Forbidden Island Field Trip

One of the drinks included in “Food & Wine Cocktails 2008” is Martin Cate’s version of the classic Trader Vic drink the Fog Cutter

Forbidden Island

Taking the opportunity of a friend’s band (The awesome Project Pimento!) playing at Forbidden Island, I stopped by to try the drink in question.

Fog Cutter

Le Fog Cutter. Tasty! I’d not tried one before. It was fruitier than I expected, with a good amount of the drink’s character coming from the Orgeat. I don’t have the book handy, but it has always struck me as an unlikely combination of ingredients, especially for a Tiki Drink. Most recipes include: Brandy, Gin, Rum, Sherry, Orgeat Syrup, and Orange Juice. Sometimes lemon. Somehow it all works!

Martin & I*

I am such a bartender stalker! Anyway, Martin went on to explain how interesting it is to track the sweetness and different character of the Fog Cutter through the seasons. They’re on late season Navel oranges right now, giving the drink a sweeter character. He said pretty soon they’d be switching to Valencias, which would be quite tart in the early part of the season and then mellow as the summer went on.


Martin even brought in his old FGCUTTR license plate for photographic documentation.

*Humuhumu took these pictures.

6 thoughts on “Forbidden Island Field Trip

  1. Pingback: Married …with dinner » Blog Archive » DOTW: Fog Cutter

  2. It is such a unlikely combo, that’s what’s neat- it’s that it’s light, dry and citrus-y, but with noticeable wood and nut character from the brandy, sherry, and orgeat. Typically you find those notes in a richer drink, or a bourbon cocktail. Orgeat was the Trader’s favorite, and this drink is very similar to the Scorpion.

    I suppose I should cut back on the OJ or up the lemon a touch to balance it, but as you mentioned about the change in the oranges, I think it’s rather cool that the drink evolves seasonally. Dry Fog Cutters are just around the corner!

  3. Hey Martin!

    Thanks for the comment!

    One drink that I ran across in the Savoy that seemed pretty apropos of Vic’s Fog Cutter was the Inca. I like it, but apparently I am a bit crazy for enjoying it. I guess it isn’t boozy enough for modern tastes. In any case, I think it is particularly interesting that many of the elements and tastes of the Fog Cutter are present in this English pre-prohibition cocktail!

    Inca Cocktail

    1 Dash Orgeat Syrup. (1/3 tsp homemade)
    1 Dash Orange Bitters. (dash Fee’s, Dash Regan’s Orange Bitters)
    1/4 Gin. (3/4 oz Junipero Gin)
    1/4 Sherry. (3/4 oz Bodega Dios Baco Fino Sherry)
    1/4 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
    1/4 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth)

    Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Orange Peel.)

    In his 1922 book, “Cocktails: How to Mix Them,” Robert Vermeire comments about the Inca: “This cocktail was invented by H.C. Harrison, who supervises the American Bars of the Gordon Hotels in England.”

  4. Erik, you don’t know me but I’m terribly jealous I had plans that I just couldn’t get out of and didn’t get to attend the Project Pimento show @ Forbidden Island! Haven’t seen the band in way too long, and I do so *adore* the Forbidden Island. Great bar, nice folks, and a great place to take new people to. I cart folks over from my San Francisco comic shop (Isotope) as often as humanly possible.

    Thanks for the pictures!

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