The Ancient Mariner

by Matt Robold on March 4, 2010

Post image for The Ancient Mariner

Are you tired of Tiki drinks yet?  I sure hope not because we’re still rolling with Jeff “Beachbum” Berry Week as we prepare ourselves for the arrival of Jeff’s newest book, Beachbum Berry Remixed.

Jeff, of course, is considered the man at the front of the Tiki Revival that we’re seeing today.  Beyond reviving long-lost recipes and repopularizing drinks that had fallen out of favor Jeff has also introduced a few drinks of his own, ranging from the blatantly Polynesian to the more subtle tropical drinks like the Ancient Mariner.

The Ancient Mariner

1 oz Demerara Rum
1 oz Dark Jamaican Rum
.75 oz Lime Juice
.5 oz Grapefruit Juice
.5 oz Simple Syrup
.25 oz Pimento Dram

Shake ingredients with ice and strain over crushed ice in a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and mint sprig.

The Ancient Mariner made its print debut in Jeff Berry’s Grog Log, a book near and dear to my heart, and who’s recipes will be appearing in Remixed.  But that’s not how I discovered the Ancient Mariner.

I’m someone who was admittedly late to the cocktail game.  Among other cocktail and booze nerds I like to say that I came at this whole thing as I do with just about everything else: backwards.  I went to straight spirits first and only got into mixing after having sworn off cocktails as little devils that spoiled my beautiful rums.

No, I was introduced to the Mariner in a bar.

Julian Cox mans the stick at Rivera, a hip “Modern Latin” restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles, practically right across the street from the Staples Center.  Julian’s cocktail menu is full of market-fresh, seasonal drinks that feature a lot of tequila and mezcal as one would expect from a latin-themed restaurant and bar, and a lot of rum.  A LOT of rum.

The picture of the cocktail above was actually taken at Rivera and the drink was made by Julian himself when I stopped in for lunch one day.  It was expertly made and after draining my glass it was refilled at least twice.

Tiare from A Mountain Of Crushed Ice described this drink as being very similar to the Mai Tai.  Looking at the ingredients the flavor similarity may not jump out at you, but it’s definitely there.  A wonderful depth is found when mixing a dark Jamaican rum like Coruba and a Demerara rum like El Dorado 15 or the like.

Like the Mai Tai the Ancient Mariner looks like it may be a bit sweet, but when it crosses your lips you’ll find that it’s much drier than expected.  The funky elements of the rum and the sourness from the juice just blend together wonderfully.

{ 3 comments }

Colonel Tiki March 4, 2010 at 9:15 am

Actually, the very observant of you out there will recognize it as Donn’s Navy Grog that is missing the Puerto Rican Rum and replacing honey with simple syrup. (while bringing the grapefruit and sweetener down by .25 oz each)

Eric Troy June 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Is Donn’s Navy Grog the same thing as Trader Vic’s Navy Grog?

Eric Troy June 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Nevermind, I see, Donn invented it and Trader Vic copied it.

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