The Pearl Diver is Don the Beachcomber’s iced take on hot buttered rum. Key to its construction is a proprietary mixture known as Gardenia Mix—an amalgam of honey, butter and spiced syrups. In Gaby Mlynarczyk’s version of the mix, far fewer ingredients are required, and browned butter, rather than simply softened butter, lends a slightly savory note.
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add a few small pieces of ice and shake until it melts.
Pour into a Pearl Diver glass or a glass of your choice.
Top with crushed ice.
Garnish with a mango leaf, an edible orchid, and some freshly grated nutmeg.
Gardenia Mix: 1⁄2 pound butter
1⁄2 quart honey
1⁄8 cup boiling water
1⁄2 ounce vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Maldon smoked salt
1⁄4 cup Trader Vic’s macadamia nut liqueur (optional)
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the butter. Once the butter starts to foam after about 5 minutes, stir it with a spatula, making sure that the butter browns without burning. Once it takes on a toffee color, remove the pan from the heat and let cool. In a blender, combine the honey and boiling water and blend until integrated. Add the lukewarm brown butter, vanilla, salt, and macadamia nut liqueur, if using. Blend on high until well combined. Pour into a lidded container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. (If chilled, the mixture may need to loosen up in a heatproof container set in boiling water prior to using.)