1/3 Fernet Branca
1/3 Smith & Cross Rum
1/3 Pineapple Juice
Shake without ice and strain into a shot glass or rocks glass using 1/2 oz or 1 oz portions each, respectively. Shaking with ice and either pouring or straining into a rocks glass (1 oz portions for each ingredient) are viable options.
For a late addition to the Thursday Drink Night: Revamped Classics, Gabe of CocktailNerd had been goading me into revamping the not-so-classic Gator Cum, a shooter that the neighborhood bar next to the Mixo House at Tales made for us. Instead, I opted to revamp a shooter that I had already given some consideration. One Sunday night at Drink, a bunch of restaurant industry folk came into the bar and one of them asked Ben Sandrof first for a Zima, then a Surfer on Acid, and lastly something with Bacardi Limon before giving up and letting Ben make a drink for him. When I spoke to John Gertsen about it later, we discussed the role of a bar to serve the drinks requested versus attempting to stick to a drink program concept. John explained that the bar did not have the proper inventory to make any of his three requests (and Zima had been discontinued for a few months at that point); however, I wondered if the bar could have made their best shot at a Surfer on Acid. I thought about the time I went to Drink for a nightcap after attending a networking event at a bar that had frozen drinks; when John heard that I had been at that bar, he brought out one of his vintage ice shavers and asked if I wanted a frozen drink old school style. I guess if that guy had asked for a 19th century version of a Surfer on Acid, Ben or John would have jumped at the opportunity.
For those luckily not in the know, the Surfer on Acid is an equal parts drink of Jägermeister, Malibu or other coconut rum, and pineapple juice. To make the Bartender on Acid, I considered the role of Fernet-Branca as "bartender's handshake" and decided it would be the perfect substitution for the herbal Jägermeister liqueur. While the pineapple juice could stay, the coconut rum had to go. What to substitute it with? The most fetishy rum of the moment: Smith & Cross. Smith & Cross packs a wallop both in proof and in flavor. Very few things can compete with its might.
When we did the BOA shot at Drink Night, Gabe commented that finally there was a drink that could put Smith & Cross in its place. Indeed, Fernet and the rum were equals in the drink and the pineapple juice functioned to add some softer notes to the tussle. The Bartender on Acid was a surprisingly good shooter as well as a decent sipper. Since Smith & Cross is modeled after Jamaican rums prevalent in the 19th century, this recipe solved my riddle from a year or so ago.