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April 2008 – The Bacardi Cocktail


While searching for a new drink, I came across the Bacardi cocktail, and it dawned on me there aren’t many drinks that include a brand name.  A little more research revealed that a court battle in 1936……."If it lacks Bacardi rum, no bartender's concoction can be called a Bacardi cocktail, the Appellate Division ruled yesterday, affirming a similar decision of the late Supreme Court Justice John L. Walsh."

So, what’s in a Bacardi cocktail, other than rum??

According to www.thespiritworld.net, the earliest printed recipe is from 1914, as follows:


Bacardi Cocktail

(Drinks by Jacques Straub, 1914)

1/2 pony grenadine syrup.
2/3 jigger Bacardi rum.
Juice of half a lime.
Shake well. Strain. Serve.

However, on Wiki Webtender, the state that the recipe did not appear in the 1914 edition of Straub’s book, but did appear in a 1920 reprint. 

Thus it would appear the first recipe in print is:


Bacardi Cocktail

(The Ideal Bartender by Tom Bullock, 1917)


Use a large Mixing glass. Fill with Lump Ice.

1/2 jigger Cusinier Grenadine.

1 jigger Bacardi Rum.

Shake well and serve in a Cocktail glass.

Bacardi Cocktail-- Country Club Style

(The Ideal Bartender by Tom Bullock, 1917)


Use a large Mixing glass. Fill with Lump Ice.

1/2 Lime Juice.

2 dashes Imported Grenadine.

1 jigger Bacardi Rum.

Shake well; strain into Cocktail glass and serve. 

So – does it ALWAYS have grenadine?  From Wikipedia:  The Grenadine version of the Bacardi Cocktail originated in the US, while the original non-red Bacardi company recipe originated from Cuba.

According to www.thespiritworld.net , the following slightly modified recipe appeared in 1917:

Bacardi Cocktail

(Mixed Drinks, by Hugo Esslin, 1917)

1 drink Bacardi Rum
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 dashes Gum Syrup
Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain and serve.

This begs the question…What is Gum Syrup?.  According to a search on the web, Gum Syrup is:


4 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 egg white

Dissolve sugar in water. Stir in well beaten egg white. Boil up briskly, and when scum rises take the skimming spoon and skim diligently. When the syrup is clear the job is done. Let cool and bottle for future use. It may be coloured or not, according to the whim of the host. We must confess that a little light green coloring matter in Tom Collins syrup is mighty pretty. Keep syrup refrigerated.

From the book: The Gentleman's Companion, volume II: Exotic Drinking Book by Charles H. Baker, Jr. (Crowne, 1946).


It appears that if you don’t have grenadine or gum syrup, you essentially have a Daiquiri but with rum.  So I will be trying both the grenadine version and the syrup version…..I might even try to make gum syrup with stevia or some other non-sugar sweetener for a low carb option…..I’ll let you know!


Well, folks, give it a try.   Happy drinking.