Scorpion Cocktail History
The original scorpion was not a bowl or an individual cocktail but a punch from Victor Bergeron’s First book from 1947, and was a punch made for 12. The original scorpion recipe was 1.5 bottles of rum, 2 oz gin, 2 oz brandy, 1 pint of lemon juice, 1/2 a pint of orange juice, 1/2 a pint worth of orgeat, 1/2 a bottle or white wine and 2 sprigs of mint. Those are some odd proportions if you ask me, like Trader vic added the gin and mint as a joke. That original scorpion punch is also in the 1972 edition, but the updated edition included his more popular versions of the scorpion.
Trader vic heavily modified the recipe over the years and in his 1972 edition added the scorpion bowl and a single scorpion cocktail. The recipe here is the single serve version and in my opinion the best version of the drink. But I will say those flaming scorpion bowls are a ton of fun. Oddly enough the scorpion bowl which is made to serve 3 is not just 3x the ingredients of the single serve one. The ingredients are the same but the volumes are different.
The scorpion was Trader Vic’s third most popular cocktail and while I think this is the best version of the drink it’s not a top tier tiki cocktail in my book. It’s just kinda juice and booze. Again that is a personal opinion and taste is subjective. Its good but not outstanding. When I think tiki I envision juice, booze and spice, but this cocktail lacks spice. The Orgeat adds a nice nuttiness to the drink but the white rum and orange juice and lemon juice are the most prominent flavors. And if its going to be heavy on the juice then let it be exotic juices like pomegranate, passion fruit, pineapple, papaya, etc, not just orange and lemon. This is a tiki drink I would have loved when I first started drinking tiki drinks, but a decade and half in this comes off bland to me.
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