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.

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Picon Punch – Make The Original 1800s French Recipe

Original Picon Punch
Original Picon Punch

The History Of The Picon Punch.

If you have not heard of this, it’s not surprising. It’s primarily made in the western side of the United States and is popular in parts of California and Nevada with large Basque immigrant populations. If you go to Basque areas in northern Spain, they will have no idea what this is. Most of the histories I have found on this credit its creation to the Noriega Hotel in Bakersfield, California. Although I think that was more just a story used by the hotel. The earliest printed reference of the Picon Punch is from the 1900 book “Cocktail Boothby’s American Bartender” by William Boothby of San Francisco, California. It’s the first recipe listed in “miscellaneous and unclassified drinks” and is called an Amer Picon. The drink is labeled as already being a popular beverage in France, and that makes a lot more sense to me than it was invented in Bakersfield, California, during the end of the 19th century. The part I found most difficult to imagine was that a small hotel in Bakersfield was using grenadine before 1900.

The most popular red fruit syrup in the US before 1900 was raspberry syrup. William Boothby was the first American bartender to print recipes using grenadine. Grenadine first started being used in France and England around 1890; in his 1891 edition of the book, the Amer Picon cocktail does not use grenadine but orgeat. The change from orgeat to grenadine makes sense, too, with grenadine’s explosive popularity in France during that decade. Check out my grenadine article for its history and use in cocktails.

The hotel was founded in 1893, so that would have given them plenty of time to use Amer Picon before it stopped being imported to the US in 1920, but I don’t buy that it was invented there. The use of grenadine and references to its recipe many years before its origin story says it was created point to it being traditionally a French cocktail.

What Does The Picon Punch Taste Like?

I will say that using grenadine instead of orgeat was the right choice. The drink is still good, but the later grenadine version is better. While the grenadine version is like an herbal pomegranate flavored soda, this one has a nutty flavor that doesn’t balance the herbal flavors, and the fruity grenadine does. If the nuttier flavor sounds better to you, try this one. Keep in mind this is just one person’s opinion.

Amer Picon is still not imported into the US, so this is made now with substitutes. Also, Amer Picon isn’t made the same today as during the turn of the century. The alcohol content is different, and so is the flavor. It used to be around 40% abv, and today it’s 18%, and the taste has been updated for modern palates, so basically, it’s an entirely different ingredient other than the name. You’ll never be able to recreate this drink in its original form completely, so find a bittersweet/orangey aperitif you like. Even if you get an actual bottle of Amer Picon from France, it won’t taste like old Amer Picon anyway.

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Picon Punch (Original Recipe)

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: French
Servings

1

servings
Calories

227

kcal
ABV

15%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic 1800s style Picon Punch.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Orgeat

  • 2 oz Amer Picon

  • 2 oz Soda Water

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients except for the soda water into the serving glass with ice.
  • Stir and combine those ingredients together while also chilling them.
  • Lastly add the soda water.

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.