Saturn – Original Recipe & History

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

  • 1/3 oz Falernum

  • 1/3 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. Then blend on high for 5 seconds to completely crush the ice and turn the drink into a slushy texture.
  • Pour into serving glass. Garnish with a long lemon peel circling a cherry on a cocktail pick.

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Passion Fruit Syrup – Recipe

Passion Fruit Syrup
Passion Fruit Syrup

What Is A Passion Fruit?

Passion fruit natively comes from South America, and in Hawaii, it is called lilikoi. It’s a very flavorful tart little fruit that comes from the passionflower, and it can be used in any dessert or other sweet item. I can’t think of any use of passion fruit in savory food. It’s primarily used in desserts and drinks. Passion fruit also has a bit of vitamin C and vitamin A, but that’s kind of it. It just tastes perfect.

Should I Buy Passion Fruit Syrup Or Make It?

Always make your own syrups unless it’s gum syrup, tonic syrup, or orgeat. Gum and orgeat you can make, but it’s just a pain in the butt and tonic I would never make from scratch. Passion fruit syrup is super easy to make, cheaper than buying it, and a much better product.

What Are Passion Fruit Syrup Substitutes?

There are no substitutes for passion fruit syrup as it has such a unique taste. There is no single fruit it tastes like, but if I were to try and recreate it, I would try combining a few flavors. I would try mixing a Meyer Lemon juice, some kiwi juice, and pineapple juice. Again there is nothing like passion fruit but those flavors could get you pretty close.

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Passion Fruit Syrup

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

10

servings
Calories

150

kcal
Total time

20

minutes

Easy passion fruit syrup for drinks

Ingredients

  • 200 grams Sugar

  • 100 grams Water

  • 100 grams Passion Fruit Pulp

Directions

  • Over low heat combine the water and sugar together and stir till the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add the passion fruit pulp and let the mixture simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Filter the syrup through a mesh strainer and press the juice out of the passion fruit pulp.

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Cocktails That Use Passion Fruit Syrup

Q.B. Cooler – Classic Recipe & History

Q.B. Cooler
Q.B. Cooler

What Does Q.B Mean?

If you are a former Air Force, you probably already know the answer to this, but the Q.B. in the Q.B. Cooler stands for Quiet Birdmen. Donn Beach served in the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) from 1942 to 1945. The Quite Birdmen is an invite-only club of former military aviators formed at the end of WWI in France. Originally a drinking club named The American Flying Club, they eventually earned the name Quite Birdmen as a joke since they were often loud and drunk. As a former Lieutenant Colonel of the Army Air Forces, it seems fitting to name a drink after the Air Forces drinking club. (Originally, aerial warfare was a part of the Army as the Army Air Corps till 1941, then Army Air Forces in 1942, It wouldn’t become a separate branch till 1947 when the US Air Force was formed)

Did The Q.B Cooler Inspire the Mai Tai?

There is a typical story that Donn Beach’s Q.B. Cooler inspired Victor Bergeron (Trader Vic) and made the Mai Tai in an attempt to imitate it. But I don’t buy that. 1). The Mai Tai and Q.B. Cooler are almost entirely different drinks. It doesn’t help that there are countless recipes for the two, but the more or less agreed-upon canon recipes are very different from each other. If Victor Bergeron was trying to copy the Q.B. Cooler, he completely missed the mark. 2). Victor Bergeron did not hide when Donn Beach inspired him. He was public about how Don the Beachcomber inspired him to open a tiki bar. Also, he cited the cocktails he did try and mimic from Donn as cocktails inspired by and originally from Don the Beachcomber. Why would he suddenly act differently with this one drink? 3). I gather this story was started by a bartender of Donn’s and not Donn himself. Donn did not hide his frustration with others trying to copy his work, and he did not sue Victor Bergeron for copying his Q.B Cooler. Victor sued him. This leads to my final point. 4). Victor Bergeron and Donn Beach went to court to argue who’s Mai Tai was the original. Victor sold a pre-made “Original” Mai Tai mixer, and in the 1970s, Donn Beach began selling a pre-made “Original” Mai Tai mixer. The two went to court to argue who invented the original. Victor Bergeron won, and Donn removed “Original” from the label. I believe if Victor Bergeron tried to copy the Q.B. Cooler, he would have just made a drink called the Q.B Cooler and credited Donn Beach with having invented 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.

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Q.B. Cooler

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

1

servings
Calories

256

kcal
ABV

27%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make an Q.B. Cooler

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice

  • 1/2 oz Orange Juice

  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

  • 2 dashes Absinthe

  • 1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup

  • 2 oz Black Rum

  • 1 oz White Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into a shaker, and add a scoop of shaved ice. If you do not have shaved ice then crushed ice will do.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Pour the whole shaker into the serving glass. Ice and all

Notes

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Pi Yi (Passion Fruit Syrup) – Recipe

Pi Yi
Pi Yi

What Does The PI YI Taste Like?

This is a fantastic spiced tropical juice-flavored cocktail. It’s one of my favorite tiki drinks and, in my opinion, is much better than many of the more popular tiki cocktails. The honey and juice perfectly match the strength of the rum and the spice of the bitters. Not much to say other than this is a must-try and one you will most likely make again.

Making A PI YI With A Fresh Pineapple.

The authentic way to prepare this was to scoop out a small pineapple and use the inside, blend it, and use its juice in the drink. Once the drink was shaken and done, it was poured back into the hollowed-out pineapple. To keep with tradition, I cut pineapple and used a small bit of blended fruit as the juice for this drink, which turned out good. I did not pour it back in since I wanted the drink to be visible in a glass. Also, I ate most of the pineapple on its own, and hollowing out a pineapple would give me way more than 1 oz of juice. My assumption is all the extra fruit and juice from the fresh pineapple was used in other drinks too, at Don The Beachcombers.

Recipe Resources

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

Pi Yi

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

1

servings
Calories

181

kcal
ABV

17%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Pi Yi.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice

  • 1 oz Pineapple Juice

  • 1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup

  • 1 tsp Honey Syrup

  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

  • 1 oz White Rum

  • 2/3 oz Gold Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into a shaker and add a scoop of crushed ice.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Pour the whole shaker into the serving glass. Ice and all.

Notes

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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.