Cocktails For Coast Guard Day
This year marks the 225th anniversary of the United States Coast Guard, formed on August 4th, 1790 by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton as the Revenue Marine. On the same date, Congress began the construction of the first ten Revenue Service cutters, who would be tasked with the enforcement of Constitution’s the first tariff laws. The Revenue Marine’s name was changed to “The Coast Guard” on January 28, 1915, when Woodrow Wilson signed into law the congressional act that merged duties of the Revenue Cutter Service with that of the U.S. Life-Saving Service, creating a single maritime service charged with both saving life at sea and enforcing the United State’s maritime laws.
Coast Guard Drink Recipes
At the mention of the word “Coast Guard Cocktail”, veterans, historians and military historians are usually referring to the legendary — and perhaps even quasi-mythical — sea sickness remedy, a combination of the potent motion sickness drug promethazine, aka Phenergan, and the stimulant ephedrine, a stimulant, taken to offset the sleep-inducing properties of the first pill. Oddly enough, ephedrine, was, until recently, the dominant active ingredient in most energy drinks and diet pills and it has a nasty reputation for causing bouts of both nervous behavior and irritability, not to mention the risks of high blood pressure and abnormal heart beat when taken in high doses. Whether or not the Coast Guard ever prescribed this concoction or even condoned it’s use is unclear.
Luckily, we’re steering clear of both drugs and energy drinks here and merely providing a list of recipes for you to mark the occasion in proper fashion.
Coast Guard Cooler
Recipe adapted from drinksmixer.com.
- 1 1/2 oz Malibu® coconut rum
- 1 oz Southern Comfort®
- Hawaiian Punch®
- Lifesaver candies
Fill a rock glass with ice and add 1 1/2 oz of Malibu rum and 1 oz of Southern Comfort, top off with Hawaiian Punch and stir. Take a fancy frill stick and spear a cheery and a Lifesaver candy into a orange wedge flag on the side of the glass with the Lifesaver candy on top of the cherry.
Coast Guard Hurricane
Recipe adapted from Heroes Vodka.
- 1 oz. Heroes Vodka
- 1 oz. triple sec
- 1 oz. Country Club Gin
- 1 oz. light rum
- 1 oz. amaretto almond liqueur
- ½ oz. Barcardi 151 Rum
- ¼ oz. grenadine syrup
- Grapefruit and pineapple juice
Shake with ice and strain into an ice-filled hurricane glass.
This one was found in a post on the website of cocktail great Gary “gaz” Regan as one of the “101 Best Cocktails of 2013”. In it, Shea relates the tale of a bar regular — a former Coast Guard Quartermaster — who would frequently order the drink below. Inspired by the Trader Vic’s classic “Quarterdeck” recipe, gaz has this to say about it:
This is one of those drinks that really shouldn’t work, but it does. The sherry brings everything together in harmony in this one, and I love the aromatic garnishes. Nice.
- 1 oz Mt. Gay Eclipse Black rum
- .75 oz Famous Grouse scotch whisky
- .5 oz Pedro Ximenez sherry
- 4 drops smoky scotch (Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Lagavulin), as garnish
- 1 orange twist, as garnish
Stir over ice and strain into a small chilled cocktail glass or coupe. Add the garnish so that each drop represents a point of a compass. Squeeze the twist over the drink, then discard.