Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Night Happy Hour: The Scorpion

This recipe comes from the Playboy's Host and Bar Book by Thomas Mario.

2 oz. light rum
1 oz. brandy
2 oz. orange juice
1.5 oz. lemon juice
.5 oz. orgeat

Shake and serve!

Orange juice and lemon juice come in bottles, but they also come in actual oranges and lemons. You'll be glad you opted for the latter. We'll admit it, we sometimes make a pulpy, sticky mess squeezing our own juice, but we never regret it when we taste the fruits of our labor.

We dusted the rim with sugar. Rub a twist from either the orange or lemon (remember, the actual fruit) along the edge and touch the rim of the glass in a thin pool of granulated sugar. If possible, and time allows, we suggest doing this at least a few minutes before mixing the drink so that the sugar solidifies.

The Scorpion is in the same family of rummy fruity drinks as the Mai-Tai, Zombie, and Missionary's Downfall. The Scorpion, in particular, has a reputation of being served in a bowl for an entire table to enjoy; just multiply this recipe. It can be garnished and glamorized to the hilt, if you like. Let the islands inspire you. These drinks go down so smoothly that you're taken aback at the punch they deliver, but you love them for it.

M shared a charming story about the Scorpion when we had this drink at our own happy hour recently. In 1974 his family made their first trip -- by jet -- to California. His exotic and mysterious Aunt Judy lived there, in Huntington Beach, with a Man Who Was Not Her Husband.

The trip included a visit to The Jade Dragon, where a "Scorpion bowl" was served as part of the traditional Southern California Chinese feast. It was indeed garnished and glamorized to the hilt, and M, who was just 10 years old at the time, enjoyed several sips from one of the long straws sticking out at every angle. He declared this version a ringer for the original.

The next morning he went to Disneyland.