Zamboanga “Zeinie” Cocktail

Zamboanga was a province of the Philippines back when Charles H. Baker, Jr., wrote his magnum opus. Baker’s description of the Zeinie Cocktail is a little microcosm of pre-World War II ephemera, including offhand references to a song called “The Monkeys Have No Tails in Zamboanga” (which wasn’t meant to be racist…or was it? Oh, God, I hope not…) and a humor magazine called Ballyhoo that published from 1931 to 1939. Oh, Wikipedia, what would I do without you?

The drink itself is even more interesting, and not at all racist:

  • 1 jigger cognac (2 oz Park VSOP)
  • 1 tsp maraschino (Luxardo)
  • Juice of 1/2 lime (1/2 oz lime juice)
  • 3 dashes pineapple syrup (1 tsp Small Hand Foods)
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters

Shake well with shaved ice, then strain into a Manhattan glass, allowing some of the ice to go into the glass. Twist a lime peel over the drink, then garnish with the lime peel and an olive.

An olive!? Yeah, you’ll want to leave that out. Trust me.

Olive aside, this was quite a nice drink! Between the pineapple syrup and the ice in the glass, it almost had a proto-tiki drink thing going on. I used a rocks glass instead of a Manhattan glass (that is, a martini glass), so as to accommodate more ice.

This drink was quite good as is, but it could be even better with a little rebalancing. I’d start by cutting the maraschino to 1/2 tsp so it doesn’t stand out too much. It’s so easy to over-maraschino a cocktail…

Zamboagna "Zeinie" Cocktail: ★★★★☆ 

One Response to “Zamboanga “Zeinie” Cocktail”

  1. Rich Falernum says:

    Halving the maraschino was a good instinct, Jeffrey. Delicious drink!

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