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Saturn is the second largest planet in our solar system — famous for its iconic rings and 100-plus moons — but it also shares a name with a tropical cocktail of intergalactic proportions.
Like the Fog Cutter, Polynesian Spell, and Singapore Sling, the Saturn is a tiki classic made with gin. In a drinks genre more or less dominated by rum cocktails, gin plays a close second to the molasses and cane-based spirit, providing an unlikely but perfect botanical companion to any cast of fruit juices and syrups thrown its way. As our guest today explains, “The Saturn is for gin what the Mai Tai is for rum.” It’s undoubtedly a complex drink, but it still allows its base spirit to shine.
Most canonical tiki drinks came from legendary bartenders Donn Beach and Victor Bergeron, but the Saturn was coined by California-based bartender Joseph “Popo” Galsini in 1966. Since he never published the recipe anywhere, it fell into obscurity until it was unearthed — by sheer serendipity — when author and bartender Jeff “Beachbum” Berry stumbled upon a vintage Saturn souvenir glass in a California antique shop circa 2000. With simply a list of ingredients, and no step-by-step recipe, Berry was able to bring this near-forgotten cocktail back to life, publishing his interpretation in the book “Taboo Table.”
When it comes to tiki drink recipes, more is always more, and the Saturn is no exception. Today, we’re going to break down its laundry list of ingredients and talk about how passion fruit purée and multiple gins tie this cocktail together.
In this planetary edition of “Cocktail College,” we’re joined by Ray Sakover to embark on an exploration of the Saturn. Sakover is the co-owner of New York’s recently opened Paradise Lost, and the cocktail in question is a lesser-known, cosmic tiki concoction. Tune in for more.
Ray Sakover’s Saturn Recipe
- 5 drops 25% saline solution
- ½ ounce fresh lime juice
- ½ ounce fresh lemon Juice
- ¼ ounce Boiron passion fruit puree
- ¼ ounce Orgeat Works Latitude 29 Orgeat
- ½ ounce Orgeat Works Toasted Orgeat
- ¼ ounce Thai Spice Falernum
- ½ ounce Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
- ½ ounce Bimini Gin
- 1 ¼ ounces Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin
- Garnish: a lemon wheel, lime wheel, round rosette paper cocktail fan, and alien toys
- Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin.
- Flash-blend with 8 ounces (1 cup) pebble ice for 5 seconds or until the tin is frosty.
- Dump into a double rocks glass with 4 ounces of pebble ice.
- Garnish with a lemon wheel, lime wheel, round rosette paper cocktail fan, and alien toys.