The Shark

John deBary, PDT | New York City

John deBary, bartender at New York City speakeasy PDT, was one of the first to restore blue-hued drinks to a semi-respectable place in the cocktail world. His inspiration was derived from loyal customer Jacob Briars’ love for kitschy drinks. The tribute is named for one of Briars’ great friends, and former PDT bartender, Sean Hoard, whose nickname is Sharky. Like many of its tiki precursors, the Shark is a complicated recipe with a myriad of layers beginning with a base of butter-infused rum, a nod to the buttered popcorn rum Don Lee, another PDT bartender, once used to create the Cinema Highball. Cream, cane syrup and Frangelico follow to create a decadent backdrop for blue Curaçao and overproof rum.



  • 6 ounces butter-infused rum (see Editor's Note)
  • 3 ounces overproof rumpreferably, Wray and Nephew
  • 2 ounces Frangelico
  • 2 ounces blue Curaçao
  • 1 1/2 ounces cane syrup
  • 3 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce heavy cream
  • 1/8 ounce Bittermens Elemakule Tiki Bitters
  • 2 ice cubes

Garnish: lemon wheels and umbrella

  1. In a blender, combine the drink ingredients.
  2. Blend on medium speed until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  3. Pour into chilled Old-Fashioned glasses and garnish each one with a lemon wheel.
  4. Add a cocktail umbrella and serve with a straw.
Editor's Note

Butter-Infused Rum
1 1/2 cups white rum
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

In a medium airtight container, combine the rum and butter. Let the mixture sit at room temperature, covered, for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Transfer it to the freezer to chill for at least 1 hour until the butter has solidified. Pour the infused rum through a gold coffee filter into an airtight container, discarding the solids. Store in the refigerator for up to 1 month or in the freezer for up to 6 months.