More than just an evocative name, the Missionary’s Downfall blends pineapple, rum, mint, peach brandy, and lime to fit into the category of cocktails that are first devoured with the eyes. It’s possibly the best example of a “Phone Drinks First” cocktail.

While beautiful, the Missionary’s Downfall is by no means an easy drink to master. In fact, experts claim that the cocktail is the true test of a tiki bartender’s skill. Similar to judging a pizza joint by its slice of plain cheese pizza or a brewery by its flagship IPA, a well-made Missionary’s Downfall is indicative of an outstanding tiki bar. And, just beyond the cocktail’s stunning appearance lies a fascinating backstory, one complete with characters like Don the Beachcomber and legends of smuggling mint seeds into Hawaii.

On this episode of the “Cocktail College” podcast, host Tim McKirdy is joined by Daniele Dalla Pola of Miami’s Esotico and The Kaona Room. The Italian-born rum enthusiast and exotic drinks connoisseur is here to walk us through the history of the cocktail, the benefits of agave nectar, the differences between frozen and slushy drinks, and even to give some crucial advice for aspiring bartenders. Tune in for more.

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Daniele Dalla Pola’s Missionary’s Downfall Recipe


  • ½ ounce lime juice (strained)
  • ½ ounce peach brandy
  • 1 ½ ounces white rum
  • 3 pieces pineapple
  • 8 mint leaves


  1. Blend everything together without ice using a stick blender.
  2. Add a small amount of crushed ice and blend again until chilled.
  3. Garnish with a mint sprig in the center of the cocktail.