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Don’s Gardenia Mix: Mixer for Tiki Cocktails

Don’s Gardenia Mix is a syrup mixer that’s used in some tiki cocktails like the Pearl Diver. Relax: it doesn’t contain any gardenias.

Don's Gardenia Mix in an open bottle

This is indeed a complicated syrup, although it’s not that hard to make. Don’s Gardenia Mix is a syrup that has been specifically crafted for tiki cocktails. Created by legendary tiki mixologist Don the Beachcomber, this syrup is an essential component of many classic and modern tiki recipes.

And honestly, it’s going to sound wacky. It’s made from a combination of honey, butter, cinnamon, vanilla, and other spices, so it adds depth and complexity to any drink.

Butter, you say? Remember the Hot Buttered Rum. This really was a thing in cocktails, and it’s very fun and delicious to revisit.

Maybe complexity that was the point of tiki cocktail invention. Making drinks deliciously complicated and difficult, because in making all these complex ingredients, you relax.

So what makes Don’s Gardenia Mix so special? For starters, it has a unique flavor profile that complements the other ingredients in tiki cocktails perfectly.

If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could experiment with replacing regular simple syrup with this special blend in any recipe that calls for it. Be aware it will add a lot of flavor and a hint of buttery richness which may not go with every cocktail.

You could also just eat this on pastry. Seriously.

Don's Gardenia Mix in an open bottle
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Don's Gardenia Mix is a syrup mixer that's used in some tiki cocktails like the Pearl Diver. Relax: it doesn't contain any gardenias.


  • 1 ounce honey
  • 1 ounce unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon infused simple syrup (see notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice liqueur
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla syrup


  1. Get a mixing bowl.
  2. Into it, put the honey, butter, cinnamon syrup, vanilla syrup and allspice liqueur.
  3. With a hand mixer, whip it until it's creamy.


Make cinnamon syrup like you would make regular simple syrup, except you add two cinnamon sticks to it to infuse their flavor.

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