We cannot prove whether Ernest Gantt was born in New Orleans or not, but that is the legend. What is easier to prove is that this hospitality character became the renowned Donn the Beachcomber, opened an international string of Tiki-style restaurants and invented, after the repeal of Prohibition, a most popular drink, the Zombie.
Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, proprietor and creative force behind Latitude 29, a Tiki bar and restaurant in the French Quarter, has followed in Donn’s footsteps and made a great success of Tiki culture in this Creole town. Proving again, maybe, that what goes around comes around, often in a very good way.
For Donn the Beachcomber’s original recipe, visit MyNewOrleans.com.
Adapted by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry
3/4-ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce white grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce cinnamon-infused sugar syrup*
1/2 ounce 151-proof amber rum (such as Cruzan or Don-Q)
1 ounce dark Jamaican rum
Shake well with ice cubes. Pour unstrained into a tall glass, if necessary adding more ice to fill. Garnish with a mint sprig.
*Cinnamon-infused sugar syrup
Crush 3 cinnamon sticks and place in a saucepan with 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Lower heat, cover saucepan, and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and, keeping it covered, let sit at least 2 hours before straining and bottling. Will keep about a month in the fridge.
Latitude 29, 321 N. Peters St., 609-3811, Latitude29nola.com.