Scorpion

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Cocktail History

The Scorpion is a classic tiki cocktail that was created by Victor Bergeron at Trader Vic’s in San Francisco, California. According to Vic, it was first served to him by Hawaiian natives before he brought it back to his bar for Americans to enjoy in large-format punch bowls. Many versions of the drink have existed over the years, some even made with gin or wine, but this two-serving version from Easy Tiki: A Modern Revival with 60 Recipes by Chloe Frechette keeps to the more commonly accepted ingredients: rum, brandy, citrus juice, and orgeat syrup.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Aged Puerto Rican Rum: This is the base spirit. We used BACARDÍ Gold Rum for its soothing rum taste balanced with notes of buttery caramel and zesty orange.

Unaged Blended Rum: This is the other base spirit. We used Appleton Estate’s Gold Jamaican Rum because it’s a great affordable spirit with notes of spices and vanilla.

Cognac: This is the third base spirit. We used Courvoisier VSOP Cognac because it has a rich mouthfeel, adds notes of peach, almond, and cinnamon, and brings a delightful brandy spice at the end.

Orgeat Syrup: This is a sweet syrup made with almonds, sugar, and rose or orange flower water. It adds more sweetness to balance out the spirits and lends its unique nutty flavor often found in tiki drinks.

Orange Juice: This adds sweet citrus flavors for balance. We prefer fresh orange juice because it’s less bitter than the bottled stuff and tastes better.

Lime Juice: This adds sour citrus flavors. Again, we prefer fresh lime juice.

Orange Slice: This is one of the garnishes. It adds fresh orange aroma and flavor.

Lime Shell: This is another garnish. It’s flamed to add singed lime aroma and flavor.

Mint Sprig: This is the third garnish. It adds fragrant mint aroma.

Tasting Notes

The Scorpion features aromas of singed lime, mint, and orange, has the initially sweet taste of orange combined with the rums and brandy, and finishes with a sugary nuttiness. The aftertaste then heavily features rum notes again, which blend with orange for a pleasantly easy finish.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: Despite its booziness, we both found this cocktail to be very sweet and easy to sip. We can see why it’s such a crowd-pleaser.

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“This drink was quite tasty, and I would love an opportunity to serve it in a large bowl party-style some day. While we attempted to flame lime shell, the fire was unfortunately too bright to show up on camera; however, the singed lime did lend some lasting aroma to the experience. Overall, this was a very tasty tiki recipe, and it deserves its place in the tiki fandom.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“I think the Scorpion takes first prize in sweet-tartness as far as tiki drinks go. I can see why it’s usually served to a group; it lands more so in the sweet and fruity side of the cocktail spectrum than some of the other tropical drinks we’ve tried. I enjoyed it and would make it punch style for a party as intended, but I think I’ve liked a few other tiki cocktails we’ve tried more.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Easy Tiki: A Modern Revival with 60 Recipes by Chloe Frechette.

AuthorEasy TikiPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 2 oz Aged Puerto Rican Rum
 2 oz Unaged Blended Rum
 2 oz Cognac
 2 ¼ oz Orgeat Syrup
 3 oz Orange Juice
 2 ¼ oz Lime Juice
 1 Orange Slice
 1 Lime Shell
 1 Mint Sprig

Method
1

Juice half a lime and save shell.

2

Add rum, brandy, orgeat syrup, orange juice, lime juice, and ice to a blender.

3

Blend until desired texture.

4

Pour into a highball or tiki glass.

5

Garnish with orange slice, lime shell, and mint sprig.

6

Light lime shell on fire.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Aged Puerto Rican Rum
 2 oz Unaged Blended Rum
 2 oz Cognac
 2 ¼ oz Orgeat Syrup
 3 oz Orange Juice
 2 ¼ oz Lime Juice
 1 Orange Slice
 1 Lime Shell
 1 Mint Sprig

Directions

Method
1

Juice half a lime and save shell.

2

Add rum, brandy, orgeat syrup, orange juice, lime juice, and ice to a blender.

3

Blend until desired texture.

4

Pour into a highball or tiki glass.

5

Garnish with orange slice, lime shell, and mint sprig.

6

Light lime shell on fire.

Scorpion

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More Tiki Cocktails

If you like this tiki cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Paradise Lost: A vodka and sherry cocktail made with coconut water, lime juice, orgeat syrup, Angostura aromatic bitters, and mint

Jamaican Mule: A rum cocktail made with ginger syrup, lime juice, pineapple juice, Angostura aromatic bitters, candied ginger, a lime slice, and an orchid blossom

Ginger Inferno: A rum cocktail made with ginger liqueur, velvet falernum liqueur, lime juice, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup, a lime slice, and candied ginger

Zombie: A rum cocktail made with velvet falernum liqueur, Donn’s mix, lime juice, absinthe, grenadine, Angostura aromatic bitters, and mint

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