Smuggler’s Cove surprised me in several ways.
Martin had contacted me a few times over the past few years mainly about Mai-Kai and Don the Beachcomber history. Martin’s history is something itself.
He was a cocktail nerd like many of us, but then he took the extra step. He became a Trader Vic’s bartender. Then he helped open a truly fine example of a modern Tiki Bar at Forbidden Island. It merged old and new correctly. He went on to open Smuggler’s Cove, and with his efforts in the alcohol industry and personal drive to raise the standards for rum and cocktails, he brought the Cove to be a worldwide showcase of Tiki.
He has partnered in other bar ventures and in rum company offerings and probably other things I don’t know about. His presentations at Hukilau, Tiki Oasis and Tales of the Cocktail, etc. are always excellent and top notch.
So perhaps I should not have been surprised with his book offering, but I was. It is not just a cocktail recipe book. It is not just a recipe book with some helpful hints on ingredients and methods. It is not just a recipe book with helpful hints and some history of the subject. It is almost a road map and how to plan for you to emulate Martin. He left nothing out. Liquor choices, methods, dÃ©cor, ambience, juicing, tools, makers, builders, designers, artists… it’s all in there. He held nothing back. Well, I’m sure he has more ideas and secrets, but the book contains a pretty full dump of years of his research and knowledge.
And this brings me to another surprise. He mentions me a few times. Me and a plenty of others. He didn’t have to, but he did. He took the time to graciously source some of the knowledge he shared. That’s a very class act.
And then he gave me permission to add his recipe to the Grogalizer where all us Tiki cocktail nerds can share our experiments with his recipes.
We are lucky he has chosen to devote the time and effort to make this book. And a big thanks to his wife Rebecca, who I know spent a ridiculous time on these efforts as well. Pick up a copy and get into the current of Tiki.
UPDATE April 2017: The book just won the James Beard Media Award!