Trader Vic’s Book of Food & Drink

❦ Trader Vic’s Book of Food & Drink

Water-color illustrations by GUY HUZÉ

Line drawings by WILLIAM F. M. KAY

With an introduction by LUCIUS BEEBE

Dedicated to those merry souls who make eating and drinking a pleasure; who achieve contentedness long before capacity; and who, whenever they drink, prove able to carry it, enjoy it, and remain gentlemen.

Trader Vic


By Young Ewing Allison

          “FIFTEEN MEN on the Dead Man’s Chest— 
              Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
          Drink and the devil had done for the rest—
              Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!”
          The mate was fixed by the bos’n’s pike, 
          The bos’n brained with a marlinspike,
          And Cookey’s throat was marked belike
              It had been gripped
              By fingers ten;
              And there they lay,
              All good dead men
          Like break o’ day in a boozing-ken— 
              Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!

          Fifteen men of a whole ship’s list— 
              Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
          Dead and bedamned, and the rest gone whist!— 
              Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
          The skipper lay with his nob in gore
          Where the scullion’s ax his cheek had shore— 
          And the scullion he was stabbed times four.
              And there they lay, 
              And the soggy skies
              Dripped all day long
              In upstaring eyes—
          At murk sunset and at foul sunrise—
              Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!

          Fifteen men of ‘em stiff and stark— 
              Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
          Ten of the crew had the Murder mark— 
              Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
          ‘Twas a cutlass swipe, or an ounce of lead, 
          Or a yawing hole in a battered head— 
          And the scuppers glut with a lotting red.
              And there they lay— 
              Aye, damn my eyes!— 
              All lookouts clapped 
              On paradise—
          All souls bound just contrariwise— 
              Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!

          Fifteen men of ‘em good and true— 
              Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
          Every man jack could ha’ sailed with Old Pew— 
              Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
          There was chest on chest lull of Spanish gold, 
          With a ton of plate in the middle hold,
          And the cabins riot of stuff untold.
              And they lay there,
              That had took the plum, 
              With sightless glare
              And their lips struck dumb,
          While we shared all by the rule of thumb— 
              Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!

          More was seen through the sternlight screen— 
              Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
          Chartings ondoubt where a woman had been!— 
              Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
          A flimsy shift on a bunker cot,
          With a thin dirk slot through the bosom spot 
          And the lace stiff-dry in a purplish biot.
              Or was she wench . . .
              Or some shuddering maid . . . ? 
              That dared the knife—
              And that took the blade!
          By God! she was stuff for a plucky jade— 
              Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!

          Fifteen men on the Dead Man’s Chest— 
              Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
          Drink and the devil had done for the rest— 
              Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
          We wrapped ‘em all in a mains’l tight,
          With twice ten turns of a hawser’s bight, 
          And we heaved ‘em over and out of sight—
              With a yo-heave-ho! 
              And a fare-you-well! 
              And a sullen plunge 
              In the sullen swell,
          Ten fathoms deep on the road to hell! 
              Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!


MY SECRETARY, my bookkeeper, my storekeeper, the garbage collector, the waiters, even my customers will be greatly relieved when I finish this volume. It’s been cooking for about two years and has been in everyone’s hair, including my own thinning locks. Maybe I have no damn business writing it, as I’m no writer, and I haven’t spent years and years traveling around prying recipes from great chefs or the lone descendants of ancient families. As a matter of fact I’ve been too busy earning a living for my family by selling food and drinks to pay much attention to gourmets, culinary alchemists, epicures, or too many cookbooks. I do like to read cookbooks occasionally and my “collection” consists of about thirty-five good ones. How many have you?

Anyone who works at a thing long enough gets to feeling that he knows a lot about it and convinces himself he ought to tell somebody about it, and that’s the way I feel about tropical parties, foods, and drinks. Besides, there’s hardly a day goes by that I don’t receive letters from people asking how to mix this drink or that, or requesting recipes or information for one kind of party or another. My friends here at the saloon beg me for ideas for something “different” for their dinners, benefits, or cocktail parties. Usually I go into a long song and dance, warm to my subject, and after talking for half an hour I can tell from their expressions that I’m just wasting my breath and what they really want is for me to do the thing myself for them. And sometimes, I’ll admit, I’m suckered into it.

Now I’m not going to tell you how to give any kind of a party other than the kind I know about and enjoy. The Emily Post stuff is not for me. I frankly don’t give one good goddam whether the fork is on the left side of the plate or underneath it or whether the bread and butter plate is to the left or the right. In my joint you’re lucky to have space left on the table for one at all.

Of course there’s another reason for this book. Naturally I’d like to see if I can make any dough on it. I’d also like to see more people appreciate rum. While I’m not especially philanthropical, I know there is a great stock of rum in this country and no takers.

I was peddling rum long before the present liquor shortage because I like rum. I like the drinks it makes and everything about it. I think it’s better booze right straight along for all purposes. I like its history too. No other liquor has played such a terrific yet romantic role in history. From gutters and bloody decks it has risen to the ranks of respectability. Once the favorite libation of pirates, sailors, massacring Indians, beachcombers, and loose women, it has become the favorite potion of millions of civilized people.

On the food side, recipes that seemed to fit into my plans and operation I’ve acquired, experimented with, and made my own. Chinese, Javanese, or Tahitian dishes have been changed to suit American tastes for the simple reason that my customers, for the most part, like good food, well cooked and seasoned, but their taste buds aren’t educated enough to take foreign dishes first hand with appreciation.

Pursuing my interest in the South Seas, I’ve discovered that those gentle natives, the Polynesians, know how to have fun in simple, unaffected ways. The beauty of their surroundings, the ease with which they acquire food and clothing are not for us who have built up a complicated, war-torn civilization which is a far cry from island ways. But some of those ways can be injected into our own lives, to help us relax and have fun.


  1. Derelict
  2. Preface
  3. Introduction by Lucius Beebe
  4. About Booze
    1. Tall Ones
    2. Punches and Wine Cups–from a Pitcherful to a Hogshead
    3. Cocktails and Short Hoists
    4. Hot Ones
    5. Odd Stuff
    6. The Butterflies, Whips, and Jingles, or What Is Commonly Known as the Hangover
  5. About Parties
    1. A Feast in Tahiti
    2. A Luau on the Mainland
    3. A Chinese Dinner in the Trader Vic Manner
  6. About Food in General
    1. Cocktail Parties
    2. Miscellaneous Recipes
    3. Barbecuing
    4. Rice and What to Do with It
    5. A Word About Parties, or the Last Charge


By Lucius Beebe

THERE IS, in the better saloons which handily line both sides of San Francisco’s Market Street and overflow into the precincts of Union Square and Nob Hill in gratifying profusion, a legend, carefully nourished and cherished by its principal, that Trader Vic’s missing leg was long ago chewed off in tropic waters by an embittered man-eating shark. There is, of course, another school of thought, emanating from the less choice whisky-sling bazaars of the Mission District, which holds this tale to be no more than a base canard, a romantic fiction dreamed up by Trader Vic himself to gloss over the true circumstance; i.e., that he became one of the world’s notable peglegs after an unseemly and riotous encounter with a Powell Street cable car.

Trader Vic’s disdain for mongers of this low libel almost equals his disdain—a very great disdain in­ deed—for customers at his Oakland trading post who are found to be possessed of insufficient funds to meet their bar obligations, or who become boisterous after sampling his wares.

Trader Vic’s, however, is really a great deal more than just an Oakland institution. Its influence is as wide as the Pacific and as deep as a Myrtle Bank Punch. In the back room of the stately Plaza in far-off New York pious and determined scholars have been known to rise from the table, command transportation to LaGuardia Airport, and embark for Trader Vic’s to learn the true proportions and properties of a Southern Cross. During the war years battle-scarred warriors in New Caledonia and Tunisia, who would rather have been bottle-scarred, dreamed of the cool, dim recesses of Vic’s, of illimitable vistas of Planter’s Punches and steaks Hawaiian as big as barrelheads.

Vic’s trading post is long on atmosphere, and it is possible for the ambitious patron with a talent for chaos to get into more trouble with obsolete anchors, coiled hawsers of boa-constrictor dimensions, fish nets, stuffed sharks, capstans, long boats, ship’s bells, Hawaiian ceremonial costumes, tribal drums, boathooks, and small-bore cannon than the waiters can drag him out of in a week. In sur­ roundings conducive to a certain amount of nautical hooray the clients engage in stirring skirmishes with Fish House Punch and Queen’s Park Swizzles and are apt to break into old chanteys and seamen’s songs if not tactfully discouraged.

But Vic is more than a merchant of South Sea atmosphere. He is deserving of public esteem on two counts: first, he has been the most notable apostle of rum in the confined definition of the word in the contemporary record; second, he has contrived to make oriental food not only sound enchanting but also extremely edible. This gastronomic miracle shows up all other vendors of bamboo shoots and pressed duck as the merest traffickers in baled ensilage and coolie fodders of dubious nutritional value. Chop-suey barons in numbers past counting have waxed criminally wealthy through the circumstance that boiled grass and peanuts are inexpensive merchandise and that patrons of chop-suey stores will eat anything anyway. But not Trader Vic.

In the same manner in which Aristotle claimed all human knowledge as his province, Vic has taken over the whole world of rums and the knowledge and understanding thereof. Rums of all descriptions, proofs, colors, flavors, bases, blends, bottlings, and source of origin. Reason totters at their contemplation as the customer totters after their consumption; Antigua rum, Demerara rum, Barbados rum, Virgin Islands rum, Trinidad rum, New England rum, Cuban rum, Haitian rum, Puerto Rican rum, St. Pierre rum, St. Croix rum, Canadian Liquor Commission overproof rum, British Navy grog, Jamaica rum, light cane cocktail rums, sugar brandies, and blackstrap molasses rums of authority, consequence, and hellish aftermath. There is no rum he will not caress, compound, and himself engorge with the fine contemptuous abandon of a professional blaster handling giant powder. Someday something may happen to Vic, but, if you except the cable-car hypothesis, it hasn’t yet. Not to any calamitous degree at any rate.

It cannot be said with any veracity that Vic either discovered or settled Oakland, across the bay from the world’s perennially most beautiful and exciting of all cities, but he certainly contributed substantially to its firm establishment as a seat of culture and the humanities. Long ago Artemus Ward remarked sagely that “Harvard University is pleasantly and conveniently situated in the bar room of Parker’s in School Street.” It might be similarly remarked that the University of California is pleasantly and advantageously situated among the assorted rum flagons at Trader Vic’s. And it is notable that, shortly after Vic hung out his shingle, the mighty Santa Fe, hitherto denied entry to Oakland, gave battle to the California Railroad Commission, an august body otherwise known by its corporate name as the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, and now its main iron runs to within a few handy blocks of Vic’s trading post.

Vic didn’t invent a better mousetrap. Rather he evolved a delightful and welcoming mantrap, and the world beat a path to his swinging doors in no time flat.

Lucius Beebe

About Booze

            No chord of music has yet been found 
            To even equal that sweet sound
            Which to ray mind all else surpasses— 
            The clink of ice in crystal glasses.

FIRST OF ALL, you can’t make chicken whisky (three drinks and you lay) taste like Grand-dad or Old Taylor, and that goes for gin, scotch, brandy, or any liqueur. If you’re going to serve drinks, make them out of the best ingredients you can find—and you won’t find them at chiseling cut-rate liquor stores.

It kills me to write this, yet I love it because chiselers are such knuckleheads. I’ll never forget a cocktail party I attended some years ago. The hostess was making the drinks and I was having a stinking time so I asked her if I could tend bar while she mingled with her guests. Noo, noo, noo, she’d make the drinks, but between the phone, the kitchen, and the doorbell, nobody was getting any drinks. So I asked a second time if I might make the drinks. I even asked it pretty-like. Noo, noo, noo, she’d make the drinks. Finally, while she was out of the room, I started to give the customers a break and wham! Do I get complaints!

Now I’m an old saloonkeeper, and I know a bottle of scotch from a bottle of bourbon any day, but I’m getting complaints! The bourbon was scotch, the scotch was bourbon, and the hostess was dancing first on one leg and then on the other. Well, it took me about five minutes to get it straight. She had one bottle of straight Ballantine’s and several bottles of Black and White which were refilled from a gallon of cheap booze that was also being poured into Grand-dad bottles, brandy bottles, and what have you. If the hostess thought that you knew your liquor you got the real McCoy; if she thought you didn’t you got the refills. She must have saved all of $7.89 on the whole damned deal, but what a reputation she reaped for just plain cheap chiseling. When your bank roll deflates to the point where seven or eight bucks looks that important, forget cocktails and roll out the barrel. Far better to have good beer and pretzels aplenty than to fourflush with quantities of cheap liquor.

But to get back to good ingredients. A great deal of care should be taken in selecting a small cellar of choice liqueurs, whiskies, rums, and brandies. These should be bought with particular regard to brands. As you thumb through recipe books you’ll find that most of the cocktails are just a blend of certain various liquors, and you can build your cellar around the most popular items used in cocktail making, along with your own pretty bottles on which everyone prides himself.

I say a small cellar because what if you get yourself a cellarful of stuff? The main reason for having a lot of liquor is to show off and when you show off the first thing you know you’re laying yourself wide open for that after-hours visitor with half a can on who just drops in for a nightcap; that Sunday morning visitor and the guy who comes over to borrow or return something and is good for half a bottle before he leaves. It’s pretty easy to acquire a museum of junkeroo too—bottle after bottle of stuff that nobody cares for and is never used in any known cocktail.

As for equipment, I get the pip when I see some of the junk my friends have to fight in making drinks. Of course I know how Christmas is and now corny some of the crap is that you have to put out on your bar in deference to kind but misguided friends. The best way is to catalogue the Christmas junk and bring out the right item when the donor comes over to hoist a few with you. Bear in mind that it’s the technique and the liquor—not the equipment—that makes good drinks.

Comes a little nudge about measuring. My head bartender, Frank Pult, has been with me nearly ten years. I class him as an expert, and I have never seen him make a drink without measuring it, so why should you, a novice, think to judge what an ounce looks like in a glass that looks like half a gallon? So I say measure your drinks for best results. I suppose everyone knows by now the meaning of the terms “pony” or “jigger,” but just to be on the safe side I’m going to list some handy equivalents:

1 quart 32 ounces
15 25.6 ounces
1 pint 16 ounces
1 cup 8 ounces
1 pony 1 ounce
1 jigger 1 12 ounces
1 wineglass 4 ounces
1 teaspoonful 18 ounce
1 dash 16 teaspoonful

Along with carefully chosen ingredients and precise measuring comes the matter of the use of ample cracked ice. Your drinks must have the proper dilution so that the liquors, cordials, and fruit juices have an opportunity to blend and marry—something which will not happen unless there is sufficient ice to blend and chill. Remember the tortured evening you spent at Joe Dokes’s house drinking warm highballs because he was trying to make an ice-cube tray last the whole evening? Ugh!

Now a blast to those chronic recipe changers. If they don’t just bitch up more liquor and turn it into the damnedest-tasting stuff! You should realize that if you change one ingredient or a single proportion in a drink you no longer have the drink as named—you have a new concoction and you might as well give it another name. Take, for example, a Martini, or an Old-Fashioned. There’s one way to make a Martini and one way to make an Old-Fashioned. As soon as you start to leave the bitters out of an Old-Fashioned, or substitute something else for the vermouth in a Martini, or add a little olive juice or onion juice or dunk a little dill pickle, you’ve got another drink. Maybe it’s good but don’t give it the moniker of something it isn’t. Your guest may be a steady Martini or O.F. drinker and know the flavors and like the brew the way it was originally made. You come along and tell him you have a terrific formula and feed it to him and what in hell can the guy do but say it’s nice? In all probability it stinks as far as he’s concerned, because he had his mouth all set for the real thing.

Another important part of drink mixing is the basic ingredients and the brands. No two manufacturers of liquors or cordials give the same body and flavor to their products. They are all individual. Perhaps it’s not according to Hoyle to mention brands, but to hell with Hoyle. This is my book and I am going to give the brands which, in my opinion, make good drinks. The recipes I give have been formulated with specific brands and the drinks are excellent if the recipes are fol­ lowed. I’m not saying you can’t make good drinks with other brands but you won’t be sure until you’ve experimented, and you won’t have to experiment with these recipes.

I’m not going to try to tell you whisky drinkers what kind of bourbon or scotch to drink. Everyone to his own tastes. Personally, I don’t care for bourbon and I think scotch stinks. There is one liquor which I do think deserves a boost. It’s not a bourbon or a scotch or a liqueur, but in the past few years it has found its way to the bar, cupboard, and sideboard of many homes. It’s a delightful concoction called Southern Comfort, which can be blended into many fine libations and noggins. By omitting the usual sugar in an Old-Fashioned formula you have one of the finest cocktails you’ve ever tasted. Beware, however, of imitations of this product.

Of all the liquors the world over, rum is really my meat—nectar of the gods, the drink of the ancients. Very little thought has been given in the past to rum punches, rum cocktails, or rum high­balls with soda or plain water, but they are coming into their own in our generation. One of the main reasons for the past unpopularity of rum has been due to the lack of knowledge about the various types to be used, its various flavors and its proper use, and liquor dealers have been of very little help to a misguided public. No one bothers to explain that there is a rum for every purpose, that you shouldn’t buy a heavy dark rum for cocktails any more than you would serve a sweet sherry as an apéritif.

There is as much difference between light rums and dark rums as there is between maple syrup and molasses, or between white granulated sugar and brown sugar. As a general rule the dark rums, heavy-bodied and full-flavored, are used where the true flavor of rum is desired—in punches, in hot drinks, or in combination with other rums and liqueurs and fruits. The lighter the rum the less you add, for the flavor of the rum itself is delicate and should not be killed with strong-flavored ingredients.

People used to have the feeling that rum was the drink for pirates, seamen, Creole chippies, and stumblebums, and not a liquor to serve to nice people. In older days rum was taken straight or as a hot drink in cold weather. In England and the northern parts of our country, not satisfied with the strength of ordinary rum, those hearties drank 150-proof Demerara rum from British Guiana straight—God bless ‘em. However, in the last half century rum and its mixtures have become better understood and popular among drinking people throughout the world. Specialists in the art of mixing drinks have become famous for their delicious creations made from rum.

In reviewing some of the outstanding mixologists throughout the world, I recall to you Pimm’s Bar of London, whose punches and mix­ tures, served to His Majesty’s forces, are known throughout the empire and today are sold in bottle form under the name of Pimm’s Cups. Then there is a little bar called Prospect of Whitby which has some outstanding drinks and because of its efforts to please has become famous on the European continent.

We doff our hats and stand in silent tribute to the late Frank Meier of the Ritz Bar in Paris, not alone because he was a bartender par excellence but because he was also a great man and a gentleman.

On our own side of the pond it is best to begin with the Queen’s Park Hotel, in Trinidad, whose Queen’s Park Swizzle is the most delightful form of anesthesia given out today. Olaffson’s Punch of Haiti has made the Haitian rum famous. Kelly’s Bar on the Sugar Wharf in Jamaica is famous for its Planter’s Punch and Planter’s Cocktail, both of which have helped to glorify the spirit of rum.

The greatest master of rum mixing in all the West Indies, I can truthfully say, is Constantine at La Florida Bar in Havana. To him we owe our present Daiquiri and Cuban Presidente. He is also the originator of the Pino Frío. Travelers to Havana who do not visit La Florida have not really seen Havana.

In our country there was one grand old man who, many people will agree, was outstanding in this world of ours. It always gives me great pleasure to mention the late Albert Martin of the Bon Ton Bar on Magazine Street, near the old Stock Exchange in New Orleans. His rum cocktails were the finest obtainable and if one desired a true Ramos Fizz in New Orleans, Albert Martin was the only man who could make it properly. His Rum Ramsey is also going to take its place among popular rum drinks that will never die out.

There is one other person I would like to mention in connection with rum, because he has done much to bring back the fine art of eating and drinking in our country. He has studied the mixtures of various rums; he has also become a collector of rums and at his bar may be found every type and brand of rum that this world produces. Some of the ancients—fifty or sixty years old and true treasures to any rum connoisseur—may be had there for the asking. I salute Don the Beachcomber of Hollywood and Chicago, the originator of such outstanding drinks as the Zombie and Missionary’s Downfall.

Now let’s talk about types of rums and their flavors. There are hundreds of brands of rums but only about a dozen or so types. To give you a clearer picture, I’ll first list the most outstanding types: Barbados, Cuban, Demerara, Habanero, Haitian, Jamaica, London Dock Jamaica, Martinique, New England, Philippine Islands, Puerto Rican, Venezuela, and Virgin Island.

Each type of rum was made and perfected in a different country or group of islands and the type usually takes its name from its place of origin. There are exceptions, such as Demerara rums from British Guiana and Habanero from Mexico.

Some rums are made in one place and shipped elsewhere for aging and blending. This is true of Martinique rums, which are shipped to France for final export, and the London Dock Jamaica rums, which are sent to England.

Along with a description of the types of rums I give you a few pertinent historical facts about the countries of their origin and what I consider out­ standing brands.


History: Discovered by the British in 1605, the island has been in their possession ever since. I truly believe that it is the most thickly populated island in the world—mostly a negroid population. The products are cotton, coffee, tobacco, indigo, arrowroot, and sugar; hence we come to Barbados rum.

Barbados Rum: The distillation is very fine and I class it as a brandy-type rum which can be used in light punches, cocktails, and daiquiris. The flavor is clear and it can be mixed in any type drink without too much of a rum bouquet. The famous island drink is Barbados Swizzle. It can be substituted for the lighter Cuban and Puerto Rican rums, when a slightly heavier-flavored rum is desired.

Outstanding Brands:
  • Bellows Barbados
  • Bellows Cockade
  • Cockade—Choicest Barbados
  • Cockade—Finest Barbados
  • Cockade—Fine Rum
  • Goslings
  • Lightboum


History: Called the “Pearl of the Antilles,” it was discovered in 1492 by Columbus. Santiago de Cuba was founded in 1514. The island was held by the British, French, and Spanish and finally, in 1898, was seized by the United States. In 1902 Cuba became independent and set up its own government with Havana as its capital. The products are tobacco, sugar, and Cuban rum.

Cuban Rum: Only two islands in the Antilles distill in the same way—Cuba and Puerto Rico. They distill chiefly sugar or juice, hence the very light, sweet flavor. By means of a fine yeast culture and careful distillation these people have made a very light and delightful liquor, unequaled for mild-flavored cocktails or highballs with soda or water.

Outstanding Brands:
  • Bolero
  • Caney Ron Extra
  • Carta Camp (Dark)
  • Carta Camp (Light)
  • Havana Club
  • Ron Carta Parejo
  • Ron Lavin
  • Royal Scarlet
  • Sloppy Joe’s Rum
  • Bacardi (dark or light)
  • Bacardi 1873
  • Bacardi Elixir-Cordial
  • Bellows Ron Malecon

British Guiana (Demerara)

History: The Dutch made the first settlements in British Guiana in 1613, and not until 1815 did the British get final possession. The chief products of the land are rice, sugar, coconuts, minerals, and timber. Balata and coconuts are in with the leaders.

Demerara Rum: Demerara rum from Trinidad has its own class. It is similar in some respects to dark Jamaica, but it has a dry burned flavor along with the aromatic and pungent flavor of the Jamaica rum. It is to be noted that most of the Demerara rums are of higher proof than others, running as high as 160 proof. The makers of Demerara rums take great pride in obtaining distinctive flavor in their products and it is interesting to try to detect their flavoring agents. Some use fruit, but mostly juices of barks are used.

Outstanding Brands:
  • Booker’s Demerara Liqueur Rum
  • Hudson’s Bay Demerara (91.4 proof)
  • Hudson’s Bay Demerara (151 proof)
  • Lamb’s Finest Navy Demerara
  • Lemon Hart Demerara (151 proof)
  • Lemon Hart Demerara (86 proof)
  • Southard & Co., Ltd.—Western Pearl
  • Three Diamond Demerara Rum
  • Siegert’s Bouquet, B.W.I.


History: Called the “Queen of the Antilles,” Jamaica was originally inhabited by Arawak Indians; discovered by Columbus in 1494; occupation by the Spanish began in 1509. Before the middle of the seventeenth century the natives were practically extinct. It was captured by the British in 1655, at which time it was the rendezvous for buccaneers and pirates. Under the direction of the Royal African Company it became the world’s leading slave market. The liberation of slaves in 1833 had a disastrous effect on the prosperity of the country, which was at its height at that time. Its exports are tobacco, sugar cane, pine­ apples, bananas, cocoa, coconuts, oranges, man­ goes, and grapefruit. Pimento trees, source of allspice, are abundant, and hardwoods of many kinds are also exported.

Jamaica Rum: The rums of Jamaica are produced in light and dark varieties and are both strong and pungent in flavor. They owe their characteristics and qualities to four factors, the combination of which cannot be duplicated elsewhere: (1) soil, climate, and water; (2) the use of the old pot still; (3) the ingredients of the wash and its slow fermentation; (4) aging solely by time and in white oak (puncheons, casks, wooden vats, or butts).

The purity of Jamaica rum is safeguarded by law and nothing can be used in the production of rum except the products of sugar cane, i.e., molasses, cane juice, and by-products of sugar manufacture. Even the coloring must be burned sugar or burned molasses—any other form of coloring is forbidden.

Although the old processes and methods are strictly adhered to with almost fanatical devotion, science is playing its part in modern rum distillation through chemical control. The scientific selection and recording of “washes” and materials and their processing are replacing the “rule of thumb” and “trial and error” methods of the older type of distillery foremen. This makes for more efficient and uniform production without abandoning the traditional and time-honored pot-still process, which has always produced genuine Jamaica rum.

A small amount of one of the Planter’s Punch rums combined with a light Jamaica, which is aromatic, will give a pungent flavor to any punch or cocktail. The flavor is truly molasses with a faint bouquet as though fruits, herbs, or spices had been infused with the liquor, the bouquet depending upon the brand selected.

Jamaica rums have always been outstanding to rum connoisseurs; even candy and pastry makers have always looked to Jamaica for their spirits. It is to my sorrow that I do not find more Americans adopting this rum, for truly beautiful concoctions can be made with the heavy, pungent, and aromatic liquor.

Outstanding Brands:
  • Bellows Liqueur Jamaica (17-year-old)
  • Berry’s Finest Jamaica (86 proof)
  • “Burke’s” Old Jamaica Rum
  • Burke’s ( G . Eustace)
  • Charlie’s Royal Reserve
  • Coruba
  • Finzi’s Ruby Rum
  • Finzi’s Punch Brand
  • Dagger Jamaica—J. Wray & Nephew, Ltd.
  • Three Dagger Jamaica—J. Wray & Nephew, Ltd.
  • “Governor-General”
  • Hedges and Butler
  • Hudson’s Bay Jamaica Rum (91.4 proof)
  • J. Wray & Nephew, Ltd. Special Reserve (15-year-old)
  • Kelly’s Grand Reserve
  • Kelly’s Planter’s Punch
  • Kelly’s Special Selected
  • Kelly’s White Label
  • Lamb’s Golden Grove
  • Lemon Hart Jamaica—Special Dark
  • Lemon Hart Liqueur Jamaica
  • Lemon Hart (Rare Old—28-year-old)
  • Lownde’s
  • Myers’s “Light Vatted”
  • Myers’s “Mona” (30-year-old)
  • Myers’s “Planter’s Punch”
  • Red Heart Jamaica Rum—Henry White & Co., London
  • Trower’s Gold Lion Jamaica Rum

London Dock Rums: Jamaica, being a British possession and the largest producer of rums, naturally is the source of London Dock Rums. It was found that the cold climate of the British Isles and the variations of climate were ideal for the aging of rum and produced a product superior to the one aged a similar time in Jamaica. Today we find the finest rums coming from the London docks, where they are blended and aged, and reshipped to all parts of the world. I urge you to try fifteen-, seventeen- and twenty-year-old unadulterated London Dock rum. It is unequaled, with the one exception of Mona–a thirty-year-old rum–made by Mr. Myers and his son in Jamaica.

Outstanding Brands:
  • Bellows Jamaica Rum
  • Lemon Hart Liqueur
  • Lamb’s Finest Navy Rum
  • Southard’s “Old London Dock”


History: Discovered by Columbus in 1502, it was colonized by the French in 1635. The island was the birthplace of Josephine, wife of Napoleon. As in most tropical islands, the principal products are such farm crops as coffee, sugar, bananas, pineapples, and cacao beans.

Martinique Rums: Commonly known as French rums, they are usually heavy in body, coffee-colored, very similar to Jamaica rums, but in many cases have the dry burned flavor of the Demerara. This flavor, however, is very faint. The rum produced in Martinique is, in many cases, shipped to France, where it is aged and reshipped as French rum. One of the finest rums is Rhum St. James, made on the plantations of St. James.

Outstanding Brands:
  • Bellows Martinique
  • Black Head
  • Rhum St. James
  • Barum
  • Casa Grazia
  • Goslings Martinique
  • Rhum Charleston
  • Rhum Chauvet
  • Rhum Risetta
  • Rhum Negrita

New England

Needless to give the historical events of our own United States. The rum industry, however, so far removed from its original source, should be of interest. The information I have is that trading ships, taking manufactured goods and sundry items to the Caribbean, returned with sugar, tobacco, and molasses. The molasses was distilled and, as most New Englanders were seafaring people, their natural spirits was rum. So the industry started many years ago and it is still flourishing. The rum, as distilled, is light in body, its flavor is very mild, and it can be used for cocktails.

Outstanding Brands:
  • Bellows Rum
  • Caldwell’s Rum
  • Fellows—Crystal Springs New England Rum
  • Pilgrim Rum

Puerto Rico

History: Visited by Columbus in 1493, Puerto Rico was settled by Ponce de Leon in 1508. In 1595, Sir Francis Drake unsuccessfully attacked San Juan. The population was enslaved and by 1582 was completely exterminated. In 1898 the United States paid Spain $20,000,000 to relinquish claim to Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. While there are considerable deposits of gold, silver, iron, and copper, there is room for great development. Sugar, tobacco, and coffee are still its chief sources of revenue. Puerto Rico is the largest exporter of rum to our country; it comes to us duty-free, giving us this excellent product at a low cost. For this reason many distilleries have cropped up in Puerto Rico, and some manufacturers have been ruthless and unethical in the production of their product, thinking not of quality but only of profit.

Puerto Rican Rums: The Puerto Ricans have distilled in the manner of the Cubans, making a very light and sweet-flavored rum, excellent for delicate drinks. It is my true belief that in the near future Puerto Rican rum will, to a large extent, take the place of scotch and gin in our country. I have listed many of the finer Puerto Rican rums imported to our country.

Outstanding Brands:
  • Bacardi Puerto Rico
  • Boca Chica
  • Brugal Gold Label
  • Brugal White Label
  • Daiquiri
  • Don Q.
  • Ron El Lider (90 proof)
  • Ron El Lider (151 proof)
  • Ron Merito
  • Ron Rey
  • Riondo
  • Ron Valantino (151 proof)

Virgin Islands

History: Three of the Virgin Islands are owned by the United States, having been purchased from Denmark in 1917. The population is mostly negroid, and the products are typical of the Caribbean. Some cattle are raised. The original colonizers were either Dutch, French, Spanish, English, or Irish.

Virgin Island Rum: The rum produced on these islands is strictly individual, neither heavy nor light in body, and with its own peculiar molasses flavor. In general it is not accepted in this country. However, to the rum connoisseur, some very excellent rums are offered.

Outstanding Brands:
  • Cruzan St. Croix
  • Government House (125 proof)
  • Government House—Gold Label
  • Government House—White Label
  • Old St. Croix Rum

Rums of Other Countries

Haiti: The little republic of Haiti produces a delightful brandy-type rum. I recommend Rhum Sarthe, one of the finest distillations of the island.

Mexico: Mexico distills a very light-bodied, light-flavored type of rum known as Habanero, which is aged in Spanish sherry casks. There are many brands but one of the finest is Tenampa.

Philippine Islands: These islanders only recently came into their own as far as rum distillation is concerned. They produced a very light type of rum, similar to that of Puerto Rico. The flavor differs, however, in that vanilla beans or herbs are used to give it a distinctive flavor. Popular brands from the Philippines, prior to Pearl Harbor, were Tanduay and Panay rum.

Venezuela: This country produces a rum similar to Haitian or Virgin Island rums. Their products, however, have never had great sale in this country, and the rum has no particular outstanding feature. The only brand I know about which is imported in any quantity is Rum Mattos.

You will notice in many of the recipes to follow that several varieties of rum may be indicated in a single drink. This is done to obtain a certain flavor by blending different types of rum. Only by experimenting with different types can a smooth result be achieved and in these recipes the experimenting has already been done.

Many of these recipes are my own, served in my own saloon; many are just good recipes picked up here and there. Most of them have a bit of history or sentiment attached to them. In most cases the recipe intact, or the idea for the recipe, has been secured from some South Sea island or is a West Indies creation.

You’re on your own from now on, and happy hangovers!

Recommended for the Home Bar

Your initial outlay will be around $100 and the bulk of your stock will last for months or years, depending upon how much you entertain. Most of your replacements will be in the bourbon, scotch, gin, and rum department, and it might be worth your while to buy these by the case, when you can.

Tall Ones

Tall ones are for the thirsty, for those who like to sit around and shoot the breeze and sip on a good-tasting drink.

You can get in a lot of conversation and get a swell bun on for yourselves with a few of any of these without picking yourselves up off the floor. That’s no guarantee, however, and the author will not refund your bottle caps if you fall on your kisser.

Barbados Red Rum Swizzle

All that stuff about fifteen men on a dead man’s chest, yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum, isn’t just so much hokum. There was more swashbuckling in and around the Barbados Islands, and in all the British West Indies in general, than anyone will ever be able to write about. The natives down there developed a terrific red rum and this little potion is a great way to enjoy it.

  • 12 lime
  • 2 ounces Barbados rum (Bellows Cockade)
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 12 teaspoon sugar

Squeeze lime and drop in 10-ounce glass; fill glass with shaved ice; add rest of ingredients and swizzle.

Before we go any further, a word about swizzling. I think it’s a hell of an idea. You get your drink and you stir it with a spoon but you don’t get the proper dilution to make it taste good. With your pet swizzler you work it up and down in the drink between the palms of your hands and you get a good chill on the drink and the proper dilu­ tion of any strong drink.

The original swizzle sticks, a natural product of the West Indies, consisted of the dried stem of a plant having radiating branches. When the stem is twirled rapidly between the palms of the hands, the forked branch ends induce a perfect mixture.

Bishop’s Cooler

This drink, with variations and different names, has never enjoyed the popularity it deserves. I didn’t get my version from a bishop, but I like the name.

  • 12 lemon
  • 12 orange
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 ounces burgundy
  • 12 ounce Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)

Squeeze lemon and orange over cracked ice in 10-ounce glass, add sugar, and stir. Add burgundy and float the rum.

Cherry Rum Fizz

This fancy variation of a rum fizz has real merit. If you feel like experimenting you can try other cordials and brandies in place of the cherry brandy.

  • 12 lemon
  • 12 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cherry brandy
  • 1 ounce Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • Charged water

Squeeze lemon and drop into shaker; add rest of ingredients and shake well with ice; strain into 12-ounce glass and add charged water.

Cooper’s Ranch Punch

People talk about the tropical drinks in Honolulu and every time I hear them I chuckle to myself, because as far as Honolulu is concerned tropical drinks are few and far between. One of the few is made at a place called Cooper’s Ranch, over the Pali, past Kailua, and situated on a high knoll overlooking the blue Pacific.

One of the outstanding features of Cooper’s Ranch is the development of hibiscus blooms which are picked every morning and displayed in every nook and cranny of the dining room of this lovely inn. A traveler to Hawaii should not fail to visit Cooper’s Ranch if only to see this beautiful array of blooms.

And while he’s there he should try the Cooper’s Ranch Punch, as the version I give here stinks in comparison to the original.

  • 2 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • 2 ounces guava juice or guava jelly 1 dash grenadine
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • Charged water

Fill a 12-ounce glass with cracked ice; add rum and rest of ingredients; stir and fill rest of glass with charged water.

Dr. Funk

Here is a drink which can be served any time of the day or evening, when something refreshing is in order. This drink and the sunrise in the morning are the only sure things they count on in Tahiti. I think it was invented to cure the cafard.

  • 2 12 ounces dark Jamaica or Martinique rum (Red Heart or Myers’s, or Rum Negrita)
  • 14 ounce Pernod or Herbsaint
  • 12 ounce lemon juice
  • 14 ounce pomegranate syrup (or grenadine)
  • 1 lime
  • 14 teaspoon sugar
  • Charged water

Add liquid ingredients to crushed ice in shaker. Cut limes in half and squeeze into shaker, dropping in the shells; add sugar. Shake well; pour the whole mess into a 12-ounce chimney glass; fill rest of glass with charged water and decorate with fruit or freshly picked geranium leaf.

Fish House Punch

Fish House Punch should be approached with reverence and a deep respect for its noble history. George Washington and Lafayette drank it and it has been handed down to us intact these many decades.

  • 12 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 ounce Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s) 1 ounce brandy
  • 1 ounce bénédictine
  • 1 ounce peach brandy
  • Charged water

Squeeze lemon in 12-ounce glass with two or three large pieces of ice; add sugar and liquor; add charged water, stir, and serve.


For good old American guzzling, this is terrific. It’s good when the gang comes over to your house just to do a little drinking. I suggest you follow the formula for the first two drinks, then discontinue the cucumber rind. Next leave out the bitters. You’ll end up drinking rum and 7-Up so I might as well tell you now.

  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito or Brugal)
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 slice cucumber rind
  • 7-Up

Use a 12-ounce glass; add rum, bitters, cucumber rind, crushed ice; fill rest of glass with 7-Up.

Haote Pikia

Once in a while you run across one of those things that tastes like hell but has background and authenticity. And so it is for this drink. I can’t see a great deal of merit in it, but then, some people like bourbon or scotch with plain water.

  • 1 ounce okolehao
  • 1 ounce Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Lemon soda

Mix ingredients in mixing glass with large piece of ice; pour over cracked ice in 10-ounce glass; fill rest of glass with lemon soda.


There’s a good story about this drink, but sitting here trying to remember it, I’m stuck. I know I got the drink some place, because I still have the scrap of paper I scribbled it down on, but damned if I can remember where it was. Anyway, I’ve served it for many years here in my little saloon to the satisfaction of those who want a good drink without too great alcoholic strength.

  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 12 ounce Triple Sec (De Kuyper or Nuyens)
  • 1 ounce Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito or Brugal)
  • 2 tablespoons crushed pineapple
  • 12 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 scant teaspoon sugar

Fill 10-ounce glass with shaved ice; add two dashes of bitters. Shake rest of ingredients and pour over shaved ice. Insert bar spoon without stirring so bitters are not completely mixed in drink. Decorate with maraschino cherry.

Martinique Swizzle

The Frenchmen in Martinique have developed a very palatable and tasty swizzle which I heartily recommend.

  • 2 ounces Martinique or dark Jamaica rum (Negrita or Red Heart)
  • 2 dashes Angostura hitters
  • 12 ounce Jemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 dash Pernod or Herbsaint

Mix ingredients in mixing glass with a large piece of ice; fill a 14-ounce glass with shaved ice; add mixture and swizzle.


I don’t know who originated this one, but every bar in the West Indies serves it, practically every rum recipe booklet gives the formula for it, so my little collection of rum drinks would hardly be complete without it. Such popularity must be deserved, and it is. It’s a swell drink!

  • 12 lime
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Mint leaves
  • 2 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Meiito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • Charged water

Squeeze lime and drop shell in 10-ounce glass; add sugar to juice, add mint leaves, and fill glass with shaved ice. Pour rum over ice and swizzle. Add dash of charged water.

Mojito Criollo

The La Florida’s version.

  • Cracked ice
  • Several sprigs of mint
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 ounces Bacardi

Build in an 8-ounce glass; use peel and juice of the lemon. Stir with spoon and fill glass with sparkling water.

Myrtle Bank Punch

This is the most talked-about and most widely publicized drink of the West Indies. A tall one for long sessions.

  • 1 12 ounces 151-proof Demerara rum (Hudson’s Bay or Lemon Hart)
  • 12 lime
  • 6 dashes grenadine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Maraschino liqueur float

Mix rum, juice of lime, grenadine, and sugar in mixing glass with large piece of ice; pour over cracked ice in 10-ounce glass and add float of maraschino liqueur.

Northside Special

This is a specialty of the famous Myrtle Bank Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica, and no treatise on rum would be complete without it.

  • 1 orange
  • 2 teaspoons bar sugar
  • 12 ounce lemon juice
  • 2 ounces Myers’s Jamaica rum
  • Charged water

Squeeze orange into 12-ounce collins glass; add sugar, lemon juice, rum, and cracked ice. Fill glass with charged water; stir slightly and serve with straws.

Nourmahal Punch

Who was the guy that had the fancy boat? Astor, Vanderbilt, Gould? I forget his name. Anyway, I understand that aboard that gorgeous floating palace the thing to do was drink Nourmahal Punch. Strictly hearsay, but this is the way to make it. Drink one and see if you feel like a million dollars.

  • 12 lime
  • 2 ounces Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Club soda

Squeeze lime and drop into 10-ounce glass with cracked ice; add rest of ingredients and fill glass with club soda.

Olaffson’s Punch

This is a classic and is most appreciated when made properly with a fine Haitian brandy-type rum.

  • 1 whole lime
  • 12 orange
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 ounces Haitian rum (Rhum Sarthe)
  • Dash of maraschino liqueur (Gamier or Nuyens)

Cut lime and squeeze lime and orange into large mixing glass with large piece of ice; drop in shells, add sugar and liquor; stir thoroughly and strain over cracked ice in a 12-ounce glass.

Pino Frio

Practically every corner dispensary in Havana, whether ice cream parlor, cigarette counter, or a common saloon, has a big gadget on the counter that’s a cross between a sewing machine and a coffee grinder. Somewhere or other those Cubans stick a pineapple in the contraption, turn a crank to beat hell, and out comes the best pineapple juice this side of Hawaii. They dump a couple of shots of rum and some shaved ice along with the pineapple juice in a hand shaker, twirl it fancy-like a few times, and dump it into a glass. Result: the most refreshing drink you’ve ever tasted.

  • 1 12 ounces Cuban rum (Bacardi)
  • 2 slices pineapple
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Handful of shaved ice

Place above ingredients in a Waring mixer and mix thoroughly; pour into a 14-ounce glass.

(NOTE: Rum may be omitted and you’ll still have a dandy drink.)

Planter’s Punch–Trader Vic

Every bartenders’ guide gives the recipe for a Planter’s Punch, and they’re usually all different. I’ll give you my way of making one along with several others and you can pick your own.

  • 3 ounces Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)
  • 12 ounce grenadine
  • 1 lime
  • 12 ounce lemon juice
  • 14 teaspoon sugar
  • Charged water

Pour rum, grenadine, lime and lemon juice, in a mixing glass with large pieces of ice. Add sugar. Stir thoroughly and pour into 12-ounce glass filled with cracked ice; fill rest of glass with charged water.

Planter’s Punch–Sloppy Joe’s

  • 12 lime
  • Dash of curaçao (De Kuyper or Nuyens)
  • 2 ounces Jamaica rum (Sloppy Joe’s, Red Heart, or Myers’s)
  • Dash of grenadine

Squeeze lime in shaker, add rest of ingredients, and shake with cracked ice; serve in mint julep glass with ice and fruits.

Planter’s Punch–Trinidad

  • 14 lime or 14 lemon
  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine
  • 2 ounces Demerara rum (Lemon Hart or Siegert’s)
  • Charged water

Squeeze lime or lemon and drop in 12-ounce glass; add rest of ingredients with two or three pieces of ice; stir and add charged water.

Planter’s Punch–Cuban

  • 3 ounces Cuban rum (Bacardi)
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Orange juice

Shake rum, lime juice, and sugar with cracked ice; pour over cracked ice in 12-ounce glass and fill rest of glass with orange juice; stir and serve.

Pondo Punch

We used to drink these on the Borneo coast. Pondo, our Filipino boy, concocted this drink. It’s a nice drink before sundown, and after four of them keep away from open flames.

  • 3 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito or Brugal)
  • 12 ounce orange curaçao (De Kuyper or Nuyens)
  • 14 ounce grenadine
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • 12 ounce lemon juice
  • 3 ounces charged water

Shake well with cracked ice; pour over fine ice in a 14-ounce glass; garnish with sliced fruits in season.

Puerto Rico Swizzle

You’ll work up a sweat making this drink and a thirst too. Then you’ll drink it to cool off. It’s a vicious circle.

  • 1 lime
  • 3 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • 2 or 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 scant teaspoon sugar

Use a 14-ounce glass. Cut lime, squeeze into glass, and drop shells in glass. Fill glass with shaved ice; add sugar and liquor and swizzle.

Queen’s Park Swizzle

This is a world-famous drink from the Queen’s Park Hotel in Trinidad and one that has helped to popularize rum.

  • 12 large lime
  • Mint leaves
  • 3 ounces 86-proof Demerara rum (Lemon Hart or Hudson’s Bay)
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitteis
  • 12 ounce simple syrup

Squeeze lime and drop shells with mint leaves in 14-ounce glass; fill glass with shaved ice; add rest of ingredients and swizzle until glass frosts. Garnish with sprig of mint.

Roman Punch

This is the way the Romans did it? Raspberry syrup—jeeze, that’s fancy! I’ll bet you a Roman candle some yokel in Paduka originated it. At any rate, you’ll drop your toga on this one.

  • 12 lemon
  • 1 ounce raspberry syrup
  • 1 ounce Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s) 1 ounce brandy
  • Port wine float

Squeeze lemon in 12-ounce glass; add syrup and liquor; fill glass with shaved ice and swizzle. Add berries in season and a float of port wine. Serve with spoon and straws.

Rum Collins

Just a shirttail relation to John and Tom.

  • 12 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • Charged water

Squeeze lemon and drop in 12-ounce glass; add and dissolve sugar; add cracked ice and rum; stir and fill glass with charged water.

Rum Fix

Fix what? You’ll be in a hell of a fix after you’ve had two or three of these, I promise you!

  • 12 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Dash of curaçao (De Kuyper or Nuyens)
  • 2 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)

Squeeze lemon juice into small highball glass; add sugar, curaçao, and rum; fill glass with shaved ice; stir and decorate with fruits in season. Serve with straws.

Rum Float

Refreshments of an afternoon in the garden or patio call for something that isn’t too potent. A limeade with a rum float may be something of a sissy drink, but you can’t knock yourselves out all the time.

  • 12 lime
  • 1 level teaspoon sugar
  • 3 ounces charged water
  • 1 ounce Jamaica or Puerto Rican rum (Red Heart or Ron Merito)

Make limeade first and chill with ice in 6-ounce glass; then float the rum on top.

Rum Julep

The fight in the South still goes on about how to make a real Mint Julep. Being a rum hound, you can take bourbon mint juleps and put them where the monkey put the peanuts—make mine rum. For a smooth, good-tasting drink I recommend the following:

  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 5 sprigs fresh mint
  • 3 ounces light rum (Ron Merito or Brugal)

Half fill a 12-ounce glass with shaved ice; add sugar, mint, and rum; muddle to thoroughly mix mint with rum; add shaved ice and stir up and down to frost glass and thoroughly mix. Decorate with sprig of mint, a slice of lemon, and serve with straws.

Rum Mocha

A delicious and smooth refreshment. Bring this one out for Sunday afternoon callers, or cool off with it after a tennis match. This is definitely not a companion for a drinking session.

  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 2 ounces St. James Rhum or Rhum Sarthe
  • Hot black coffee

Half fill 14-ounce glass with chipped ice, add ice cream and rum, fill glass with hot coffee, and stir.

Shingle Stain

Now don’t take a shingle off the roof. This is really good. No fooling.

  • 12 lime
  • 1 ounce dark Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)
  • 12 ounce St. James Rhum
  • 14 ounce Pimento Dram
  • Dash of pomegranate syrup (grenadine)

Shake with cracked ice and pour over cracked ice in a 12-ounce chimney glass.

Tahitian Rhom Ponch

You go to somebody’s house in Papeete and first thing you’re asked if you want a Rhom Ponch. From then on you’re on your own.

  • 1 12 ounces Martinique rum (Negrita or Rhum Charleston)
  • 12 lime
  • Level teaspoon sugar
  • Nutmeg

Mix rum and sugar in mixing glass with large piece of ice; stir thoroughly. Squeeze lime and drop into 10-ounce glass with cracked ice; pour drink over this and dust with nutmeg. Decorate with a slice of fruit—banana, pineapple, or orange.


Pardon me all to hell if I seem boastful, but this is my own concoction and it’s a swell drink. With it you can get beautifully and aristocratically fried on both sides with very little aftereffect.

  • 1 ounce 123-proof rum (Havana Club)
  • 1 ounce 151-proof rum (Lemon Hart)
  • 1 ounce Italian vermouth
  • 2 dashes curaçao
  • 2 dashes crème de cacao
  • 1 dash grenadine
  • 12 ounce orange juice
  • 12 ounce lime juice
  • 12 ounce lemon juice

Shake with ice; pour over cracked ice in a 14-ounce chimney glass.

Trader Vic Punch

Here’s a drink that’s easy to make and especially enjoyed on hot days.

  • 12 orange
  • 12 lemon
  • 1 14 ounces dark Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)
  • 1 14 Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito or Brugal)
  • 1 slice pineapple
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 12 teaspoon orgeat syrup (almond flavoring)

Squeeze orange and lemon; drop in glass; add handful shaved ice, liquor, fruit, and rest of in­ gredients; hand-shake and serve unstrained in a 14-ounce stubby glass.

Trader Vic Rum Fizz

You fizz drinkers will like this. I recommend it for Sunday morning breakfast gatherings.

  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito or Brugal)
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 2 level teaspoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 12 ounce cream soda

Mix ingredients in electric or hand shaker with cracked ice; serve in fizz glass and polish off with grated orange rind.


Here’s my idea of a killer-diller. Why people drink them I don’t know, but I’ll bet you make one before you throw this book away, and I’ll bet you drink more of these than any other drink in the book. Don the Beachcomber originated the drink and since then there have been as many different formulas as there are for Planter’s Punch. Here’s a simplified version for home use.

  • 1 ounce Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)
  • 2 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito or Brugal)
  • 12 ounce Demerara 151 proof (Lemon Hart)
  • 1 ounce orange curaçao (De Kuyper or Nuyens)
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • 12 ounce grenadine
  • 1 dash Pernod or Herbsaint

Put ingredients in a large mixing glass with a large piece of ice; stir well and pour over cracked ice in a 14-ounce chimney glass.

This drink may also be made in large quantities for use in punch bowls. Oh-ho, what a party that’ll be! Personally, I think it’s too damn strong but people seem to like it that way.

Punches and Wine Cups

From a Pitcherful to a Hogshead

IT’S TIME we dragged the punch bowl down from the attic where it has been collecting cobwebs since the repeal of prohibition. Just why people fight shy of punches has always puzzled me. A party seems to take on a wanner note and a friendlier spirit when guests can dip themselves a little libation, clustered around a punch bowl like bees around a honeypot.

There are plenty of reasons for this neglect of the punch bowl’s happy gifts. First, folks seem to be stymied if they don’t have a genuine punch bowl and about the only ones in existence are those cut-glass numbers which date back to the Gay Nineties. They stick out like a sore thumb and look like hell in any atmosphere. Besides, to wrap the rest of the reasons up in a hurry, it’s just too easy to buy a bottle of ready-made cocktails or serve plain whisky-and-sodas.

Punches, in reality, are just a flock of drinks mixed up at one time and diluted and chilled with a large cake of ice. You can mix up a barrel of Martinis or Manhattans or Old-Fashioneds, following the same methods used for the individual drinks, and drown yourself in them. Why in hell some smart hostess hasn’t solved the cocktail-party problem with a couple of bowls of cocktails is a mystery to me. As a rule the service is slow, the drinks warm, and the food appalling, and why be so ordinary? Invite your guests over for a barrelful of Martinis or such and when they see you weren’t kidding they’ll be speechless with sheer joy. There is nothing so heart-warming as the sight of gallons of your favorite snifter.

Let me give you my idea of a good cocktail party. Picture a long table covered with matting or green leaves, with a punch bowl at each end: two large wooden bowls, each holding a different beverage, in a setting of fruit and flowers, with large wooden ladles for dipping punch into coconut or bamboo cups. In the center of the table a philodendron plant, studded with gardenias, orchids, and bird-of-paradise, hides its pot in a pile of fruits, ferns, and flowers. Around the centerpiece and between it and the punch bowls are arranged wooden platters and leaf-shaped plates of interesting tidbits—not a flock of half-dried, curled up pieces of toast spread with some stinking bits of fish or cheese or crackers soggy with mayonnaise. A couple of chafing dishes maintain the temperature of hot hors d’oeuvres.

Getting back to that punch bowl which you don’t have, you needn’t be fussy—use anything that will hold enough and won’t leak. A large wooden bowl, a big mixing bowl, a half barrel or butter tub, even a hollowed-out log can be used. A five-gallon oil­can makes a pip of a punch container. Turn it on its side, remove the top with a pair of tin snips, and trim the edges fancy, rolling the cut edge back slightly. One woman I know had a huge cake of ice hollowed out to hold punch. It was set in a deep tray or pan and banked with flowers and ferns. Of course, as the ice melted, a maid had to drain off the excess water now and then, but she did it on the q.t. and no one was the wiser.

To further illustrate my point that you don’t need a real punch bowl, let me tell you about a couple of parties I attended in the South Pacific. A friend of mine in Tautira, which is on the island of Tahiti opposite Papeete, was preparing a rum punch for a small gathering and, having no punch bowl, he used an empty wine keg. Into it he dumped pineapple, guava, mangoes, oranges, limes, bananas, and just about everything else in the way of island fruit, along with a few bottles of white wine, some raw sugar, and a light French rum, the likes of which I’ve never seen in this country. Lacking anything better to stir the mess, he used a paddle from a nearby canoe. I don’t remember whether or not he washed it first, but it really didn’t matter.

You’ll always find a swarm of official tasters in Tahiti. The tasters grew in number until a fullfledged party was under way. Music appeared as if from the clouds, someone helped out the cause with a few more bottles of wine, more rum appeared on the scene, and the party got going in earnest. Some of the youngsters were detailed to get food, which is plentiful for the taking—shrimps, lobsters, fish, watercress, poi, chicken, and an array of odds and ends. Everyone contributed something, the mamas went to work on the food, while the men kept the punch keg replenished and, believe it or not, the party lasted three days. It was a lot of fun—swims in the moonlight, songs and stories by the hour. The Tahitian has incredible staying powers when it comes to having a good time.

Here’s the recipe for that Tahitian Rum Punch:

Tahitian Rum Punch

  • 2 pounds brown sugar
  • 5 dozen oranges
  • 4 dozen lemons
  • 10 bananas
  • 3 grapefruit
  • 2 sprigs mint
  • 10 bottles white wine
  • 6 bottles white rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • 1 bottle Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)

Squeeze the fruit and slice the bananas, and put everything in a crock, rinds and all, with the exception of the rum. Let this stand overnight. Next day add the rum. Strain off and discard the fruit pulp and rinds and put in a barrel or punch bowl with plenty of ice. Let the mixture chill as long as you can stand it, then blow the starting whistle. Brother, will you have a party!

I’ll never forget a very beautiful form of gentle anesthesia served one night at a luau up in Manoa Valley in Honolulu. The setting was one of outstanding beauty. Guests of an old Kamaaina family, we were entertained in a tin-roofed shed-like affair, open on three sides and facing the most gorgeous tropical garden I’ve ever seen. Yellow, white, and torch ginger in profusion filled the air with its ambrosial fragrance; pikaki, plumeria, and tuberoses added their scent to the heavily laden air. A warm rain was falling, its patter on the tin roof beating a tempo to the Hawaiian music.

Our host had laid a complete carpet of ti and banana leaves which made a soft crackling rustle as we moved about. The tables were laid in true luau fashion, covered first with ti leaves and then with a profusion of sweet-scented blossoms, bird-of-paradise, and fragrant orchids. The object of greatest interest was a tremendous Chinese earthen crock which easily held twenty gallons of punch. In it our host had prepared Honolulu’s famous Scorpion, a drink which does not shilly-shally or mess around in getting you under way. As originally made, with okolehao and rum, the Scorpion is at its best, but the following formula is practically as good an infusion as the original.


(Serves about 12 people)

  • 1 12 bottles Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito or Brugal)
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 2 ounces brandy
  • 16 ounces lemon juice
  • 8 ounces orange juice
  • 8 ounces orgeat (almond flavoring)
  • 2 sprigs of mint
  • 12 bottle white wine

Mix thoroughly, pour over cracked ice; let stand two hours and add more ice. Garnish with gardenias.

Caribbean Punch

  • 3 bottles Puerto Rican rum (Ron Meiito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • 12 pint Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 pint fresh lemon juice
  • 3 oranges, sliced
  • 1 large can of sliced pineapple
  • 4 ounces curacao
  • 2 boxes fresh raspberries
  • Falernum to taste

Mix the above ingredients; pour over large cake of ice in punch bowl; let stand until very cold before serving.

Fish House Punch

Any dumb bastard who tosses this off without due regard for its historical significance should be made to stand in the corner for one hour with nothing but a bottle of Pepsi-Cola to comfort him. Classic among punches, Fish House Punch is our oldest formula, reeking with tradition and vaporizing visions of George Washington, Lafayette, and the “Spirit of ‘76.” Roll out the drums!

  • 1 pound brown sugar
  • 1 quart lemon juice
  • 2 quarts Jamaica rum
  • 1 quart cognac
  • 4 ounces peach brandy
  • 2 quarts water

Slack sugar in punch bowl; when completely dissolved add lemon juice and let stand. Combine rest of ingredients and let stand in separate container. Two hours before serving time, combine lemon juice mixture and liquor in punch bowl with large cake of ice and let chill to acquire proper dilution. In winter, when ice melts slowly, more water may be used, but in warm weather the melting ice will dilute the mixture sufficiently.

Holiday Egg Nog

Your health, my friends! Drink hearty! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  • 12 eggs, separated
  • 1 12 cups bar sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 gallons milk, chilled
  • 1 pint brandy
  • 1 cup Jamaica rum
  • Nutmeg

Beat the egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored; add the sugar and continue beating. Add the vanilla and then beat in the milk. When smooth, stir in the liquor, pouring it slowly as you’d add oil to mayonnaise. Rinse the egg beater and beat the egg whites until stiff, then lay in clouds on top of the egg nog and sprinkle with grated nutmeg. To serve, cut a hole in the topping, ladle out the liquid from this hole and break off a spoonful of the topping for each cup of egg nog.

For a richer mixture, cream may be substituted for part of the milk, or the vanilla may be omitted and a pint of ice cream beaten in for part of the milk.

Ruby Rum Punch

  • 1 pint fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pint brandy
  • 1 pint Jamaica mm (Red Heart or Myers’s)
  • 4 ounces curaçao (De Kuyper or Nuyens)
  • 4 ounces yellow chartreuse
  • 4 ounces maraschino liqueur (Garnier or Nuyens)
  • Sugar to taste
  • 1 quart white wine

Mix and chill the above ingredients, then pour over large piece of ice in punch bowl. Just before serving add the following, which have been thoroughly chilled:

  • 2 quarts sparkling red Concord grape wine (Renault or Urbani)
  • 1 quart charged water

Stir and serve.


(Serves about 25 people)

Heavy dark Jamaica rums are distasteful to many, so in making the Tonga I’ve blended light rums and liqueurs in a formula which is both palatable and potent.

  • 2 bottles light rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Biugal)
  • 12 ounces brandy
  • 12 ounces curaçao (De Kuyper or Nuyens)
  • 12 ounces Passionola
  • 1 quart lemon juice
  • 1 12 pint orange juice
  • 6 ounces grenadine

Blend well with cracked ice and pour over large piece of ice in punch bowl.

West Indies Punch

  • 12 pound sugar
  • 1 pint green tea infusion
  • 1 dozen large limes
  • 1 cup guava marmalade
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 12 bottle dark Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)
  • 12 bottle light vatted Jamaica rum (Myers’s or Lemon Hart)
  • 1 pint cognac
  • 1 bottle Madeira wine

Dissolve sugar in tea. Halve the limes, squeeze and add juice and shells to tea mixture. Dissolve guava marmalade in boiling water and combine with lime juice and tea mixture. Add rum, cognac, and wine and let stand overnight. Remove lime shells and pour over large piece of ice in punch bowl; let chill thoroughly before serving.


(Serves about 60 people).

There has been much argument about the origination of the Zombie, but credit should be given where credit is due. Don the Beachcomber, of Hollywood, Chicago, and anywhere in the South Pacific, is the originator of this famous drink. Only he can give you the original recipe, but I can give you my version. Elsewhere in this volume you will find a formula for a single drink.

  • 2 bottles Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)
  • 4 bottles Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito or Brugal)
  • 1 bottle Demerara 151-proor rum (Lemon Hart)
  • 2 bottles curacao (De Kuyper or Nuyens)
  • 3 quarts lemon juice
  • 3 quarts orange juice
  • 1 quart grenadine
  • 2 ounces Herbsaint or Pernod

Mix ingredients thoroughly, chill with large cake of ice in punch bowl, letting it stand an hour or two before serving.

The value of wine cups, which are smaller versions of some punches, is in their low alcoholic content but also primarily in the beauty and interest of their service. Despite all efforts of the wine industry to educate hard-shelled whisky and gin drinkers, the appreciation of wine as an everyday accompaniment to dinner is not enjoyed by the majority of people. Some think wine too strong, others don’t care for the flavor or are confused by all this nonsense about which wine goes with what, and the correct serving and glassware.

This idea that you have to serve the correct bottle of wine with different kinds of fish, fowl, red meat, or soup, or have a certain kind of glass, is a lot of hokum. You can drink anything, anywhere, at any time, as long as it agrees with you and you enjoy it. That’s the old American way, every day in the week, regardless of the sales campaigns.

Wine cups are made with fruits and liqueurs and while most of them are made with white wines, red wines may be used or combined with the white for added color and flavor. I’ve served wine cups to people who had always passed up the wine list and they were not only thoroughly enjoyed but ordered again and again by those same people with dinner.

Trader Vic’s White Wine Cup

(Serves 4 people)

Sound white wine, such as Moscato Amabile, is a good base for this wine cup. Haut Sauterne may be used if a sweetness is preferred.

  • 1 ounce peach brandy
  • 1 ounce benedictine
  • 1 large sprig of mint
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 12 lemon, sliced
  • 1 bottle light white wine (not sweet)
  • 3 or 4 strawberries or blackberries

Mix the above ingredients in a large water pitcher filled with ice, add wine almost to brim, and muddle with a stick. Let it stand a few minutes and serve in wine goblets at the table. The berries aren’t essential and may be omitted or other fruit in season may be used. The medium sweetness of Ohio Valley wines makes them excellent for this cup.

Variations: To the above formula add 6 ounces of red wine (burgundy or cabernet).

For a very dry cup, substitute dry white wine, such as Riesling or Chablis, and omit the berries.

Champagne Cup

  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 12 lemon, sliced
  • 3 slices of pineapple
  • 1 12 ounces maraschino liqueur (Garnier or Nuyens)
  • 1 12 ounces chartreuse
  • 1 12 ounces brandy
  • 1 bottle champagne

Half fill large glass pitcher with cracked ice; add fruit, liqueurs, and brandy. Let chill thoroughly and add champagne at the last moment. Serve in champagne glasses.

Cocktails and Short Hoists

RUM, stepchild of the liquor industry, is sorely slighted in the cocktail sections of most bartenders’ guides and drink books. They give a recipe for a Daiquiri and let it go at that. The mental picture created by the mere mention of rum seems to be a guy in need of a shave, lounging in a rattan chair with his bare feet hanging out, and clad only in dirty white ducks and an undershirt. In one hand he waves a palm-leaf fan while in the other he holds a tall cold drink emblazoned in neon lighting “Rum.” But rum is not just for the hot and thirsty.

Rum can fill the purpose in a cocktail just as well as any other distilled liquor. Cocktails, ostensibly, are intended to give you a lift as well as sharpen your appetite. They must not be too long or too sweet. They’re just well-blended, well-chilled little bits of dynamite which require careful handling if you would avoid “drinking your dinner,” and rum can do all this for you, and to you, just as well as gin, bourbon, or scotch.

Most any book on drinks will tell you how to make a Martini, an Old-Fashioned, a Manhattan, and all the tried and true cocktails that have become standard equipment of every bar. I am going to concentrate on rum concoctions and I hope you’ll join me.


Approach with caution and prepare for action.

  • 1 12 ounces Jamaica rum (Red Hart or Myers’s)
  • 1 12 ounces sweet sherry
  • Dash of Angostura bitters

Stir in mixing glass with cracked ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Bacardi Flip

A healthful little drink to rouse your flagging spirits.

  • 2 ounces Bacardi
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Cracked ice

Shake well and strain; then serve with powdered cinnamon on top.

Bee’s Kiss

Too many of these and you’ll get hold of the wrong end of the bee.

  • 1 teaspoon fresh cream
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 ounce Cuban light rum (Bacardi)

Shake with fine ice in shaker and strain into chilled cocktail glass.


A hell of a name, but it’s been kicking around too long to change it now, and besides, it’s rather prophetic. But don’t let me give you any ideas.

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 12 ounce brandy
  • 12 ounce orange curaçao (De Kuyper or Nuyens)
  • 12 ounce Cuban light rum (Bacardi)

Shake well in shaker with ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.


This is an oldy and has nothing to do with underwear. It’s worth a try though.

  • 34 ounce Bacardi
  • 34 ounce French Vermouth
  • 34 ounce Dubonnet

Stir ingredients in mixing glass with large piece of ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.


At first glance you’d think this should be named Chop Suey cocktail instead of Canton, but it’s a pretty good go, if you have to.

  • 2 ounces Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes maraschino liqueur
  • 2 teaspoons grenadine

Shake with ice until blended and chilled; strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Captain Kidd

You’ll really walk the plank on a few of these. Take it easy.

  • 1 ounce Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)
  • 12 ounce dry sherry
  • 12 ounce scotch
  • 1 teaspoon bar sugar
  • Dash of orange bitters

Shake well with cracked ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Captain’s Blood

Yo-ho-ho, pieces of eight, and blow me down! Rugged, this one.

  • 12 ounce lime juice
  • 1 12ounces Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)
  • 1 teaspoon Angostura bitteis

Mix and shake ingredients with finely cracked ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.


A rum cocktail comparable to a Manhattan from La Florida Bar in Havana.

  • 34 ounce Bacardi
  • 34 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 12 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 lemon peel thoroughly squeezed
  • Cracked ice

Mix and stir in mixing glass; do not shake. Strain and serve very cold, leaving lemon peel in glass in the shape of a spiral.

Cocktail Brugal

This is the famous West Indies distiller’s private recipe, it says here in small print.

  • 14 lemon
  • 1 12ounces Brugal rum (White Label)
  • 12 teaspoon sugar
  • Sprig of mint, well crushed, or few drops of white creme de menthe

Mix ingredients with juice of lemon; shake well with cracked ice until cold. Strain and serve in chilled cocktail glass.

Coronel Batista

Another specialty from La Florida Bar in Havana.

  • 12 ounce Torino vermouth
  • 12 ounce Bacardi
  • Juice of 12 lemon
  • 12 teaspoon sugar

Shake well with crushed ice and strain; serve with one slice of pineapple and two cherries.

Cuban Presidente

This is the “Martini” of Cuba and, to me, a lot better than our own.

  • 1 12 ounces Cuban light rum (Bacardi)
  • 12 ounce French vermouth
  • 2 dashes orange curaçao (De Kuyper or Nuyens)
  • 1 dash grenadine

Stir in mixing glass with large piece of ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass and garnish with maraschino cherry. Twist lemon peel over drink but do not drop.


No compilation of rum cocktails could be complete without including that famous and popular cocktail, the Daiquiri. Constantino of La Florida Bar in Havana perfected this one and it is to his credit that this one rum cocktail competes in popularity with the old stand-bys such as Martinis, Manhattans, and Old-Fashioneds. Constantino did not stop with just one Daiquiri, however, and I have his permission to give you several of his variations.

La Florida Daiquiri No. 1

  • 2 ounces Bacardi
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Juice of 12 lemon
  • Cracked ice

Shake well and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

La Florida Daiquiri No. 2

  • 2 ounces Bacardi
  • Several dashes of curaçao
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Juice of 12 lemon
  • Cracked ice

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

La Florida Daiquiri No. 3

  • 2 ounces Bacardi
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grapefruit juice
  • 1 teaspoon maraschino
  • Juice of 12 lemon
  • Shaved ice

Shake well; serve frappé.

La Florida Daiquiri No. 4

  • 2 ounces Bacardi Carta Oro
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon maraschino
  • Juice of 12 lemon
  • Shaved ice

Shake well; serve frappé.

Trader Vic’s Daiquiri

  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito or Brugal)
  • 14 ounce maraschino liqueur (De Kuyper or Nuyens)
  • 12 teaspoon sugar
  • 34 ounce fresh lime juice

This drink should be made in a Waring type mixer with one large handful of fine ice, and no more than three should be made at one time. Strain into thoroughly chilled champagne glasses.

Devil’s Leap

It’s hard to tell where fact leaves off and fancy begins, but it is said that the Devil himself took a swig of this and then took a running jump in the lake.

  • 12 ounce Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • 12 ounce Swedish Punch liqueur
  • 12 ounce applejack or calvados

Shake well with ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.


Oh, Doctor! You really knew what you were doing when you prescribed this one. I like a little dash of Swedish Punch in any number of delightful cocktails, myself. One of the finest Swedish Punches made in this country is Sederland.

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice
  • 1 12 ounces Swedish Punch liqueur
  • 34 ounce Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)

Shake well with ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Florida Special

This is terrific. Not too sweet, not too dry.

  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • 1 teaspoon French vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon Italian vermouth
  • 1 ounce unsweetened grapefruit juice

Shake well with ice; strain into cocktail glass.

Gilded Lily

A beautiful golden drink with a Midas touch. That is, after the nth you’re petrified.

  • 12 ounce peach brandy
  • 12 ounce gin
  • 12 ounce Puerto Rican rum (Ron Meiito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • 12 ounce orange juice

Shake well with ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Golden Gloves

Another little noggin from La Florida Bar in Havana. The gloves get bigger and bigger after each drink.

  • 2 ounces Bacardi
  • 1 teaspoon cointreau
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Juice of 12 lemon
  • Shaved ice

Shake in electric shaker, preferably. Serve frappé after squeezing an orange peel into a chilled cocktail glass.

Havana Beach

These comments are getting pretty corny. Let’s just say that this drink came from La Florida Bar in Havana and let it go at that.

  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce Bacardi
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Cracked ice

Shake well and strain into large chilled cocktail glass.

Havana Club Rickey

A lot of people don’t like a long tall drink. They like them short and fast. I don’t know any way to get there (depending upon what you have in mind) quicker than with this drink. They’re easy to make and you can make your setups ahead of time if the rush is on.

  • 12 lime
  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • Charged water

Squeeze lime into large Old-Fashioned glass; drop in shell, add ice, rum, and fill glass with charged water. A scant teaspoon of sugar may be dissolved with the lime juice for a sweeter drink.


You know, bartending is a lot of hokum. You leave out one ingredient, or put in another and give the thing a different name, and you’ve got a new drink. Or have you! Don’t be fooled. This is just another variation of the Cuban Presidente.

  • Juice of 14 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon French vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine
  • 1 12ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Meiito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)

Shake ingredients in shaker with ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Honi Honi

Cute name and a dandy drink. Forget it’s a cocktail. In fact, double it, put it in a larger glass with a hunk of ice, and you’ve a pretty good around-the-clock drink.

  • 12 ounce lemon juice
  • 12 ounce apricot brandy
  • 1 ounce Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)

Shake well with ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.


Don’t let the grenadine pull any wool over your eyes. This is no sissy drink.

  • Dash of grenadine
  • 12 ounce lemon juice
  • 34 ounce gin
  • 34 ounce Cuban light rum (Bacardi)

Shake well with ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Jabón Candído

Ramoncito Lopez Special

I’m damned if I’ll divide an egg white. You’ll have to order two of these or pick out another drink. From La Florida Bar in Havana.

  • 2 ounces Bacardi
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 12 white of an egg Juice of
  • 12 unripe lemon
  • Cracked ice

Shake well and strain into a large chilled cocktail glass.


A delightful concoction made of pineapple, which appeals especially to the exponents of charm and pulchritude, is the Kailua Cocktail. Here’s to the ladies, God bless ‘em!

  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Meiito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • 12 slice pineapple
  • 12 ounce lemon juice
  • 14 ounce grenadine

Mix in electric mixer with one large scoop of shaved ice. Give it hell for about a minute and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


A pleasant variation but if you think it’s too sweet cut down on the grenadine.

  • 34 ounce Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Brugal)
  • 34 ounce curaçao
  • 12 ounce grenadine
  • 12 ounce lemon juice

Shake with cracked ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.


I like the touch of maraschino in this one, and the use of both lemon and lime really smooths out the wrinkles.

  • 12 lime
  • 14 ounce maraschino liqueur
  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • 12 ounce lemon juice

Squeeze lime in mixing glass with large ice, dropping in shell; add liqueur, rum, and lemon juice; stir thoroughly with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Miguel Ligero

From La Florida Bar in Havana.

  • 2 ounces Bacardi
  • Dash of Angostura
  • 12 teaspoon curaçao
  • Juice of 12 lemon
  • 12 teaspoon sugar

Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass.


A pleasant variation of a Bacardi Flip from La Florida Bar in Havana.

  • 2 ounces Bacardi
  • 1 peel of a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Dash of Angostura
  • 1 whole egg

Shake well with plenty of ice and strain into cocktail glass.


Pernod, the imported, and Herbsaint, which is a good domestic, have a licorice flavor. It’s this touch of licorice which gives this little noggin a subtle tang.

  • 1 teaspoon grenadine
  • Dash of Pernod or Herbsaint
  • 12 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)

Shake well with ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.


I’d save this one for my visiting great-aunt who, when approached as to her idea of a little before-dinner stimulant, shakes her finger at you and says reprovingly, “Well, just one.” She’ll probably weaken and have two and go in to dinner with her transformation askew.

  • small slice pineapple
  • 1 teaspoon raspberry syrup (or grenadine)
  • teaspoon lemon juice
  • teaspoon orange juice
  • 2 ounces Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)

Shake well with ice in shaker; strain into chilled cocktail glass.


This one is faintly reminiscent of an Orange Blossom. Not the same, but along the same lines.

  • 12 ounce orange juice
  • 12 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 ounce Jamaica, rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)

Shake well with ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Puerto Rican

Smooth, kids, smooth!

  • 12 teaspoon sugar
  • 12 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 dash maraschino liqueur
  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • 6 ounces cracked ice

Blend in mixer until chilled; strain into large chilled cocktail glass.


Don’t be that way. Try it anyway. It’s really a good drink.

  • 34 ounce French vermouth
  • 34 ounce creme de cacao (De Kuyper or Nuyens)
  • 34 ounce Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)

Shake well with ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.


This one really does what a cocktail is supposed to do—it gives you a terrific appetite.

  • 12 ounce Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • 14 ounce lemon juice
  • 34 ounce Pernod or Heibsaint

Shake well with ice; strain and serve in chilled cocktail glass.

Rum Daisy

Daisies, alcoholically speaking, are a particular kind of a drink made with distilled spirits, grenadine, and lemon juice, mixed in a shaker and served as fancy dictates, usually in a double cocktail or large Old-Fashioned glass. How they got the name I don’t know, but such a drink by any other name is still a daisy. I prefer mine made with lime instead of lemon however.

  • 12 lime
  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • Dash of grenadine

Squeeze lime and drop in shaker with finely cracked ice; add rum and grenadine; shake and pour unstrained into an Old-Fashioned glass.

La Florida Rum Daisy

Here’s a Rum Daisy from La Florida Bar in Havana. Methinks the daisies grow bigger in Havana.

  • 1 glass cracked ice
  • Dash of Angostura
  • 12 teaspoon yellow chartreuse
  • 2 ounces Bacardi
  • 12 unsqueezed lemon peel
  • 12 teaspoon sugar
  • Several sprigs of mint
  • Two cherries and seasonal fruits

Build in the glass of cracked ice; stir and serve without straining.

Rum Manhattan

Yeah, I know. At the beginning of this chapter I said there was one way to make a Martini and one way to make a Manhattan. But some palatable drinks can be made using rum in place of either gin or bourbon, so try these two sometime. Just don’t foist them on guests without warning though, or they’ll think you’ve lost some of your marbles.

  • Dash of orange bitters
  • 1 ounce Italian vermouth (sweet)
  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)

Stir ingredients in mixing glass with cracked ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass. Twist lemon peel over drink but do not drop.

Rum Martini

  • Dash of orange bitters
  • 1 ounce French vermouth (dry)
  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)

Stir ingredients in mixing glass with cracked ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass and serve with stuffed olive (washed to remove salt) or cocktail onion on toothpick. Twist lemon peel over drink but do not drop.

Rum Old-Fashioned

Of all cocktails, I like this one best.

  • Lump of sugar, cocktail size
  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • Charged water
  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • Large lump of ice

Add dash of bitters to small lump of sugar in small Old-Fashioned glass. Add just enough charged water to dissolve sugar; add rum and ice and stir. Garnish with half slice of orange, cube of pineapple, and maraschino cherry on a cocktail spear.

Rum Ramsey

A friend of mine gave me this recipe. It’s one of the late Albert Martin’s, of New Orleans, and needs no further recommendation.

  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Meiito, Boca. Chica, or Brugal)
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon
  • Juice of 14 lime
  • 12 teaspoon bar sugar
  • Dash Peychaud’s bitters

Stir in mixing glass with cracked ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.


Sounds like a daisy, doesn’t it? The difference in the amount of grenadine and the stirring instead of shaking changes the flavor. And it’s served differently.

  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito or Brugal)
  • Juice of 12 lime
  • 4 dashes grenadine

Stir ingredients in mixing glass with ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass. Float a thin slice of lime.

Small Dinger

Big or small, it’s a humdinger, and it’s from La Florida Bar in Havana.

  • 12 ounce Gilbey’s gin
  • 14 ounce Bacardi
  • 14 ounce grenadine
  • 14 ounce lemon juice
  • Shaved ice

Shake and serve frappéed in chilled cocktail glass.

Southern Cross

Candidates for this little number should have hair on their chest—great gobs of it.

  • Juice of 12 lime
  • 12 teaspoon sugar
  • Dash of curaçao (De Kuyper or Nuyens)
  • 1 ounce Virgin Island rum (Cruzon St. Croix)
  • 1 ounce brandy

Shake well with ice; strain into chilled double cocktail glass; add squirt of charged water.

South Sea

No comments needed here. Just another daisy­like little drink with a different flavor.

  • Juice of 12 lime
  • 1 teaspoon curaçao (De Kuyper or Nuyens)
  • 1 ounce Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)

Shake well with ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.


A little on the sweet side but the Wahines seem to like it. I think it’s the name that gets them.

  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • 1 scant teaspoon sugar
  • 1 slice pineapple
  • 12 ounce cranberry syrup
  • 12 ounce lemon juice

Pour ingredients in Waring mixer with handful of shaved ice; mix thoroughly; pour into chilled champagne glass.

Tahitian Honey Bee

Those bees sure do get around. A smooth drink—no stingers.

  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 12 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)

Mix honey with lemon juice in shaker, add rum, and shake with ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass and serve with twist of lemon peel.


Along the lines of a Martini and a good appetizer.

  • 1 ounce Trinidad rum (Siegert’s Bouquet)
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • Dash of Angostura bitters

Stir in mixing glass with cracked ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.


This is a cutie, especially recommended for the gals. You can knock their eyes out with this when it’s your turn to entertain the club at luncheon. As a special feminine touch, garnish each drink with a small gardenia and serve with short straws.

  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 2 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)

Mix and serve in fresh coconut shell with large piece of ice.

Hot Ones

HOT DRINKS have been given the cold shoulder too damn long and I propose to do something about it. I am personally stumping for more hot drinks in the home, particularly for after-dinner enjoyment.

We’ve lost a lot of good living down the drain by forgetting the favorites of our forefathers and associating hot drinks with cold weather and vice versa. I recall that lots of people drank hot buttered rums in Honolulu. W e served them the year round and they were enjoyed even in that tropical clime. Here in my joint in Oakland the popular after-dinner drinks are hot buttered rums and coffee grogs and I’m including a few others for home consumption.

One hot drink will do the work of three cold ones in putting you in a good, mellow, conversational mood. Take a hot drink when you’re tired and it seems like you have a slow leak somewhere and you can just feel the energy flow through you. The average person is so constituted that his stomach can handle a cold drink, even on top of a heavy dinner, but a hot one will aid digestion rather than slow it down.

Before we go on to specific drinks, a word about rum and tea. It calls for the proper rum and the proper tea. My preference is a good jasmine tea with either Rhum St. James or Haitian Rhum Sarthe. Most Jamaica, Martinique, and Trinidad rums are too pungent and are apt to destroy the delicate flavor of the tea, but St. James and Rhum Sarthe, being brandy rums, make delightful and palatable drinks when combined with tea.

Let’s not make a formula. Just put a bottle of rum on the table with a pot of well-brewed and not too strong tea and let everyone make his own drink according to his own tastes.

Black Stripe

Black Stripe was originally used for the relief of colds, sore throats, and la grippe. So delightful a concoction did it prove that it developed into a cold drink as well. The same formula is used for the cold drink and it is made very much the way we make iced tea. That is, the drink is first made hot and then poured over ice in a large 10-ounce glass. Try it sometime.

I give you two recipes for Black Stripe. My preference is for the one made with honey.

  • 2 cherries
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Hot water
  • 1 ounce Jamaica nun (Red Heart or Myers’s)
  • 2 cloves
  • Stick cinnamon
  • Lemon peel

Crush cherries in the bottom of a glass; add honey and hot water and mix; add rum and spices and serve with lemon peel.

  • 2 ounces Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • Boiling water

Mix rum and molasses in a heated mug and add boiling water to taste.

Caribbean Hot Swizzle

Guaranteed to put the squitch on a stopped-up nose, runny eyes, and a thick head. You can’t beat it when you need to work up a good sweat to get rid of a cold. But don’t relegate it to your “cure” list. It’s good any time.

  • 12 lime
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 12 ounces Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)
  • Hot water

Squeeze and drop lime in a 12-ounce highball glass; add sugar and mix; then add rum and hot water, and swizzle.

Falkland Island Warmer

A very charming and prim little old lady gave me the recipe for this drink many years ago. She called me over to her table, where she and a party of elderly women were having dinner, and told me about a drink the natives in the Falkland Islands used to make when they were cold and tired and in need of a stimulant. As she had a particularly unromantic name, I named the drink the Falkland Island Warmer.

In case you’re not familiar with Drambuie, this is a benedictine type of liqueur made with a scotch whisky base instead of cognac, which gives it the smoky flavor of scotch whisky.

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 14 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 ounce Drambuie
  • Hot water

Mix lemon juice and sugar in an Old-Fashioned glass; add Drambuie and hot water and stir.

Hot Milk Punch

Ordinary milk punch is insipid, but by pouring the hot drink into an electric drink mixer for a minute or two you’ll have a nice thick hot drink which is delicious and creamy. Here are two versions:

  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 dash Angostura bitteis
  • 1 ounce Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)
  • 1 ounce brandy
  • Hot milk (about 1 cup)
  • Nutmeg

Dissolve sugar in a little hot milk and pour into Hamilton Beach mixer; add bitters, liquor, and a cup of hot milk and mix for a minute or two. Pour into a preheated mug and serve with a dash of nutmeg.

Hot Rum Cow

  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • Hot milk (about 1 cup)
  • Nutmeg

Give the above ingredients hell in a drink mixer and pour into a large heated mug. Top with a dash of nutmeg.

Hot Egg Nog

There’s no finer drink than egg nog for convalescents around three or four in the afternoon when they should have that certain something to pick them up, and I strongly urge a hot one, even though it calls for just a little added effort and time. Good bedtime drink too.

  • 1 eggyolk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 ounce rum
  • 1 ounce brandy
  • Hot milk
  • Nutmeg

Mix egg yolk and sugar in heated mug; add rum and brandy and stir thoroughly; fill rest of mug with boiling milk, stirring constantly; sprinkle with nutmeg.

Tom and Jerry

A “Thomas and Jeremiah” is as much a part of our Thanksgiving and Christmas as the noble bird itself, and it’s a tradition to be honored by the best possible drink you can make.

For the batter, let’s start with a dozen eggs. Separate the yolks from the whites. Into the yolks work powdered sugar until the mixture is as thick as you can make it. I’d like to give exact measurements but the size of the yolks vary so much you can’t be exact. You’ll need 3 or 4 pounds of powdered sugar, however, just to give you a rough idea. Add 12 teaspoon nutmeg, 14 teaspoon cloves, and 12 teaspoon cinnamon.

Beat the egg whites until stiff, adding 14 teaspoon cream of tartar. Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture with a spatula or large spoon. This batter shouldn’t be made up too far in advance, but it will hold up from four to six hours.

Preheat a 6-ounce Tom and Jerry mug; add 1 heaping dessertspoonful of the above batter, 12 ounce rum, 12 ounce brandy (which should be lukewarm), and stir. Fill mug with hot water, stir, and serve. Hot coffee or hot milk may be substituted for the hot water.

Hot Rum Sling

Close your eyes for a moment and picture a small fire beside a skating pond, with snow-laden pines rising in the background. A little pot of boiling water sends steam into the frosty air. Someone pulls out a little bag of sugar, someone else produces a lemon and a bottle of bitters from his pocket, another donates a bottle of rum, and tin cups appear mysteriously. A pleasant way to ward off frostbite.

  • 2 lumps sugar
  • Dash of Angostura bitteis
  • 12 lemon
  • 2 ounces Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)
  • Boiling water

Dissolve sugar with a little boiling water in a cup; add bitters, the juice of the lemon, rum, and boiling water, and stir.

Hot Benefactor

Hot rum with a European touch, and a good deal.

  • 2 Jumps sugar
  • 2 ounces Jamaica rum (Red Heart or Myers’s)
  • 2 ounces burgundy
  • Hot water
  • Slice of lemon
  • Nutmeg

Dissolve the sugar in a little hot water in a sauce pan; add rum and burgundy and heat; pour into heated mug and add boiling water to fill mug. Serve with slice of lemon and a dash of nutmeg.

Hot Buttered Rum Batter

It pains me to drink some of the concoctions offered in the name of hot buttered rum. I generally find little globules of fat floating around in a not too hot drink, served up in a dainty little glass cup that you can down in one swallow and damn near swallow the cup along with it.

As I have stressed all along, you can’t make anything good unless you take the time to do it properly. Mixing the batter for my hot buttered rum is the initial and final trouble and it will give you the finest drink you ever tasted.

  • 1 pound brown sugar
  • 14 pound butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • Spices

Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth, as you would for a cake, then add 14 to 12 teaspoon each of nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. If you prefer, you can omit the cinnamon and cloves and, instead, use whole cloves and whole stick cinnamon in each drink as made. Add salt. Use this batter in making the following beverages:

Trader Vic Hot Buttered Rum: Preheat 6-ounce mug with boiling water. Drop 1 heaping teaspoonful of above batter in mug, add 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum, and fill with hot water.

Northwest Passage (Immortalized in Kenneth Roberts’s book by the same name): 1 heaping teaspoonful batter in 10-ounce goblet. Add 1 ounce Demerara 151 proof, stir and add boiling water and lemon rind.

Coffee Grog: 1 teaspoonful batter, 1 strip of lemon rind, 1 strip of orange rind, 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican or Cuban rum in preheated 6-ounce mug. Add 1 ounce cream and fill mug with hot coffee.

Hot Buttered Rum Cow: 1 teaspoonful batter, 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum, 12 ounce Jamaica rum in preheated mug. Fill with hot milk, stir thoroughly, and serve with grated nutmeg on top.

Thanksgiving Punch

(Serves 10 to 12 people)

Here’s a potion that deserves a festive setting. If I were going to serve this to friends on Thanks­ giving Day, or any day for that matter, I’d rig myself up a sort of chafing-dish setup on the buffet or side table, bank it with fruits and fall berries and candles, and set the mugs around the base while the mixture kept hot over the alcohol lamp or an electric plate.

  • 1 quart Jamaica rum (Ron Merito or Brugal)
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1 quart apple cider
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons butter

Heat in saucepan to develop flavor; serve in heated mugs.

Vin Chaud

A terrific nightcap—in fact you’ll fall asleep before you hit the sheets. Tsk-tsk.

  • 15 good sound burgundy
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 cloves
  • Small stick cinnamon
  • Rind of 12 lemon
  • Rind of 12 orange

Pour wine in saucepan; add sugar and spice; slice lemon and orange rind and twist into wine mixture; heat to boiling point. Set afire, stirring constantly. Serve at once.

Odd Stuff

WHILE, admittedly, my forte is rum, I’ve run across a few queer little drinks which deserve mention. These few little noggins are just my personal preference among the thousands of drinks made from other liquors besides rum. Some of them you may already know about, others will be new to you, but they’re good and I recommend them.

Bloody Mary

I first heard of this drink on the steamer Matsonia, on my way to Honolulu before the war. It was being consumed by a big, tall, redheaded lass who soon had everyone converted. I’m not saying what she had them converted to.

  • 1 12 ounces vodka
  • Chilled tomato juice
  • Slice of lime

Pour vodka in chilled champagne glass, fill with chilled tomato juice, and add slice of lime.

Bourbon Squash

A fancy-pants if there ever was one—the only bourbon drink I really enjoy.

This should be mixed and served in a 14-ounce mixing glass, for the reason that this glass tapers and permits proper stirring.

  • 12 orange
  • 12 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 12 ounces bourbon whisky (Four Roses or P.M.)

Squeeze orange and lemon into glass, dropping in the shells; add sugar and dissolve in the juice. Pack with shaved ice, add whisky, and stir thoroughly. Serve with straws. I recommend Four Roses or P.M. because they are good blended whiskies and I think blended whiskies make better mixed drinks than straight ones.

The Colonel’s Big Opu

A nother champagne drink, and a good deal. You may have gathered by now that I like champagne. Incidentally, it’s my favorite nightcap, preferably after I’m already in bed—to hell with that hot milk stuff! But to get back to the drink now under consideration, opu means belly, and you’ll have to admit that the Hawaiian word is an improvement, when naming a drink.

  • 12 lime
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 ounce gin
  • Split of champagne

Squeeze lime in 14-ounce glass, add cracked ice and liquor, stir, and fill glass with full split of champagne.

Fog Cutter

This is delicious but a triple threat. You can get pretty stinking on these, no fooling.

  • 2 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • 1 ounce brandy
  • 12 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • 2 ounces lemon juice
  • 12 ounce orgeat
  • Sherry wine float

Build this in a 14-ounce glass. Shake with cracked ice, pour into tall glass with ice, and add sherry wine float. Serve with straws.


The Gimlet comes from the Orient. I’d say it originated in the British Legation years ago, without taking the trouble to delve into its actual history. Anyway, it’s served throughout the Far East, from India to the China coast, and is deservedly popular.

  • 1 ounce Rose’s lime juice
  • 1 scant teaspoon sugar
  • 1 14 ounces gin

Shake with ice, strain, and pour into chilled Daiquiri glass.

Mexican El Diablo

I hate like hell to bring up unpleasant things at a time like this but go easy on this one because it’s tough on your running board.

  • 12 lime
  • 1 ounce tequila
  • 12 ounce creme de cassis
  • Ginger ale

Squeeze and drop shell of lime in a 10-ounce glass; add cracked ice, tequila, and crème de cassis; fill rest of glass with ginger ale.

Plantation Punch

Potent and smooth. So palatable and smooth that they’ll sneak up on you if you aren’t wary.

  • 1 12 ounces Southern Comfort
  • 34 ounce lemon juice
  • Dash of rum
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Charged water

Mix the above ingredients in an Old-Fashioned glass, with cracked ice; fill glass with charged water and top with slice of orange and a cherry.

Trader Vic’s Champagne-Apricot

Southern Comfort, one of the more recently appreciated liquors, is, next to rum, my favorite and in salute to this fine product I give you my own concoction. It’s beautifully subtle and good-looking as hell. If you like to impress your guests, you can knock their eyes out with this one and after three they should be ready for anything. Make a note to serve this the next time you entertain an important client or a tough customer.

Freeze a can of whole, peeled apricots in the cube tray of your refrigerator—an apricot in each cube. I mention this first so you won’t start to make the drink and discover you’re not ready.

  • 1 whole peeled frozen apricot
  • 1 ounce Southern Comfort
  • 1 teaspoon shaved ice
  • Chilled champagne

Place the frozen apricot in a chilled champagne glass; pour over it the Southern Comfort; add the shaved ice and fill the glass with champagne.

Southern Comfort Mint Julep

I recommend adding slices of orange in the glass.

  • Fresh mint
  • 2 ounces Southern Comfort
  • Fine ice

Bruise mint in bottom of glass, add Southern Comfort; fill glass with fine ice and stir until frosted. Add more ice and decorate with two sprigs of mint.

Scarlett O’Hara

This is such a pretty little noggin, in addition to tasting good, that I just couldn’t resist sticking it in here. And before we leave the Southern Comfort department (no, I haven’t bought any stock in the company) I suggest you try it in Collinses and rickeys for delicious drinks.

  • 1 12 ounces Southern Comfort
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice (Ocean Spray)
  • Dash of fresh lime juice
  • Cracked ice

Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

The Butterflies, Whips, and Jingles, or

What is Commonly Known as the Hangover

THERE’S BEEN a lot of tripe dished out on that curse of mankind, the hangover, and the consensus seems to be that there is no cure, yet a lot of intelligent people still seek a modern miracle in all sorts of horrible potions which are about as effective as burying an old sock in the backyard to cure warts. I remember when I really had a saloon and used to tend bar myself that men of sound judgment in other matters would come in early in the morning after a bout with Bacchus and order such dillies as whisky with Worcestershire sauce or whisky in tomato juice with Worcestershire sauce and bitters. There was even one unholy mixture of tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, the white of an egg, and some Pernod yellow. Some people tell me that Pernod Suissesse helps but all it ever did for me was to give my belch a better flavor.

The only thing I’ve ever been able to really count on is time. The consumption of too much alcohol in any form paralyzes your stomach and all its workings and you simply have to give it a rest and a chance to get back to normal without administering irritants if you don’t want it to really rebel. However, you might cool your coppers with a little subtle brew, or, if you must, take on a little hair of the dog that bit you, but I’m warning you, the following are for relief only, not cures.

Banana Cow

This next noggin goes far in dampening the wings of the butterflies. As a note to housewives, it’s good for the kids—without the rum of course. Be sure the bananas are ripe.

  • 1 crushed, ripe banana
  • 2 level teaspoons bar sugar
  • 3 ounces fresh whole milk
  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • Plenty of cracked ice

Put the mess in an electric mixer and mix hell out of it. Pour in a large glass and have at it. No foolin’ this is a pip.


When you wake up with a big head and a small stomach, get yourself in shape with this one. It needs two people to operate it, though, because if you feel that bad you won’t be able to shake the damn thing yourself.

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 ounce curaçao
  • 1 ounce Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • 1 ounce Pernod or Herbsaint

Shake with ice thoroughly; strain into fizz glass.

Racquet Club Fizz

Honolulu, with its abundance of pineapples, has given rise to the Racquet Club Fizz. I’ll never forget the memorable occasion of its inception. It was the year before Pearl Harbor and the island life was one of pure joy of living, of complacency and ease of spirit which only those inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands seemed able to attain.

There were about fifty of the hail and hearties gathered around the bar adjacent to the palm-fringed pool of the Racquet Club in Kailua, over the Pali from Honolulu. I started to make fizzes with pineapple for breakfast that fine Sunday morning, and they were later named Racquet Club Fizzes in honor of the occasion.

You wouldn’t think fifty people could down so many raw eggs and play such a hard game of baseball at the same time. That baseball diamond, incidentally, is worth mentioning. Just imagine playing ball, sans shoes, on a field of lush, short-cropped green grass surrounded by the most beautiful coconut and mango trees you ever saw. Well, here’s how to make the drink:

  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons bar sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 12 slice canned pineapple

Put ingredients in an electric mixer with cracked ice, mix thoroughly, then strain into a 10-ounce glass. It’s really fancy!

Milk Punch

This is a good drink when you are courting a hangover. If said condition is already established it might be a good idea to cut down on the rum and brandy—a half ounce of each will give sufficient curative powers.

  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 ounce rum, dark or light as preferred
  • 1 ounce brandy
  • 1 cup milk

Shake above ingredients with ice; strain into a 10-ounce glass; top with a dash of grated nutmeg.

Ramos Fizz

In tribute to my old friend, the late Albert Mar­ tin, of New Orleans, and to the past generation, I give you Albert’s interpretation of a Ramos Fizz. This, I believe, is the only authentic recipe.

  • 34 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 level teaspoon powdered sugar
  • 1 level teaspoon bar sugar
  • 12 ounce Gilbey’s or Gordon’s gin
  • 12 white of egg
  • 2 ounces fresh milk (not cream)
  • 5 or 6 drops Imperial Essence of Orange Flowers

Mix the lemon and sugar thoroughly in a shaker; add cracked ice, then gin, then egg, and finally the milk and Essence of Orange Flowers. Shake thoroughly and serve in a fizz glass.

Rum Cow

If you can just get someone to bring one of these in to you, maybe that little man sitting on the foot of your bed will go away.

  • 1 12 ounces Puerto Rican rum (Ron Merito, Boca Chica, or Brugal)
  • 2 drops vanilla
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Mix the above ingredients in a shaker with ice; shake thoroughly and pour into a 10-ounce glass.

Rum Pickup

A little hair of the dog, with milk to put a lining in your innards.

  • 2 ounces rum
  • 2 ounces milk
  • Charged water

Mix rum and milk in 10-ounce glass with cracked ice; add charged water and stir slightly.

About Parties

A Feast in Tahiti

NATIVE LIFE and fun in the South Pacific is pretty much the same on all islands. In the Hawaiian Islands the natives have forsaken their tribal ways for the ways of the white man and only in their rituals and native feastings do they revert to the old customs. This is true wherever commerce and shipping have taken over island cities and ports, and the further our Caucasian civilization spreads the less you see of true native life. The beloved tourist, with his pocketful of loose change, however, has helped to bitch up the native way of life as much as anything else.

On many other islands, and particularly on Tahiti, the natives still live in their woven houses with dirt floors, and they still cook and live in the old ways. They may acquire a few of the white man’s luxuries and an odd piece Of clothing now and then, but essentially they live their own lives as their forefathers did.

Wherever natives stem from Polynesian stock you will find a fine race of people, happy-go-lucky and fun-loving and clean. They’re not immoral but according to our standards they just ain’t got any. They are religious, sincere, and strictly enforce their own taboos and traditions and I dare say some of our habits and mannerisms would seem just as outlandish and Godforsaken to them.

The feasts of the Polynesian don’t vary much from one group of islands to another. Individual characteristics may differ, the names of foods and vegetation and the varieties of food may vary, but basically they are the same. The luau of the Hawaiian Islands has been discussed and commercialized but a feast in Tahiti is not a custom of bygone days. It is still an active living thing.

Let me tell you a story about Tahiti and perhaps then you will understand why I have tried to capture the spirit of their feasting and fun-making for you here on the mainland.

The tale I am about to relate concerns a simple native named Tomu who owned an old sow—one of those long, lean-looking razorbacks with long snout and longer legs. Tomu and his wife wished to give a feast and, lacking a better reason, decided to honor the old sow, who had presented them with five little pigs—some of those same little pigs to be used as the pièce de résistance.

The day of the feast, the following Sunday, decided upon, Tomu’s sons were dispatched to relatives, in-laws, friends, and the chief, inviting them all to the feast to honor a pig, and that’s how I got in on the deal. I mean, I was visiting the chief and so was included in the invitation.

They don’t count noses in Tahiti and there are no R.S.V.P.S, so the only indication of the number of guests who will come to a feast is the number of friends and relatives who drop in during the days preceding the event to help with the prepara­ tions or bring contributions. As preparations for the Feast of the Pig got under way, indications pointed to more and more guests. The number of piglets to participate in the feast grew from two to three, then four, and finally all five were pre­ pared for the underground oven, or ahimaa.

Tomu’s sons caught fish, his mother-in-law sent two canoeloads of drinking coconuts from the family plantation, the chief sent his sons into a far valley for fei, the fat red banana used in Tahiti for baking; someone else brought breadfruit. There were bananas—a half-dozen varieties—from Tomu’s own plantation, along with ufi, tarua, and umara, the native sweet potato, and taro—both white and purple varieties—all of which were scrubbed clean for the ahimaa.

Two big sacks of oysters from the Isthmus of Taravao were staked out in a little river to keep them fresh and cool. A great tuna, caught by one of Tomu’s sons, hung from a purau tree and was used for the ai ota. Ai ota is lime-pickled fish dressed with coconut cream and the favorite food of all islanders, native or otherwise.

Chickens were steamed in a big pot over charcoal the day before the feast, ready to be cut fine and mixed with seasonings and coconut cream for the pota. This was rolled up in layers of tender young ti leaves and baked in the ahimaa. There was miti hari, a sauce for fish, chicken, and pork, which was made by our hostess herself. Into the throats of several calabash she dropped the juice of the mashed heads of six fresh, fat shrimp, along with small cubes of fresh coconut. Then she added fresh sea water, letting the whole thing ferment to give it a tang. It sounds like a hell of a mess but it was delicious.

The women gathered pineapples, oranges, and limes, and prepared them for the punch. Tomu’s daughter and her friends dived for pahua, the clamlike mollusk which grows in its heavy shell on the rocks and coral in Tahiti.

The night before the great feast the ground oven was dug and volcanic stones, with holes and abrasions which hold the heat, were used to line the pit. While the fire was lit and friends gathered around singing and telling stories far into the night, a group of young men with lamps and spears went after shrimp.

At dawn Tomu and his friends sealed the ahimaa. Its lining of stones had been fired throughout the night to a white heat. First they lined the pit with taro and banana leaves. On top and among them they laid the pigs and a dozen or so fish, all well wrapped in banana leaves. Next went the fei, taro, and tarua, the ufi, the umara, the other varieties of bananas and poi. Last to go in was the pota, skillfully rolled so that all the juices of seasoning and chicken would steam and blend but not escape. More leaves were laid over the food, stones were added to weight them down, the oven was sealed over with earth and sand, and the food left to steam for hours.

As the sun climbed overhead boys and girls brought flowers for the table, leis and crowns, trays of frangipani—white, pink, and yellow—leaves of ginger blossoms and oleander, great sprays of bougainvillea, hibiscus of every color, fragrant bunches of sweet fern and ilang-ilang. They brought gardenias, heavy-headed as cabbage roses, and in great flat baskets the waxy white Tiare Tahiti, favorite flower of Tahitians.

The guests began to assemble about midday, and I never saw such an odd assortment of people. There were young folks and old folks, tiny tots and octogenarians. They came afoot, carrying their shoes, upon bicycles, by truck and, like the “Turtles of Tahiti,” in ancient Fords which chugged, coughed, and belched steam and smoke.

As guests arrived, everyone except the children was given a cup of punch. The punch, made in a rum barrel, was ladled into coconut drinking cups. There were flower leis for everyone and wreaths of maire, the fragrant fern. While relatives and friends caught up on gossip and conversation the ahimaa was opened, the table laid, and the signal given to sit down to eat.

The women had laid a “table” of fresh green banana leaves along the ground with places for fifty or sixty people, each place marked with its coconut bowl for miti hari and a bamboo cup for rum punch. Along the table’s great length were the results of the several days’ preparations—baskets of opened oysters, trays of shrimp, fish baked and boiled and in ai ota, platters of pota, and the sweet dessert poi, baked bananas, baked sweet potatoes, and the rest of the contents of the ahimaa. There were lobsters grilled over charcoal, clams fresh in their shells. There was the red banana, sweet and mellow, and the pahua, both curried and in lime juice. And spaced down the table were the five roasted pigs, each on a bed of hibiscus and each with a garland about its neck to mark its special place in the feasting.

Tomu and his wife sat at one end of the table, and the chief at the other, and as everyone settled himself the chief rose and invoked the blessing. After his benediction over bowed heads he lifted his cup of rum punch as a signal and all bedlam broke loose. Cups were raised and drained and filled again and again.

We ate and drank for hours, then as appetites slacked off native musicians played guitars and accordions. There was dancing, with the girls rivaling each other in the upa upa, and the boys jumping in and out of the circle to dance and gesture before one and then another of their choice. Then they’d troop back to the table to eat and drink again and listen to the storytelling. Toward evening there was even a little love-making and the oldsters nodded and shook their heads indulgently as the young people paired off to sit together or quietly disappear and reappear, giggling and laughing.

That’s a feast in Tahiti. Now do you wonder that I like their informality and simplicity, that I try to inject a little of their happy fun-making into our scheme of things? Let’s see how it can be done on the mainland.

A Luau on the Mainland

SUNDAY AFTERNOON or any evening—it’s all the same. If you have a patio and barbecue pit, by all means make it an outdoor affair, the weather permitting, but indoors won’t cramp your style any. Indoors or out, you’ll want plenty offlowersand greens for decoration, and it will mean gathering flowers from the gardens of your friends as well as stripping your own. If you’re in the chips and want to spend great gobs o f dough you’ll use nothing but orchids, anthurium, gardenias, bird-of-paradise, and hibiscus and perhaps have ginger and pikaki leis flown over from Honolulu, but I’m assuming that you have more sense than money and are willing to let the toil of your own lily-whites make up for the difference.

Put flowers wherever they will be seen—on top of fence rails, cupboards, window sills, and shelves. Use greens and flowers of all kinds in profusion to give a tropical effect, a feeling of lush abundance. You’ll need loads of flat ferns or any large leaves for the table to take the place of ti and banana leaves used on the islands. If you can collect enough of them, spread these broad leaves on the floor to walk on and ask your guests beforehand to come in white ducks or pareus and be prepared to remove their shoes upon entering.

If your party is to be held indoors, put away all the doodads and bric-a-brac. Just leave the furniture and give every room your guests will see a liberal flower treatment, even the lalas. Paper leis can be combined with fresh flowers and greens and you can ask a few close friends over the day before the feast to help you make flower leis, one for each guest. Leis can be made from any flowers that mass well and don’t wilt too quickly, such as daisies, marguerites, carnations, cornflowers, chrysanthemums, dahlias, pinks, asters, et cetera. The stems are removed and the flower heads are threaded on strong thread with a large needle. These leis can be put in boxes of wet newspapers and kept fresh in a cooler or icebox overnight. A refrigerator would be too cold, making the blossoms wilt more quickly when removed from such a low temperature. Besides, you won’t have room for them. I don’t have space for flowers even in my walk-in refrigerator when preparations for a special party are under way.

It’s the custom in the islands for the host and hostess to present each guest with a flower lei and a kiss. The host takes care of the women and the hostess gubers the men. Like our mistletoe at the Christmas season, this limbers the reflexes and starts things off on a friendly basis. In addition the men are given crowns of flowers and the women flowers for their hair. The wreaths give the men a rakish air and bring out the madcap in the most sedate. It has been my observation that no man can be stiff with something on his head. When or by whom party hats were invented I don’t know, but whoever it was knew his psychology. And that’s a tip for harried hostesses when confronted with a guest list of stuffed shirts. Just put something on their heads. Rebecca McCann’s “Cheerful Cherub” must have had something sim­ ilar in mind. Remember the little verse entitled Bathing Suits?

            When pompous people squelch me 
            With their regal attributes
            It cheers me to imagine
            How they'd look in bathing suits.

But to get back to the wreaths. They’re made from a flat sword fern wired or tied together in a circle and studded with small flowers—daisies, cornflowers, or whatever you happen to have.

Contrary to the usual custom of keeping the dining room closed off as a surprise until the meal is served, guests should be taken immediately to see the results of your labors and the preparations made for their entertainment—and sample the punch. This will get them into the spirit of the party, especially the punch. And there should be a punch bowl, by all means. It doesn’t matter whether you use a wooden tub or a hollowed-out log, as long as it’s seaworthy, because the sides won’t show anyway. You can use a large crock or take a large lard bucket and have it sandblasted. Better still, get a twenty-five-gallon barrel and saw it in half. At any rate, use something unique because you’ve thrown formality out the window for the day.

Set your improvised punch bowl on a side table or buffet, covered first with greenery, then bank the sides of the container with coconuts, hands of bananas, whole pine­ apples, citrus fruits, limes, green avocados, and small fruits as available. After that tuck flowers and green leaves around the edge of the bowl and in the crevices between the fruits. For punch cups, use coconut shell cups or sections of bamboo sawed into cups. Coconut cups are easily made by sawing coconuts in half and allowing them to dry for a few days until the meat comes loose from the shell. The outer husk can be sandpapered and the edgessmoothed down. For holders, cut other coconuts into rings into which the cups can be set and not tip over. These same punch cups or whatever you decide to use will be used throughout the meal to follow.

Music isn’t essential but soft island music will help set the tempo of your party. Perhaps someone you know plays a ukulele or guitar, or you might even hire a musician for the day. A record player, stacked with records of Hawaiian music and turned down low, will do the trick too.

If your guests are young and limber, spread the feast on the floor or ground in true island style, but if their bones creak, trade authenticity for comfort and use table and chairs. Forget the knives and forks. People seldom have a chance to eat with their fingers and it’s fun if everyone else is doing it. You’ll have to plan your menu accordingly though. Islanders may be able to manipulate such soft foods as one-finger, two-finger, or three-finger poi, but amateurs won’t take to the idea. In case you’re wondering, that finger business is a measure of the thickness of poi. One-finger poi means it’s thick enough for you to get a mouthful by dipping one finger in the mess. A thinner variety takes two fingers to dip up a mouthful, and the very thin takes three fingers.

Whether you spread your feast at floor level or on a table, use ti leaves, ferns, banana leaves, or whatever broad leaves are available, and make a solid green table covering. In the center build a mound of fruits—lemons, oranges, bananas, avocados, small fruits, peaches, pears and apples, topped with a pineapple. If the table is long, several pineapples may be spaced at intervals. Lay blossoms profusely among the fruit and down the center of the table.

When you get around to setting places, use one large plate, one smaller one, and the punch cup for each cover. Wooden plates and a large shell for the smaller plate will add color and tropical atmosphere. Abalone shells are ideal and even those large scallop shells which are used for baked seafood are suitable. Small shells make good ash trays. You have now eliminated extra dishes, silverware, and numerous appurtenances usually con­ sidered musts at dinner parties, and you won’t have to worry about the tablecloth. You’d better stick to napkins, though, unless you want to emulate the Chinese and pass hot towels and a basin of hot water.

I put on a party at Cypress Point, near Monterey, California, last year which is still being talked about. The food was taken from Oakland about a hundred and twenty-five miles and prepared at the scene of the party. The cooking facilities were most inadequate, so anyone could do the same thing at home a lot easier. On one clamshell I served hearts of romaine with French dressing. There were large wooden bowls of batter-fried shrimp, and small bowls of sauce in which to dip them. There were bowls of barbecued spareribs; bowls of chicken and squab, roasted Chinese style, and bowls of banana fritters. The romaine salad compensated for the lack of vegetables and was eaten with the fingers. For the dessert, in ad­ dition to the banana fritters, there were compotes of bite-sized fruits such as oranges, apples, and pineapple chunks, with a marinade of curacao, which could also be fished out with the fingers.

I spread the tables with green crepe paper overlaid with a quantity of sword fem and used profusions of giant tuberous begonias in the center of the table between the large wooden bowls of food and hurricane lamps.

I served the punch in a long wooden canoe-shaped bowl. The punch itself was just a lot of little Zombies ladled out into coconut cups. We finished off with hot buttered rums, coffee grogs, and Tahitian music and dancing. I haven’t been back since but rumors persistently reach me that the site of our party is haunted. It seems that someone found a zombie in the rafters.

If you’ve ever been to the islands, any of them, you know that the food described is not typical. I’m not claiming that it is, nor am I suggesting that you serve typical Hawaiian or Tahitian foods—not entirely at any rate. The menu does suggest the tropics, it is delicious, and the manner in which it is served is typical of the islands, which is the important feature.

Let me give you other menus which could be used as given or adapted to whatever is available or most easily prepared. Here’s one for those who have barbecue pits, and the meal can be served either in or outdoors. It is fairly elaborate but you can simplify it by merely leaving something out or making substitutions of your own which seem to go with the menu. There’s no hard-and-fast rule about the thing at all.

(Chopped into easily handled pieces with a cleaver)
(Pineapple, oranges, and apples dipped in lime juice)

The lime juice adds flavor as well as prevents discoloration and the fruit is taken with the fingers, eliminating individual dishes.

You’ll notice that we don’t go into vegetables to any great extent. Who in hell wants to eat them anyway? You put vegetables on the plate to cover up the bare spaces and usually find them still there after dinner. In my opinion a good salad, with lots of different kinds of greens, well chilled and seasoned and served with a damned good dressing, takes care of the vegetable problem and you can devote your time and efforts to the important part of the meal—the meat.

Limed Fish

The Tahitians “cook” their fish in lime juice, the process being something akin to that of smoking or pickling herring or salmon. The fish must be absolutely fresh. Use tuna preferably, or halibut, or any delicate white-fleshed fish. Cut into small cubes and let stand half an hour in a strong solution of salt water. Then rinse the fish with fresh water, place it in a bowl, cover with lime or lemon juice, and let it stand for at least an hour and a half. Then take the fish from the lime or lemon juice and serve it with coconut cream in which a clove of garlic has been crushed.

This limed fish makes a delicious luncheon course. Serve it in coconut cream on a large platter and garnish it with slices or quarters of hard-cooked eggs, onion rings, cucumber cubes, and sliced tomatoes. In Tahiti this dish is always served with baked breadfruit and fei, baked red bananas. Here you can substitute French bread for the breadfruit.

For a fish cocktail, serve the limed fish in coconut cream in cocktail glasses or grapefruit shells.

Coconut Cream

Coconut cream is used throughout the islands of the South Pacific. It is used in its pure state as a sauce for fish, fowl, meat, and desserts. W ith the addition of lime or lemon juice, a crushed clove of garlic, salt and pepper, it makes an excellent dressing for a tossed green or vegetable salad. The addition of a cup of coconut cream improves the flavor and consistency of any curry dish too.

To Prepare Coconut Cream: In Tahiti this ever-present mealtime dish is made by grating the fresh coconut, then, by handfuls, placing the meat in a firm, clean cloth and squeezing the “cream” into a bowl. Fresh coconuts can be purchased at any of the large markets here in the States but unfortunately they are drier than those used in Tahiti and will yield less cream. In cold climates the cream in grated coconut will not flow but this can be overcome by placing the grated coconut in a bowl with an equal quantity of hot milk. Let stand a few minutes, then squeeze through a cloth.

How to Milk a Coconut

It seems that people have trouble taking a coconut apart. They hammer, pound, and chisel, and finally end up spilling the milk, which is a pretty important part of any coconut, all over the joint. Now you can’t open a coconut successfully from the end where the three “eyes” are located. It must be opened from the other end. Most people assume that the milk should be drained from the three “eyes” so they approach the thing like a can of Dutch Cleanser, but no dice.

Hold the end of the coconut having the three spots firmly in your hand and hit the other end of the coconut, just below the top, with the back of a cleaver or heavy knife. Don’t hit it straight down, but give it a sort of firm, glancing blow. After a few tries you’ll find you can remove just the very tip of the coconut without spoiling the rest of the nut.

There are many uses for this remaining nutshell, after you’ve removed the meat. You can serve chicken curry or shrimp Saté in it or use it to serve a rum punch made with the milk of the coconut. The idea is not to split the shell, and you will for sure if you try to remove the end part with the eyes. The nut will split down the side and you’ll lose all of the milk besides spoiling a good container.

Laulaus with Curry Sauce

The original Hawaiian laulau was an individual portion of pork and fish, such as salmon, wrapped in taro and ti leaves and steamed in the underground oven or imu. Here on the mainland certain substitutions and changes must necessarily be made. We use a steam or pressure cooker instead of the island imu, and substitute spinach for taro leaves and cornhusks for ti leaves. I give you my version of a laulau, which is both palatable and easy to prepare.

Chicken Laulaus: Disjoint enough chickens for the number of people you intend to serve. If you’re using fryers, allow 14 chicken per serving, but two laulaus or servings per person. Roasters may be cut up proportionately, but you can serve from four to six people, depending upon the size of the bird.

Separate the breasts of the chicken, so that a little of the breast meat may be included in each laulau. Brown chicken with flour. Wash spinach and wrap a piece of browned chicken, piece of breast meat, a little finely chopped onion, salt, and pepper in spinach leaves, laying the leaves crosswise and folding them over the portion of chicken. Then cross two cornhusks; lay the spinach-wrapped chicken in the center and pull the ends of the husk over and tie with string. Steam these packages two and a half to three hours in a covered steamer or cook a half to three quarters of an hour in a pressure cooker at 15 pounds pressure. Remove string and serve hot on wooden plates or shells.

You can do your own experimenting with this method of cooking. Try beef with cabbage leaves or lamb in grape leaves. It’s a good party dish because there are no last-minute preparations and it will keep hot if there’s any delay in sitting down to eat.

Curry Sauce

This curry sauce I’m about to give you is as versatile as it is delicious and there isn’t too much curry powder in it. It’s wonderful with laulaus, or use it over shrimps, hard-cooked eggs, chicken, or lobster. You’ll find a dozen uses for it in years to come.

  • 1 quart milk, scalded
  • fresh coconut, grated
  • 1 12 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • clove garlic, minced
  • 1 finely chopped fresh ginger root (may be omitted)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 12 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour

Grate the coconut meat, add to scalded milk, and let stand one hour. Then strain through cheesecloth bag and squeeze until coconut meat is dry. Melt butter, add chopped onions, garlic, and ginger (if used) and saute until lightly browned; then add curry powder and sugar. Mix well, add flour, and stir. Gradually add the milk squeezed from the coconut meat, stirring constantly. When ready to serve, add salt to taste. If added too soon the mixture may curdle.

Should you feel inclined to move the locale of a dinner to India sometime, serve this same sauce with shrimp, crab, lobster, hard-boiled eggs, or chicken, in a huge nest of snowy, flaky rice, surrounded by relish dishes or shells filled with chutney, chopped crisp bacon, chopped green peppers, grated coconut, and chopped peanuts or salted sunflower seeds. If you prefer, make a large rice ring and put the curried food in the center and serve the relishes and accompaniments in divided relish dishes.

Here’s a simpler menu for those who do not have a barbecue pit. Some of the food can be prepared ahead of time and reheated in the oven and it can be served indoors or outdoors.


(Cut meat up in small squares and serve in a bowl)
(Meat on a stick)

Tahitian Pota

Pota, in Tahiti, is made from the young taro leaves; the leaves are parboiled in salted water and later, with meat and seasonings, rolled into fresh taro leaves and baked in the ground oven. You can make an excellent dish along these lines by substituting fresh spinach.

Cook well-washed spinach in salted, boiling water for five minutes; drain, season well with salt, pepper, a finely minced clove of garlic, chopped parsley, and a little lemon juice. To 2 parts spinach add 1 part chopped cooked ham, pork, corned beef, or chicken. Mix well together and place in a buttered baking pan, with a layer of spinach on top. Bake in a slow oven for forty-five minutes. Remove from oven with a knife, and make deep grooves every couple of inches; cover with a full cup of coconut cream; replace in oven for ten minutes and serve with extra coconut cream.

Baked Bananas as a Vegetable

I see that baked bananas are next on the list. There are a number of ways to bake them. The Tahitians bake them in their skins in the underground oven and they are simply split and eaten from the skins as a vegetable.

Bake firm ripe bananas in the skin in a slow oven about thirty-five minutes or until a fork will pierce them easily. Serve whole and unskinned around a thick slice of ham or baked ham, or in a large bowl at a luau. After bananas are peeled, they should be sprinkled sparingly with a little salt.

Baked Bananas as a Dessert

Place thoroughly ripened peeled bananas in a buttered baking dish, sliced, halved, or quartered, as you wish. Dot layers with butter and sweeten generously with honey. Bake in a slow oven until fluffy and browned. Serve with coconut cream. Other fruits, such as peaches, pears, apricots, or canned pineapple, may be given the same treatment.

A more elaborate preparation, but a delicious dessert, is made by slitting the skins of firm ripe bananas lengthwise. Remove the fruit carefully to a deep dish in which you’ve mixed 1 cup of Kirsch or 12 cup Madeira wine and 12 cup good brandy with 14 cup powdered sugar . Make slits in the banana about an inch apart to allow the liqueur to soak into the fruit. Turn it carefully, then let it stand about half an hour. Put the fruit back in the skins in a baking, dish, pour melted butter and a little powdered sugar over the fruit with some of the liqueur in which it soaked and bake it twenty to thirty minutes in a moderate oven. Serve hot right in the blackened skins with the rest of the liqueur as a sauce.

Tahitian Fruit Poi

To 2 cups of crushed fruit and its juice, add 1 heaping tablespoon of arrowroot dissolved in a little of the juice or water. (Cornstarch may be used instead of the Tahitian arrowroot, or use one of the commercial packages of vanilla pudding.) Any cooked fruit can be used— papaya, pears, peaches, apricots, pineapple, or crushed ripe bananas. Sweeten to taste and mix thoroughly with the arrowroot. Place in a buttered baking dish and bake in a slow oven until thickened and browned on top. The consistency should be like a custard. By large spoonfuls, take from the baking dish and place in a somewhat flat serving bowl. Pour coconut cream generously over all and serve either warm or cold. After the coconut cream has been added, the dish should not be placed in the refrigerator or the cream will solidify.

A Chinese Dinner in the Trader Vic Manner

Also Chinese Recipes

WITHOUT our being particularly aware of it, Chinese and oriental dishes have made rapid inroads into our American eating habits. Nearly everyone has a pet Chinese restaurant where an occasional feed of chow mein, cha sui (sliced barbecued pork) and fried rice, or other Chinese dishes, is enjoyed. Soya sauce, which was once eyed distrustfully and termed “bug juice” by the uninformed, is now accepted on familiar terms and we are even beginning to appreciate its usefulness in our own kitchens. A few years ago we became aware of the fact that bean sprouts are the source of tremendous food value. Canned water chestnuts and bamboo shoots were to be found in most delicatessen and specialty grocery stores before the war and will be again.

Even our cooking habits have become affected. Our nutritionists have begun advocating a theory of cooking, in conjunction with a national nutrition program, which the Chinese have known and practiced for centuries—that is, the quick cooking of vegetables in small amounts of liquid so that no vitamins and minerals are destroyed or thrown away. The Chinese didn’t know about vitamins or minerals by name but they knew that life-giving and health-preserving magic lay in vegetables and took care to save every precious drop. They chop or slice their vegetables very fine and cook them quickly in broth. In order to combine meat with their dishes, the raw meat is also chopped fine so that it will be thoroughly but quickly cooked.

In a land that has fought famines and too little food for too many people for hundreds of years, the habit of food conservation is ingrained. No scrap of meat is discarded that can be made palatable. The Chinese have always known that long slow roasting is best for meats and prevents much shrinkage, but it is a fairly new idea with us. Housewives are still prone to sear their roasts in very hot ovens, whereas the new theory is to start them at low temperatures and continue cooking with the same degree of heat.

With the growing appreciation of Chinese dishes comes the yen to cook them at home. The main handicap, in addition to securing all the necessary ingredients, is that we can’t produce high enough temperatures with our regular stove burners. Fair results can be accomplished, however, with the highest possible temperatures and preheated pans. All liquids should be added at the boiling point so as not to retard the cooking process. The idea, briefly, in Chinese food preparation is to arrive at the maximum degree of heat in the shortest possible time—to cook vegetables and chopped meats as quickly as possible. Overcooking destroys texture and blends the various flavors too much. A well-cooked Chinese dish should be full of surprises in both texture and flavor, with every mouthful having distinct flavor and character.

Here at Trader Vic’s we use the standard Chinese cooking utensils—large shallow iron kettles set on metal collars above triple-jetted gas burners. In these all the Chinese dishes are prepared and scooped and turned with what look like large pancake turners with long handles. Large covers that resemble inverted milk pans are hooked above each setup and brought down to let foods steam a few moments when necessary. In your own kitchen a large heavy iron skillet, spider, or Dutch oven, thoroughly preheated, will do.

Before we get on with recipes, a word about a flavoring powder which you’ll come across every now and then in Chinese recipes. Oriental peoples have long used a flavoring powder which the Chinese call ve-tsin and the Japanese ajinomoto. It accentuates the flavor of meat or poultry. I have developed one of my own which I call Mai Kai (Chinese for “king of flavors”). This product, composed of various powdered seasonings, protein derivatives, and hydrolized protein, not only adds flavor but sharpens the taste buds so that delicate flavors are more quickly tasted. Mai Kai, used in soups, broths, cream soups, gravies, and even vege­ tables, gives added flavor. When used in chicken, the flavor of chicken is more pronounced; if used with beef or lamb, the flavor of the meat is ac­ cented. Used with vegetables, a rich, nutlike flavor is achieved. By the time you read this, Mai Kai will be on the market but if it isn’t, and you are unable to procure the Chinese or Japanese flavor­ ing powder, it can be omitted from any recipes with no serious detriment to flavor.

Now to get on with the recipes. I don’t suppose, however, that you’re going to sit down to a mess of Chinese food all by yourself, and since the main purpose of this book is to give you my ideas on how to give parties and have fun, let’s plan a Chinese dinner party. Not the authentic kind, but my kind. If you want to know how the Chinese really give dinner parties, make tea, arrange flowers, and think, I refer you to Lin Yutang’s The Importance of Living. He really knows what he’s talking about.

You wouldn’t want to give a dinner party in the traditional Chinese manner anyway. They serve course after course of many dishes on bare tables. There is no glamor—no candles, no flowers—just good food. W e have to have decorations, candlelight, and fancy table accessories to make a dinner a party, so I suggest a simple centerpiece of lilies, chrysanthemums, or heavy-headed poppies in a flat bowl with a bit of pseudo-Chinese statuary or ceramics, and short fat candles set on teakwood or pottery pedestals. Use table mats—woven, or bright-colored linen in jade green or yellow with matching napkins.


(Sliced barbecued pork)

The pork and shrimp should be served as one course, with cocktails or tea. Wooden or bright-colored pottery bowls will do for the shrimp and the pork can be served on small dishes. Wooden or pottery coasters can be used for the hot mustard in which to dip the pork. Try to use small bowls for the soup and buy some Chinese porcelain soup spoons if you can find them. The main-course dishes should be brought to the table in bowls and passed. Most of the recipes will serve two, but if you serve many dishes everyone just takes small portions of every dish offered. In other words, if you are serving six people you do not use recipes that serve six, but just serve a greater variety of Chinese dishes. For the tea, use small cups without handles and several small teapots—one for every two or three people.

How to Make Tea

Pour boiling water in the teapot to preheat it a few minutes, then pour out water and add 1 tablespoon of black tea, while the water for the tea boils. Drop in the petals from a couple or three gardenias and pour the boiling water over tea and petals. Let steep and notice the delicate fragrance and flavor. It’s about as close to jasmine tea as we can come and some folks like it better. Anyway, it’s a good use for yesterday’s gardenias.

Chinese Mustard

There’s nothing mysterious about the Chinese mustard served with shrimp and pork. It’s simply a good grade of dry mustard mixed with water and colored with turmeric. If you want it still hotter, mix it with beer which has stood open overnight (to come right out and say it, stale beer). The beery mustard, incidentally, is a soul mate of steamed clams and cold beer.

Cha Sui

  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 12 teaspoons sait
  • 3 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Cut pork tenderloin into two long strips; mix seasonings into a paste and rub into the meat; let stand for an hour or two, then barbecue or broil slowly for one hour. When cold, cut into very thin diagonal slices and serve with Chinese mustard or catsup mixed with a little horseradish.

Mushroom Soup

  • 14 pound dried black mushrooms
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 small piece of ginger (size of hazelnut)
  • 3 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 14 cup diced bamboo shoots
  • 14 cup finely diced cooked chicken
  • 14 cup finely diced cooked ham
  • 14 cup chopped green onions

Soak mushrooms in hot water for fifteen minutes; drain and chop very fine. Crush the garlic and sauté in butter a second or two, then remove and sauté the mushrooms about five minutes in the same pan. Bring chicken stock to a boil and add garlic, mushrooms, and seasonings. Simmer several hours. Before serving, strain and add finely diced bamboo shoots, chicken, ham, and green onions. Let cook a few minutes and serve in small soup cups.

Chow Mein

Perhaps the most popular of all Chinese dishes in this country is chow mein. Its variations are many, and its abuses legion, but, well cooked, it’s a superb dish. As with all Chinese dishes, you can use pork, beef, chicken, or seafood. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of lamb chow mein—wonder what it would taste like? The cooked vegetable and meat mixture is dumped onto a plate of crisp or pan-fried noodles, and usually garnished with strips of chicken or barbecued pork, slivers of onion, sliced fried egg or crushed nut meats, such as cashew nuts or toasted almonds. There’s nothing standard about the garnish.

Crisp noodles means that raw, freshly made noodles have been fried in deep fat. Pan-fried noodles means that the raw noodles have been boiled first and then fried in oil until they are a crisp, golden-brown mass, soft in the center.

  • 1 cup finely chopped raw pork
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or salad oil
  • 1 cup bok choy (Chinese chard)
  • 23 cup bamboo shoots
  • 12 cup finely sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  • 12 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese flavoring powder
  • 3 cups chicken bioth
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cold water

Preheat large skillet; fry pork in oil, then add bok choy and fry about two minutes. Stir in bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, soya sauce, sugar, and flavoring powder, and mix thoroughly; cover and let steam for five minutes, then add bean sprouts and cook two minutes, with lid on. Remove lid, thicken with cornstarch mixed in the cold water, and bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Finely sliced cooked chicken or barbecued pork may be added with the bean sprouts. Serve immediately over pan-fried or crisp noodles.

Foo Yong

Next in popularity among Chinese dishes is foo yong. You’ll see it spelled many ways on menus—foo young or foo yung or fu yung—but they all mean omelet and you can have crab, shrimp, pork, lobster, chicken, or any kind of foo yong you want. I’ll give you a basic recipe and you can supply the variations.

  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped bamboo shoots
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped water chesrnuts
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese flavoring powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 34 cup chopped seafood or cooked meat

Beat eggs lightly with a fork in a large mixing bowl and stir in the rest of the ingredients, adding the meat or seafood last. Mix thoroughly. Put plenty of oil on a hot griddle or in a skillet, and drop a liberal amount of the egg mixture (about 13 cup) to form small cakes. Fry them with a fast fire into thick cakes, turning until cooked and delicately browned. Pile several together for a serving and pour over them some of the following sauce:

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 14 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese flavoring powder
  • 1 tablespoon cold water

Heat broth in a small pan, add rest of ingredients, and thicken to the consistency of gravy with cornstarch mixed in cold water.

Chicken with Pineapple

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 12 cup sliced water chestnuts
  • 12 cup bamboo shoots
  • 14 cup finely sliced celery
  • 12 cup finely chopped bok choy (Chinese chard)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese flavoring powder
  • 2 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked breast of chicken, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup pineapple cubes
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cold water

Fry vegetables in oil in preheated skillet. Add seasonings and broth and bring to boil; stir in chicken and pineapple; cover and let steam a moment, then thicken with cornstarch mixed with cold water, stirring constantly. Serve piping hot.

Chinese Peas with Water Chestnuts

  • 13 cup finely chopped raw pork
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or salad oil
  • 2 cups Chinese green peas
  • 12 cup finely sliced water chestnuts
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese flavoring powder
  • 1 12 cups broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water

Fry the meat in oil in preheated skillet; add the peas and chestnuts and seasonings, then add the broth. Steam, covered, over hot fire five or six minutes. Thicken slightly with cornstarch mixed with cold water.

Chicken Almond

Other Chinese dishes which may be added to the menu or substituted, as you wish, are chicken almond and oyster beef.

  • 2 tablespoons peanut or salad oil
  • 1 cup finely sliced raw breast of chicken
  • 1 cup diced bamboo shoots (14-inch squares)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 12 cup diced bok choy (Chinese chard)
  • 14 cup sliced water chestnuts
  • 14 cup blanched almonds
  • 1 tablespoon sweet soya sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese flavoring powder
  • 1 12 cups broth
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cold water

Sauté the chicken in the oil in a preheated pan; add rest of ingredients and mix thoroughly; cover and steam five minutes, then remove lid and thicken slightly with cornstarch mixed in cold water. Serve immediately.

Oyster Beef

Oyster beef is an outstanding dish but one which is not so well known as other Chinese dishes. The oyster sauce can be purchased in most specialty grocery stores or delicatessens. Here at Trader Vic’s we use Greig’s Oyster Sauce. For information as to its sale in your locality write to Greig, Law­ rence & Hoyt, Ltd., 347 Madison Avenue, New York 17, New York.

  • 1 12 cups tenderloin of beef or flank steak
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or salad oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons broth
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water

Slice meat in long strips about 2 inches wide, then cut crosswise in very thin slices, not over 18-inch thick. Saute in oil a few seconds in a hot pan. Add onions, mushrooms, oyster sauce, and broth, and stir well. Cover and steam for five minutes, then thicken slightly with cornstarch mixed in cold water. Cook a few seconds more, stirring constantly, and serve immediately.

Whole Fish Chinese

A friend of mine in Burlingame has a Chinese cook. We were there for dinner one evening and he cooked fish in a most delicious way. He took a whole striped bass, laid the fish gently in cold water, brought it to a boil, and let it simmer about ten minutes. Then he let the fish poach in this boiling water until it was sufficiently cool for serving—not cold, but just the right temperature. The fish was then placed on a platter and heated soya sauce poured over it, and the whole thing sprinkled with sliced green onions. The soya sauce and the green onions were the only flavorings on the fish and it was delicious. You could give the same serving treatment to this recipe.

  • 1 whole fish, 3-5 pounds (striped bass, black cod, pike, mullet, or perch)
  • 3 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 2 slices ginger root (omit if you don’t like ginger)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped Virginia ham
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Place the cleaned fish, unskinned, in a large kettle; add seasonings and water; bring to a boil and let simmer forty-five minutes to an hour, depending upon the size of the fish. Don’t let it boil or the meat is apt to break apart.

Lobsters Chinese

(Serves 6 people)

If you’re tired of broiled lobster and lobster thermidor you’ll be delighted with this recipe. It’s easily prepared and delicious.

  • 3 1-pound lobsters
  • 2 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sherry
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons water

Split the lobsters lengthwise and clean well (or have it done at the market); place them in a steamer over boiling water. On each half lobster pour a little of the soya sauce, sherry, onions, and water all mixed together. Cover the steamer tightly and let steam ten minutes.

Chinese Scallops

With scallops plentiful on the East coast and frozen scallops available in most grocery stores, you can try this recipe any time.

  • 2 pounds fresh scallops
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or salad oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 bell peppers

Wash scallops, remove muscle, and slice. Wash peppers, remove seeds, and dice. Heat oil in a heavy skillet, add scallops, and saute about two minutes, stirring constantly. Add the finely chopped onion, seasoning, and diced peppers, mix well and cook about three minutes more.

Bamboo Shoots with Sliced Pork

  • 1 pound boneless fresh pork
  • 1 12 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 12 can bamboo shoots
  • 1 12 cups finely sliced celery
  • 12 cup finely sliced bok choy (Chinese chard)
  • 12 large bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Cut meat into thin 1-inch squares, about 116-inch thick. Mix meat with half of the soya sauce, the sherry, cornstarch, sugar, and water, and let stand five minutes. Drain the liquid from the canned bamboo shoots and cut in pieces like the meat. Heat oil in skillet; add meat and flavorings and stir constantly so it won’t burn. Cook five minutes, then add the bamboo shoots, celery, bok choy, and bell pepper. Add remaining soya sauce and salt; cook and stir for five minutes longer.

Bell Peppers with Pork

  • 1 pound boneless pork
  • 3 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 6 bell peppers
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon distilled vinegar

Cut meat in thin l-inch squares, about 116-inch thick; mix with soya sauce, sugar, cornstarch, and water, and let stand a few moments. Wash peppers, remove seeds, and dice. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet; add bell peppers and cook about two minutes, then remove from pan and set aside. Add the meat and seasonings with the rest of the oil; cook and stir five minutes. Add salt and vinegar, and replace the bell peppers; cook together a minute more.

Paper-Wrapped Chicken

These little packages of well-seasoned chicken make good tidbits with cocktails served at the dinner table. Since they’re served hot and each package must be opened on a plate they’re not practical for cocktail parties or living-room service—but they are delicious.

  • 3 to 4 pounds young chicken
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 3 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 3 small onions, finely chopped
  • Parchment cooking paper

Remove chicken from bones and cut in small slices; marinate the chicken in the sherry, soya sauce, and minced onion ten to fifteen minutes. Divide the chicken in equal portions, mixing white with dark meat, on 4-inch squares of parchment cooking paper (18 to 20), and fold into little packages securely. Deep-fry the packages in hot fat for two minutes and serve hot right in the little paper jackets. They may also be baked in a very hot oven, but it takes a little longer.

Fresh Peas and Diced Chicken

  • 4 pounds young chickens
  • 3 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup water or stock (boiling hot)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 14 pound fresh mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 14 pound water chestnuts, finely sliced
  • 12 cup bamboo shoots, finely diced
  • 12 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 14 pound toasted almond
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water

Chop the chicken into bite-size pieces and marinate in soya sauce and finely chopped onion. Heat oil in skillet; add chicken with marinade and stir two minutes. A dd broth; cover and simmer for five minutes. Sauté the mushrooms, water chest­ nuts, and bamboo shoots in a separate pan, then add to the chicken. Add peas which have stood a few moments in boiling water to take off the chill. Let cook together two or three minutes, stirring constantly. Thicken slightly with cornstarch mixed with cold water; stir a second or two and serve with steamed rice.

Asparagus Chinese Style

If you’re a member of the “I-don’t-like-vege-tables” fraternity you’ll turn in your pin with this recipe.

  • 2 cups finely sliced green asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or salad oil
  • 12 cup finely diced pork
  • 1 12 cups boiling chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon soya sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese flavoring powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water

Slice the green nibs of fresh asparagus on the bias, about 116-inch thick. Heat the oil in a skillet; add the finely diced pork and stir for two minutes; add the asparagus and stir a minute more, then add the broth and seasonings. Let cook three minutes; thicken slightly with cornstarch mixed with water; stir a second or two more and serve immediately, as a vegetable.

String Beans with Sliced Pork

  • 1 pound boneless pork
  • 3 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 pound string beans
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or salad oil
  • 12 cup boiling stock or water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Cut meat into thin l-inch squares, about 116-inch thick. Mix meat with half of the soya sauce, sherry, sugar, cornstarch, and water; let stand. Wash the string beans, string, and cut diagonally into 1-inch lengths. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy skillet; add the string beans and saute for about one minute, stirring constantly; add the boiling liquid, salt, and cover; let cook three minutes, then remove cover and let cook five minutes more, stirring to keep from sticking. Remove beans from skillet and set aside. Add other tablespoon of oil, add meat, stirring constantly for two minutes, then add the string beans and juice and cook together for one minute more. Serve immediately with steamed rice.

Chinese Noodles

For a late snack or light lunch, boil a quantity of fresh Chinese noodles, obtainable in Chinatown. When thoroughly cooked, drain and add to each quart of noodles 14 pound of butter, 14 cup soya sauce, 14 cup finely chopped green onions. If you want to elaborate on this, add finely sliced cooked chicken, ham, or barbecued pork, but they’re delicious without meat.

The Chinese are fond of sweets but not desserts as we know them. They lean more to pastries and candied fruits but do most of their sweet eating between meals. Preserved litchi, in case you aren’t familiar with them, are like large peeled grapes in a heavy syrup, smooth and mild in flavor. They can be bought only in cans or dried, as the fresh litchi cannot be imported. The dried ones are a favorite munch of the Chinese and resemble nuts. They have a crusty exterior which, when cracked off, reveals a soft, prunelike center with a seed inside.

If you can find some candied coconut, preserved ginger, dried litchi nuts—any or all of them—serve these with the dessert. Salted almonds and cashew nuts won’t break the oriental spell you’ve cast over your guests either.

About Food in General

Cocktail Parties

FOOD IS the mainstay of any party, be it a cocktail party, a tea, a barbecue, or just a plain brawl. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it must be good, well prepared, and appetizing-looking. I’ve a lot of pet peeves to get off my chest concerning what cooks when you go over to somebody’s house to chisel some food and drinks and I further contend that the average American hostess needs a swift kick in her culinary pants, so let’s get about it.

Canapés and Hors D’œuvres

The tidbits usually served at cocktail parties simply slay me. After looking at hundreds of silver platters and their ghastly contents for many years, I’ve reached the conclusion that someone must have offered an annual Pulitzer prize for the most deadly hors d’œuvre. The competition for the ickiest appetizer seems to be pretty keen. Some of the stuff sensible women are dreaming up would make L. Borgia pack up her little black bag and go home. Tell me, do the people who make these damned things ever eat them themselves, or do they have a special tray with the good ones on it hidden in the kitchen?

There are many good recipes in the cookbooks you already have, if you’re an old hand, or you can buy yourself a good cookbook, and should, if you’re a novice. You old-timers will make more friends and influence more people if you’ll just stick to some of the tried and true concoctions instead of trying to be so damnably “different.” If you must be ingenious, change the shapes, the garnish, the method of serving, but for chrissakes make them taste good!

I was invited for cocktails at the home of some friends recently. It turned out to be one of the most enjoyable cocktail parties I’ve ever attended. My host and hostess had selected their guests with care. The guest of honor was a doctor, recently returned from several years’ duty overseas, and the guests were mostly doctors and friends of his who knew each other. The wives of these men had a great deal in common so the social part of the affair was instantly successful. The drinks were good because they were made properly and of good liquor, and the food was superb.

There were only three different kinds of hors d’ceuvres, but they were delicious and there were plenty of each kind. One was a caviar and cream cheese mixture toasted on small round crackers that were crisp. There was a canapé of white turkey meat, sliced generously and placed on a piece of crisp lettuce on fresh bread. The dark part of the turkey had been made into a sort of salad, well seasoned and mixed with a little tart mayonnaise and stuffed into tiny cream-puff affairs. These were stuffed as used so that the puffs were never soggy. The assortment was ample and every one tasted wonderful. For once I didn’t get a mouthful of some awful-tasting gluck and have to swallow it because there was no place to ditch it, and I didn’t get my belly full of a lot of stuff that gave me indigestion and spoiled the rest of the evening for me.

I’m going to give you just a few canapes and hors d’œuvres which I think are interesting, which I know taste good, and which won’t aggravate someone’s pet ulcer.

Chicken Livers with Water Chestnuts

You can buy fresh water chestnuts in Chinatown, or you can use canned ones. To prepare fresh water chestnuts, wash them thoroughly and slice into three parts. Cut chicken livers in slices slightly larger than the chestnut slices. Using two slices of chicken liver and one of chestnut, make a sandwich, wrap with a thin slice of bacon, skewer with a toothpick, and fry in deep fat. For added flavor, dip the livers first in soya sauce.

Chicken Livers in Egg Batter

Cut chicken or duck livers in small strips, dip them first in soya sauce and then in a very light batter of egg and flour, and fry in deep fat. The soya sauce imparts a delicious flavor and the batter gives them an enjoyable crispness.

Batter Fried Shrimp

A big bowl of fried shrimp with toothpicks for dipping in the accompanying sauce will absolutely take top billing at any cocktail party. The secret lies in the batter. Mix the ingredients, but don’t work or stir too much, and don’t get too much batter on your shrimp or prawns, whichever you use.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 12 cup cornstarch
  • 14 cup white corn meal
  • 12 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 3 cups water
  • 12 cup milk

Take a small amount of batter at a time, in a small bowl, and mix in plenty of large shucked raw shrimp so that not too much batter encases them. Have the oil very hot, about 400℉., for frying them.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

You’ll want a sauce for the shrimp and you can use any one of the many prepared seafood cocktail sauces, or a sweet and sour sauce such as the Chinese use for barbecued pork.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 12 cup distilled vinegar
  • 12 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pimento
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water

Mix all ingredients except cornstarch, boil five minutes, and then thicken to taste with cornstarch mixed with cold water. Let cool, and before serving strain out the vegetable ingredients and add just a few bits of pimento and a little finely chopped parsley for a colorful effect.

Clam Puffs

Another delicious hot canapé is a minced razor clam and cream cheese mixture broiled on toast or crisp crackers. They should be passed at once, while they’re still hot, and not set on a table to wait for someone to find them cold and soggy.

  • 1 well-drained can of minced clams
  • 1 package Philadelphia cream cheese
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon scraped onion
  • 1 egg white, well beaten

Blend drained clams and cream cheese, add seasonings, and fold in well-beaten egg white. Drop by teaspoonfuls on crisp crackers and slip under broiler until puffy with golden-brown touches. Serve immediately. Horseradish may be added to the original mixture, if you like the stuff.

As variations for the above mixture, you can mix minced clams with the cream cheese and seasoning, omitting the egg white, spread thick on squares of toast, sprinkle with grated American cheese, and slip under the broiler to delicately brown.

Piroshki Stroinska

This next recipe is really a gem. I got it from Theo Raspillar, who is just about the best cook I’ve known. She’s a wonderful individual of Polish descent who has traveled the world over. She spends most of her time talking about cooking and eating and you should visit her home. Not only is she a good cook, she’s clever. In her kitchen she has a large screen decoratively covered with menus picked up in her travels. For many years her friends have been urging her to open a tearoom. Because they like her food they think she should capitalize on it and cook for the public but, to Theo, cooking is an outlet for her creative instincts and her desire to eat the unusual. She has always taken keen delight, wherever she has traveled, in discovering how the intricate dishes were put together and usually she just experiments until she discovers the secret herself.

This recipe was her mother’s, and she tells me that this tiny flaky turnover was always served with Polish borsch, but I think it would make a hell of a canape at a cocktail party.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 12 cup mushroom broth, or stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup chopped canned mushrooms
  • 1 chopped hard-cooked egg
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon onion juice
  • 2 chopped chicken livers
  • Rich pastry dough

Melt butter, add flour, cook with broth until smooth. Add rest of ingredients and cook slowly until very thick. Cool. Roll pastry dough very thin and cut in 3-inch squares. Put spoonful of filling on each half and fold over. Seal edges with a fork dipped in flour. Put on a baking sheet and bake in a hot oven until browned.

French Roll Canapés

These are easy to make and serve, and they taste swell. You can always tell a good canape—it’s the first to disappear from the tray. Watch these go.

  • 1 large green pepper
  • 1 firm ripe tomato
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons grated onion
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 3 packages Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 4 French rolls

Remove stem end, seeds, and inside membranes of the green pepper, and chop. Peel tomato and chop very fine with the pepper. Drain and mix with rest of ingredients. Hollow out the French rolls and pack with the cheese mixture; wrap in wax paper and chill overnight in refrigerator. Slice thin with a sharp knife just before serving. Keep any unused rolls or portions of rolls in refrigerator so they’ll keep firm and slice easily. This recipe may be varied by using anchovy paste and a little finely chopped canned pimentos in place of the bell pepper and tomato. Chopped olives may also be included.

Miscellaneous Recipes


SOUPS seem to head the list of neglected items these days. I remember when no one ever sat down to a meal that didn’t start with a soup of some kind. Sometimes that was the meal—a heavy, rich soup made with vegetables and meat. You had your soup in a bowl with plenty of bread and butter and used the meat from the soup as a side dish. My mother and father, in their later years, operated a small grocery store and we lived in the flat above. My brother and sister and I came home to lunch from school and although Mother tended the store downstairs we always came home to an excellent meal of some kind. Many times there was a tremendous soup tureen of good beef soup with plenty of vegetables and I was always sure to find a lamb shank, my favorite, among the heavy cuts of brisket and shinbones. That steaming rich soup with half a loaf of French bread and a glass of half red wine and half water with a little sugar added was my luncheon.

As I look back I can understand my drowsiness around three o’clock in the afternoon. Once in a while the teacher would comment, “Victor, did you have wine again for lunch?” Of course we lived in a neighborhood where half of the kids had wine with their lunch so I always thought she just didn’t know what she was missing. Maybe she didn’t.

Green Onion Soup

Years ago we lived in a little country town called Black Point, in Marin County, California. I was recuperating from a series of operations and several years in the hospital, so my mother used to make green onion soup especially for me. She had a French name for it which I can’t spell so I’ll skip it. The rich chicken broth and the egg and the onions make it especially nourishing and soothing for convalescents.

  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 medium-sized raw potato, diced 12 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 beaten egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Simmer the potatoes in the chicken broth. Saute the green onions in the butter. When the potatoes are cooked, add the green onions and seasoning and simmer five minutes more. Remove from fire and whip the egg into the soup with a wire whip and serve immediately.

Black Mushroom Soup

Whenever I’m in Chicago I dine at the Pump Room of the Ambassador Hotel. Eugene there has been putting up with my whims and fancies for a good many years and on my last visit he served me a soup called black mushroom soup. It seemed to me to be a beef broth with an infusion of powdered dried mushrooms, with a little sherry wine added. Anyway, with that as inspiration I’ve concocted something that approximates it and I think you’ll like it. Of course I’ll be on the grease for using canned broth here but let’s not kid ourselves. That’s what the average housewife will use anyway. No one’s going to all the fuss and bother to make it at home.

  • 1 can concentrated beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon finely powdered, dried black mushrooms
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 ounce sherry
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Dilute the beef broth according to the directions on the can; add the dried mushrooms (put dried black mushrooms through finest blade on food grinder or use an old coffee grinder) and let simmer approximately half an hour. Season with salt and pepper. Thicken slightly with cornstarch mixed with a little cold water. Just before serving add 1 ounce sweet sherry wine.

Polish Borsch

This next soup is another of Theo Raspillar’s recipes, the soup that was always accompanied by the piroshki stroinska. It’s as practical a recipe for Polish borsch as you’ll find in this country.

  • 1 can of consomme
  • 1 cup beet juice from a can of beets
  • 12 teaspoon dill seeds
  • 6 whole cloves

Simmer for five minutes and strain. Add one tablespoon lemon juice and serve topped with cream cheese thinned with milk, or sour cream, if available.

Consommé Windsor

While on a hunting trip to Salt Lake City a few weeks ago I was invited to a cocktail party and buffet supper. My hostess served what she called consomme Windsor, and it’s worth passing along. Half beef consommé and half clam broth was thoroughly heated and served in cups with a dab of whipped cream stirred into each cup. It was light and delicious and made a terrific hit with everyone.

French Onion Soup

No Frenchman’s cookbook would be complete without a recipe for French onion soup. People have been twaddling for years about going down to the French markets at the crack of dawn for bowls of it—in France and in New Orleans. It is also reputed to have a beneficial effect on advanced stages of tippling.

  • 8 medium-sized brown onions
  • 1 quart bouillon
  • French bread
  • Gruyère or Parmesan cheese

Peel and slice the onions; sauté them in butter until golden but not brown. Bring the bouillon (the canned product will do nicely) to a boil and pour it over the onions in a large earthen casserole or fireproof tureen. Add thin slices of French bread sprinkled with Gruyère or Parmesan cheese and place in a hot oven or under a broiler until the bread and cheese floating in the soup turns a golden brown. Ladle, preferably, into small earthen soup bowls, with a piece of bread in each bowl.


Let’s talk about salads now, and I don’t mean fancy ones—cottage cheese and fruit combinations or those molded luncheon salads that women seem to take delight in serving. I want to talk about the old stand-bys—mixed green salads and the dressings that make them so enjoyable with a heavy dinner. My wife makes a most delicious salad that I always enjoy. She peels and slices very thin firm ripe tomatoes, lays them on a bed of crisp lettuce. Over the tomatoes she puts a liberal amount of finely chopped celery with a little minced onion mixed in, and over this she pours a very light dressing:

Oil and Vinegar Dressing

  • 13 cup red wine vinegar
  • 23 cup oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dash of sugar
  • Dash of Coleman’s mustard powder

I am of the opinion that on a salad of this kind, where tomatoes are used, you should not use a dressing containing catsup or chili sauce. To me, they just don’t jibe. The catsup and chili sauce dressings combine best with crab, shrimp, or any mixture of salad greens, and the following is worth trying.

Chili Dressing

  • 1 cup chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon A-1 Sauce
  • 1 chopped hard-cooked egg
  • 2 pinches sweet basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon soya sauce

Mix and add 12 cup shaved ice to chill thoroughly.

Western Way Salad

Continuing our discussion of salads, I am reminded of a very dear friend of mine who is a salad hound. He spends more of his time preparing salads than anything else around the house and he’s terrifically enthusiastic about a salad in which he works a raw egg. It didn’t sound good to me until I tasted it and, by golly, it really does something to a salad.

  • 3 quarts crisp, chilled salad greens
  • 6 tablespoons salad oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 14 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 12 cup crumbled Roquefort or bleu cheese
  • 1 uncooked egg (unbeaten)
  • 12 cup lemon juice (juice of about 3 lemons)

Have salad greens ready in large salad bowl. Have ready 2 cups of crisp toasted bread cubes or croutons which have been dipped in 12 cup garlic-flavored olive oil. (Let a couple of cloves of garlic stand in the oil for several hours.) Now you’re ready to make the salad. Add the ingredients as listed, breaking the raw egg right onto the salad greens. Pour the lemon juice right onto the raw egg and toss the whole mixture thoroughly until each salad leaf is thoroughly coated. Then add the croutons, toss again lightly, and serve at once.

My Own French Dressing

W e serve a rather interesting salad dressing here at my little saloon and the formula is kept a secret. We keep it to ourselves in this manner: “Here’s a recipe for a hell of a good salad dressing.” It isn’t the one we use in the restaurant but it’s a good imitation.

  • 3 large shallots or green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery
  • Liberal amount of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 teaspoon dried sweet basil
  • Pinch of rosemary
  • Pinch of marjoram
  • 1 13 cups salad oil
  • 23 cup tarragon-flavored red wine vinegar

Chop the shallots, celery, and parsley together until they’re as fine as coffee grounds. Combine this mixture with the remaining ingredients and let the dressing stand for several hours before serving it over the salad. Be sure the red wine vinegar is tarragon-flavored. I sometimes add a tablespoon of crushed or shaved ice to chill the mixture before using. This is especially desirable if the wine vinegar is strong.

Green Goddess Salad Dressing

The Palm Court of the Palace Hotel in San Francisco has become famous for its Green Goddess salad dressing, and I have the gracious permission of Mr. Edmond A. Rieder, general manager of the Palace Hotel, to include this marvelous dressing.

  • 8 to 10 fillets of anchovies
  • 1 piece of young onion
  • Little parsley and tarragon leaves, chopped fine
  • 3 cups mayonnaise

Rub a bowl with garlic, or use a little garlic-flavored oil. Mix the above ingredients; add a little tarragon vinegar and finely cut chives. Cut romaine, escarole, and chicory. Mix all together and serve. Use 1 tablespoonful for each person.

Crab Legs Palace Court

This is another favorite of mine at the Palace Hotel. Fill the heart of an artichoke with fresh vegetable salad (cut string beans, cauliflower, asparagus tips, and peas). Dress 5 or 6 crab legs on it; garnish with 2 strips of red and green peppers. On a bed of shredded lettuce place a large slice of tomato; sprinkle with chopped hard-cooked egg and press same against lettuce to form a little nest. Set artichoke on top and serve with Thousand Island dressing. You can also dress on artichoke three slices of lobster, chicken, or shrimp.

Speaking of the Palm Court at the Palace reminds me of an incident which happened last year. They have a hard and fast rule that no one can enter without being properly clothed—that is, with coat and tie. I created quite a furor when I arrived for luncheon with friends dressed in my usual sports attire sans tie. The maître d’ produced a tie from somewhere and I stood in the lobby putting on this tie to the tune of great guffaws from friends dining in the Palm Court. My face was slightly red during the whole operation and now I know how guys feel when they come to my joint without a tie.

Avocado Aspic

I’m going to break the habit of a lifetime and recommend one molded salad. Geri Bergman, my trader in Tahiti, served it to me one evening with a Tahitian dinner with an American touch. It’s a very delightful aspic made with avocados. I don’t ordinarily care for this type of salad with dinner but it is delicious and suited her dinner. It makes an excellent buffet-supper salad and party dish.

  • 2 packages Knox’s gelatin
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 4 cups mashed avocado
  • 14 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • Dash of cayenne pepper

Soften gelatin in cold water. Dissolve in boiling water. Pour a little clear gelatin in bottom of ring mold. Arrange in bottom of ring well-drained cooked shrimp or prawns which have been marinated in French dressing. Set mold in refrigerator to harden quickly. Add mashed avocado and seasonings to rest of gelatin mixture and let cool. When clear gelatin has set in mold, add avocado mixture and place in refrigerator until firm. Unmold on crisp lettuce and serve with tart mayonnaise in center of ring. Garnish with sections of tomato.

Celery Victor

One of my pet salads, and I order it often at the Men’s Grill at the St. Francis Hotel, is celery Victor (no, it wasn’t named after me). Served thoroughly chilled with a generous portion of fresh chilled crab legs or large shrimp, it makes a satisfying lunch.

Cook two heads of trimmed good celery in boiling soup stock. When tender let celery cool in the stock, then drain. Cut celery in half length­wise and crosswise and again in lengthwise strips and marinate in tart French dressing. Chill and serve with French dressing on crisp lettuce. Garnish with crab legs or large shrimp which have also been marinated in French dressing.

Sauce Verte

An excellent sauce for chilled seafood, or chilled cooked vegetables as well, is made from a mayonnaise base. It’s another Theo Raspillar recipe.

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 12 cup chopped watercress
  • 12 cup chopped raw spinach
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 12 cup chives

Mash vegetables with mortar and pestle and strain into mayonnaise; thin with vinegar and serve over chilled salmon or other seafood. Try it and then experiment with the amounts of the ingredients. Perhaps you’ll like wine vinegar in it.

Sauce Remoulade

A nother wonderful dressing for seafood stems from New Orleans and is also made with a mayonnaise base.

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs
  • 2 teaspoons chopped capers
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon wine vinegar
  • Juice of 12 lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced green onion
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 14 teaspoon savory

Be sure all ingredients are chopped or minced as finely as possible; mix thoroughly in mayonnaise and serve over chilled salmon or large shrimp.

String Beans with Mushrooms

Vegetables being the sad sack of the dining table, everyone is always on the lookout for a new idea. Maybe this one isn’t so new, but it is to me and it sure as hell makes beans more interesting.

  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 12 cup cream
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 package frozen French-style string beans

Slice mushrooms and saute in butter; add cream and simmer until tender. Meanwhile drop string beans in boiling salted water and cook until tender. Drain beans and combine with mushrooms; let simmer together a few minutes after seasoning to taste. Serve hot immediately.

Cream Sauce

We come now, for no particular reason except that I just happen to think of it, to cream sauce. What a dumping you can take on that little number at luncheons, Sunday night suppers, or impromptu affairs. Creamed chicken seems to be the worst offender. Some use canned chicken; some use canned creamed chicken; some think that the cream sauce is made with flour and milk with a little salt and pepper. Most women don’t seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste.

Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mystery to me, because it’s so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious foods. You can take a basic cream sauce and turn it into a cream soup. By the addition of different seasonings and ingredients you can have an entirely different flavor.

Before we go another page I’m going to give you a recipe for cream sauce to paste inside your cupboard and use. It’s well seasoned and can be used with vegetables, fish, chicken, eggs—in fact anything not in the dessert line.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock or white broth
  • 12 cup milk
  • 12 cup cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the onion in the butter, stir in the flour thoroughly, and slowly add the broth, stirring constantly, then the milk, cream, and seasonings. Stir until it thickens, then let it cook over hot water or in a double boiler for three quarters to one hour. For a different and subtle flavor, add just a pinch of curry powder. If you like, add a tablespoon of sherry wine or a tablespoon of sieved solid-pack tomatoes and grated Parmesan cheese just before serving (so it won’t curdle). Use this basic cream sauce for asparagus soup by adding sieved asparagus which has been cooked in the broth and then reduce the cream sauce with a little milk or cream and season to taste. You can add to it mushrooms, pimento, or any kind of seasoning you want, but basically this cream sauce is good. It really tastes good all by itself.

Chicken Saté

The popularity of our Javanese Saté (meat on a stick) prompted me to make a ready-mixed spice mixture to speed up things in our kitchen. Once we had the spice mixture I began experimenting with it in other dishes and developed a couple of humdingers. Here’s a chicken recipe to try if you’re tired of the same old fried chicken. (You’ll have to write to Trader Vic’s, 6500 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland, California, for this seasoning.)

Rub halves of dressed fryers with Saté spice, then flour in the usual manner for frying. Brown chicken in oil or fat, add finely chopped onion and garlic, salt and pepper to brown gently, then add 14 cup boiling chicken broth or water; cover and simmer chicken until tender, or about one half hour. When tender and thoroughly cooked, remove chicken to a heated platter and set it in a warm oven to keep hot. Make gravy with milk and add 1 teaspoon Sate spice. Pour gravy over chicken and serve with steamed rice or mashed potatoes sprinkled with finely chopped parsley.

Shrime Saté

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Saté spice
  • 1 cup boiling stock or water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 pound cooked peeled shrimp or prawns

Melt butter, add soya sauce, Sate spice, and blend; add water or stock and let simmer. Thicken slightly with 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed in 1 tablespoon of water. Add shrimp and simmer covered for ten minutes. Serve over steamed rice.

Creamed Shrimp Saté

Add 1 tablespoon (or more if you prefer) Saté spice to cream sauce; add 1 small can of mushrooms and 1 pound cooked peeled shrimp. Press hot steamed rice in a well-buttered or oiled ring mold; unmold rice on chop plate and pour shrimp mixture in center. With a green salad and dessert you’ve a meal fit for a king. If you’re in a hurry, just open a couple of cans of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup; dilute with only half the liquid required (use stock or milk) and use this in place of a cream-sauce base.

Deviled Crab Saté

  • 2 cups cream sauce
  • 2 cups crab meat
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 12 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon Saté spice
  • 1 12 cups bread crumbs
  • Grated cheese

Add crab meat to freshly made cream sauce; add seasonings and half of the bread crumbs; mix well. Pour into greased casserole and sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Dot with butter and cover with grated cheese, then place in medium-hot oven to reheat and brown on top. This may also be baked in individual casseroles or shells.

Baked Bean Sandwich Rabbit

My little restaurant and bar is open for business only in the evenings so there are no cooks to prepare lunch for the day crew, consisting of the bookkeeper, my secretary, stenographer, and storekeeper, and anyone else who may be helping out or just visiting. As there are anywhere from three to six people for lunch we can’t get too fancy. We can’t eat chow mein every day, so we dreamed up this snack for days when the traffic is heavy.

Make toast for the number of people to be served and place a slice on each plate. Open cans of canned baked beans and season with extra catsup, if necessary, and heat thoroughly. In a small frying pan fry some chopped bacon and drain on paper. Sprinkle beans with bacon and a little freshly chopped onion. To make a quick rabbit, melt grated Wisconsin cheese in butter, season with a little mustard and Worcestershire sauce, and thin with beer. As soon as the cheese and beer have blended remove from the fire and quickly pour over the beans. With a tall glass of cold beer on warm days, or coffee for cold ones, and some pickles, you have a swell midday or midnight snack.

Toast Alsacienne

Speaking of snacks, Theo Raspillar came through with another one of her little gems which she gleaned from Weber’s Cafe on the Rue Royale in Paris. It was a supper specialty served on the terrace, she tells me, and here’s her recipe:

Toast lightly 1 slice of bread per person (homemade or bakery bread preferred). Spread each slice with a good paté (Strasbourg, if you’re lucky). Cover with finely chopped hard-cooked egg. Next add slices of frankfurt sausage and top with a slice of Gruyère cheese. Pop in the oven just long enough to heat through. It was served at Weber’s in individual baking dishes. You can put this down in your book of things to do after supplies get back to normal.

Crab Suzies

Theo also gave me one of her own recipes after I had enjoyed it at luncheon one day at her house, and it’s a good late supper dish too. Make thin, unsweetened pancakes (1 large or 2 small ones per person). Season fresh crabmeat with salt, freshly ground pepper, and finely chopped green onions. Roll generous portions of crab in each pancake and place in a warm casserole. Cover with tomato sauce which has been flavored with chili pepper and well seasoned. Top with slices of American cheese and heat in a moderate oven for thirty minutes. Serve with a watercress or green salad.

Breakfast dishes often make good late supper dishes too. One of my father’s breakfast specialties, with a slight elaboration, is a popular item on my menu today. My father was six feet four, a rawboned French-Canadian whose family originally trickled over from France at the time of the Huguenot migration. He was blessed with a fine and kind personality and it was always his pleasure, even though he cooked in a restaurant all during the week, to cook breakfast on Sunday morning. His special oh-so-good-peachy breakfast consisted of fried bananas, ham or Canadian bacon, and eggs. If you try this some morning, fry the ham or bacon in a separate pan and fry the bananas in plenty of butter. When they’re done, set them aside on heated plates, add a little more butter, and fry the eggs in the butter and juice of the bananas. It’s a superb dish and as good to go to bed on as to start the day on.

Plain Fried Bananas

There are a few little tricks in frying bananas which I think you should know about, so here’s how to fry bananas my way.

A lot of people have the idea, especially restaurant cooks, that fried bananas are something rolled in egg and bread crumbs and deep-fat fried in some stinking grease. They should be fried plain in plenty of butter so that the banana is cooked through and takes on a golden-brown color. The bananas must be thoroughly ripe but firm. If they’re the least bit on the green side they’re apt to taste bitter. As a delicious accompaniment to creamed dishes, try rolling the bananas in curry powder before frying.

Ham and Eggs Hawaiian

That Sunday breakfast of my dad’s was the inspiration for ham and eggs Hawaiian. For a late supper or Sunday brunch dish you can’t beat it. Get yourself some nice ripe bananas and a can of pineapple slices, some good ham and some fresh eggs, and you’re all set.

Peel and split the bananas, 1 per person, and fry them in butter. Set them aside to keep warm on a heated platter while you fry the slices of well-drained pineapple—1 slice for each serving of ham and eggs. Fry the pineapple in the same pan in which you fried the bananas, then put more butter in the same pan and scramble or fry your eggs. The flavor will be out of this world. Fry the ham in a separate skillet. Put the eggs on one side of the plate, lay the pineapple and bananas on top of the ham on the plate. In another little saucepan make a heavy syrup of brown sugar, butter, and a little water and pour 1 tablespoon of this syrup over the bananas, pineapple, and ham. Serve with buttered toast.

Damned Good Frog Legs

There’s a little man in San Francisco, down on Clay Street, whose shop is strange to behold. The windows, heavily screened and unwashed, give no preview of the interior. Even as you walk in you see no evidence of his strange business, except to wonder about the assorted sizes of bins on either side of the shop. But it is these bins and zinc-lined tubs that hold his wares—all kinds and sizes of turtles, and frogs. Now and then when I wish to do a little special entertaining I go in to see my friend and haggle over the size frogs I want. If you get great big ones the legs are meatier, but they’ve had a lot more exercise too. On the other hand, if your frogs are too small there isn’t much meat or flavor either in the legs.

After I’ve picked out as many as I want he kills them out in back and skins and de-legs them while they’re still jumping. I tried taking them back to the restaurant alive—just once. On the way back one escaped and three weeks later when I opened the, luggage compartment of my car I found the poor little devil in the corner, shrunken and dry but still alive. He’d found a hole underneath the back seat and worked his way to dubious safety.

There isn’t any name for the way I fix frog legs, as far as I know, because it is a combination of the way my father used to prepare them and a few ideas of my own, so in memory of my old man I just call them damned good frog legs.

Roll frog legs in flour and fry them in a fast pan in plenty of butter mixed with oil until thoroughly cooked. In a separate skillet mix for, say, 24 legs, 1 cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms, 14 cup finely chopped shallots, 14 cup parsley chopped very fine, and salt and pepper to taste. Saute very gently in 2 tablespoons butter. When the frog legs are cooked, place them on a very hot platter—a sizzling platter—and pour the mixture of mushrooms, shallots, et cetera, over the legs, then sprinkle liberally with a good sound light dry white wine. Place a cover over the platter of frog legs and let them steam in this sauce a few minutes, then serve immediately.

Turkey Dressing

Nearly everyone who does much cooking develops a pet chicken or turkey dressing. I didn’t have to because I’ve never been able to improve on my mother’s dressing. I remember when we were kids that one of my aunts lived next door to us. One Sunday my mother cooked dinner and the next Sunday my aunt did the honors. As both were excellent cooks the competition was keen as to who would turn out the best meal. Variations of a turkey or chicken dressing were always discussed down to the last crumb, and post-mortems at the table were stretched out through table clearings, dishwashing, and the general putting away.

One time my aunt would add a can of truffles or mushrooms, another time my mother would add chestnuts, and they switched the thing all around. Mother might say, “Well, Rose, I think you got just a little too much seasoning this time,” and the battle would be on. They had a feud once that lasted three months, all over a stinking little spool of No. 50 white thread. Mother would see her sister in the back yard next door and go out to say, “Rose, I know you have my spool of No. 50 thread. You borrowed it to mend little Marie’s petticoat,” and Aunt Rose would retort indignantly, “Marie, you know very well I gave that back to you the night the Lawrences dropped in. I saw it in your sewing basket last week.” Then she’d flounce into the house and refuse to speak for another week. This went on until someone, I’ve forgotten who, found the thread around the house where my sister had mislaid it. All was forgiven and my mother and aunt kissed and made up for about three days, before they found some­ thing else to beef about.

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 large or 3 medium-sized onions
  • 4 long stalks of celery
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 loaf of stale bread
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped paisley

Chop the onions and celery very fine and saute slightly in the butter with the meat; cook until the meat is crumbly, and gray in color. Soak the bread in the milk and mix thoroughly with your hands; add to meat and vegetable mixture. Add the eggs, well beaten, the salt, pepper, seasoning and parsley, and stuff the bird lightly. This is enough dressing for a 25-pound bird.

Chicken Egyptian

Theo Raspillar got this recipe in Spain, from the Hotel Falcon in Barcelona. It’s unusual yet easily made. If you haven’t individual baking dishes you can use a large Pyrex baker.

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts
  • 4 thin slices of ham
  • 1 12 cups thick tomato puree
  • 1 12 cups cream
  • Pine nuts

Slice the eggplant in thin slices and brown in hot oil with a fat clove of garlic, sliced. Drain on paper. Place a slice in each individual baking dish and cover with a slice of chicken, then another slice of eggplant, then a slice of ham, and top with a third slice of eggplant. Season the tomato purée well and mix with the cream. Pour over the eggplant sandwiches, sprinkle with pine nuts, and bake in a moderate oven about thirty minutes.

Beef Dumplings with Spanish Sauce

When I was a kid, my aunt Rose used to ask me over to dinner whenever she cooked my favorite dish. I forget what she called it but we’ll call it beef dumplings with Spanish sauce. First she’d make a sauce of tomatoes with onions and ground beef and simmer it for several hours. Then she’d use a dumpling recipe. She’d fry some ground beef in a skillet and when it was thoroughly cooked and crumbly she’d let it cool and mix it thoroughly into her dumpling batter. The dumplings were dropped into the hot Spanish sauce by spoonfuls, covered, and cooked twenty minutes. While they were cooking we couldn’t peek—in fact we couldn’t even walk around in the kitchen except on tiptoes.

I’ve tried this, using a packaged biscuit mix for the dumplings, with excellent results and it’s quick. You can use the same dumpling batter for soup, too, only make the dumplings very tiny.

Crouton Omelet

(Serves 6)

This is my favorite luncheon dish when unexpected guests arrive. I make it when we don’t have guests too.

  • 4 slices toast
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallots or green onions
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 15 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese flavoring powder
  • 14 cup heavy cream
  • Grated cheddar cheese

Cut toast in small cubes and saute in 3 tablespoons of the butter with the parsley and shallots or onions; set aside. Beat eggs in a bowl; add salt and pepper, flavoring powder, and heavy cream. Add more butter to skillet and pour egg mixture in to cook slowly. Be sure to keep the flame low. As the edges set, lift them away from the sides of skillet and let the soft center run to the edge again. When half cooked, add croutons and cover liberally with grated cheddar cheese. Finish cooking and fold over; remove to a heated platter and slice into servings. Be sure not to overcook it—an omelet shouldn’t be too firm.

Beef Soufflé

The Chinese cook eggs with meat and other seasonings similar to our custard. This isn’t anything like the Chinese method but I’ll give them credit for the idea. We tried this out one noontime too.

  • 12 pound ground beef
  • 12 pound ground fresh pork
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup thick cream sauce
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Saute the meat in 1 tablespoon oil until well cooked; add the seasonings; stir in the cream sauce. Beat the egg yolks thoroughly and combine with the rest of the ingredients. Beat the egg whites separately until they stand in peaks. Fold the egg whites into the meat mixture; pour into a greased baking dish, set in a pan of hot water, and bake in a moderate oven (350°F.) forty-five to fifty minutes, or until it’s firm to the touch.

Ham and Lima Beans

This is an old-time favorite that’s almost a memory. You might try reviving it some cold Sunday evening for an informal buffet. It makes a good family meal too.

  • 4 cups dried large lima beans
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • 4 chili tepines
  • 12 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 4 large brown onions
  • 2 large peeled tomatoes
  • Ham shoulder or butt

Wash and sort large dried lima beans; put in a large heavy kettle or Dutch oven with the ham and seasonings, sliced onions, and diced tomatoes. A dd lots of water and bring to a boil, then let simmer over a low fire two and a half to three hours, watching it closely and adding water as necessary so that the beans have plenty of gravy. It’s a good idea to put the chili tepines in a little cheesecloth bag so you can retrieve them before serving, else some poor devil may bite into one. Serve in soup bowls, preferably, with toasted French bread to dip in the gravy, and a green salad.

Lamb and Navy Beans

Ham, of course, imparts a nice flavor to beans but I remember that my mother used to cook a dish with white navy beans. If we had a leg of lamb Sunday we were sure to have beans Monday. She took the bone with whatever meat was left on it and cooked it with navy beans, a little garlic, a can of solid-pack tomatoes, some onions, a carrot or two diced fine, a stalk of celery sliced, a little chopped parsley, salt and pepper, and let the whole mess simmer for several hours. I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that she added a little red wine too—just a little. Anyway, they were heavenly—much better than the usual ham and navy bean concoctions that you have to douse with catsup to get any flavor at all.

If you want to try this and haven’t an old leg of lamb lying around, get some lamb shanks, roast them in the oven, and then proceed.

Tahitian Ice Cream

There’s no denying it, I have a sweet tooth and not only do I enjoy good desserts: I like to make them. One of my specialties is Tahitian ice cream, made with a burning rum sauce. Scarcely a night passes that someone doesn’t want the recipe. As many people, however, ask me what kind of brandy or rum burns best. There isn’t any best, if the liquor contains sufficient alcohol, and any liquor strong enough to be classed as a liqueur or spirituous liquor will burn.

There’s a secret, however, to burning liquors for desserts, plum puddings, coffee Diablo and such. How many times have you burned match after match in futile attempts to achieve that highly prized spectacle of blue flames at a candlelit table while all eyes were glued on your failure? You’ve probably cursed quietly to yourself and blamed the liquor. The secret is to warm the liquor first, so that the fumes rise and take fire. You can’t bum cold liquor—the fire just flickers out.

Mix 1 tablespoon pineapple and apricot preserves with 34 ounce rum for each serving and warm the mixture before taking it to the table. Don’t cook it but set it on the back of the stove ten minutes before serving or set it in a pan of boiling water. Take your sauce to the table in a chafing dish or a heatproof glass saucepan and then set a match to it. Your ice cream should have been placed in serving dishes beforehand so that all is in readiness. After the sauce is burning, stir it and ladle it until the flames are about to go out and then ladle it onto good vanilla or coconut ice cream.

For something extra special first spoon a mixture of sliced bananas, pineapple, and grated coconut over the ice cream before adding the burning rum sauce.

Cherries Jubilee

You have to have canned black Bing cherries for this or no dice. I have Bing cherries home-canned, when they’re in season, with this dessert in mind. Allow enough cherries so that there will be seven or eight to a serving. Drain off all but about 25 per cent of the juice and add liberal amounts of brandy, orange curaçao, and Triple Sec; warm the cherry and liquor mixture before taking it to the table. Have ice cream in serving dishes, masked with thick whipped cream, in readiness. Set a match to the cherries and sauce and stir while burning, then pour over the ice cream. The whipped cream is delicious but tough on figures and can be omitted if you prefer.

Ice Cream Prince Feisal

Now that the deep-freeze unit is here to stay, people who have them usually find them half full most of the time and would welcome a chance to put them to work. Here’s a recipe to do just that.

I made up this dessert in honor of the visiting Prince of Arabia and his retinue, when His Highness was in San Francisco attending the World Peace Conference, and served it at a private party given in his honor.

Make a mold or use a brick of ice cream, depending upon how many people you want to serve. Place this on a large tray or deep platter, mask it with heavy sweetened whipped cream, and cover with sliced peaches. Set this in the deep freezer until the cream hardens and the peaches set. Add another layer of whipped cream, stud with canned rum babas which have been soaked in a good Jamaica rum, and cover thickly with more whipped cream. You’ll have to work fast. Return the platter or tray to the deep freezer until serving time. When you’re ready to serve dessert, dot the entire surface with large, specially selected fresh strawberries and garnish the platter with fresh mint, rose geranium, or gardenia leaves. Carry in triumph to the table and serve in wedges or slices, depending upon the shape of your mold.

Rum Babas

Speaking of rum babas reminds me of Theo Raspillar’s prized recipe for this dish. Desserts made with rum are, of course, my specialty and I found that they are a favorite with her too. Had anyone asked me, however, where the baba originated I would have said France, until Theo told me one day that they were of Polish origin and were introduced to France by Stanislaus Leszcynski. Originally the baba was eaten with a wine sauce mixed with distilled water of tansy, but the following recipe is international and has acquired something from many countries.

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 34 cup potato flour
  • 12 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat whites until foamy and fold in 12 cup sugar; beat the yolks until thick and beat in the other 12 cup sugar. Combine the two mixtures and fold in the flour, which has been sifted with the salt and baking powder. Add the vanilla and bake in two layers in moderate oven (350° F.) twenty to twenty-five minutes. Let cool, then baste with the following sauce:

  • 12 cup sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 14 cup water
  • 12 cup Jamaica rum

Cook sugar, lemon juice, and water until sugar is dissolved, then cool and add the rum.

Put the layers together with a boiled custard filling, using at least 2 cups of milk to the recipe so that the custard filling will be as thick as the layers. Cover the top layer with whipped cream and garnish with candied fruits, or spread the top layer with apricot jam and sprinkle with pistachio nuts.

Ice Cream Puiwa* (poo-ee-wah)

Another ice cream dessert which has as much flavor as glamor is made by refreezing ice cream in a large ring mold—one which has a large center hole. When the ice cream is firm, unmold on a silver or glass chop plate and fill the center first with a layer of ice cream mixed with whipped cream, then a layer of ladyfingers sprinkled with a mixture of orange curaçao and Triple Sec; then add a layer of sliced strawberries and sprinkle this also with the liqueur mixture. Repeat the layers until the center is filled and top with the whipped cream and ice cream combination. Garnish with large whole strawberries and fresh strawberry leaves or leaves cut from candied citron. If you have your ice cream and whipped cream already mixed in a bowl, the strawberries sliced, the ladyfingers laid out, the liqueur mixed, and your leaves ready beforehand, the last-minute preparations can be done quickly. Serve this at the table so that everyone has some ice cream and some of the center as a sauce.

Rum Pudding Tante Marie

Bread pudding has always been homely fare, relegated to strictly family meals, but Theo Raspillar’s has all the prerequisites for a gala occasion. She named it “Pudding au Rhum de ma Tante Marie” but I’ve shortened it.

  • 1 pound stale white bread
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • 14 pound butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 14 cup cream
  • 6 tablespoons rum
  • Juice of 12 lemon
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 23 cup raisins
  • 14 teaspoon salt

Soak the bread in hot milk and squeeze very dry. Add the butter, melted, sugar, cream, rum, lemon juice, slightly beaten egg yolks, and rest of ingredients. Mix well and then fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour into buttered mold and bake in a pan of hot water one hour in a moderate oven (350° F.). Serve with rum sauce.

Rum Sauce

    12 pound powdered sugar 23 cup rum Juice of 1 lemon

Mix and heat slowly until the sugar melts, then pour over the pudding when ready to serve.

Gay Nineties Fruit Crown

In those dear gay days in San Francisco, before the Great Fire in 1906, people were wont to go to restaurants and hotels for dinner and supper parties. For dancing they went to balls or socials and when they wanted to be entertained they attended the theater or vaudeville. That was before the advent of the night club, where patrons expect to get a buzz on, dine, dance, and be hilariously entertained all at the same time.

Those were the days when dining out was an occasion, and not done just because your old lady didn’t have time to shop for the evening meal after she left the hairdresser’s, or because it was the maid’s night off. Every course was important, the wine list was studied with care, and the dessert was the climax to a perfect meal. Many of those rich, too sweet concoctions are as outdated as an antimacassar, but this fruit dessert, a relic of the Gay Nineties, deserves to be put back in circulation. Many’s the time my father created it for some special dinner party at one of San Francisco’s oldest and most fashionable hotels.

This is a dramatic, elaborate dessert, and deserves an audience. True, it can be cut down for a small dinner party, but much of its glory is lost. You’ll need a large, deep platter, preferably silver to reflect the jeweled colors of the fruits and flames. It should be deep enough to hold about an inch of liquid. In the center of your platter stack in a double row, 2 inches high and 6 inches long, cubes of sugar, and around this mound of sugar place a row of large fresh fruits, such as peaches, pears, and unpeeled oranges with a slice removed from top and bottom, so that the base of your fruit ring will be about 9 inches long and about 6 inches across.

Next, on top of the larger fruits place smaller fruits, such as figs, nectarines, plums, and cubes of pineapple and hold these in place with toothpicks. Inside the fruit ring place layers of black cherries and then berries in season, until the inside of the ring is filled, and top with a layer of fresh or frozen strawberries. Bananas can be stood up at the ends of the ring. Pour a mixture of liqueurs which have been warmed—3 ounces orange curaçao, 4 ounces Triple Sec, and 4 ounces Jamaica rum—over the fruit in the center of the ring.

Meanwhile have warming on the back of the stove, or in a pan of water, a fifth of good brandy. When the dessert is to be served, pour the brandy into a pitcher or large glass. Carry the fruit-laden platter to the table, pour the warm brandy over it, and touch a match to it. As the liquor burns, dig into the fruit to separate it so that the burning liquid reaches all the fruit and sugar and half cooks the fruit. This will take about ten minutes of stirring.

The juice may be served as a liqueur in coffee or with the fruit over ice cream. Remove the toothpicks as you serve the fruit. Be sure to pour the brandy out of the bottle into another container, however, as the fumes and flames while pouring it on the dessert might cause the bottle to explode.

Chocolate Pear

A simple little dessert, to get back to earth, is easily made for an impromptu meal. In sherbet glasses arrange a macaroon base. Over this place a chilled canned Bartlett pear and fill it with chocolate custard—a big gob of it. Chill and serve with a topping of whipped cream. You can add a garnish of toasted coconut or finely chopped nutmeats.

Chocolate Créme

Chocolate has always been my weakness. I love the stuff. When we were kids my mother used to make this as an extra special treat.

  • 6 plain chocolate bars
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 6 eggs

Melt the chocolate over hot water; add the water and stir until smooth. Separate the eggs; beat the yolks slightly and stir into the chocolate until well mixed, then add the sugar and stir until smooth. Beat the egg whites until they stand in peaks. When the chocolate mixture is cool, fold in the egg whites; mix well and pour into your best bowl to chill, so it can be served ceremoniously at the table. (NOTE: if chocolate is very sweet omit sugar.)

Quick Tahitian Fruit Poi

This quick recipe is a take-off on the Tahitian fruit poi to be found in the chapter entitled “A Luau on the Mainland.” Personally, I think it’s an improvement.

Use a packaged vanilla pudding and cook it according to the directions given on the package. Sauté 2 bananas, cut in half lengthwise, 1 slice canned pineapple, and 2 halves of canned peaches, in butter. When the pudding is cooked, fold in the fruit and 12 cup grated coconut. Chill and serve with whipped cream.

Banana Soufflé

You may have to file this for future cooking, but don’t forget to try it when bananas are plenti­ ful. My trader in Tahiti, Geri Bergman, sent me this recipe and it’s a lulu.

  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 4 egg whites
  • Powdered sugar
  • Salt

Whip the egg whites until dry, with a pinch of salt. Add the banana pulp, sweetened to taste. Turn into a buttered casserole and bake slowly about forty-five minutes or until firm in the center. Serve plain or with a lemon sauce. For a more colorful dessert, serve it with a simple boiled custard into which has been stirred a couple of tablespoonfuls of strawberry preserves.


PLENTY OF JUNK has been written about how to barbecue steaks and chops, fix up fancy doodads, cook meat on a stick, open, lower, and raise grills, so I’m not going into the rudiments of bar­ becuing. Rather I’ll try to enlarge your repertoire, give you some do’s and don’ts and include a few of my pet recipes.

Whether you agree or not, barbecuing is strictly a man’s job and the barbecue pit is a man’s domain. From the time he mortared the first brick until he serves the first steak he’s right in his element with a primeval touch. He has a right to peacock a bit in chef’s hat and apron, and to be consulted on the intricacies of proper seasoning, correct drafts, the right way to build a fire, and how he makes his salad.

There are certain courtesies which should be extended to every outdoor chef: Give him plenty of elbow room and keep out of his limelight. Until he’s had years and years of experience the average barbecuer is in a hell of a dither at one stage or another. He’s afraid his fire is too hot or not hot enough; he worries whether the steaks will bum or be tough; he’s afraid he’ll drop one of the steaks in the ashes, upset the coffee, and put out the fire. In fact he’s sweating bullets and wishes that everyone would go in the house or go look at the fish pond until he gets things under control.

There’s always some other outdoor chef who wants to steal the show. He has all kinds of advice to offer about the height of the grill from the coals, the kind of wood that should have been used; when to turn the meat; the kind of vinegar that should have been used in the salad dress­ ing. And the host, who is a pretty good guy about the whole thing, is really so damned cooked he’d like to shove the bastard’s face right in the ashes.

I get a kick out of all the different kinds of fancy spices, flavored oils, flavored this and spiced that, to be used in all kinds of barbecuing. Most of them so disguise the flavor of the meat you can’t tell what you’re eating, and if you happen to be the guest of an amateur prone to overcook things, the result will be something akin to an old worn-out mustard plaster.

Actually the very process of cooking foods over hot coals provides a distinct flavor which varies with the kind of wood used to build the fire. Any other seasoning or flavoring should be subtle so as not to kill that prized smoky flavor. Oak, prune, apple, and hickory are fine woods to use and they should be well dried if you want to avoid a smudge.

Westerners, with their yen for outdoor living, have just about moved the kitchen to the back yard, and the modern barbecue pit has so many innovations and gadgets that it does practically everything but the family wash. Early barbecues were simply a means of cooking a lot of food, meat usually, for a lot of people in the easiest manner possible, and regardless of the century, the people, or the climate, the barbecuing was either done underground or over hot coals.

At ranch festivals and rodeos, in the old days, lambs or young steers were butchered and cut into roasts and the meat roasted on metal racks or rods over long pits in which fires were built. Some­ times beef was cut up, seasoned, and wrapped in paper or cloth. A pit was dug and lined with large smooth stones and a roaring fire was built. When the fire had burned to coals they were scraped to one side, the pit lined with gunny sacks, and the packages of meat spread over the rocks, more wet sacks added, and hot earth and coals pushed into the pit. All this took place the night before the feast, and when the time came to serve it the still hot earth was dug away, the pro­ tecting sacks lifted, and the packages of meat brought out and opened.

This underground method of cooking foods is an ancient practice. The natives of Hawaii and the South Sea islands have cooked this way for centuries and when such feasts are prepared they are called luaus. The underground oven or pit is called the imu. A pit about four feet deep is dug and lined with cooking stones which are heated with a wood fire. When the fire has burned to ashes they are covered with ti leaves, then the food wrapped in ti leaves is placed on top and covered with more leaves, damp burlap sacks and earth, and the food allowed to cook for several hours.

The packages of food wrapped in ti leaves are called Jaulaus and consist of pork and fish wrapped in taro leaves and ti leaves, or beef and coconut in taro leaves. Spinach may be substituted for the taro leaves in this country, and cornhusks used in place of the ti leaves.

Our Atlantic coast clambakes are conducted along the same principles, except that seaweed is used instead of wet sacks. Potatoes, cleaned corn in husks, and fish slices or filets wrapped in heavy paper make good steammates for clams.

The Chinese, centuries ago, developed their own barbecue oven, built in two sections with a connecting oven or vent, in which ducks, squab, chicken, or even whole pigs might be cooked. The principles of the Chinese oven or barbecue pit differ from those of the conventional type we know in that the heat can either move through the oven quickly, to cook steaks or small fowl, or be trapped in the oven to slowly cook a large roast or small pig.

Having, as far as I know, the only genuine Chi­ nese oven and barbecue pit at my restaurant, I can truthfully say that it is far superior to any other, and the results have proved my point. This oven, constructed by a Chinese, with only a piece of string tied to a rock to true it up, has operated for ten years, and only once has it had to be relined.

Preferring the Chinese oven to the Spanish type, I constructed for home use a modern version of the Chinese oven operated in my restaurant. It is on a smaller scale and combined with the Spanish or conventional type pit.

About two years ago Sunset Magazine asked me to do a little story on this Chinese-American barbecue pit at my home and they published, along with this story, a few recipes and a complete diagram on constructing the pit. The requests for these plans, as well as questions pertaining to its operation, were so numerous that we soon ran out of copies of the magazine to send to people. With Sunset Magazine’s permission, I am again giving these plans for the benefit of those who might be interested in building a similar pit.

The amount and intensity of the heat is controlled by the damper on the lid and, of course, the size of the fire. If quick cooking is desired, a small fire is built in the bottom of the oven and held there just long enough to warm the bricks. It is then pushed with a hoe under the warming oven, close enough to the grill pit so that it can be fed from there. For large roasts, the oven is preheated by a brisk fire at the bottom of the oven for an hour or more so that the bricks are very hot. From then on a small fire (under the warming oven) will maintain the oven temperature. Short acquaintance with the oven gives the user a thorough working knowledge of the operation. One or two trials will show how much pre­ heating, how much fire, and how much draft are necessary.

One of the best features of this Chinese-American barbecue pit is that quantities for large groups of people can be cooked at one time. If you’re cooking steaks, racks of lamb, squabs, or chicken, the first thing to do is build a fast fire in the oven itself to warm the bricks. When the bricks are good and hot the fire is pushed back underneath the plate warmer with a hoe, almost to the door of the conventional barbecue pit (see drawing). From then on the fire can be fed by opening the barbecue pit door and the draft will carry the heat through at a terrific speed. The heat should be regulated according to the size and thickness of whatever is being cooked. For instance you would want a very hot fire to cook steaks, so you would simply put the wood (preferably oak) on the fire and let it burn as fast as possible, regulating the heat by the damper on the lid of the oven. If you open this wide you have lots of fire; if you close it you have less. The steaks closest to the fire will brown the fastest, so they should be rotated and turned at least once during the operation to brown properly on all sides.

Cooking Chickens: When cooking 5- or 6-pound chickens in the Chinese-American barbecue pit, or when roasting large chickens which have been stuffed, a heavy hooked wire is passed through the back of the neck of each chicken and the chickens are hung by these wires on the rods of the pit and cooked with a moderate fire, as you would in a regular oven. The chicken is first rubbed with oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. If several chickens are being cooked, they should be rotated during the cooking so that they will all brown evenly. A drip pan is placed on the floor of the oven to catch the drippings so they will not burn on the bottom of the pit.

Cooking Ducks and Pheasants: I have cooked wild ducks and pheasants in this same oven, and they have proved to be the finest I’ve ever tasted. I rub wild ducks first inside and out with soya sauce, then hang them on wires and cook them with a very hot fire for twenty to twenty-five minutes. The fire is so hot that ducks retain all their juices and are delicious.

When cooking pheasants, I simply rub them with salt, pepper, and a little oil, hang them in the oven, and cook them fast for about fifteen minutes. Then I let the fire taper off and continue cooking the birds until they are done, about twenty minutes longer. Grouse, partridge, and ptarmigan are cooked in this same manner.

Peking Duck

The process of cooking what we call Peking duck is rather interesting. The duck is thoroughly washed after it has been cleaned and picked carefully, the vent is sealed by tying it, and enough spiced soup or broth is poured through the neck opening to practically fill the cavity. The neck is then tied. Next the duck is washed in warm water, to which honey has been added (2 tablespoons honey to a quart of water), and allowed to hang in the open air to thoroughly dry. When dry, it is hung by a wire in the Chinese oven, which has been preheated so that it is slightly warm, and the duck cooks for about an hour and a half. The steam inside cannot escape so the duck may swell up to the size of a football! This pressure helps to tenderize the meat while the honey on the outside makes the skin brown readily and become deliciously crisp.

Sui Gee

This is the Chinese name for barbecued pig. The Chinese take a small pig (18 to 20 pounds), remove most of the shoulder bones, and split the chine bone down the back from the inside, taking care not to cut the outer skin. The shoulder blade and pelvis are replaced by bamboo sticks so that the pig doesn’t lose its shape. Salt and pepper and a barbecue sauce with a catsup base are rubbed in the cavities, and the pig is wired and hung in the oven, which has been preheated for several hours so that the stones are very hot. The cover of the pit is put in place, and the pig cooks for about half an hour.

Mr. Pig is then taken out and holes are punched all over the skin with an ice pick to allow some of the fat to escape. Then it is washed with hot water, to which a little honey has been added (2 or 3 tablespoons honey to a quart of water), and is put back into the pit to cook until done. Wet sacks are placed around the edge of the oven lid to keep the heat from escaping. This final cooking takes from one to two hours—possibly longer for a larger pig. If the fire should get cold, charcoal can be added.

Sui gee is an impressive dish when placed on a large wooden board or tray, banked with greens and flowers, and a flower lei or cherry garland placed around its neck.

Of course anyone who has a barbecue pit of this type will develop his own technique. To give recipes and methods here for each type of meat would fill a small volume alone.

So much for particular barbecue pits. You either have one or you don’t, and even if you haven’t a spot in your back yard for a built-in pit, a portable grill will give you a chance to do a little outdoor cooking.

Assuming, then, that you have some kind of outdoor cooking gear, let’s proceed to recipes that can be used with any kind of equipment. I have some specialties for you to try at your next outdoor cooking session that aren’t all steak and chop deals. In fact some are worth trying in the kitchen right away.

A word about soya sauce before we proceed. The use of this little-known ingredient in cooking introduces an indescribable flavor that cannot be equaled. It gives a beautiful brown glaze to all meats and makes the fat crisp and appetizing. Most people associate soya sauce with the little jugs on the tables in Chinese restaurants; it is vulgarly called “bug juice” by the uninitiated. It belongs in the kitchen right along with your other seasonings and as you experiment with it you’ll find yourself using it as often as you would salt and pepper. Try basting a leg of lamb with it—the flavor and color are superb. Lamb chops, too, whether you fry, broil, or barbecue them, are improved by the use of soya sauce.

Steak Hawaiian

This recipe illustrates perfectly the value of cooking with soya sauce. You’ll find your steak has better color and an indescribable flavor, and the fat has a crisp brownness that can’t be achieved in any other method of cooking.

Chop a clove of garlic very, very fine and put it in a large shallow glass baking dish or platter. Add about 12 to 1 cup of soya sauce and mix. Marinate your steak in this for fifteen minutes, turning it to thoroughly impregnate the meat with the seasoning and soak up the sauce. Then barbecue, fry, or broil your steak, as you prefer.

(NOTE: Do not marinate in aluminum—the action of the soya sauce is apt to produce a disagreeable flavor. Aluminum cooking utensils may be used however.)

Barbecued Squab

Brush whole squabs inside and out with soya sauce and barbecue twenty to twenty-five minutes. Squabs so treated with soya sauce may be placed in a hot oven and roasted for a similar length of time or until done. The roasted squab may be basted occasionally with a mixture of soya sauce and melted butter while cooking.

Barbecued Lamb

Cube lean lamb, using 3 to 4 pounds for six people. Make a marinade of 4 tablespoons oil, 6 tablespoons soya sauce, 14 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1 large onion, finely grated, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, and let cubes of meat stand in this mixture one hour, turning and rubbing the seasonings into the meat. Skewer the meat on bamboo sticks or skewers and barbecue or broil.

Javanese Saté

  • 4 teaspoons Sate spice
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 14 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 12 teaspoons salt
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 12 pounds beef, veal, lamb, or pork

Combine seasonings with lemon juice and honey; put sauce in a large dish or earthen crock; add meat, cut in 1 12-inch cubes, and marinate for ten minutes. Thread pieces of meat on bamboo sticks or metal skewers, allowing the onion and garlic particles to adhere to the meat. Barbecue over open fire or charcoal, or broil in oven.


Make a marinade for lean pork or lamb as follows: brown 2 large onions, finely chopped, and 12 finely minced clove of garlic in 2 tablespoons butter; add 2 cups apricot pulp, 1 teaspoon salt, a dash of cayenne pepper, 2 tablespoons curry powder, 3 tablespoons vinegar, and 14 cup brown sugar. Simmer gently and add a little water if too thick. Marinate cubes of lamb or pork in this sauce overnight. When ready to use, drain and skewer the meat and broil or barbecue. Catch the drippings, if possible, to mix with the marinade and cook into gravy to serve with the sasaties.

Barbecued Shrimp

Peel large gulf shrimp; dip them in soya sauce and allow to drain a few minutes, then string or skewer on a heavy wire. Barbecue them over glowing coals or hang them to barbecue in a Chinese oven. Unpeeled shrimp can also be skewered and barbecued, in which case they should be allowed to stand in salt a few minutes before barbecuing. Lobster tails can also be barbecued in this same manner but, when done, should be daubed with melted butter and sprinkled with lemon juice and finely chopped parsley as a finishing touch.

Smoked Oysters

Dip oysters in soya sauce, season with salt and pepper, and skewer on a long wire. Barbecue about five minutes, or until the edges curl.

Barbecued Chicken Livers

Dip in soya sauce, skewer on wire, and barbecue over a hot fire five or six minutes.


And What to do With It

I WISH I had a nickel for every time a woman has remarked in a Chinese restaurant, “I wish I could cook rice like this at home.” You’ve probably made the same remark, and you can if you’re willing to sacrifice a little rice on the bottom of your best aluminum pan.

I’ve watched my Chinese chefs cook rice for many years now, and the procedure never varies. First of all, they insist on a long-grain rice (called Texas Patina). That’s their favorite in this country. They wash it four or five times until the rinse water is absolutely clear, then they put it in a heavy aluminum kettle. Cold water is added until there is approximately one inch of water above the rice, then they put the lid on and set the kettle over a medium fire until the water starts to boil and the crackling noise of the rice against the side of the pot can be heard. The flame is then turned down very low and the rice left to cook undisturbed for about half an hour—no stirring. The result is a rice which is dry and flaky, and in individual kernels, and there’s a heavy light brown crust of rice on the bottom of the pan. I’ve found that a little oil on the bottom of the pan before the rice is added eliminates some of the sticking.

Of course you can boil rice too. Most recipes call for a couple of quarts of rapidly boiling water, to which 2 to 4 teaspoons of salt have been added. Slowly a cup of rice is added to the boiling water and you let it boil, uncovered, like mad until the rice is tender. This takes twelve to twenty-five minutes, depending upon the type of rice you’re cooking. Then you dump the rice in a colander and pour boiling water over it to wash away the loose starch. After that you set the colander of rice over a pan of hot water or put it in a heated oven to let fluff and dry out. The rice may be flaky but it sounds like a lot of extra work and boiling water, besides good nourishment going down the drainpipe.

There are many types of rice grown in this country and they fall into three groups—long-grain, medium-grain, and short-grain. O f the long-grain group is Rex Oro, or Patina, as it is commonly called. This is the finest type of rice grown here— a long narrow-grained rice which cooks up less starchy than most other types. I’m including a chart of types of rice under groups, together with a guide to cooking times, based on boiling rice. It isn’t infallible, of course, as altitude, the thickness of your pan, and the type of heat used must all be taken into consideration, but it will guide you in cooking rice.

For instance, if you’re going to steam a rice which takes longer to boil than Rex Oro, you will know that you should use a little more water or your rice will burn before it is done.

LONG-GRAIN (from Texas)

Rex Oro (Patina) 15 to 16 minutes
Nira 15 to 16 minutes
Fortuna 20 to 21 minutes
Edith 21 to 22 minutes
Lady Wright 22 to 23 minutes

MEDIUM-GRAIN (from Arkansas and Louisiana)

Blue Rose 21 to 22 minutes
Zenith 21 to 22 minutes
Early Prolific 24 to 25 minutes


California 18 to 20 minutes

Some of the real Chinese rice which we used to import—Pakling and Seemui—cooks up very quickly, in about twelve minutes. It is long-grain, but very small.

No matter how you decide to cook rice, or what kind you cook, you’ll have to experiment a bit, as no package of rice ever seems to reveal the kind you’re buying except to state the type—long-, medium, or short-grain—and sometimes they don’t even do that.

Chinese Fried Rice

Once you’ve cooked your rice, you can proceed to do some interesting things with it, such as making fried rice. If you’ve ever flopperooed with this dish it probably was because you tried to make it the same day you cooked your rice. That won’t do at all. Fried rice is really a leftover dish, and cold cooked rice is the first requirement.

  • 2 tablespoons peanut or good cooking oil
  • 12 cup finely diced ham, chicken, or pork (cooked)
  • 3 finely sliced mushrooms
  • 1 quart cold cooked rice
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 1 egg

Fry the meat in the oil lightly, add the mushrooms, rice, green onion, and soya sauce and continue to fry over a slow fire for ten minutes. Then add the well-beaten egg and continue to fry and stir for another five minutes. If the color isn’t dark enough, add a little more soya sauce, as this is what really gives color and flavor to fried rice.

A delicious variation of fried rice is made by adding a finely chopped pimento to the above recipe, substituting butter for the oil, and omitting the soya sauce.

Fried Rice with Shrimp

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil or butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 12 cup mushrooms
  • 1 pound cooked shrimp
  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • 3 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs

Fry onion in peanut oil or butter, add celery, mushrooms, and shrimp and cook about five minutes. Add cooked rice, soya sauce, and salt; mix well. A dd the eggs, well beaten, and stir well into the mixture. Cook a couple of minutes until the eggs are done.


When I was a kid my parents owned a little grocery store, as I’ve mentioned before, and Mother used to cook some wonderful midday meals for us, running downstairs in between stirs to wait on customers. We had wonderful food at little cost—lamb cheese, beef cheeks, oxtails, lamb tongues—anything that cost a nickel or a dime at the butchershop, but when my mother got through with them they tasted like a million dollars. One of our favorite meals was jambalaya with French bread and our usual ration of red wine mixed with water. It went something like the following but never was really the same way twice. Sometimes Mother added oysters, and even clams occasionally, or she’d use bacon or little pork sausages instead of ham.

  • 1 12 cups diced ham
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 12 pound large shrimp, peeled
  • 1 12 tablespoons butter
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 12 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 1 12 quarts boiling stock or water
  • 1 canned pimento, finely chopped
  • 12 bell pepper, finely chopped (may be omitted)
  • 4 small tomatoes, finely chopped, or 1 cup canned tomatoes
  • 34 tablespoon salt
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • 3 sprigs parsley, finely chopped

Fry the ham and shrimp in the oil; add butter, then the onion and garlic, and saute lightly. Next add the rice and saute until golden brown. Add boiling stock and rest of ingredients; mix well and cover. Let simmer twenty to twenty-five minutes, or until rice is done.

Arroz Con Pollo à la Constantino

Leaping nimbly from my childhood memories to those of Havana a few decades later, I wonder how many of you (are you still with me?) have ever eaten at La Florida in Havana, opposite the old church and through the Arcade from the Plaza Hotel. The little wood oysters and crawfish served there are sheer bliss. Another dish which I enjoyed there was arroz con polio a la Constan­ tino. I recall having with it black bean soup, plenty of watercress salad and French dressing, and a bottle of excellent red wine. For dessert there was fresh pineapple over which was poured a mixture of Kirschwasser and maraschino liqueur. You can do the same thing to canned pineapple with just as delectable results.

But to get back to arroz con polio à la Constantino. Basically it’s about the same as jambalaya with the ham and shrimp left out and chicken used instead. Instead of ham, brown a 3 12-pound disjointed chicken (which has been floured) in butter, proceed as in the jambalaya, steaming the chicken with the rice. There are variations to the dish and many recipes, but the ultimate results aren’t different enough to be worth the extra trouble. This method is easy to prepare and delicious and if you want to gild the lily add mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and chopped giblets.

Rice Pilaff

There’s a lot of confusion and to-do about rice pilaff and rice pilau. I’m still confused. It really doesn’t make much difference, however, as both resemble Spanish rice in the homestretch. They’re just cooked differently. As I understand it, pilaff is rice browned in butter or oil and cooked with broth or tomato juice. Before the rice is done tomato pulp is added and chopped meat may be added to make it a main dish. Rice pilau starts out about the same except that diced salt pork or bacon is fried and then the rice added to brown, and chopped onion and parsley are included in addition to the tomato juice and pulp in which the browned rice is steamed. The dish stems from the Mediterranean countries and, while essentially the same, it is made just a little differently in each country.

Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding

Before we leave rice, I’ve just remembered another recipe of my mother’s which ought to be put back in circulation. She used to put 12 cup of rice in a big earthen baking dish and pour over it 1 quart of milk, then stir in 12 cup of sugar, some spice—nutmeg and cinnamon—and a little salt. She baked this in a slow oven four or five hours, stirring it now and then. When it was done it was creamy and golden in color and thick, and we had it warm with milk for supper or cold for lunch the next day. Sometimes she put raisins in it and I suspect that she added a bit of vanilla before she took it out of the oven. Anyway, it beats any rice pudding you’ve ever tasted.

A Word About Parties

Or The Last Charge

WHEN you have an accumulation of friends, whether they number two or twenty, you’ve grounds for a party. The dictionary says that a party is a body of persons united for a common purpose, social or political, and, to me, that means drinks, conversation, singing, dancing, and food.

If this book doesn’t accomplish anything else I hope it leaves you with this thought at least—to hell with the conventional, the right fork, the right goblet, the fashionable flower arrangement. You can have more real fun with a flower behind your ear, a sparerib in one hand, and a drink in the other than you ever will all swaddled in damask, sterling, and cut crystal. Just one thing is needed to complete the scene—good companionship.

Thinking back over my own experiences, it seems to me that too many hostesses spend time and care on the preparations for a party and completely miss on the selection of guests. Where particular people are invited, with or without a particular purpose in mind, it is mighty important that you invite people who you know will like one an­ other and whose personalities will bud and flower together in the warmth of your hospitality.

Let me give you some egamples of whom not to invite. We were invited to a dinner party not long ago—about twenty couples of nice people with the exception of one domineering old biddy and her unfortunate husband. The party was going along smoothly; the cocktails were being consumed according to plan; dinner was announced and we sat down to a truly marvelous meal. The hostess had really blown her top on that dinner. In the middle of the main course there was conversational commotion at the other end of the table that gathered volume and momentum fast and just about jarred the table from its moorings. The domineering dame had let go at her old man with a blast that would shrivel a jellyfish. Right in the middle of that gorgeous dinner party she launched into what was strictly a family beef. The poor guy got red in the face, sputtered like a wet firecracker, and tried vainly to shush her, but she was free-wheeling and nothing could stop her. Everyone squirmed, felt embarrassed, and tried to retread their conversations, but the air was out of the tire and by the time the old girl regained control and realized what an ass she’d made of herself dinner was about over. All of her smirkings and tittery apologies couldn’t recapture the gaiety and good fellowship which had been lost because of her bad manners.

There’s another type of party pest to watch out for—the wolf past his prime. He’s the guy who, after a few drinks, picks out a tender young thing and proceeds to pat her on the you-know-where till she damn near ends up in the punch bowl. He’s the frustrated old goat who punctuates all his remarks with personal pats and pinches on any feminine guest who has the misfortune to be seated near him.

His counterpart on the distaff side is usually on hand too. She’s the gal with the V for Victory job which fits her like the skin on a grape, and when she sits down there’s no place for her dress to go but up. So what gives? The wives get into a huddle and pan the girl for the fancy display; the men get sore at the broken-down wolves for making passes at their old ladies and the party is flat on one end.

There’s another nice deal where every guest is a stranger in thought, deed, and dress. The hostess, of course, is just cleaning up on odds and ends of courtesies but if she thinks her guests aren’t smart to it she should hear what they have to say on the way home! Everybody wonders what it’s all about until they have a chance to think it over, and then you can bet your tights she’s in for a terrific shellacking.

It’s a pretty stinking trick, also, to invite two couples who are having a little Martin and Coy deal on between themselves. It’s absolutely guar­ anteed to put the quick freeze on any otherwise friendly group of people. It’s human nature for people to take sides, so the party is soon divided into two camps. With all the neighborhood and club gossip, women know what’s going on and should be able to make their guest lists from the peace table instead of a war map.

The windbag who, self-launched or with the aid of a few quickies, will orate on religion, politics, or behaviorism and who is an authority on any subject mentioned, will also put the squitch on your festivities if you don’t discover him and nip his oratorical tendencies in the bud. If you find yourself saddled with one of these, try putting him to work. Ask him to help you with drinks or get some chairs down from upstairs—anything to keep him busy and quiet.

Another thing that gets my goat is the hostess who invites her guests with a discerning eye for their usefulness. I’m talking for myself now, and I might be a harmonica player, or a pianist, or a violinist, but I’m just a fair saloonkeeper. One evening some patronizing old bag says to me, “Trader, we think you’re wonderful. We love you and your charming wife (gush, gush). We just think you’re regular people. Won’t you come to our house for cocktails next Sunday at four? Now please come early!” So I consult my better half and we know some friends who will be there and we think maybe it will be fun so we get there—and early, dammit—and is the old bag full of soft soap! She’s got quite a crowd so it’s “Trader, you know how to make such wonderful drinks! We’ve got everything. Puleeze!” So I’m stuck, and if I played the piano I’d be stuck, and if I played the harmonica I bet they’d have a harmonica! I mix drinks from four to eight-thirty for free, and I’ve been finagled. I am also pretty hot about it and it’s never going to happen again.

The average hostess is guilty of a few other party crimes, one being the lack of organization. As with anything else in life, forethought and planning oil the wheels of any festivity. You can’t spend hours on the guest list, days ordering and preparing the food, deck yourself in your best bib and tucker, and after you’ve herded your guests into the living room leave them entirely to their own devices. You can but you’ll be sorry. If you don’t steer things from the beginning you’ll find everyone falling back on your liquor supply and the first thing you know you’ll have a knockdown, drag-out bacchanalia on the premises.

Now I don’t mean, heaven forbid, that you should provide cards, vaudeville acts, or paid entertainment, nor do I suggest that you move your guests around like pawns on a chessboard, but you alone set the tempo of your party. If you make a mental schedule and stick to it you’ll find every­one imbibing a certain number of drinks and at a designated time partaking of your food. You should have one or two ideas stowed away for after-dinner activities and, with a few well-directed suggestions or hints to the outstanding personalities at your gatherings, things will move forward. It may be guessing games, community singing, or storytelling, depending upon the preferences and caliber of your friends, but it shouldn’t be forced. Nothing is more asinine than a hostess standing in the middle of a group of adults, clapping her hands and exclaiming, “Now let’s all play charades. Donald dear, you be first.”

Record playing has its drawbacks, too, unless the suggestion is practically unanimous. I’ll never for­ get one of the goddamnedest evenings I ever spent. My wife and I were invited to dinner and arrived per schedule. I don’t think we’d had more than two cocktails when wham! a mechanical record player came to life. W e listened to Tchaikovsky, we listened to Brahms, we listened to everything from Chopin to Wagner and we couldn’t drink or talk. Our hostess had it boiled up so you couldn’t hear your own voice much less anyone else’s and when the maid came in with “dinner is served” I said to myself, “It’s a good thing.”

Well, we trooped into the dining room and I’ll be damned if our music-loving hostess didn’t put on a stack of operas and stuff, set the gimmick, and feed us music with dinner. It wouldn’t have been so bad if she’d just let the thing play softly. Then we could have talked among ourselves. But no, she had to give us a play-by-play description and we couldn’t talk while she was talking so we withered and died and fell in our soup. The evening finally petered out and we made excuses to leave early but by then I had such a case of the jitters that I lost my two cocktails and dinner on the way home.

And while I’m dishing out the advice, a little Dorothy Dix to those who have to entertain the boss. If he’s a nice guy you’re lucky, but if he’s a stinkeroo it’s brutal. Whichever he is, don’t chase around putting on the flash, because he’s smart to it or if he isn’t his old lady is and she’ll nail you to the cross later. If you have a maid, O.K., you have a maid. If you haven’t, to hell with a maid. Give them your sincere best, in your natural way, because that’s the reason they’re coming to your home in the first place and not for a load of chi-chi and phony-baloney.

With that load of pelikia off my chest I feel better. I’ve relived good times, recalled old friends and places where many of these recipes were either found or invented. A t one time or another I’ve either sampled or used the various recipes I’m passing on to you and I think most of them are damn good.

In a recent issue of Reader’s Digest I read of an alleged conversation between Cornelia Otis Skin­ ner and Henry M . Robinson, roving editor for that magazine, in which they and others were dis­ cussing the benefits of walking. Miss Skinner re­ marked that she took walks because she liked to walk, not because they were good for her, but that she always hoped they would reduce her fanny, whereupon Mr. Robinson quipped, “An end greatly to be desired.”

Now I find myself in exactly the same position as Miss Skinner and Mr. Robinson—an end greatly to be desired—and it’s like saying good night. Some folks do it quickly and beat it. Others say good night from the foyer out past the front gate, but it all amounts to the same thing. The party is over. I had fun and I hope that you did too.