Friday, December 18, 2009

dr. funk

Juice of 1/2 Lime
1 1/2 oz Rhum Agricole (La Favorite Blanc)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Grenadine
1/4 oz Absinthe (Kubler)

Squeeze lime into shaking tin and drop shell in afterwards. Add rest of ingredients, shake with ice, and strain into a Collins glass filled with fresh ice. Top with soda water and add straw.

On Wednesday night, I decided to pay bartender Scott Holliday a visit at Rendezvous. Scott mentioned that he had recently compiled a list of his favorite classic cocktail recipes and he let me take a gander at it to find a drink. The first one that jumped out at me was Dr. Funk, a classic Tiki drink made famous by Don the Beachcomber and Traver Vic. However, the recipe pre-dates that era. The first bit of evidence is that Dr. Funk was a real person -- a German doctor living in then German colony of Samoa who treated Robert Louis Stevenson -- as described by Frederick O'Brien in his 1919 and 1921 books, White Shadows in the South Seas and Mystic Isles of the South Seas, respectively. The latter book describes the drink as "a portion of absinthe, a dash of grenadine - a syrup of the pomegranate fruit, the juice of two limes, and half a pint of siphon water," and apparently the good doctor served the drink as a medicinal tonic.

The Dr. Funk was a good transition from the previous night's 1933 Cosmopolitan, with both drinks roughly falling into the Daisy category. The drink started with the aroma of anise from the absinthe, and the sip had a funky elegance from the La Favorite rhum agricole; indeed, a simpler rum would not do the drink justice. The citrus to grenadine balance was rather pleasing in the beginning of the sip with the absinthe and bitter lime peel oils adding some extra complexity on the swallow. Overall, the Dr. Funk kept me intrigued with each and every swig for the flavor sensations continued to morph as the liquid passed from the tip of my tongue to the back of my throat.

1 comment:

myshkin said...

Thanks for filling in the back story of this cocktail Fred.