Ned King chose the Gem to represent the pre-tiki era on a tropical menu at his bar, Gigantic. While his spec honors the punch-like original, he abandons superfluous aspects of the 1890s recipe and adds a crucial dash of Angostura bitters to tie the whole thing together.
- 1 ounce Cognac, preferably Pierre Ferrand 1840
- 1 ounce Jamaica rum, preferably Appleton Signature
- 3/4 ounce lime juice
- 1/2 ounce pineapple gomme syrup or simple pineapple syrup (see Editor’s Note)
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
Garnish: freshly grated cinnamon
- Combine all ingredients in a shaker.
- Add ice and shake until chilled.
- Strain into a Nick & Nora or other stemmed cocktail glass.
- Grate cinnamon over the top of the drink.
Pineapple Gomme Syrup
The following measurements are by weight unless otherwise noted.
1 ounce gum arabic or acacia gum powder
3 ounces (by volume) water, divided
6 ounces granulated sugar
6 ounces fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1. Mix the gum arabic or powder and 1 ounce water for about 2 minutes, breaking up the clumps of gum as they form. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight. Do not re-stir.
2. The next day, combine 2 ounces water, sugar and pineapple in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, breaking up the pineapple chunks as they soften. Remove the saucepan from heat and let the mixture sit for a few hours.
3. Reheat briefly, then fine-strain into the gum arabic mixture, pressing on the pineapple chunks to extract all the juice. Discard solids.
4. Whisk the syrup for 1 minute to combine, let sit for 5 minutes, then re-whisk for 1 minute. Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate.
Simple 2:1 Pineapple Syrup
1 cup fresh pineapple juice, not from concentrate
2 cups cane sugar
Stir juice and sugar to combine in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until all sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.