The gentleman's drink: the fog cutter


It's a friday as I am writing this and I thought "Hey let's do something fun". And if we are talking about drinks, there is nothing more fun than Tiki. 

The idea of Tiki drinks was started in 1934 by a man named Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt aka Don Beach (known as Don the Beachcomber). He opened a bar called Don's Beachcomber Cafe in Hollywood that served exotic flavored rum based drinks and polynesian food. It was an instant hit and was frequented by many movie stars like Clark Gable and the Marx brothers.

Enter the other famous Tiki pioneer, Victor Jules Bergeron, Jr. also known as Trader Vic, . He opened a similar concept in 1937. The war for Tiki had started. Think lots of secret recipes, handmade ingredients and outrageously named cocktails. (in my mind it was the model for the cold war. hahaha) Tiki was very popular post WW2 and slowly died out by the 1970's.

Now the exact history of the fog cutter gets more fun as both Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic lay claim to the drink. Typical Tiki. The good news is the art of making Tiki drinks has survived and I present to you a riff on the classic one here. It is easier to secure the ingredients and a bit more fruity to blend with the triple spirits used in this drink. For what is considered the original recipes, I suggest you refer to the excellent book: Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haig aka Dr. Cocktail.  

Fun note: Trader VIc was quoted as saying of this drink "Fog Cutter? Hell, after two of these you won't even see the stuff". 

OK enough history, it's a friday and time to have a drink, relax and cut through the fog of the week. Enjoy.

the fog cutter  

  • 45 ml aged rum (I used Cruzan SIngle Barrel)
  • 20 ml bourbon whiskey (I used Maker's Mark)
  • 15 ml london dry gin (I used Sipsmiths)
  • 30 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 30 ml fresh pineapple juice (optional but if you like fruiter than by all means. If you don't just omit)
  • 30ml freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 15 ml orgeat syrup
  • 10ml sugar syrup
  • 15ml sherry for a float.

Directions: Add all ingredients to shaker except sherry and shake over crushed and cubed ice. Pour into a tiki mug (the bigger the better) and top with more crushed ice. Garnish wildly and with free abandon. (Ok I used charred pineapple, pineapple leaf and an orange peel)

Like it? Too complicated to make? Most fine cocktail bars should be able to make you a good version of the fog cutter. If not then try your hand. Nothing tastes better than a cocktail you make yourself. Don’t make me say I told you so...

Please feel free to comment, like or share below, or go ahead and connect with me on social media. Cheers.

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