Tiki Drink: Fog Cutter

Fog Cutter. Hell, after two of these, you won’t even see the stuff.
—Trader Vic

fog-cutter
If you are just stumbling through, February is Tiki Month here on the Pegu Blog. All Tiki, all month! Behold, my first genuine Tiki drink of the grand experiment: The Fog Cutter.
Let’s start with the recipe as I put it together:

THE FOG CUTTER

  • 2 oz. Mount Gay Eclipse Silver
  • 1 oz. Courvoisier
  • 1/2 oz. Bombay Sapphire
  • 2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 oz. Tropicana Orange Juice (no pulp)
  • 1/2 oz. orgeat syrup
  • 1 cup small cube ice
  • 1/4 oz. sherry

Shake all but the sherry with the ice, then pour without straining into a pilsner glass. Add more ice to fill, then float sherry on top. Garnish with homemade maraschino cherries and chunks of pineapple.

I chose to write up this drink first because I really liked it from the first sip. It has a lot of depth of flavor, with tropical fruits getting along nicely, and the various liquors coming out pretty assertively, despite the fairly low overall proof of this cocktail. It is sweet and exotic, without the cloying overload you normally get in average restaurant tropical drinks. This would be a fabulous hot day libation, as it is both sweet and thirst-quenching. I’m not sure how it would go on a dank, foggy day, however. The one thing I’m unconvinced of is the sherry float. Does this add anything to the drink, really? Overall, this drink will definitely stay in the rotation once Tiki Month has run its course. If all you’ve had is Mai Tais from Applebee’s and therefore thought that Tiki drinks aren’t for you, the Fog Cutter is a good one to reconsider over.
So, what general Tiki lessons do I take from this first recipe out the box?

  • Orgeat is a magical substance when used with fruit juice. It makes a lot of other tastes meld better than I’d expect. It’s almost like mortar between stonework. At least I get the distinct impression that it’s the orgeat that’s performing this office. I’ll be experimenting and writing further on this stuff as we go.
  • This drink is also illustrative of Tiki drinks’ tendency to mix lots of different base spirits. I’m much more comfortable with a mix of a single liquor with a liqueur or two, so this will be serious Terra Incognita for me. Is this melding of liquors, even just melding of different rums, a prerequisite for a Tiki drink? It this process just adventurous, wild abandon, or is it cunning alchemy?

And where do I need to improve myself to bring my Fog Cutter up to serious Tiki standards? I love the picture, and love the drink, but my first failing is with the garnish. It classically calls for a mint leaf. My mint is all under feet of snow. I need to lay some fresh in from the grocery store. And if I don’t go with the mint, I need something more elaborate, or at least with larger chunks of fruit.
Also, I didn’t squeeze the orange juice. I should start. But then again, I will not be doing that. If I start juicing oranges for my cocktails, my daughters will start expecting that I do it for their breakfast. Henceforth all OJ used here will be from the carton. I think OJ doesn’t pale near as quickly as lemon and lime juice do once squeezed. The pilsner glass works nicely, but is hardly a full on Tiki vessel.
Trader Vic’s has served this drink since the forties in a signature tall ceramic mug, graced by an island maiden wearing one half of a hula outfit. I gotta get my hands on one of those.
The mug, not the island maiden!


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  1. Tiare

    2 February

    Yay,your first tiki drink! not bad!

    Well, i can see your point with the OJ, but i think at least you should try to squeeze the orange juice in at least one drink, just to taste the difference.

    The garnish? yea..maybe some larger chunks of pineapple, and instead of mint if its unavailable now, try pineapple leaves..

    Keep the good tiki drinks coming..i will surely get thirsty and not just me i`m sure.

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  2. Bastian

    7 February

    I’ve done some experimentation with medium oloroso sherry and that works best for me. No float though, just shaken with the rest of the shizzle….gives a nice sherry aftertaste and combines great with the orgeat.

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  3. pegu

    18 March

  4. This is a good blog post, I was wondering if I could use this summary on my website, I will link it back to your website though. If this is a problem please let me know and I will take it down right away.

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  5. Tony Harion

    7 December

    I was looking for a great post about the fog cutter to link to a friend. Looked and the Dood´s blog, looked at Tiare´s place then remembered about this post.

    You started pretty well for the first tiki month if you ask me.

    I really enjoy a fog cutter once in a while. It´s just crazy how this mess (at first glance) works out so well.

    The Sherry regularly gets subbed for port around here and I tend to feel the same as you did about it. More often than not it gets omitted. I need to get my hands on some Oloroso as Bastian mentioned.

    Orgeat is magical!

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  6. jane

    7 May

    I do love a good cocktail, i have a party this weekend that i have arranged. I think i have found my arrival drink cocktail, thanks so much!

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  7. simon

    8 January

    Looks like a really nice recipe, im gonna give this recipe a whirl, Thanks!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

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