Chill out with this charmer from Trader Vic
We’re reaching peak heat in our part of the world. Time to trek to the beach or plant ourselves beside the pool.
But after an hour or two in the sun, we get mighty hot and thirsty.
Enter the Beachcomber Cocktail, a refreshing combo of rum, Cointreau, maraschino liqueur, and lime juice. It’s a nice afternoon sipper – and dry enough for a predinner drink.
Liquid perfection, we call it.
Recipe: The Beachcomber Cocktail
Originally, this cocktail was made in a blender and served as a frozen drink. We prefer to shake it with ice and serve it “up” in a cocktail glass. But we provide instructions for a blender version in the Notes.
This recipe takes about 5 minutes to make and serves 1.
- 2 ounces light (white) rum
- 1 ounce Cointreau (or another triple sec)
- ¼ ounce maraschino liqueur
- ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice (or to taste; see Notes)
- garnish of a lime wheel or twist (optional)
- Place all ingredients (except garnish) in a cocktail shaker half filled with ice. Shake vigorously until the contents are well chilled (about 20 seconds).
- Strain into a cocktail glass, preferably one that has been chilled. Add garnish, if you wish, and serve.
- We think ¾ ounce of lime juice gives this drink a nicely balanced flavor. But we like our cocktails on the tart side. If our formula is too sour for you, try ½ ounce lime juice.
- Still not tart enough? Use a full ounce of lime juice.
- Need to sweeten things up a bit? Add a teaspoon or so of simple syrup.
- To make a frozen (blender) version of this drink: Place ½ cup of ice in a blender. Process until the ice is almost crushed. Scrape down the sides of the blender with a spatula, then add the drink ingredients. Blend again, just enough to mix. Pour the mixture into a cocktail glass and serve.
- We like to garnish this drink with a lime wheel or twist. But we’ve seen some recipes that call for a cocktail cherry.
- You could just skip the garnish, of course – though the drink won’t look as fancy.
- Victor Bergeron (aka Trader Vic) ran a chain of Tiki-themed restaurants during the mid-20th century. A few still exist, but most went out of business when the Tiki craze receded.
- Though most of his restaurants are long gone, Trader Vic left us a legacy: He invented many drinks that are still well known today, including the Beachcomber Cocktail. We’re not sure when he created the Beachcomber, but he first published a recipe for it in his 1947 Bartender’s Guide.
“Refreshing!” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “I’d call this thirst block. We’ll stash a flask of it next to our sun block.”
“Yup,” I said. “Don’t want to get parched or burned. That would be a beach bummer.”
“This drink is worth a shell-ebration,” said Mrs K R.
“Definitely fin-tastic,” I said.
“Guess I’ll have to apply pier pressure to stop these puns,” said Mrs K R.
Sharky darn. I was shore she’d find that one amusing.
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LOL...love the flirt between you and Mrs. KR..you two are truly a sweet couple. The cocktail looks refreshing and perfect for summer.
Hi Angie, well, Mrs KR is sweet! :-) Thanks for the comment.
You post the best cocktails. I remember the Tiki craze and the huge cocktails these places often served.
Hi Gerlinde, I remember the Tiki craze too, although I was too young for cocktails back then. There are some great Tiki drinks! Lot of catching up to do. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Another winner, John! It sounds so sippable. And there was a Trader Vic's in downtown St. Louis. Friends took me there for my birthday when we were in high school. It felt so exotic, and we felt so sophisticated!
Hi Terry, I remember that Trader Vic's! It was in the Hilton, as I recall. Never went there, though. Thanks for the comment.
Yummy! I think I'll try the frozen version and of course stick a little umbrella in it too. :)
Hi Martha, drink umbrella are fun, aren't they? And perfect for a beach cocktail! Thanks for the comment.
All I need with this is a sandy beach and a shady umbrella ;)
Hi Pat and Dahn, yup! :-) Thanks for the comment.
What a beauty!
Hi Pam, really, really tasty too. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Oh for the days when a restaurateur could just appropriate a whole culture --Polynesia + Hawaii-- and invent all sorts of traditions, attribute lots of drinks to it, and make lots of money. (Just kidding.)
best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com
Hi Mae, yeah, Tiki is largely made up -- rather odd how all that happened, isn't it? Good drinks, though. Thanks for the comment.
We need one of those straight away! Do you deliver to poolside? The refreshing cocktail has everything perfectly balanced for the perfect poolside sipper. Now we just need a pool...LOL
I love the lime in this -- the tart with the subtle sweet flavors sounds perfect. I'm a big fan of delicious pre-dinner cocktails! :-) ~Valentina
Hi Bobbi, we need a pool too! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Valentina, lime is one of our favorite cocktail ingredients! Such a nice flavor. Thanks for the comment.
Well, at the moment I'm not combing any beaches, so this will have to do. Actually it will more than do! I'll just get out my suntan lotion and have Manservant deliver one!
Hi Abbe, sounds like a plan. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Ooooh I love rum cocktails! And this is perfect for living in San Diego!
Hi Laura, this drink really does suit your climate well! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Simple, classic and I bet delicious!
Hi Denise, really delicious. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This sounds perfect for sipping, sitting beneath the ceiling fan on the back porch right at twilight!
What a lovely smooth drink! If I make it I'll use blender but i know my husband would always prefer shaker.
Hi Anne, excellent drink for that. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Balvinder, we usually prefer the shaker too, but the attraction of the blender is strong, isn't it? Thanks for the comment.
Oh Boy! I've got all the ingredients on hand for this cocktail except the maraschino liqueur! BTW, I ate at the Chicago Trader Vic's back in summer of 1964. Looks like that branch has now closed.
Hi Fran, I think most of the Trader Vic locations in the US are no longer, alas. But the drinks live on! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Oh yum! Love anything with maraschino liqueur. :) Shore could use one this afternoon. It's suppose to hit 99F!
Hi MJ, 99F? Yelp. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This cocktail is right up my alley John - light, refreshing, and with a hint of fruit. And I'd definitely have the frozen version, thsnk you very much! :)
Sounds perfect for the heat, nice and refreshing. I love your puns!
Hi Ben, shaken or frozen, this is great either way. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Dawn, we enjoy writing those endings. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi R, and tasty! :-) Thanks for the comment.
yes please. I'm up for one of these even tho it's winter. Love the photos!
Hi Sherry, but summer is on the horizon for you! So just drink one of these and dream. :-) Thanks for the comment.
John, for once we had all the ingredients on hand without having to go anywhere for an extra this or that. So, I made these for cocktails last night (because I took today off and it felt like the beginning of the weekend) and we love them! So nice and light and refreshing… No wonder it’s called the beachcomber. I don’t think many cocktails, but I can assure you this will be one that we have quite often…
Hi David, always good to begin the weekend on Thursday! :-) And isn't this a good drink? We really love its flavor -- it'll probably become a regular for us. :-) Thanks for the comment.
The fruity notes in this sound like bliss. I love how sophisticated it looks too.
Hi Laura, this is SO worth trying -- and perfect for Florida! :-) Thanks for the comment.
It is definitely toasty lately. And I definitely need a sip like this to chill out with. Cheers!
Hi Carolyn, yup, we need chilling out. So we made these again last night! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Looks so refreshing and you know I’m a sucker for anything in a martini glass. Stay cool.
Hi Eva, we like the shape of martini glasses too. And the contents, of course. :-) Thanks for the comment.
My kind of drink!
Hi Amalia, ours too! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Liquid perfection, indeed! I always love a rum cocktail. I might need to make a pitcher full of this.
Hi Lisa, a pitcher of these would be nice. :-) Thanks for the comment.
It sure is a beauty! And a refreshing cocktail that's perfect for mid-July!
Hi Liz, lovely flavor, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This cocktail looks so refreshing. Perfect for summer!
Hi Holly, this has become one of our favorite summer drinks! Really good. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I here we trek anytime of the year, in fact its the middle of winter now and we hiked Mt Cook, such a nice view, snowcapped mountains and frozen lakes. And that The Beachcomber Cocktail even though they are chilled I guess it can be a perfect winter drink too, just like we ate ice cream after snowy trek.
Hi Raymund, you lead a nice life! :-) Thanks for the comment.
I take my margaritas on the rocks too so I'm with you on ditching the blender!
Hi Inger, blender drinks are such a pain to make, aren't they? Good, but a pain. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Believe it or not, I've never tried this classic cocktail. I need to correct that pronto. Sounds really refreshing!
Hi Frank, you really do need to try this! SO good -- we had it again this weekend. :-) Thanks for the comment.
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