Jeff Berry is too energetic to be a true “beachbum”. He’s opened a premier tiki bar in New Orleans, authored six books, created an iPhone app, traveled the world extolling the virtues of tiki drink culture, and now is partnering with Cocktail Kingdom to produce some drool worthy barware. Each of these items will make you the envy of your customers and friends. Read on to find out our thoughts on each.
Beachbum Berry’s Navy Grog Cone Kit – The Navy Grog is a classic WWII era Donn Beach cocktail with a little extra in the way of a garnish. Resembling an icy volcano, this cone made for a great presentation as well as keeping the drink frosty. One of Don the Beachcombers employees revealed the secret behind this cone to Jeff Berry a few decades ago, and now it can be your as well.
The process of making an ice cone is relatively simple, you just need an ice shaver, sno-cone machine or heavy-duty food processor. Once you have your granulated ice crystals, you simply pack them into the cone, stick the enclosed straw through and set in your freezer until it is solid. The only drawback is obvious. You can only make one at a time. But, if you plan ahead you can make several cones in time for your weekend tiki bash. GSN Rating: A-
Swizzle Cup – Another Donn Beach creation (he was full of endless ingenuity), the swizzle cup solves the age-old problem of how to keep the ice in a swizzled drink from melting too rapidly and diluting the drink too quickly. The wide mouth of the cup makes it quite easy for anyone doing a traditional swizzle (with a Quararibea turbinata branch) or an immersion blender. As well, the look of the cup is quite retro and looks smashing when it is frosted over. My only criticism is that the cup is rather lightweight and with the base being rather narrow, it is easily knocked over. Perhaps an extra thick and heavy base would be an improvement in the future. GSN Rating: B+
Skull Barspoon – This very cool item is not a replica of a mid-century modern bartool, but rather a 21st century creation. Sturdy, long and with a generous sized bowl, the real eye-catcher is the skull. Every time I use it, I’m reminded of the scene from “The Exorcist” when the head rotates around with a seriously voodoo like menace. The eyes of the skull contain black faceted stones which give it an extra bit of badassness (is that a word?). I’m not sure if the stones will hold up to multiple washings in a dishwasher, so hand washing is recommended. The barspoon comes in standard steel, copper-plate or gold-plate. About the only thing that could improve this item is if the eyes glowed. Very cool, Jeff. GSN Rating: A
Pearl Diver Glass – Glassware is perhaps 50% of a cocktail’s appeal. Think about it. Would a Martini have the same effect if it was served in a red plastic “beer pong” cup? So, this beautiful glass makes a welcome reappearance after being out of production for well over 40 years. Delicate, intriguingly nautical and ribbed for your pleasure, the Pearl Diver glass is a joy to both behold and physically hold. The original glasses were a standard of most upscale tiki bars of the 50’s and 60’s, and this one is duplicated down to the last detail. Make yourself a Pearl Diver cocktail, and relive those heady days of tiki-dom. GSN Rating: A+
For more information go to: Cocktail Kingdom