The Saturn is a celestial beverage that transcends the ordinary and captivates the hearts of tiki drink lovers and cocktail connoisseurs alike. This iconic drink may not be the most famous tiki cocktail, but it’s a favorite among discerning drinkers.
As you take your first sip, the Saturn envelops your taste buds in a symphony of tropical delights. The blend of gin, passion fruit syrup, falernum, orgeat syrup, and freshly squeezed lemon juice creates a refreshing and nuanced flavor profile. The gin provides a botanical backbone, while the passion fruit syrup adds a luscious sweetness that balances the citrusy brightness of the lemon juice. Meanwhile, the falernum and orgeat syrup contribute layers of exotic spices and nutty undertones, transforming each sip into a journey through paradise.
The Saturn cocktail is a classic tiki drink that was invented by Filipino bartender Joseph “Po Po” Galsini in 1967. Galsini created the drink as one of his entries for the International Bartenders Association (IBA) World Cocktail Competition. The competition was held in Tokyo, Japan, and Galsini’s Saturn cocktail won first prize in the “Tiki Drinks” category.
The Saturn cocktail quickly became a popular tiki drink and was added to the menus of many bars in California and New York City. The drink was also featured in David Wondrich’s book “Imbibe!” as one of the top tiki drinks of all time.
Although the Saturn cocktail was created in 1967, its popularity has not waned over the years. Today, the drink can still be found on the menus of many bars around the world, including Slowly Shirley in New York City, where barkeep Garret Richard uses Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 formula orgeat for its lighter and more floral style.
How to Make It
Making a Saturn cocktail is easy and requires only a few ingredients. You can make it in a blender or shake it in a cocktail shaker, depending on your preference.
- 1 ½ oz gin (preferably dry gin)
- ½ oz lemon juice
- ½ oz passion fruit syrup
- ¼ oz falernum
- ¼ oz orgeat
- Crushed ice
- Add the gin, lemon juice, passion fruit syrup, falernum, and orgeat to a blender with crushed ice.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour unstrained into a Tiki mug or highball glass.
- Garnish with an edible flower and an orange twist.
If you’re a fan of the Saturn cocktail and want to mix things up, there are plenty of variations to try. Some of the most popular include:
If you don’t want a frozen blended cocktail, you can opt for a shaken Saturn. Instead of blending the ingredients, add them to a cocktail shaker with ice, shake well, and strain into a cocktail glass for a smoother texture.
Swap out gin for tequila for a more tropical take on the classic Saturn recipe. Mix tequila with passion fruit puree, lime juice, almond syrup, and Velvet Falernum for a delicious blended drink that’s perfect for sipping out a tiki mug.
Take inspiration from the Singapore Sling and add cherry brandy to your Saturn recipe. This will add an extra layer of sweetness and depth of flavor to the drink.
Slowly Shirley Saturn
The Slowly Shirley bar in New York City puts a unique spin on the Saturn recipe by adding juniper syrup. This adds a subtle piney flavor that complements the other ingredients perfectly.