The History Of The Saturn Cocktail.
The Saturn cocktail was invented by Filipino bartender Joseph “Po Po” Galsini as one of their entries for the 1967 IBA World Cocktail Competition. (In Filipino culture, it’s a term of endearment for older people to say a younger persons’ first name twice in some cutesy way. For example, someone named Tom would be called Tom Tom, Luna becomes Lu Lu, Mario becomes Mo Mo, etc.). Working as a school teacher in the Philippines, Joseph Galsini (I am not his senior and have no emotional connection to him, so I don’t feel right calling him Po Po) immigrated to the United States in 1928, where he began bartending in California. Joseph and his team eventually went on to win first place at the 1953 and 1954 IBA World Cocktail Competition. In 1967 one of the cocktails they entered was the Saturn, named after the Saturn V rocket also invented that same year. They didn’t win that year, but they still created a very memorable tiki-style cocktail with a fun garnish. The Saturn cocktail was rediscovered by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, who was able to save the recipe thanks to Bob Esmino, a fellow Filipino Bartender who got his start helping to open Don’s Beachcomber Cafe. Thanks to Bob Esmino remembering the recipe, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry was able to publish it in his 2010 book “Beachbum Berry Remix”. Sadly Joseph Galsini died in a car crash in 1982. Check out This lengthy article about Joseph on the Daily Beast by David Wondrich.
Is the Saturn Blended Or Shaken?
The most common way this drink is made is by shaking the ingredients, making for a delicious drink. But, according to Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, who got his recipe from Bob Esmino, who worked with Joseph Galsini, the original Saturn was blended. Both are great ways to make the Saturn, and it just comes down to texture.
How To Make The Saturn Garnish.
The Saturn is tasty, but it is the garnish that stands out about this cocktail. Joseph Galsini topped the Saturn off with a lemon peel circled around a maraschino cherry to resemble Saturn. The garnish is more aesthetic than functional, and damn, it looks good. The garnish is made by peeling the whole circumference of a lemon and pinning a cherry in the middle. I’m personally not the biggest fan of overly decorative garnishes and feel if a garnish does not contribute directly to the drink’s flavor, then it should be omitted. Still, I make an exception for this drink. Also, I am always a little disappointed if I order a Saturn at a bar or restaurant and don’t get the Saturn garnish. I don’t care whether it is blended or shaken; I just want to see that cute little cherry with a lemon peel around it.
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