‘Easy Tiki’ cocktail recipe: Trader Vic’s Grog

During his days as a bartender at Trader Vic, tiki expert Martin Cate often made this version of a grog for staff and industry regulars. The recipe, featured in “Easy Tiki: A Modern Revival With 60 Recipes” by Chloe Frechette (Ten Speed ​​Press), ups the bitter quotient with additional dashes of Angostura bitters and calls for a full ounce of lemon juice.

If it’s too tart for you, back up with the lemon juice, says Cate, who now serves the drink at her San Francisco bar, Smuggler’s Cove. And if you need recommendations for aged Jamaican and Demerara rums, he likes Coruba, Smith & Cross, Plantation OFTD, Hamilton 151, Hamilton 86, and Lemon Hart & Son 151.

Trader Vic’s Grog

Makes 1 cocktail


2 ounces aged Jamaican or Demerara rum, or aged overproof rum

1 ounce lemon juice (less if a sweeter taste is preferred)

1 ounce of pineapple juice

1 ounce passion fruit syrup (see recipe below)

2 or 3 dashes of Angostura bitters

Maraschino cherries on a hint of cocktail, sprig of mint to garnish


Combine all ingredients, except garnish, in a shaker with ice. Shake for about 5 seconds. Strain into a stemmed pilsner glass. Fill with crushed ice and garnish with maraschino cherries on a cocktail tip and a sprig of mint.

Variation: Combine all ingredients in a drink mixer with 1 cup crushed ice and shake for 3 seconds. Pour contents into a stemmed pilsner glass and garnish with maraschino cherries on a cocktail spear and a sprig of mint.


Makes about 2 cups


1¼ cup water

1¼ cup sugar

1⁄4 cup thawed frozen passion fruit concentrate (preferably The Perfect Purée of Napa
Valley or Ravifruit)


In a saucepan, combine the water and sugar over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. In a medium container, combine all ingredients and stir until passion fruit is incorporated into
the sirup. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Excerpt from “Easy Tiki: A Modern Revival With 60 Recipes” by Chloe Frechette (Ten Speed, $19)

Michael M. Tomlin