Saturn – Make The Fantastic Original 1967 Recipe

Saturn
Saturn

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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Saturn

5 from 1 vote Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

224

kcal
ABV

20%

Total time

3

minutes

Make a Classic Saturn Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup

  • 1/4 oz Falernum

  • 1/4 oz Orgeat

  • 1.5 oz Dry Gin

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into a blender with a single scoop of ice cubes.
  • Blend on low for a few seconds or till the ice is mostly pulverized.
  • Now blend on high for 5-10 seconds to completely crush the ice and turn the drink into a slushy texture.
  • Pour into serving glass. Garnish with it’s iconic Saturn planet garnish.

Make Cocktails Like A Pro

If you have ever struggled with a recipe or wonder why yours are not turning out like they do at the bar then check out my simple step-by-step videos. I will walk you through how to expertly build each drink so you get consistently great results.

  • Free and simple step by step videos.
  • Tips and tricks from years of experience.
  • Historically accurate and balanced recipes.

Pearl Diver – A Fantastic Donn Beach Tiki Cocktail

Pearl Diver
Pearl Diver

What Does The Pearl Diver Taste Like?

The Pearl Diver is a unique cocktail. Even in the tiki world, its inclusion of Creamed spiced honey butter is unusual. The Gardenia mix adds a creamy texture and hot buttered rum flavor to a tropical drink. I have consistently found that people who don’t like hot buttered rum also don’t like this. I have also noticed that people who want hot buttered rum also like this. It tastes like a citrusy cold buttered rum, and I love it.

Don the Beachcomber’s Forgotten Recipes.

Immediately after the 21st amendment had repealed prohibition, Donn Beach opened Don the Beachcomber in Hollywood, California. Donn single-handedly created the first Tiki bar and, with it, tiki culture. But like most innovators, Donn was worried about others copying his Hollywood-style Polynesian-themed bar and profiting off his ideas. Donn would show up a few hours before the bar opened, mix large batches of his spice mixes and mixers, and give them nondescriptive labels like Donn’s spice mix #1, #2, #3, or Donn’s Zombie Mix, Grog Mix, Gardenia mix. This was all done to hide the recipes. Donn never told the other bartenders or published a recipe, and while he did open other bars, his recipes never got out. Thus Donn’s original recipes died with him in 1989. So keep that in mind anytime you see a Don the Beachcomber cocktail; it is never an original recipe, just the best guess. And some guesses are better than others. Tiki was a lawless free for all for a little over a decade with no continuity between drinks of the same name. There is still a lot of that today. How many Mai Tai recipes have you seen even though we know the original canon recipe for it?

In the late 90s, a Tiki cocktail enthusiast named Jeff Berry came along with the intent of preserving the old recipes and Tiki culture and helping revitalize the public interest in it. Jeff interviewed old bartenders of Donn the Beachcombers and set out to recreate Donn’s secret recipes to the best of their knowledge. Gathering whatever information he could and testing recipes against people who remembered what the old drinks tasted like, he is credited with having saved recipes that would otherwise be lost to time. Remember that these are not Donn’s original recipe but Jeff’s best attempts at recreating them and that Jeff Beachbum Berry is probably the closest one to get it right.

What is Gardenia Mix and How to Make It.

The secret Gardenia mix recipe Jeff Berry eventually settled on was:

  • 1 oz Honey
  • 1 oz unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Syrup
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Allspice Dram.

The stuff taste and smells fantastic. Although not everyone has vanilla or cinnamon syrup around, I wrote a recipe that is a bit more accessible. Here is my specific article on gardenia mix and how to make it.

The Most Important Part Of This Cocktail.

The most important part of the pearl diver is how you mix it. Butter is mostly milk fat and protein, and it does not stay emulsified in water. So you have two options. 1). Use a blender and turn it into a slushy. 2). Use an emulsifier like gum syrup or something to mix the gardenia mix while making it evenly and it is still warm. If you don’t blend it or use an emulsifier, the butter oddly sits at the top and looks pretty gross.

The first option of using a blender is the more common one. There will still be tiny butter particles, but the blender’s speed helps to mix them evenly, and the slushy ice prevents them from forming together. If slushies are not your style, then try option #2.

The second option is to use an emulsifier while making the gardenia mix while it is still warm. You’re not fighting the fat when the cocktail is cold. I’m not the most versed in that method but guides online talk about how to do it that way.

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Download The Official Vintage American Cocktails App

Discover what classic cocktails you can make right now with the ingredients you have. Check out the Vintage American Cocktail app.

Pearl Diver – Classic Don the Beachcomber Cocktail Recipe

5 from 1 vote Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

456

kcal
ABV

19%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Pearl Diver.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice

  • 1 oz Orange Juice

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 1 oz Gardenia Mix

  • 1/3 oz Falernum

  • 1.5 oz Gold Rum

  • 1 oz Anejo Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into a blender with a single scoop of ice cubes.
  • Blend on low for 10 seconds or till the ice is mostly pulverized.
  • Now blend on high for 5-10 seconds to completely crush the ice and turn the drink into a slushy texture.
  • Pour into serving glass. Garnish with an orchid flower.

Recipe Video

Notes


Make Cocktails Like A Pro

If you have ever struggled with a recipe or wonder why yours are not turning out like they do at the bar then check out my simple step-by-step videos. I will walk you through how to expertly build each drink so you get consistently great results.

  • Free and simple step by step videos.
  • Tips and tricks from years of experience.
  • Historically accurate and balanced recipes.