April 6th, 2009

They turned me into a Zombie

Eastern Standard tiki party - Bob McCoy

It’s always interesting when you have evening plans to start drinking Zombies at 2:00 in the afternoon. Yes, Zombie Punch, resurrected from a 1934 recipe once thought to be as swept away by the sands of time as Donn Beach’s original Beachcomber bar in Hollywood, was the first drink served at the Taste of Tiki party at Eastern Standard on Saturday. This is a remarkably delicious and potent drink containing a full four ounces of rum, one ounce being 151 proof!

Eastern Standard tiki party - Cactus Flower

The other drinks on the menu were the exotic Cactus Flower, created by Brother Cleve for last year’s Tales of the Cocktail tiki block party, and another original, the Flying Dutchman, created by Eastern Standard bartender and tiki enthusiast Bob McCoy. (Oh, and let’s not forget about the welcome tipple, Trader Vic’s punch.) Cleve and McCoy took turns speaking to the 50+ guests about the origins of the tiki phenomenon, and the cocktails, music and sometimes fabulous but often kitschy restaurants that were part of it.

Eastern Standard tiki party - Cleve & Jackson

Luckily, there were egg rolls, coconut fried shrimp, roast pig and beignets to soak up some of that hooch. Many thanks to McCoy, Jackson Cannon, Molly Hopper and the rest of the Eastern Standard staff for putting together a terrific party. Thanks also to Mike Sullivan (aka Bargoyle) of the New England chapter of the Fraternal Order of the Moai for co-promoting this shindig with drinkboston. (Check out this group’s plans for a weekend-long tiki bash in Lake George, NY.) And a special thanks to Lorna Wilkerson, a Boston cocktail enthusiast who thought up the whole idea of having a tiki party at Eastern Standard in the first place.

Eastern Standard tiki party - pig roaster

The Zombie Punch (1934)
By Donn Beach

1 ½ oz. Appleton Estate V/X Rum
1 ½ oz. Bacardi Gold Rum
1 oz. 151 Lemon Heart Demerara Rum
¾ oz. lime juice
½ oz. Donn’s Mix (2 parts grapefruit juice to 1 part cinnamon syrup)
½ oz. falernum
1 bar spoon grenadine
6 drops Pernod
Dash Angostura bitters

Build in a mixing glass and dry shake. Pour in a chimney (tall) glass filled with crushed ice and stir. Add more crushed ice to fill and garnish with a mint sprig.

The Cactus Flower
By Brother Cleve

1 ½ oz. Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum
1 oz. Cruzan Estate Light Rum
¼ oz. Cruzan Estate Blackstrap Rum
½ oz. Bols Orange Curacao
1 oz. prickly pear puree
1 oz. orange juice
1 oz. pineapple juice
¾ oz. lime juice
½ oz. simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 oz. club soda

Build in a mixing glass and dry shake. Pour into a double old fashioned glass filled with crushed ice, add club soda, and stir. Garnish with an orange slice.

The Flying Dutchman
By Bob McCoy

1 oz. citrus- and spice-infused Batavia Arrack*
¾ oz. St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram
¾ oz. crème de cacao
½ oz. pineapple juice
Dash Elemakule Tiki Bitters

Build in a mixing glass, add ice, and shake. Strain into a chilled lowball glass, no garnish. *For the infusion: Combine the peels of 20 lemons and 5 oranges with 1 1/2 liters of Batavia Arrack in a glass jar. Toast 20 cloves, 10 green peppercorns, and 5 cardamom pods over medium/high heat, tossing frequently until the aromas are released. Add to the jar, cover, and infuse for 14-19 days.

Eastern Standard tiki party - me and Bargoyle

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12 Responses to “They turned me into a Zombie”

  1. Bargoyle

    What a fantastic afternoon!! Great to see so many faces that I didn’t know, all digging the tiki drinks, food, & vibe.

    We’ll have to do it again soon. Boston NEEDS more tiki!!

    Kudos to you, Lorna, & the staff at ES for just a great afternoon!

  2. steve nowicki

    we really enjoyed ourselves, quite a cast of characters.
    loved the drinks so much i’ve already a couple of the books that Brother Cleve had.

  3. ljclark

    You’re right, Bargoyle. Boston needs one tiki bar at the very least. Our own Tiki Ti. Wow, that was fast shopping, Steve. Glad you enjoyed yourself.

  4. pinky gonzales

    Ooh I’m so sorry I had to miss this! Looks like such a great party. Sorry to have missed you too, Cleve, if you’re readin’.

  5. Geoff

    Great event, I would love to see some sort of annual tiki event develop at ES.

    It sounds like they could have sold twice as many tickets based on the size of the waitlist, it would be great to do something bigger and use the whole restaurant if possible.

  6. Br. Cleve

    I can’t say specifically ‘yes! It will happen!”, but I can say that Jackson and the ES crew was very happy with the turnout, the vibe and enthusiam of the attendees, and all were in a “let’s do it again” mood, with a possible evening date rather than another afternoon affair. Now that BeachBum Berry has unearthed the secret recipes of Donn Beach and his rivals, we know now that the real drinks, as served in the 30’s-60’s, were mighty potent, unlike the bastardized versions we drank in the 70’s-90’s. So “after 5” may be better in terms of besotment.

    Pinky, we missed you!

  7. ScubaSteve

    i thought the time was perfect for us. we were still able to hit up Drink and then Oceanaire for oysters.

  8. Observational Gastrophysicist

    a wonderful escapist afternoon, for sure. definitely developed a new appreciation for tiki.

    i wonder what the rest of the bar thought of the conch shell antics over in our corner…

  9. Sean

    go Bobby

  10. Graham's Travel Blog

    I’d definitely be in trouble if there was a Tiki Ti in Boston. Mmm, Ray’s Mistake. Hopefully, I’ll be in town for the next such event (and get invited).

  11. ljclark

    Oh, but wouldn’t it be great if we had our own Tiki Ti? Graham, to get invited to drinkboston events, just get on the email list by contacting drinkboston at comcast dot net.

  12. The Mayor Of Exotica

    I think I would stack Drink and Eastern Standard, in particular the staff, with the impressive knowledge and experience each staff has to offer, against pretty much any other cocktail establishment anywhere. While it’s a shame that many of the temples of Tiki have fallen victim to the wrecking ball or tacky remodel, the cocktail wisdom lives on at these places. Now, if there were some way to incorporate some appropriate decor and music, that would complete my escapist fantasies…

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