Beach Bum Berry is a true cocktail archeologist - he has searched out the history and lore of these drinks and the fantasy world of Tiki to which they belonged from the 1930s to the 1970s - a world which is now being revived.
While to me as a student Tiki Drinks were usually a mish-mash of fruit juices with a lot of rum, at one time they were made with as much care and deliberation, and they were excellent! Some were world famous. And now you can make these spectacular drinks yourself.
Most of the recipes for the most famous drinks were secret - to prevent your competitors from copying your drinks, so until now it was never possible to recreate the masterpieces of the best of the pioneers and founders of this style - most notably Donn Beach aka Don the Beachcomber, who invented tiki. By interviewing surviving bar-staff (and their children) and going through: papers, notebooks, receipts, magazine, old menus, etc.; Jeff Berry has put together the largest (and best) collection of important recipes - including all three of Don the Beachcombers (known) Zombie recipes.
But this is not just another book with a hundred drink recipes.
First, it includes all the recipes from the Bum's first two books, and they are unusually clear about how to make the drinks. Most drink books say " then add to crushed ice in a blender and blend", but this book says "add 6 oz of crushed ice to the mixture and blend for 20 seconds."
Second, Jeff has gone through all the recipes and tried them (again), and included only the better recipes. And some recipes say "this drink is famous, but we've never liked it much" or "this is Vic's revised version, circa 1950. Not that did, but if you did ask us, we'd say that this one is much improved."
Last, there is a lot of entertaining trivia about the bars, the stars, and the world these drinks lived in. Old photos, crazy drink mugs, the works.
I own over 100 cocktail recipe books, for Tiki, this is the place to start and end.