09 September 2011

Bastardized Rum Drinks - Part 1 - The Papazerac

I'm all for the classics, but I'm also completely in favor of bastardizing the hell out of them to suit your needs. This year, I've enjoyed and destroyed several classic rum drinks, and had fun doing it. Here's the first:

I love the classic papa doble or Hemingway daiquiri.

Papa Doble
2 oz white rum
juice of 1 lime
generous portion of grapefruit juice
slight dash of Luxardo Maraschino
Shake and serve on the rocks.  
When I went to Hilton Head with my in-laws this year, we spent a lot of effort punishing my father-in-law for the mistake of saying we could put anything we wanted on his open tab at Pool Bar Jim's on the beach. They do fantastic frozen drinks, but they're not classicists by any stretch. These are drinks for the Jamba Juice crowd (albeit much, much better than anything you'd get there).

Jim's recipe for a papa doble includes the cardinal sin against the purist version: substituting maraschino cherry juice for Luxardo Maraschino liqueur. Yes, maraschino cherry juice comes from almond extract, whereas Luxardo is actually made from cherries. But food scientist Harold McGee will tell you that cherries actually have a strong almond component to their flavor in the form of benzaldehyde, so what's the big deal? It's a frozen daiquiri. You've got all that ice stunning your tongue into submission. You can't taste the rum. You think you can tell the difference? And you actually care? You're on the friggin' beach and someone else is paying for the drinks! Shut up!

Now, though, just to make things easier, whenever I'm at a beach bar with frozen drinks--which is surprisingly often--I just ask for a grapefruit daiquiri and that does the trick. It's amazingly refreshing.

I discovered that the smokiness of a solid single-malt Scotch whisky makes a wonderful backstop to the flavors of a papa doble. So I came up with the Papazerac, a papa doble made with the same process as the iconic Sazerac cocktail of New Orleans, with a Laphroaig rinse.

Laphroaig is a powerfully flavored whisky, and not everyone likes it, but its power makes it come through the rum, sourness, and sugar in this drink wonderfully.


  1. Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice and let chill while you make the rest of the drink.
  2. In a mixing glass, muddle one lime with sugar to taste.
  3. Add two tablespoons fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, a dash of Luxardo maraschino liquer, and 2-3 oz white rum.
  4. Top the mixing glass with ice and shake vigorously.
  5. Discard the ice from the old-fashioned glass, pour a generous dash of Laphroaig into the glass, swirl, and discard.
  6. Strain the mixing glass into the old-fashioned glass, garnish with a grapefruit peel twist, and serve.
Drink twenty to thirty of these and you will have gotten through your bottle of Laphroaig pleasurably without actually drinking any. As with the absinthe in a Sazerac, do not actually drink the rinse out of the glass. Control your urges and just throw it out. If you feel bad about that, just use less. If you drink it, you'll wreck your ability to taste its subtle underpinnings in the drink, which is the whole point.

If you can't bear to waste whisky, put it in a shot glass and re-add it to your drink as necessary to preserve the smoky flavor.

Next: Emergency Mai Tais