Fresh mint enlivens this Tiki “smoothie”
Want to join the green smoothie craze, but can't stand the taste? Have we got a drink for you!
Smoothies have been around since the electric blender became popular. And so have blender cocktails, like the Frozen Daiquiri. Or the Missionary’s Downfall.
OK, this drink isn’t as healthy as your typical green smoothie. But its color is striking. And it tastes sooo much better.
Besides, fresh mint is good for you. Isn’t it?
Recipe: The Missionary’s Downfall Cocktail
This drink was created around 1937 by Tiki impresario Donn Beach (of Don the Beachcomber restaurant fame).
Like many Tiki drinks, the Missionary’s Downfall has a fanciful name. (And a mysterious one – no one really knows how this cocktail got its name.) Unlike many Tiki drinks, however, this one doesn’t contain a great deal of booze. So it’s a “lighter” drink. But don’t worry, it has plenty of flavor.
If you don’t want to use a blender to make this drink, in the Notes we give you an alternate method.
We got our recipe from Beachbum Berry, who is a wonderful source of information for all things Tiki.
This drink takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and serves 1.
- 1 ounce light rum (may increase to 1½ ounces)
- ½ ounce peach brandy
- 1½ ounces unsweetened pineapple juice
- ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- ½ to 1 ounce honey simple syrup (to taste; see Notes for instructions on how to make this)
- ¼ cup mint leaves, tightly packed
- ¾ cup crushed ice
- garnish of mint sprig and/or peach slice (optional)
- Place all ingredients (except garnish) in a blender. Blend at high speed for 20 seconds.
- Pour the mixture into a cocktail glass (or a champagne coupe). Garnish, if desired, and serve.
- Some people prefer to shake this drink. If you want to go that route, here’s how: First, muddle (crush) 12 fresh mint leaves in the bottom of a cocktail shaker (use a muddler or the back of a long spoon). Then add the other ingredients, shake with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass (or a rocks glass filled with crushed ice).
- We don’t think this cocktail looks (or tastes) quite as good when shaken, however. Better to use the blender.
- Instead of using a cocktail glass, you could serve this drink in a champagne coupe (or even a champagne flute).
- We described how to make honey simple syrup in our post on The Bee’s Knees Cocktail. Here’s a review: Measure out equal quantities of honey and water (say, ½ cup of each). Place the honey in a heat-proof bowl. Heat the water until hot (it doesn’t have to be boiling; a microwave works well for this). Combine the hot water with the honey, and stir until the honey dissolves. Pour the syrup into a squeeze bottle or an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
- The original recipe for this drink specifies 1 ounce of honey simple syrup. But if you’re using an inexpensive peach brandy (which is all you’ll find at most stores), we suggest starting with ½ ounce – because the cheap peach brandies tend to be really sweet.
- We’ve seen recipes that substitute apricot brandy for peach. Sounds worth a try.
- The original recipe for this drink specified light Puerto Rican rum (Bacardi is the best known brand). But any light rum will work well.
- Some history on blenders: The ancestor of the modern blender was invented in 1922 by Wisconsin engineer Stephen J. Poplawski. His company sold them to drugstores for making malted milks and shakes.
- Later, Frederick Osius – also from Wisconsin – came up with an improved design for the blender. Around 1936, he showed his design to Fred Waring (a popular musician and bandleader who had once studied engineering). Waring suggested some refinements to the machine, and began producing it as the Waring Blendor (that’s how he spelled it). Waring, who wasn’t a drinker, at first marketed his blender to health food stores – which used it to invent the smoothie. But Waring soon realized that bars offered an even better market for his product. And so frozen drinks were born.
- The blender has actually helped save lives (and not just those of parched bar patrons). Dr. Jonas Salk, who developed a vaccine for polio, used a special Waring blender – the Aseptic Dispersal Blendor – in his research.
“Love the color!” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Is this what they mean by going green?”
“Yup, this drink is green as grass, and smooth as glass,” I said. “And not too much booze.”
“Which means we can have more than one,” said Mrs K R. “Without getting green around the gills.”
“So you’re green lighting another round?” I said.
“Absolutely,” said Mrs K R. “Unlike Kermit, I find it’s easy being green.”
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Bee's Knees Cocktail
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