Yes, it's Friday again! Another week of the pandemic, another week of political convention, and it is time for a serious cocktail. Strong! Complex! Well-balanced! Delicious. And I herewith offer an uncommon cocktail, rum-based because I'm still at the beach: The Beachcomber.
I found it will reading about The Mai Tai in Justin Cristaldi's Tiki Triangle, originally published in 1947. Rum, orange liqueur, lime juice, simple syrup, and the brilliant addition of one of my favorite liqueurs, Luxardo, a maraschino elixir.
While you may notice its resemblance to a margarita (it's basically a margarita using rum, with the additional flare of Luxardo, it is unique in it's own right and deserving of classic status. I can't use one of favorite phrases, "instant classic"—apparently there are such things, but I don't know how there can be such a thing—because according to Mr. Cristaldi, it was first on the menu at Trader Vic's during its heyday when both Vic and Donn the Beachcomber were the rage, and rivals. Was it an attempt to cash in on Donn's fame? Or did Donn create it only to have it filched, and published, by Trader Vic himself? Justin believes the latter, and as that involves a degree of intrigue, I favor that theory as well.
Proportions vary. Mine are these for The Beachcomber:
2 ounces light rum
¾ ounce lime juice
¾ ounce Curaçao (or Triple Sec)
½ ounce simple syrup*
1 capful or teaspoon of Luxardo
Garnish: mint and lime wedge
*If you listen to the video, I make a fumbling attempt to describe how to make mint simple syrup, which takes this cocktail over the top, but I find that the process is so simple (add mint to sugar and water that you're bringing to a boil), that I merely sound stupid. Oh, well. Hope the poem makes up for that.
It's from the 13th century poet-scholar Rumi (today a great spice company I highly recommend), who speaks of non-judgmentalism and transcendence, two things we direly need during these complicated times.
"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there."
Preferable with Beachcomber in hand.
Happy Friday one and all!
- 2 ounces light rum
- ¾ ounce lime juice
- ¾ ounce curacao
- ½ ounce simple syrup (make a mint simple syrup, killer for this drink)
- 1 teaspoon Luxardo
- fresh mint
- lime wedge
- Combine the liquids. Add ice. Garnish with mint and lime!