Grogalizer 2.0 is here

With The Bum’s new book just out and his new seminar coming up at Hukilau, it is a great time to unveil the newly redesigned Grogalizer website.

I have wanted to make it look up to date for a while and was very lucky to get Justin Bird, a Nashville artist and web designer, to completely revamp the site. His work is fantastic and what he did with the Grogalizer is revolutionary. It is nearing an iPhone app.

Check out the new design, and the new features. It has always been a fantastic tool, and now it contains the Bum’s newest recipes too!

The Grogalizer 2.0

Cocktail Ice Shell

The Ice Shell is one of those lost arts, or perhaps, lost little extras, that went away when cheap labor did. I know of only one place I can get a cocktail in an ice shell and that is the venerable Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale, FL. If you are lucky, you’ll get your Shark Bite served in one.

I was sure to ask General Manager Kern Mattei just how one made this magical wonder on one of my first trips. Here I am 7 years later actually doing it.

Why did it take me so long? I needed the right glass. And I have not searched for it continually. Today Ms Swanky thought to look while we were at a Goodwill and we lucked upon a few perfect glasses.

The right glass must be round and have a short edge. That is, it can’t come up too far or you can’t make it work.

To make mine I used my go-to fine ice crusher, the Oster Sno-Flake. It makes good fine crushed ice and is detachable from its base so you can put it over an ice bicket and crush up tons at a time. Available for cheap on Ebay and your local antique dealer.

So now you have the proper glass and the fine crushed ice, using the back of a spoon, press the ice into a shallow shell around the inside of the glass. Keep building it up on the edges until the inside of the entire glass is covered. Put the glass in the freezer.

After it has time to freeze solid, take it out and go to the final step. I am not sure how the professionals do it. Maybe you can just let it cool on the counter for a while, but I heated the glass with my hands. You need a little warming to get the ice to seperate from the glass. A little push will tell you when it is ready. Too much and you will destroy your work.

Once the ice shell is loose from the glass, you push down one edge and back fill more ice with the spoon to get the glass covered again. Then put it back in the freezer until you are ready to serve.

After a few, it gets easier and yoru final product better. Back in th eearly days, there were many drinks served with ice sculpture and they had guys back there making the special sculptures all night long. I can count over a dozen with ice sculptures on the vintage Mai-Kai menu.

UPDATE: A small bit of advice to make it all easier. Crush your ice, but let it sit a little while. You want it to be melting a little. “Wet” ice, like wet snow will pack much better and when you freeze it, it will make a stronger block.

I suggest the “Shark Tooth” from Beachbum Berry’s “Grog Log”. It will also likely be in his new book coming out soon, Re-Mixed. Or join me at this little event I started called Hukilau in June and we’ll try one at the Mai-Kai.

If you make one of these, be sure to thank the Mai-Kai for keeping the knowledge alive.

Grogalizer is back!

After an unexpected need to move to a new server, I have been slowly getting all my sites and their parts back working. This blog is still not done. A newer version of Word Press has the feeds at a new address, so, if you subscribed to the feed before, you may have to do it again to get my blathers. I also need to reinstall the style here… Lots of work yet to do.

One thing I wanted to get back first, that was the most daunting wash the Grogalizer. Lots of custom made PHP code with a MySQL background. A few evenings work has gotten one piece after another back working. Tonight I think it is all back working.

Give it a try and let me know if you find any problems. I’ve even seen The Bum himself logging in, so, I am proud of my creation!

Follynesia – Bosko, The Bum, Basement Kahuna, Pablus, Surf, …

FollynesiaWe started Coon Tiki a few years ago to teach and learn about carving tikis. Now we are moving the class to the beach and expanding it into an event for more people to enjoy.

So, for $49 a night per person or less, you get, a beachfront house for the week, carving class with Bosko and Basement Kahuna, A cocktail “Show and Taste” with Beachbum Berry, live surf band on the beach at our private “Beach Blanket Bingo“, Hapa Haole tunes new and old with Pablus of the Crazed Mugs, a Low Country boil of fresh seafood… Well, that’s just getting started! You can’t stay on Folly Beach for that price, let alone enjoy all those extras!

Ms Swanky and I love Folly. Vacation there yearly. A sleepy surf community. In September, the tourists have gone and the water is still warm and the weather fantastic. Charleston is just 10 miutes away. WIth your reservation you have the place from September 8-15th. Arrive when you like. Brad Howland is a local and he is putting this together with me. The Thursday Meet and Greet will be at his Jungalero Lounge which is amazing.

Click here and book now while you can!

The Bum Link


I had the good pleasure to meet Beachbum Berry at Hukilau. Heard his discussion on drinks and drink making. Talked drinks with him and even talked drinks at the Mai Kai. I also found out he was relocating just over the mountain from here in Asheville, NC.  I was pleased to learn he knew of my efforts with the Grogalizer, and now I am very pleased that he has added the handy online tool to his website. I hear I get some sort of mention in his new book. I can’t wait to get my copy from him at Hukilau this year!