Trader Vic’s (1946)

“I hate like hell to bring up unpleasant things at a time like this, but go easy on this one because it’s tough on your running board,” said Trader Vic in his 1946 “Trader Vic’s Book of Food & Drink.” Not sure what tequila he was using, but this really isn’t tougher than any other drink, certainly less so than his skull-cracking Navy Grog.

Vic gets high marks for including tequila in his tiki arsenal (in the ’40s, even) – a rarity that still hasn’t been fully addressed, if you ask me. This one also includes crème de cassis – a blackcurrant liqueur that’s delicious enough to chow down on by the spoonful. Some take to boosting the flavors in this drink by using fresh-muddled ginger, infusing the tequila with a slice of jalapeño, or adding bit of mezcal – and I say a resounding “¡ay, mami chula!” to that.


Hardware: Shaker, Jigger, Barspoon, Straw (optional), Hawthorne strainer (if using Boston shaker)
Ice: Ice cubes, Cracked ice
Glassware: Collins glass
Spirits: Tequila (blanco or reposado, recommended: El Jimador, Espolón)
Mixers & Liqueurs: Crème de cassis (recommended: Gabriel Boudier), Ginger beer (recommended: Barritt’s, Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew)
Juices, Accents, & Garnishes: Lime juice, Lime wedge


In a shaker about a third-full with ice cubes, add:

1 1/2 oz tequila
oz crème de cassis
oz lime juice

Shake well to blend and chill, then strain into a Collins glass filled about two-thirds of the way up with cracked ice. Top with:

2 oz ginger beer

Stir lightly to blend and garnish with a lime wedge. Optionally, serve with a straw.

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