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January 13, 2020 66 mins

The Mai Tai isn’t only the most famous Tiki cocktail, it’s one of the most well known cocktails on the planet. But where does it come from? Who invented it? In this episode of Invention, Robert and Joe turn to noted Tiki historian and mixologist Jeff “Beachbum” Berry for answers.

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome to Invention, a production of I Heart Radio. Hey,
welcome to Invention. My name is Robert lamp and I'm
Joe McCormick. And today we have a special treat. We
have an interview episode of Invention to share with you,
and we're gonna be chatting with Jeff beach Bumberry, a mixologist, author,

(00:24):
um restaurantur, and just an overall expert and historian of
Tiki culture. He in fact, he's the living authority on
all things Tiki, having unearthed numerous recipes from the golden
age of Tiki and helped to bring about its comeback
from obscurity and stagnation. His books include beach Bumberri Sip
and Safari and beach Bumberries Potions of the Caribbean, which

(00:46):
is an excellent, excellent illustrated breakdown of Tiki history and
the book that made me decide that we needed to
reach out to the man for Invention. Now, Robert, you're
the one here that has definitely got a passion for
this weird cultural artifact of this period known as like
the Tiki craze. What in short, what is the Tiki Craze? Well,
it's weird, you know because it's like, uh, you're dealing

(01:09):
with with what can be an extremely delicious, rich and
complex cocktail that is also delivered in this kind of
faux uh Polynesian um uh, you know, rapping. And of
course all cocktails are you know, like fifty percent ingredients
presentation at least it may even you know, depending on

(01:30):
how you look at it, uh, that the percentage of
presentation is even greater. Um. And yeah, they're also they
feel like an artifact of the past. At the same time, Now,
this is gonna be somewhat different than a lot of
episodes we've done before that we've looked at a lot
of different kinds of takes on the word invention. Usually
we're looking at something more like a technology, like a
piece of hardware that does something you can hold in

(01:51):
your hand. But today we're gonna be looking centrally, I
think mostly at a an iconic recipe, the invention of
a recipe for a drink. The my that's right, the
signature really the the the superstar of tiki cocktails. If
no matter what how little you know about tiki, you
probably know the Ma Tai. You've probably at least seen
it on the menu somewhere Uh so, Yeah, we're gonna

(02:13):
be quizzing beach bum Berry about the history the invention
of the ma Tai and in doing so, you know,
get I think to the the invention of tiki, but
also just what we can what we can take from
the invention of the ma tai and apply to invention
and technology in general. Uh so, Yeah, I'm excited to
have have a beach Bumberry on the show. I've been

(02:34):
a fan of his books for for a while. I'm
a fan of his restaurant in New Orleans, Latitude twenty nine,
which you'll find in the French Quarter. And if you
want to check out his website, uh, it is beach
bum Berry dot com. So, without further ado, let's jump
into the interview. All right, welcome to the show. Uh, Jeff,

(02:58):
would you mind introducing yourself to our listeners. Yeah, my
name is Jeff Barry aliens speech by Barry, and I
write books about Polynesian drinks and food and I own
a restaurant and bar called Latitude twenty nine in New Orleans.
All right, Well, we're going to be discussing the origins
of tiki drinks, how the signature my Tai came to

(03:21):
be and how America fell in love with the Tiki cocktail.
But first, how did Jeff Barry fall in love with
tiki and become the beach Bump. The way I fell
down the Tiki rabbit hole was about oh man, I
must have been eight years old, maybe younger. UM and
my parents we looked in the San Frando Valley UM
just outside of Los Angeles, and at that time, in

(03:42):
the sixties, just about every town or city had at
least one UM, you know, Polynesian themed restaurant or bar.
The fad had to sort of hit its peak in
the sixties. And the place they took me to was
called a Fongs and it was just a Chinese restaurant.
But what they had done was they had taken over

(04:04):
a failed business called the Bora Bora Room. The Bora
Bora Room has spent so much money on the core
that they went out of business. They couldn't recoup their costs.
So the place was beautiful. It was full of like
running waterfalls and a canoe hanging from the ceiling, and
there were these dawn to dusk lighting changes with this

(04:25):
little miniature island diorama behind the bar, and you had
to walk through the bar to get to the restaurant.
So I noticed that, and I just became a Polynesiac
at that point. And this faux Polynesia, this sort of
like little movie set Polynesia, actually made me want to
go to the actual Polynesia, which I did. And of course,

(04:45):
when I got old enough to drink, I wanted to
find these places so I can actually drink in them.
And that was and they were starting to disappear. The
fat was over, so you could there were still a
couple of places left. Um the tik Et, a little
tiny place UM was which is actually still there with
their generation owners, and then Trader Vix was still there.

(05:07):
So I went to the places that were there and
try some drinks, and they kind of blew my mind.
I mean, the good ones were really really good. And
this was at a time when uh, this was the
cocktail dark ages. You couldn't get a good drink anywhere. Um.
Nobody was using fresh juices. Everybody was using mixes from
a can or a squeeze bottle, and Um Tiki places

(05:29):
were the only places that were still doing drinks the
way they made them in the thirties, forties and fifties.
They were using fresh juice they were using, you know,
um house made syrups and premium RUMs, and they were
mixing all these complicated, um, teasingly elusive flavors. And basically
what they were doing was they were doing craft cocktails,
like seventy years before that term even existed. UM. So

(05:53):
I kept going to these places, not just because I
love the interiors, um, loved the decor, but because the
drinks were so good. And it wasn't until like the
nineties that I actually tried to figure out how to
make these drinks. Because you could not find them in
cocktail books. Um. They were top secrets. They were industrial secrets,
basically trade secrets and very very jealously guarded because you

(06:16):
didn't want rival teking places making your drinks and stealing
your market share. Uh. And so you couldn't find them
in a recipe books. You couldn't find them in a
newspaper articles, when you went to the library and looked
up things on microfilm, you couldn't find them. Basically anywhere.
You could find bad ones. Money of bad ones were printed,
but the good ones were just still secret. And when

(06:36):
you talk to the old timers who were making them, um,
you know, by the nineties, there were very few of
them left. But when you talk to them, they wouldn't
tell you anything. You know, You'd say, well, what's what's
in this drink? It's greating and they go rumman fruit juice,
sort of like you know, you you knew immediately that
that was the last question you were going to ask them,
you know, So that sort of started me on this thing.

(06:56):
I'm trying to find, um, find find how to how
to make the drinks, which I had to do of
necessity because all these places are going into business and
eventually if I wanted to have a ticky drink, I'd
have to be able to make it at home. Now
I know way less about a tiki drinks and tiki
culture than than Robert does, so I might ask the
neophyte questions. This might be a stupid question, but is

(07:17):
it possible to patent to drink recipe? Can you try
to enforce intellectual property rights on that? Or is that
just you know, you can't even get started. That's an
excellent question, actually, and it's a question that's still being debated. Um.
There's one cocktail book writer, Philip Green, who writes books
about Ernest Hemingway and drinking in the twenties and all that.
And he's also a trademark lawyer and he actually did

(07:41):
a whole seminar about that, because everybody wants to know
that now during this whole cocktail renaissance, when you know,
drinks have become currency again for people's careers, and the
short answers, no, you can't. Um, you can. You can
trademark a drink name, um, and but you can't actually
copyright or recipe and people can just do what they

(08:03):
want once the recipes um out there. It's the same
thing with food. I mean, there are plenty of chefs
and restaurant owners out there who would love to be
able to copyright dishes and only serve them in their places.
But UM, I don't know all of the legal intercreases
of why you can't. But but you can't. Now, there
have been there have been drinks that have copyrighted or

(08:24):
or trademark I'm not clear on which their names, like
the Dark and Stormy UM, Gosling's Rum trademark that drink
name which is basically just Ginger beer and Goslings Rum.
They want you to use Goslings Rum and Goslings Ginger
Beer So if you are a bar and you serve
a darkened Stormy and you don't use their products and

(08:45):
you call it a darkens Stormy, they could conceivably come
after you and see you for trademark violation. So that's
about as close as it gets to being able to
protect a recipe. But of course people will do what
I do at my bar, which is, um, I'll just
call the dark or in stormy or you know, something
like the same thing happened with a very popular drink

(09:06):
served in a lot of t bars called the pain killer.
Oh yes, um, yeah, they the pusters rum trade marked
that one. So you have to use pushers rum and
you're a pain killer, or you can't call it a painkiller,
so people call it, you know, all kinds of different things. Um.
But they did actually, um send a cease and desist
letter to a bar in New York that was calling
itself pain killer. Um. And if the bar was using

(09:30):
pushers rum, Pusses would have had no problem with it,
but they weren't, and it got kind of heated. The
owners of the bar got all New York and said, hey,
we're gonna do what we want, and then pusses rum
said no, you won't, and they basically force them. The
trade there changed the name of their bar and all
this other stuff. So people still remember that actually from
that was about almost ten years ago. Now, you know,

(09:50):
the fact that you can't enforce intellectual property rights on
a recipe makes me wonder if like more complicated cocktail
recipes could be a business decision in addition to being
a culinary decision. Uh well, the um it does except
yes and no. Um, yes, you're right. The more you

(10:13):
can make something difficult to reverse engineer. For example, if
you have got a drink like the Zombie, which has
all kinds of like twelve ingredients in it, and it's
nine four and the drink is a sensation, it's like
the cosmos halt in its day. Everybody's writing about it. Um,
And you go to down to Beach Commerce bar and
you try and figure out how to reverse engineer by
watching them make the drink. Um, well, good luck to you,

(10:37):
because the bottles don't have anything on their labels. What
they did to try and stop people from ripping off
his recipes was they, uh you know those twelve bottles
they used, they had like numbers or letters on them,
so the people who mix the drinks, all they knew
was like it's a half an ounce of number four
or a dash of number two, and um, you know,

(10:57):
if if the if the guy tries to fire away
that bartender and bring him to his bar and say okay,
now make these really profit trends for me, and I
goes okay, fine, and he looks at the back bar
and as well, where's your number two? Where's number four?
There's nothing I can do. And this actually, this was
the thing Dona did do this. The other thing he
did to stop people from figuring out how to make
his drinks was he had all of the complicated tropical

(11:19):
drinks made um in the service bar. So if you
go into his bar and you order a martini, the
bartender yesterday and or yesterday, and he'll make it for
you right there in front of you. But if you
order zombie, he'll open up a little door um behind
the bar, open it up a zombie, close it again,
and then you know they're the team of elves in

(11:39):
the back bar where nobody who noted that you can see,
will make that drink. Then they'll open the door again
and hand it to the bartender and you can still
see this being done. Um if you go to the
Macai restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, which opened in fifty six
and was um it's amazing sort of preserved an amber
mid century Polynesian palace. That's the way they make their

(12:01):
drinks at the bar. You don't see anybody doing anything
so um. But but the no part of the answer
about making drinks complicated is that it's it adds to
the poor cost. So the more complicated dish or a
drink is, the more ingredients you have to have on hand, um,
which you have to pay for, and the more labor

(12:23):
it takes to do it, which you have to pay for.
So um, it's a tricky sort of balancing act there.
But it's a that's a good question. Though. I want
to come back to a restaurant you mentioned earlier, Tiki
t I believe is that the Tiki restaurant in l
A that is next to currently next to a large
scientology center. Okay, when I went there about a year ago,

(12:48):
we were out there for business, and we we made
a point of like looking up like where did fo
we go, uh, you know for fertiki in l A.
And and so we got to experience that place, and
it was certainly for me un guinny tiki restaurant, Tiki Monity,
they serve food tiki bar that I'd been to because
it was just so old and kind of kind of divy.

(13:09):
Would you say, yeah, it's it's a neighborhood bar that
I mean, you went to basically my local. I used
to live not far from the Tik t in Los
Aelas and when when the Scientology building was a KSET
public television station, and that place was still one of
my favorite bars in the world. I love that place.
And yes, it is sort of like a you know,

(13:30):
very low um, low fi neighborhood bar that just happens
to serve tiv drinks. It's also a legendary bar that
it was opened the n by a guy named Ray Bowen,
who had worked as one of the original bartenders at
Donna Beachcomber, one of those guys who was behind them,
you know, the wooden door, and worked at almost every

(13:50):
famous tiki place in Eli before he opened his own bar.
And um, you can still have drinks the way they
were made them, the way they were making them in
the thirties and forties. If you go to the tiki
t raised Raid put his own spin on the recipes.
But they're very, very close um And then his son
took over and and now his grandsons and his son
are running the place. And it's just a fun, friendly

(14:11):
neighborhood bar. I can get pat If you go at
the wrong time of the day, there'll be a line outside.
And uh, you know, it's a tiny place. Yeah, I
remember when we were there. There were people who I
just got the feeling they had been regulars for decades.
Oh yeah, and everybody has their own area too, Like
when I was there. When I was going there like
twice a week or whatever, UM, I was expected to

(14:33):
sit at a certain part of the I would sit
near the blenders so I can watch them do what
they do. But the one time I moved up to
the other side of the bar to say hello to
some people and had to see it there looked at
me like, what did you do? You just crossed into
North Korea. You know, it's a really weird kind of thing.
So I I definitely want to come back to um
to to discussion of of modern and past tiki bars,

(14:55):
and especially Don the Beach Comber and uh and and
Trader Vic. But going to back up a little bit first,
in your in your book Portions of the Caribbean, which
is a wonderful, just beautiful volume that I recommend to
anybody interested in the topic, you chronicle five hundred years
of tropical drinks, taking us on a drink citrinc journey

(15:15):
through the history of Rome and colonialism in the region.
As a self professed tiki nerd, when did you realize that,
despite all the South Seas trappings, the history of tiki
is a history of the Caribbean. Well, first of all,
thanks for the kind words about the book. Um and uh,
the the answer to that is far too late. I've

(15:36):
been into tiki for years and years and years and
years before it finally hit me that, hey, all these
drinks are basically based on the Planners Punch from Jamaica.
It wasn't. It wasn't until really the probably the twenty
one century that I that I realized that. I mean,
of course, you know that when you go to a
tiki place, there's going to be drinks like the Martinique

(15:56):
Swizzle or the Barbados Punch or so yeah, you get
the idea that these are you know, their Daqirie variations
from Cuba. So you know that some of the drinks
are tropical drinks from the Caribbean, but they all have
names like Newik Newi and Tahitian Punch and things like that.
And then the other thing is, um, they were all

(16:19):
invented by this guy in Hollywood on the Beast Comber
and another guy in Oakland, Trader vic Um. So it's
not like the Caribbean roots of all these drinks really shows.
It's only when I really really got into Don the
Beast Comber's secret recipes um, which took me forever to
get a hold of. But when I finally got some
of them around two thousand four two five, Um, this

(16:45):
major d named Richard Santiago. His daughter Jennifer had his
personal effects he had passed on. But he had a
little telephone book size. Nope, only when I say telephone,
but I mean like a dress book because in your
shirt pocket. Um. So he had like a little notebook
full of all of Dawn's original recipes from the from
So I got ahold of that, and I was able

(17:07):
to study it and pour through it and compare it
to the drinks that I've had in actual restaurants and
the resties already knew about, and you start to see patterns.
You start to see, well, everything is um a variation
on the Planners punch, which is the simplest drink in
the world of sweet, sour, strong, and weak. As the
old recipe goes. You know, um, one of sour, tube, sweet,
three of strong, four a week. Um. I mean different

(17:31):
proportions than that, but that's the old poem from the
nineteenth century. Sour being limes juice, sweet being sugar, strong
being you know, a Jamaican rum, and weak being either
water or ice. So Um. What Dawn did was he
took that very basic formula and I figured out that
about thirty three of the seventy drinks he invented were
based on the Planners punch. That was sort of the

(17:53):
building blocks for almost everything you did. And that didn't
occur to me until fairly deep into my obsession with
this stuff. I think I'd written four books by that
and then that's and that sort of grew into Potions
of the Caribbean. Was like, well, in order to really
explain this twentieth century post prohibition phenomenon, you have to
go back to you now, now, this book, like any

(18:17):
book that I guess these days, that that covers the
history of of drink is going to it has some
recipes in it, but unlike you'll find recipes in potions,
Unlike any recipes you'll find another books, you start off
by taking us back to things like the Kalinago syphilis cure,
as well as pre Columbian Mayan hot chocolate and in

(18:37):
various other like centuries old mixed beverages. Uh and uh
and and these these recipes are I'm hesitant to actually
try any of them, but but or the early ones anyway,
But I have to ask, did you did you? Don't
I don't recommend the syphilis cure. That was gonna be
my question. Did you did you try all of them? What?
What was the cyphilis cure like? And uh? And then

(18:59):
what is the oldest mixed beverage you've come across that
you would actually consider good? Oh? Okay? Um? I yes,
I tested and um and retested and tweaked just to
make them as good as I thought I could make them. Um.
Almost every recipe in the book, with the sole exception

(19:20):
the only one I didn't taste and and make myself
was the syphilis cure um a because I couldn't find
pox would um and be because we have you know,
penicilla now. But um. The earliest recorded recipe for um

(19:40):
what we would now call a tropical drink is I
think it was from two and it was a French
priest called Parallel Bat and he wrote down a fragment
of a drink recipe calling for Barbados rum, lime, juice,
sugar and spy used with cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. And

(20:04):
that when I said, you know, that's a fragment, it's
a recipe fragment, so I had to reconstruct it, so
liberties were taken. Um. But that's the earliest one that
was that's actually been written down to the point where
I could recreate it. Um. There were other ones, like
you know, the pre Columbian beverage atole a, but that's

(20:25):
not really a tropical it's not really what we call
it a precursor to a tiki drink because there's there's
no citrus in it. It's more of a breakfast drink. Actually.
The hot chocolate was another thing that I know. Basically
all of the ingredients had been cataloged by various Spanish
explorers and monks and and uh and there was enough
there so that I could try to concoct a version

(20:48):
of it um so, you know, to give you an
idea of the flavors that went into it. And I
started off with a um an actual chocolate recipe and
then started adding the things that they would have put
into to it back and ye know the con stored
day is or pre pre pre conquest. All right, we're
gonna take a quick break, but we'll be right back. Okay,

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dot com slash invention. And we're back at this point.
I want to get back to one of my favorite
aspects of of TK history and something you write a
great deal about in your books, and you've already you've
already got into discussing some of it here already, and
that is of course the t k d Ama and
the wars between the various wizards of tiki during the

(23:04):
golden age of you know the umbrella drink. Can you
introduce us um to sort of reintroduce us, I guess
to Don the Beach comber Beach, and it also introduces
to Trader Vic. Yeah. The tea bar was kind of
single handedly invented by Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gant, who opened
up a place called Don's Beach Cafe the day after

(23:26):
prohibition was repealed in December ninety three, and it became
a sensation with the Hollywood crowd because of what he
called his rum rhapsodies, which were the drinks he served.
So he not only invented the tiki bar, he invented
what we now call the tiki drink. He called them
rum rapsies, which were these um really complex layered um

(23:49):
tropical punches rum drinks. And by nineteen thirty seven he
had a hundred and fifty copycats across the country and
he would be suing he had to sue some of them.
There was one guy named Monty Roser, a nightclub impressario
in New York, who opened up a chain of restaurants
called Monty Proser's beach Comber, and he used the exact
same font for beach Comber that Dona beach Comber had,

(24:10):
and he claimed that he he was the home of
the Zombie, which was a drink that Don Beach was
most famous for. So Don actually had to sue him,
and he would sue other places too, and so he
wasn't happy about being ripped off on such a grand scale. Um,
other people wanted to cash in on the immense popularity
and newsworthiness of his place. I mean, when you had, um,

(24:34):
you know, Marlena Dietrich and the Marx Brothers and Howard
Hughes and all these like Hollywood Royalty coming in and
going nuts over Don's drinks, and of course the press
also went nuts over it. Um, So everybody wanted to
get in on that, and he had he had people
like um. Here was a guy called Joe chast Deck
who just round some kind of a deli in in

(24:55):
l A and he changed his name to Zamboanga Joe
chast Deck and ripped off Dawn's drink menu and other Suggie,
you know, Harry Sugarman open a place called Sugi's Tropics
and Beverly Hills, and um, right down there, you know,
three blocks away from Dawn's, this guy Bob Brooks opening
up the seventh seas so everybody was ripping him off.
We don't know how close they got to reproducing his drinks,

(25:20):
except for the fact that there were people like Ray
Bowen from the t k T eventually of the TIKT
who started off at Dawn's. He was making thirty five
dollars a week at dawna beach Commers in ninety seven,
and Bob Brooks said to him, Hey, why don't you
come over the seventh season make those drinks for me
and I'll pay you another fifteen bucks a week. So

(25:41):
like we did that. And this is one way. This
was before Don implemented that code. You know, this is
when he still trusted his original employees. But enough bartenders
lefts with that secret knowledge so that they can start
spreading it around in different bars and making a four
you off of it. Um, knowing these recipes gave you

(26:03):
a lot of power as an employee. Later on, you
could dictate terms. When tiki became a huge phenomenon after
World War Two. I talked to a couple of bartenders
who told me that when they would apply for a
job at a restaurant that wanted to serve these drinks
but didn't know how they would make a deal like, Okay,

(26:24):
I'll make these drinks for you, and I'll tell you
what to order, you know from your suppliers and and
and all that. But if I don't like it here, um,
I'll leave and I'll take my recipes with me. I'm
not going to tell you what the recipes are. And
that gave bartenders an extraordinary or about of leverage. So anyway,

(26:44):
everybody was using this these secrets to their advantage if
they knew them, and ripping down off. There's only one
tiki impresario who decided that he wasn't content with industrial espionage.
He didn't want to just steal away the don's bartenders
or try to reverse engineer strengths. He wanted to create

(27:04):
his own original ticky drinks. And that was Victor Bergeron,
who came down to Dahn's in thirty seven and like
all these other people, thought Wow, this is great as
a land office business. I want to get in on this.
So he went back up to Oakland and turned his
barbecue shack inky dinks into Trader Vix, and he turned
himself into Trader Vic Bergeron and he did with a

(27:27):
lot of people. Did he Um copied Down's sort of
rafish South Seas persona character like Don dressed like a
beach comber, like a South Seas guy with a straw
hat and ripped pants and all that. And Vic took
on that same persona without ever having actually been to
the South Seas the way Don had. And he's at

(27:48):
first he started serving the same drinks Don did. Um.
You know, he tried to make a zombie, failed miserably.
It was it's a terrible drink. His version of his
zombie he wasn't even closed. But the difference between Don
and Vic and all of the people who are ripping
Don off was that Vic was a chef and he

(28:08):
had a really, really really good palette and he used
that to try to create his own style of tropical
drink as opposed to just you know, stealing other people's.
So he Um he went to Cuba, and he went
to Trinidad, and he went to Jamaica, and he learned
about tropical drinks the same way Don had, and he learned,

(28:30):
you know, he got his education and sweet Sower, Strong
and Weak, and came back to Trader Vix and created
his own drinks and the three most famous ones of
the Scorpion, the fog Cutter, and of course to my time, Um,
those were ripped off by hundreds of restaurants the same
way that all of Don's drinks, like the Zombie and
the Navy crogh tohhitand Punch and all of us. Just

(28:53):
as they had been ripped off, people started putting vixed
drinks on their menu too, um. And that's a lot
easier for the to do because Vic, unlike Don, actually
published his recipes. He started. He was sort of the
first real post World War two celebrity chef um who
made a fortune with his own food product line, you know,
for grocery stores. And he put out cookbooks, and he

(29:16):
put out drink recipe books, and he put his drinks
in there. Now, not the my tie though, because that
was his signature drink, just like the Zombie was don
signature drink. Um. But he published his fog Cutter and
Scorpion recipes. In his case, it was a smart business
decision because people could go to their local grocery store
and buy Trader Vicks Scorpion mix and Trader Vicks fog cutter,

(29:40):
um well, not focutters, but Trader ViXS ort syrup to
put in the fog cutter, and Trader of Vicks white
rum to put into the drink or uh, you know,
Trader of Vicks gold rum or Trader Vis brandy to
put into the scorpion. So he was, you know, having
it both ways. Um the my tie, though, he kept secret.
If you wanted to make a Trader Vic my tie
at home, you bought a bottle of Trader Vic my

(30:01):
Tai ram and a bottle of Trader Vic my Ti mix.
He wasn't going to tell you what the actual recipe
was that they made in the restaurant. Um. So those
two guys had a quite a rivalry over the course
of their careers. Um Don really resented when Vic kind
of stole his thunder and became the most famous tiki impresario,

(30:25):
largely because of the my Tai which really took off
and became you know, it replaced the Zombie as the
most famous sticky drink. Um And Vic was a bit
of a better businessman than Don. He opened up a
chain of restaurants across the US and eventually Um Europe,
in the Middle East and Tokyo, and he got a

(30:46):
lot more pressed than Don did because Don ended up
going to Hawaii and was sort of like out of
the mainland public eye as much as vic was Uh
And to Don's dying day, he claimed that he invented
the my Time. It always really bothered him. The trader
vic Um was famous for creating the May Time, and

(31:06):
that gets into the heart of the little war they had. Um.
It gets really complicated and it turns into like a
Gilligan's Island sitcom plot almost. You know, Don don Beach's widow,
phoebe I talked to her um well, emailed with her

(31:27):
and went back and forth on it, because she wrote
when she put out a book of Don's recipes in
two thousand and three, which was kind of a revelation
to see that. But these were all much later versions
of his drinks, you know, from like the restaurant was
still around in the eighties. She had a recipe for
a may tie, which she said Don invented in nineteen

(31:48):
thirty three, and I went, oh, well, that's interesting. So
and then she said that he invented the my tie
and you know, Trader vic didn't invent the may tie.
So I made the drink and it didn't taste anything
like Trader Vicks My time. UM. And then as I
got deeper and deeper and got more and more um

(32:10):
research materials, when I got Dick Santiago's a little recipe book,
for example, from NY seven, there was no my Tie
in that recipe book. And when you see a nineteen
thirty seven beach comer's menu, there's no my Tie on that,
And there's no my Tie on any beach comer's menu
until the Kennedy era, which is, you know, well after
the drink became very famous. So in order to stay current,

(32:32):
he would have had to have put a my tie
on his menu. Um it was also a fog hudn't
a scorpion on his menu? By then, you know, he'd
taken Vick's most famous drinks and put them on his menu.
So what happened, Well, Don actually was a beach comer.
He actually loved Tahiti, and he lived there for a while,
you know, on the beach, and and he would have

(32:53):
heard the phrase my time or more properly may take,
which means basically it's Tahitian for awesome. You know, oh
that's great, mate, So he would have known that phrase,
and it would have naturally been something that he would
have named a drink. He called his drink the Ma
Ta Swizzle. I believe um, And I kept pressing Phoebe

(33:14):
about it, was like, well, why isn't it, you know,
why can't I find any evidence of this drink served
in his restaurants? Since she said, well, it wasn't one
of his favorites. So okay, so let's say let's take
Phoebe at her word, and why shouldn't we She was
married to Don. I never even met the guy. Um.
So Don invents a drink he calls the Ma Tay
swizzle or the my taliane um, and it doesn't end

(33:39):
up on his menu because he's not one of his favorites.
Traitor Vick the story. He tells us that he invented
the my Tai one night at his bar in Oakland
in ninety four with his head bartender, Fred Frank Poult,
and they named the drink because a friend of his,
Carrie Guild, who lived into heat He came into the
bar and he handed her the first um. You know,

(34:02):
the final version of the strength, and he'd been working
all day on with his bartender and she drinks it
and goes, oh mate, which is you know Againtsian for awesome. Um,
so you've got a sitcom coincidence here. Um, Don the
beach Comber claims he invented the may Tie, it is true.
Trader Vic claims he invented in my time. This is
also true. Um. But the whole truth is that Don

(34:26):
invented a drink called the may Tie, put it in
a drawer, nobody ever knew about it, and Trader Vis
ma tai is the my tie that we all know.
And um, you know, he can certainly claim that that's
his drink, I think, but it it was really a
source of tension between the two of them. Um. I mean,

(34:47):
Don gave an interview to some Honolulu paper when he
was well into his eighties and uh still claimed that
he invented the may Tie and has really pissed him off.
Now when one of the things you write about concerning
them tie is that when it when it first came out,
it didn't have that initial splash like uh. I think

(35:08):
you mentioned there was a particular menu where the zombie
was still very much at the top. The m tie
was towards the bottom of the page. Uh. And it
didn't get like the same press, at least initially that
the Zombie got. How did them tie ascend to become
this just dominant drink, This this drink that everyone at
least has some surface level knowledge of. H. That's a
great question. Basically, Um, as you said, the zombie was

(35:31):
immediately successful. UM. Part of the reason being that it was,
you know, advertisers, being a very strong drinked on set.
It was great at marketing, he said, only to to
a customer because it's so strong. So radio comedians started
to um tell jokes about the drink and how strong
it was, and travel riders said, you have to go
to ton of beach combers and when you get out

(35:51):
of the train and the central station downtown and go
have a zombie down the beach Combers is the first
thing every tourist has to do. So it was huge
from the very beginning. Uh. Trader Vic says he invented
in my time in nineteen four. But nobody's written anything
about it. There's nothing in the historical record, nothing in
newspaper databases. Nobody's talking about it um and um. It

(36:13):
obviously was not a hit right out of the gate.
There is proof that it was on his menu as
early as nineteen fifty that's the that's the earliest menu
I have from Trader Vicks that has the my tie
on it. But there are earlier menus I don't have
which might have it um at any rate. In nineteen
fifty two fifty three, vic Is hired to do the

(36:37):
cocktail list for the Matson Cruise ship lines. Uh and
these were luxury cruise liners that went to Hawaii. This
is before you know commercial jet travel, so most people
went to Hawaii on a cruise, spent a week on
a boat, and got into um Montolulu Harbor. So he's
doing the drinks for the boats, you know those ship bars.

(37:00):
And Mattson also owns the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and a
couple of other hotels. Me why so he does the
same drinks for these hotel bars. The whole idea of
being that Mattson wants you to pay to take a
cruise in their ships and then to pay them to
stay in a Madison hotel. So to build a better mousetrap, Well,
let's make let's get trader Vick to do these drinks
for us. One of those drinks that he puts on

(37:22):
them in you is the my Tie. But as you say,
it's all the way at the bottom of the cocktail list.
I've got a nineteen fifty three Royal Hawaiian menu and
it's like second from the bottom. I think even the
planners punches above it. So obviously it was not a
famous drink at that point, but it became famous in Hawaii. Uh.

(37:44):
I think several reasons. One was that it had a
great Hawaiian name um, I mean Cetaitian name, but it
just sounded really Polynesian and really romantic, and the drink
name was great, just like the Zombie was a great
drink name. I mean, names are very very important for
a drink. Is half the selling point for them. The
drinks started to spread violally through the islands as a

(38:07):
lu Ou drink um. Everybody went to a hotel Luau,
every tourist um and they all you know, sat there
and eight uh you know, kalu a pork and loumie
loumi salmon off the banana leaf mats and everything, and
my Ties became the default drink at these luous. Whether

(38:27):
or not they had Vic's formula, um they were, they
would improvise if they didn't. Sometimes a ma tie would
just be pineapple juice and rum as terrible company. You
go to Hawaii even now and you have terrible Mae
ties that there are no relation to Vix, but the
name worked for them, I guess. So the first people
who start writing about the may Tai are travel writers,

(38:48):
and they're writing about traveling to Hawaii. UM. And it's
like fifty three fifty four when people, you know, people
start writing about a drink. They I don't know why
I called them Maye Tai. What really sends the mine
tie over the edge is night teen nine is the
year Hawaii becomes a state and not just a US territory.
And it's also the first year of commercial jet travel

(39:10):
UM passenger jet travel. The Boeing seven oh seven makes
his debut, and all of a sudden, you can get
to Hawaii from the west coast of the mainland in
a matter of hours, you know, four or five hours.
If you wanted to take a plane. Before you had
to take a prop um prop plane that took about
twelve hours to get there. And they had little berths

(39:31):
that you slept in um or most people just went
by boat. So all of a sudden, travel to Hawaii
becomes very easy and affordable. And it's a state. So
even the most xenophobic American from the Midwest or the
South or whatever it says, oh, well, it's part of
the US, I'll go there. And tourism blows up in Hawaii.

(39:52):
Um it goes from thousands of people to tens of
thousands of people a year, all going to lue hours,
all having a my tie and the drink just blows up.
And by the by the Kennedy era, it's just all
it's all over the place. It's just the rage. And
even non tiki bars are serving it or effect similar
other if they didn't done the rescue. All right, we're

(40:13):
gonna take a quick break, but we'll be right back.
And we're back, all right. So let's fast forward to today.
So you you have beach Bumbarri's latitude twenty nine in
New Orleans. Has it changed the way you feel about
any of the figures in tiki history? And uh and

(40:33):
and what is your own relationship with with secret recipes?
That's great question. Yeah, it's really funny. To go from
writing about tiki drinks and researching tiv drinks to serving
them to people. And it's given me a whole new
um perspective on people like Don and Vic and all

(40:54):
the bartenders who used to work for them and with them, UH,
a whole new level of respect for them because it's
running a restaurant's hard. Fortunately, Mrs Bum takes care of
most of the work that she's the one with all
the experience. She kind of dragged me kicking and screaming
into opening the place, and I'm glad she did. It's

(41:15):
been great, but UM, you know, there's there's a lot
of work involved, a lot of people to deal with,
and um, a lot of things to deal with it
I never thought about when I was just writing about
drinks and restaurants, things like insurance, plumbing, electricity, UM, you know, payroll,
tax um. It just goes on and on. Permits goes

(41:40):
on and on and on and on and on, and
it has nothing to do with how great a drink is.
It's just keep the place open and keep customers happy.
The other thing that was really interesting to me about
opening a place is um, I no longer after we've
been opened five years now, and for me, the most
important thing to hear when I'm walking through the dining

(42:02):
room and touching tables and asking how everything is is
when not when a customer says, oh, we love this drink,
this is a great drink, thank you so much. It's
when they say, oh, um, you know, we love Sam,
or we love Alexandro, we love um Brad. They're they're
great and those are our staff. So if a server
or a bartender is making them, first of all, if

(42:25):
they know them by name, and if they're raving about
them to the boss like that makes me happier than
anything they could say about the drinks. It was like,
if you have a good experience and if our people
show you a good time and make you feel welcome
and happy, that's you know, a loha bartending, if you will, Um,
that's something that you know that's very very important. I

(42:48):
never really grasp that when I was just a customer
at these places. Um. But so there's so many more
dimensions to dealing with with the drinks and with the
creation of the drinks as well. UM. One technical note,
one of the things that was very eye opening to

(43:10):
me was when I was researching recipes or tweaking recipes
or trying to reverse engineer them based on you know,
bartender's notes or whatever or fragments. If I wanted to
spend half an hour to make a drink, UM, I
could do it. And if I wanted to spend eighty
dollars on one particular bottle of room that would taste

(43:30):
best in the drink, I could do that too. And
you can't do that when you've got customers who want
to be served. You have to work out. I had
to look at every single recipe that I wanted to
put on my menu at lata UM. You know, first
of all, they were like three I wanted to put on,
but I had to cut that down thirty because you

(43:52):
can't have too many recipes on your menu or your
bartenders can't do them, they can't be executed and also
will get just get confused. I think, UM, thirty is
about as much as you can cram onto the menu anyway. UM.
That was part of the learning curve as well. But
when I was doing revamping the recipes for service for

(44:14):
actually being served at leut to twenty nine, I had
to go through every single one of them and rebalance
them and retweak them because I was no longer just
trying to make the best possible drink. My goal when
I was writing the books was just a very singular goals,
like how do I make the best possible drink? Well,
that becomes like three dimensional chess from Star Trek when

(44:35):
you're trying to I realized that that's that's what I
had to do from watching other cheeky places, other new
two places like if it took ten minutes to get
a drink, no good, you know, and and if a
drink costs twenty that's also no good. So I had
to go from first level, how do I make the

(44:55):
best possible drink? Too? How do I make the best
possible drink in the least amount of time? And then
the third thing was how do I make the best
possible drink in the least amount of time for the
least amount of money, um, not without sacrifice and quality,
but still making it so that I could afford the
drink and I could afford to not charge people on

(45:16):
arm and a leg for it. So I had to
work out systems and one of them was as you
as you know if you've made any of the drinks
from these books, they were all. Most of these drinks,
especially don the beast Comers drinks were flash blended. In
other words, um, they would be put into a you know,
a top down Hamilton's beach mixer with a certain amount
of crushed ice and blended for like three to five seconds,

(45:38):
not to make a slushy drink, but to sort of
swizzle it in a way that no human possibly could
without Marvel superhero strength. Um. And it gives the drink
a very unique texture, and it dilutes instantly, and it
chills instantly, and it's it's much better than shaking. But
the problem is that when I was making doing the

(45:58):
drinks for the book and guests saying how much crushed
ice to put into each drink, because that was never
indicated on any of the old vintage recipes that I
had nerved, UM, I had to guess at it. And
some drinks tasted good with four ounces of crushed ice,
like a half a cup. Some drinks tasted great with
a cup and a half like twelve ounces of crushed dice.
Some were perfect with one cup of crushed ice. And

(46:20):
if you look at my books, that's the way they are.
I mean, they all call for a different amount of
crushed ice. Well, the first thing I realized was that's
going to slow down the bartenders if they have to
a remember how much crushed ice goes into every drink
as well as remember this complicated recipe. Um, that's not good.
So what I did was I had to rebalance each

(46:42):
drink so that they all used the exact same amount
of crushed ice, so the staff never had to think
about the amount of ice they were putting into the blender.
I just went into a restaurant supply store, got a
long handled, six ounce scoop, and I rebalanced every drinks
so that they all worked with six ounces of crushed ice.

(47:03):
And that's all they have to do now is just
like dip the scoop into the ice, well, level it off,
put it in and not think about it. And things
like that shave precious time off the making of a drink.
And also it eliminates mistakes. You're not gonna guess, you're
not gonna get the wrong amount of crushed ice in
there because you don't have to think about it. And
that's just one example of some of the things I
was doing on that second level of how to make

(47:25):
a drink in the least amount of time, um, and
the least amount of money. Part is you know you want.
Of course you're using quality ingredients, but you're not going
to use a bottle of twenty year Appleton Jamaican room
to make your my tie. But it's just not you
can't do that. You can't charge people fifty dollars for
my time, UM. So you have to come up with
other RUMs and mix, you know, mix less expensive RUMs.

(47:48):
They're still going to give you that depth of flavor.
So it's just a couple of, you know, examples of
the kind of uh much. You know, you could go
much much deeper and much broader into this whole phenomenon
than I ever did when I was just writing the books,
when I would look back on some of these recipes
and see things that had never occurred to me before

(48:09):
I owned a restaurant, before I ever had to make
a menu for a for paying customers. If you look
at Dawn's early recipes from that ninety seven book, they're
all in very jagged proportions, at one and a half
ounces of this, um, quarter ounces of that, three quarter
ounces of this, half an ounce of that. And if
you look at that same recipe from a notebook from

(48:32):
the nineteen sixties, you know, thirty years later, when he
had thirty years more experienced that same drink, he real
he refigured it, reconceived it with the same ingredients to
be three quarter rounds, three quarter rounds, three quarter rounds,
three quarter around, three quarter rounds, all the way down
the line, and that speed. He did that purely so

(48:55):
that the drink could get out there faster. Because he
was dealing with a more high volume situation instead of
making a drink at his tiny little bar in Hollywood,
he was he had to come up with recipes that
could be made, you know, serve seven thousand drinks a night.
So you see that he wasn't just thinking about taste
and flavor. He was. He was thinking about those things,

(49:16):
but he was also thinking about speed, which was kind
of a fascinating revelation which I which never would have
occurred to me if I hadn't actually done a menu
from my own place. This is funny how well it
parallels a lot of inventions we look at that are
more traditionally the kind of thing you think of as
an invention, you know, a new piece of technology where
when we think about invention in a zoomed out way

(49:38):
where you're you know, not looking at it very hard.
We tend to think of invention as the space of,
you know, discovering what's possible, whereas when you zoom in
on the process of invention is it is much more
often about what is practical? Yeah, absolutely, that's that's a
perfect way to encapsulate it. Um, And that was my
learning curve. It's like, and you're absolutely right with whether

(49:59):
the invention is uh, you know, uh, the internal combustion engine,
whether the invention is a zombie cocktail, um, whether the
invention is like a paper cutter. It's all about, yeah, okay,
you've invented this thing. Now you have to be able
to replicate it, you know, and you have to be
able to make it faster and cheaper and uh and

(50:21):
streamline it and you know. So yeah, you're absolutely right,
it's the same process. I never thought of it that
way until today. Now you you have also invented some cocktails.
So I'm curious, like, what is what is your your
mindset like today? If you're if you're seeking to to
come up with a new cocktail, are you doing are
you engaging in this exercise as Jeff Barry the the

(50:47):
the author and UH and tiki historian, or is it
more in the mindset of of Jeff Berry the restaurant owner. Um,
that's a great question. Um, it's all of that has
to be thrown out of your head when you're trying
to create something. Um. I mean I used to work
in UH screenwriting and journalism and advertising other forms of writing.

(51:11):
And the best piece of advice I ever got about
writing anything was right with no attachment to outcome. Don't
think about who's going to want to buy this or
even who's going to want to read it. Just write it,
just get it done and and then worry about all
that other stuff later. And the drink making process has
always been like that for me, and it hasn't changed.

(51:32):
Owning the restaurant hasn't changed it. Um, you know, writing
these books hasn't changed it for me. I wasn't. I
wasn't in many ways. Still I am an amateur in
the in every sense of the world. I mean I
an amateur as someone who loves, um, whatever it is
they're obsessed about. So for me, it was a hobby.
All this drink stuff, all through the es and nineties,
and in writing these books until we actually opened Latitude,

(51:56):
it was it was a hobby. It was it was
I was coming at as an amate, tried no professional
training whatsoever. Um, you know, no mentors, no guide books,
nothing to go on about how to make a drink
that was that wasn't ye know? That was mine. I
have plenty of guide books about how to make a
drink that wasn't mine. But as far as creating a drink,

(52:17):
that all started to happen kind of accidentally. UM. I
was researching these recipes. I was uncovering all these long
lust drinks, and and very often the recipes were either
in code, which we talked about earlier, and I had
to crack the code UM, or there were fragments, or
they were like bartender's notes to self. UM. We already
used example of how they wouldn't indicate how the drink

(52:40):
was actually put together, whether it was shaken or blended,
and if it was blended how much ice. So there
was a lot of guesswork involved, and over time, without
realizing it, bias mosis I was sort of like getting
an education in tropical mythology just by trying to recreate
these drinks. That already existed in one form or another.

(53:00):
And it's gradually got to the point where I felt
confident enough to try and invent my own stuff. But
it was always just noodling around, you know. It was
just like tinkering with something in the garage pretty much. Um,
I never developed a method for making a drink. It
would always just be, Okay, here's this bottle, what's what's

(53:21):
this stuff? Some very herbal charge troos is some very
horrible ma cure sounds. What other drinks have been made with? Chartroose?
Have looked at it? Okay, I wonder what it works with.
And it would always just be messing around with no
attachment outcome. It's like maybe something will happen, maybe it won't.
And that's still kind of way I do things. It's

(53:45):
the only way I know how to do things. Um,
I don't start with this. You know. Some some people
have proportions in their head, like you will talk to
some um bartenders and cocktail makers to say, well, there's
a golden mean for um, you know, for a Jacii,
or it's it's three quarter ouns, three quarter rounds two ounce,
or it's half ounce, half ounce, one or half ounce

(54:06):
stor its. I don't believe in that. It's just like, um,
it doesn't work. It just doesn't work for me. I
just sort of like get in there and mess around
and and just just make a mess and um and
see what happens. Um. It's much more fun that way
for me. Anyway, I would feel very constricted if there
was some sort of methodology that you have to follow. Now.

(54:27):
Of course, the fact is that I'm no longer making
drinks just to drink for myself and my friends in
my house and maybe put them in a book if
they're any good. Now, whenever I make a drink, it's
for for a reason, you know. Either I have to
go do a cocktail seminar somewhere and I have to
use uh sponsor ingredients, so I have to come up
with a drink that uses those, or maybe the latitude

(54:51):
needs a new drink on the menu, or some magazine
or newspaper wants me to create a drink for them.
So that's a very specific outcome that needs to be met.
And that actually is helpful because when you have a frame,
when you're put in a box and you have to
do something that uses this or that ingredient, um, and
it has to be done by such and such a date.

(55:14):
Those limitations are very freeing, paradoxically ironically, because you can
only go down that road and not down the fifty
other roads that you might have ventured down and reached
the dead end at um. So if you if you
know what I'm talking about. Yeah, yeah, it's kind of
like a writer's prompt imagine yeah. So um. I know

(55:35):
I've been going on and about this, but of course
it's it's always been an obsession of mine. And it's fun.
I mean, it's fun to do it without any restrictions
or worrying about outcome. But also you don't come up
with that many drinks that way, you know. It's uh,
it's like I just did a bunch of drinks for

(55:56):
this uh pure company called Real Real Sarah Coconut and
Passion Food and all these are things, and and they
wanted seventeen recipes, one for each one of their expressions,
one of these one of their flavors. I thought, oh
my god, that'll take me five years. You know, I
come up with one drink every three years. But having
those restrictions just I zoomed through it like I did

(56:18):
it in about five days and it was very freeing
to be put in this box where Okay, you have
to use this raspberry pure to drink um. You know
that's that's that's job one. Uh, and you can't. You
can't use rum and every single one of these seventeen
drinks what will work with the raspberry isn't rum. So

(56:39):
then you you have a different based spirit. You lock
into that and okay, what citrus works with raspberry? Does
lime work? Does lemon work? What's the best one? So
you get it done faster um, and it narrows your
focus to the point where you can actually complete something.
So one of my favorite facts that stood out from

(57:00):
SS of the Caribbean was just this weird bit where
you mentioned that I think it was Jackie Kennedy's recipe
for a DACII involved frozen lime made. It was store
bought frozen lime made. UM. That makes me wonder do
you have thoughts about and and again this is going
to involve, you know, subjective things about taste, but from

(57:23):
your perspective, what leads to the proliferation of bad recipes
for things um? That's a great question. And in the
case of Jackie Kennedy's dacherie, which was frozen lime maide
and a few drops of flam rum. It's very often
um economics. Now, of course, Jackie Kennedy came from a
very wealthy family and she was married at the president

(57:45):
United States. They could afford fresh lime juice, They could
afford to pay uh an in house chef to make
their dacories for him. But you have to remember the times.
This was during the beginning of the industrial food complex,
where who had frozen TV dinners, frozen juices, frozen everybody

(58:05):
had a refrigerator and a freezer and all the kitchens
with appliances. Suburbia was growing and convenience was the order
of the day, and food companies responded to that. So
all of a sudden everything was frozen. Everything was pre
mixed and in a bottle like Trader Vix, Trader of X,
my time mix. You know, why why mess around with
all this other stuff, Just pour two ounces of that

(58:26):
into your glass. So convenience um industrial mass production methods
for food and drink. And that's really what killed the cocktail,
was this um uh the convenience. It was killed by convenience.
It was killed by like canned and bottled mixes and

(58:49):
by frozen this and frozen that. And you know, every
restaurants realized they could cut their costs tremendously by not
using fresh citrus um and by you just not having
to buy five ingredients, just buying trader Vicks My TIMEX.
You would go into a lot of places in the
seventies and eighties and you would see Trader Vicks My
Time mix behind a bar of even a really good,

(59:12):
expensive restaurant. They would just use that stuff. Um. Great
for Vick, not so great for the Well. Yeah, I'm
not an expert at this, but I mean, am I
correct in thinking that citrus juice just does not age well?
That is not something that that sits around on the
shelf and stays good. There's a There are a couple
of um bartenders in New York who are very very

(59:34):
scientific in their approach these things, Donne Lee and Dave Arnold,
and they have conducted tests under laboratory conditions, UM trying
to figure out what the shelf life of fresh queeze
citruses and when it's at its peak and UM, I
don't remember the specifics, but I think after four hours
it starts to lose its Christmas and it's uh, it's

(59:59):
you know, it's best flavor. I've found that you can
keep it refrigerated fresh juice for two or three days. Um,
but it's not going to taste the same the third
day as it did when you fresh squeezed it. It's
kind of interesting oxygen oxygen eating it. Um. Like there
are other bartenders to say, well, I don't think fresh
squeeze juice is that when when you're taking when you're

(01:00:21):
cutting a line open, when you're making a jackary for example,
round line and sugar. Um. Okay, if you're at the bar,
you cut a line open, you're squeezing it into the shaker,
so it's as fresh as you could possibly get. It's
just been cut and squeeze. Um. There are bartenders who
will tell you that that doesn't taste as good as
lime juice that's been in the well for about two
or three hours, which is ox which is oxygen eated

(01:00:43):
a little bit. Um. You know, So it's a there's
a there's actually a lot of You scratch a bartender,
You scratch any bartender, and you're gonna find somebody who
was a medical student or an architecture student or um.
You know, a science whiz. Um, there are people avotate
to bartending for all kinds of reasons. But you people
get people with a technical bent and with a scientific

(01:01:06):
background have really really gotten into this stuff. It's kind
of cool to see. I basically flunked chemistry in high school,
so for me, a lot of the stuff just goes
right over my head. But but it's fascinating to see
that approach being taken to something like cocktails. So is
it safe to assume that the pre mixed Trader Vix
My Time Mix was bad? Is that? Is that the case?
You know what, That's a good question because I've actually

(01:01:29):
used it when I'm on vacation, like in Hawaii, for example,
you go into like the ABC store, which is like
there's seven eleven or uh, you know, convenience store, and
they all have Trader Vick My Time Mix uh in
there for tourists who want to make my kind of
hotel room. It's not bad, it's actually okay if that's
what you've got to work with. Um, you know, when

(01:01:50):
you're when you're staying in a hotel and you're a
tourist in Hawaii, it's the only game in town, Like
It's either that or you're gonna have to try and
track down orege out syrup on you know, orange curse
ow and all this other stuff and just start turning
your hotel into a bar room. Um so um hey,

(01:02:10):
you know when in Rome's I do not wish to
um to dis trade to Vix my time makes. It's
one of the better ones out there, But um is
it as good as a fresh made in my time?
I don't think, you know, not even Trader Vick would
argue with me there all right? Uh, Jeff the beach
bum Barry, thanks for coming on the show and chatting
with us about tiki history, my Thai history. Uh. The

(01:02:33):
books are all out there. The app total tiki is excellent.
I I am proud or ashamed to admit that I
use it almost in a daily basis. And uh and
and also I'm a huge fan of of your restaurant.
I only make it down to New Orleans once a year,
but when I go, I make sure it come by
for at least a couple of drinks. But what else

(01:02:54):
is going on in the world of of of the
beach bumb What do you have coming up? Or anything
else you want to Uh? Tell our listeners about. Well,
the one thing which it's a little early to talk
about is it just ended. But I've partnered up with
Cocktail Kingdom about doing some pop up bars UM Sip
and Santa's serf Shack, which they've shortened just to Sip

(01:03:16):
and Santa. It's a mash up of Christmas decor and
flavors and tiki de corn flavors, and we had twenty
seven bars across the country this past season participating in it.
So we come up with like, um, tiki drinks, tropical drinks,
but have like what you associate with the holidays flavors, uh,

(01:03:37):
you know, cinnamon and cranberry and things like that. And
then there's Christmas decor overlaid on top of TV. To course,
we have two over the top uh decor themes graphed
onto each other. And I mentioned it now because I
start working on this pretty much in January, once Christmas
is over. So when you're asking what's next to me,

(01:03:58):
what's next is coming up with the sipes for the
Sitting Sama pop ups, which aren't going to happen until
after Thanksgiving. But that's what's gonna be occupying me now. Um.
And then it's just running latitude and uh, you know,
trying to get in there whenever I can. And we've
got such a great crew now um got our sea legs,
which there's really not much for me to do there anymore,

(01:04:21):
which I love. I'm basically just picking stuff up off
the floor that you like, Oh there's a plastic monkey
that fell from the table. That's basically my job now
because everybody else has got it all together. Um so
so yeah, and a lot of traveling. I've been doing
a lot of traveling, going to a lot of cocktail festivals,
giving drink seminars. I'll be in UM Sacramento next week

(01:04:43):
for the Sacramento Cocktail Conference, and I'm going to be
in Atlanta actually UM for the March Tiki Festival in Awayle,
I believe it's called UM, so you know, Florida than
London and all kinds of one of the places. It's
interesting with the whole cocktail n usense that cocktail festivals
and cocktail conferences sprung up everywhere, so I spent a

(01:05:05):
lot of my time just going to those. At this point, awesome, well,
we'll safe travels as you you make your way around
the map for all of this and we'll be looking
forward to Christmas. All right, all right, thank you, thanks,
all right, So there you have it. Thanks once again

(01:05:27):
to Jeff beach bum Berry for chatting with us again.
He's the author of several books that you'll find in print,
including beach Bumberry Sip and Safari and at beach Bumberri's
Potions of the Caribbean Again. His restaurant is beach Bumberry's
Latitude twenty nine in the French Quarter of New Orleans,
and if you want to check out his website, it's
beach bumberry dot com. Oh and the app Total Tiki.

(01:05:48):
That's the app that I use way too often, but
it's a wonderful app. It's you just right there on
your phone. You have all these different um tiki cocktail
recipes you can pull up, you can you slide through,
like all the different versions of say The Zombie or
the My Tai and they're right there your fingertips. Huge
thanks as always to our excellent audio producer Seth Nicholas Johnson.

(01:06:09):
If you would like to get in touch with us
with feedback on this episode or any other, to suggest
a topic for the future, or just to say hello,
you can email us at contact at invention pod dot com.
Invention is production of i heart Radio. For more podcasts
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