Lesson Eight: Advanced Mixology

Chapter Five: Mama Said Punch You Out

Queen’s Park Swizzle

The Queen’s Park Hotel used to stand right at the heart of Port of Spain, Trinidad’s gritty but seductive capitol (hint: it’s all about the food—well, that and the shockingly beautiful women). The house drink was famous, for a time. But then folks stopped traveling by steamship and ran out of time for sipping tall rum things on the verandahs of charming old hotels in sleepy tropical ports. Pity, that.

3 ounces aged Trinidadian rum
Juice of 1/2 lime, plus squeezed-out shell
6 to 8 mint leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons rich simple syrup
3 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine in a large tumbler, fill with crushed ice, and stir vigorously until glass frosts. Add straw.

Okolehao Punch

This mock-Hawaiian device hails from the archives of the (mock) Hawaiian Room, at New York’s Hotel Lexington, a tiki pioneer that opened in the late 1930s and offered “authentic atmosphere, melodious music, native dancing, and tropical cuisine of the famous islands.” Okolehao is an Hawaiian liquor distilled in part from the roots of the ti plant, from which grass skirts are made. Needless to say, it doesn’t come anywhere near this drink.

2 ounces gin
1 1/2 teaspoons Grand Marnier
1 1/2 ounces canned coconut milk
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1 teaspoon superfine sugar

Shake and strain into a large tumbler (or, of course, a coconut shell) filled with shaved or crushed ice. Add straw.

Black Magic

In 1941, when the Village Vanguard contributed the Black Magic to the New York Daily News, it wasn’t yet the preeminent jazz venue it would become in the 1950s. It had plenty of good jazz, mind you, but it also made room for cabaret acts and poetry readings and other amusements—tropical drinks among them, judging from this tasty knockoff of the infamous Zombie.

1 1/2 ounces dark Jamaican rum
1/2 ounce cognac
1 teaspoon white crème de menthe
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce papaya nectar
To finish: an artistically carved chunk of fresh pineapple

Shake and strain into a large tumbler filled with shaved or crushed ice; add pineapple and straw.

Recipes reproduced from “Killer Cocktails” by David Wondrich