Procedure 

  1. Add all the ingredients (except garnish) to a cocktail shaker half filled with ice. Shake vigorously until the contents are well chilled (20 seconds or so).
  2. Strain into a tall glass filled with crushed or chipped ice (or ice cubes, if you prefer). Add garnish, if desired, and serve.

The Never Say Die Cocktail
Notes

  • The original recipe for this drink says to add the ingredients, plus 4 ounces of crushed ice, to a blender. Blend for 5 seconds (more than that and the ice turns too slushy), then pour the contents unstrained into a tall glass (Tiki bars often use a wine goblet or a pilsner glass for a fun presentation). Add more crushed ice to fill the glass, and serve.
  • Or you can just shake the mixture and pour it unstrained into a serving glass. We prefer to strain over fresh ice, but your call.
  • To make honey simple syrup: Measure out equal amounts of honey and water (we use ½ cup of each). Place the honey in a heat-proof container. Heat the water until it’s hot (it doesn’t have to boil; we generally microwave it). Add the hot water to the honey, then stir until the honey dissolves, creating a syrup. Pour the syrup into a squeeze bottle or an airtight container, then store it in the refrigerator until ready to use (it will keep for a couple of weeks).
  • Barbados rum comes from (you guessed it) the Caribbean island of Barbados. Their rums tend to be medium bodied. The brand of Barbados rum you’re most likely to see is Mount Gay. But we prefer Plantation 5-year-old (which is becoming more widely available). There are more expensive Barbados rums available, and those would be excellent – but overkill for cocktails, we think. BTW, Barbados claims to have invented rum.
  • Puerto Rican rum, particularly the white (light) version, tends to be rather mild. Bacardi Superior is probably the brand most commonly stocked in liquor stores, and it has OK flavor (unassuming, but it works in mixed drinks). We often substitute Cruzan white rum (from St. Croix, but it has a similar character to Puerto Rican rum – and more flavor). Cuban white rum would also be a good choice. It’s difficult to buy Cuban rum in the US, but it’s widely available elsewhere. 
  • Jamaican dark rums tend to be fairly strong and often a bit funky. Our usual brand is Myers’s. We’ve seen a lot of favorable references to Coruba, but haven’t gotten around to trying it yet.
  • Our usual disclaimer: We’re noncommercial. We are not compensated for, and do not benefit from, naming brands. We recommend only what we like (and buy with our own money).
  • Unless a cocktail recipe specifies otherwise, you should stick with white grapefruit juice when making drinks. The pink stuff is too sweet (and the wrong color). We use bottled grapefruit juice because it’s convenient. But when white grapefruit is in season, we often buy one and squeeze our own (again, don’t use the ruby/red/pink varieties).
  • Some medications (like statins) don’t mix well with grapefruit juice (the juice intensifies the drug’s effects). The amount of juice called for in one or two of these drinks isn’t a problem for most people. But if in doubt, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
  • For the pineapple juice? You can try juicing your own, but it’s easier just to buy unsweetened juice in cans or bottles. We usually buy mini cans, which are just the right size for cocktail use.
  • We don’t know how Donn Beach decided to name this drink. The phrase “never say die” has been around for a while. It dates back at least to 1825, when it was used in a story that appeared in Blackwood’s Magazine. Charles Dickens later used it in The Pickwick Papers, and it became a common expression in 19th century Britain.

The Never Say Die Cocktail
Smooth the Way

“Refreshing!” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Intricate blend of flavors.”

“Our local rum distributor must be delighted,” I said. “He’s scored a threefer.”

“The honey simple syrup will help if he gets hoarse from all the cheering,” said Mrs K R.

“Yup, the honey makes it smooth,” I said. “Plus, all the juice adds plenty of Vitamin C.”

“I’d definitely call this a health drink,” said Mrs K R.

Indeed. Our kind of smoothie.

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48 comments:

Anne in the kitchen said...

I like calling it a health drink. It sounds delicious and has summe beverage written all over it.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Anne, all that juice has to be healthy, right? :-) Thanks for the comment.

Velva- Evening with a Sandwich said...

You and I must live in the same part of the states (smile). The heat and humidity is brutal.

As you know, I am always good for a new cocktail. There's some work involved in this one but, I can see its worth it. I just need a patio and umbrella.

Love your cocktail recipes! Thanks for sharing them with us.

Velva

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Velva, this does involve some work (mainly assembling all the ingredients!), but it's so worth it. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Terry at Blue Kitchen said...

This sounds labor intensive, but also intensely delicious, John. I do love rum and feel it doesn't get serious (or seriously fun) respect often enough. And I agree, straining it over fresh ice creates a better presentation. Sounds delicious!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Terry, there's such a world of rum out there! So many interesting flavors -- really worth exploring. As is this particular cocktail. :-) Thanks for the comment.

gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

Your drink sounds wonderful and I wouldn't mind drinking it, but wouldn't want to take the time to make it. Still love your little ice cubes.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Judee, this drink is a bit of a production to make, but totally worth it. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Angie's Recipes said...

wow Who could ever resist that cocktail!! Beautiful clicks as well, John.

Anonymous said...

Goslings is usually my go-to dark rum. Is it too dark for this old gem?

Pam said...

So refreshing and tasty--also dangerous!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Angie, we sure can't resist! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Anonymous, Goslings would be fine -- it actually has a slightly lighter flavor (to us, at least), than Meyers's. And although Meyers's is our "standard," we use a lot of Goslings too. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Pam, these do go down way too smooth! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Ugh, we're hot here, too, but I bet you're even warmer! This beautiful cocktail sounds delicious with all the refreshing fruit juices. Just the thing for day's end!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Liz, I think we may be a touch warmer. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Dawn @ Words Of Deliciousness said...

I love the combination of fruit juices and the different rums. Sounds yummy and really refreshing. I am looking forward to the fall when things start to cool down a bit.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Dawn, we really like all the different seasons, but I think summer has lasted long enough. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

This is such a pretty cocktail and with dynamite ingredients. It is healthy with all of these fruit juices and honey. It definitely reeks of summer Island vacations.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Anonymous, we could use an island vacation. :-) Thanks for the comment.

savorthebest said...

This is just what I need, along with a tropical sandy beach ;)

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Dahn, we need to work up a recipe for a tropical sandy beach. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Jeff the Chef said...

Another reason to find white grapefruit juice! I agree with you that this is a lot of ingredients, but man does it sound fantastic.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Jeff, it is really fantastic -- one of the better Tiki drinks, we think. :-) Thanks for the comment.

speedy70 said...

Ottimo, molto rinfrescante, ci vorrebbe ora!!!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Speedy, really refreshing! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes said...

Can't possibly go wrong with all that RUM!!! I want one now!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Ashley, isn't this a great drink? Really interesting flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Healthy World Cuisine said...

3 rums and one delicious drink. Looks super refreshing. Love those little ice cubes.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Bobbi, we like different kinds of ice cubes. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Ben | Havocinthekitchen said...

Wow, that's a beautiful cocktail! I love vibrant and fruity Cocktails, so this is right up my alley!

mjskit said...

That's a beauty of a cocktail and your presentation of it is amazing. Makes me thirsty. sounds like a very tasty cocktail, but one I'll have to have someone else make for me. :)

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Ben, this is a really tasty drink -- probably the winner, in terms of flavor, of the 3 Tiki cocktails we're doing this summer. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi MJ, yeah, this is a bit of a pain to make. Totally worth it, though. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

John, this is another one I've never heard of! Sounds good and looks beautiful, especially the way you do drinks and photograph them so expertly and artfully. As always, I enjoyed all the extra info in the notes. And, of course, the banter with Mrs Riffs!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Jean, we love that banter! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Frank said...

Love that name. And the tiny ice cubes! Looks refreshing which is definitely what we need these days...

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Frank, this is very refreshing, which we all need with the hot and humid weather we're experiencing. But one of these will fix you up! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina said...

Oh my gosh, am I ever all-in for this uber-rum bevvie! I love tropical drinks and have a soft spot in my heart for tiki bars -- searching them out whenever we hit a beach or an island! Thanks for the good stuff!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Roz, Tiki is fun, isn't it? And this drink is SO worth making. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Food Gal said...

Now, this is just what I want in my hand while lounging in a hammock on the beach. If you could just provide the beach now, I would be all set. LOL

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Carolyn, we have to work on that beach thingy. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Balvinder said...

This sound so yummy and pretty, the ice cubes in it looks like jewels.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Balvinder, it is yummy. Very. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Raymund said...

Definitely something to drink specially when its hot and humid

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Raymund, it's been really hot, really humid here, so these have been very welcome. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Laura Dembowski said...

The heat is most definitely on here in Florida, but then I see the weather, and it's hotter up north. Crazy! This cocktail is no doubt refreshing wherever it's hot.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Laura, when we lived in Tampa, we almost never got temperatures above 95F. Suspect it's a bit warmer than that where you are. But yes, it's been HOT here! Thanks for the comment.