First published in The Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930, the Palmetto reads like a rum Manhattan, according to rum expert Paul McGee, who makes the case for the forgotten classic. McGee’s take on the drink pulls from historian David Wondrich’s description of the extinct St. Croix rum—light-bodied, like Cuban rum; grassy, like Martinique rum; and funky, like Jamaican rum—by relying on a split base of three rums. In lieu of a Cuban bottling, however, he uses an aged Barbados expression to make the drink “a bit rummier” and richer-bodied.
Paul McGee | New York City
- 1 ounce Barbados rum, preferably Real McCoy 5-Year
- 1/2 ounce rhum agricole, preferably Neisson Elevé Sous Bois
- 1/2 ounce Jamaican rum, preferably Smith & Cross
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth, preferably Cocchi di Torino
- 1 dash orange bitters
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
Garnish: orange peel (expressed and discarded)
- Stir all ingredients with ice, then strain into a chilled coupe glass.
- Express an orange peel over the drink, then discard.