Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt
Invented the “exotic drink” and the establishments in which they were served
Gantt created, in Hollywood, what we now call the “tiki bar”, and he created the “exotic” drinks for which they became known. The Zombie is Gantt’s most famous drink creation, but he established the model for pretty much all exotic drinks himself working from the Jamaican Planter’s Punch as a template. From that foundation, Gantt created literally dozens of remarkable drinks with sophisticated, layered flavors. Gantt’s first bar was Don’s Beachcomber, and Gannt eventually changed his name to Donn Beach. Gantt married Cora Irene “Sunny” Sund, who turned out to have a strong entrepreneurial bent. While the marriage didn’t last, Sund expanded the Don the Beachcombers chain to sixteen locations and operated the business successfully for many years. Gantt served in the armed forces from 1942 to 1945, after which he pretty much left Sund with the entire operation and spent the rest of his years in Honolulu, operating his own unafiliated Don the Beachcomber’s at Waikiki.