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A Flaming Scorpion Bowl Recipe For National Rum Day

Flaming Scorpion Bowl Recipe
[1] The real deal: a flaming Scorpion in a bowl with hula girls. Check out the recipe and the video. (photo © Tipsy Bartender).

The rum-based Scorpion Bowl, a tiki drink.
[2] This Scorpion Bowl from The New York Times is made in a conventional bowl. Here’s the recipe, which uses dark rum, gin, and Cognac (photo © New York Times | David Malos | Food Stylist Simon Andrews).

Flaming Scorpion Bowl Cocktail Recipe
[3] This tiki-style bowl doesn’t have a center well for the high-proof rum. Instead, it uses a hollowed-out lime half (photo © Clayton Hauck | Lost Lake [permanently closed]).

Flaming Scorpion Bowl, a popular tiki drink.
[4] The Bamboo Room in Savannah, Georgia has decor and drinks that would make Trader Vic proud. The Scorpion is just one of many (photo © Bamboo Room).

Volcano Tiki Bowl
[5] You can buy volcano tiki bowls on Amazon (photos #5 and #6 © DME).

[6] A top view of the “volcano” cup into which you pour, and then ignite, overproof rum.

Orgeat is almond-flavored simple syrup.
[7] Orgeat is almond-flavored simple syrup (photo © Sonoma Syrup).


August 16th is National Rum Day, so we’re inviting you to check out the history of tiki drinks, and to make yourself a flaming (or not) Scorpion with the recipe below.

You may or may not be old enough to remember the tiki drink craze of the 1950s and 1960s, abetted by a chain of Trader Vic’s restaurants and competitors like Don The Beachcomber (Ernest Raymond Beaumont) in Hollywood.

These two restaurateurs introduced mainland America to “tiki” drinks: plenty of rum and sweet mixers, garnished with baby orchids and a mini Japanese paper umbrella.

Cocktails included the Fog Cutter, the Jungle Bird, the Mai Tai, the Navy Grog, the Scorpion Bowl, and the Zombie, among others. You can easily find the recipes (and their many variations) online.

One of our favorites was the flaming Scorpion Bowl, a cocktail served in a small punch bowl with a flaming “volcano” center (today it might be Sterno) and long straws for drinking. It was meant to be shared by two, three, or four. The recipe is below.

> The history of rum.

> The different types of rum.

> The history of tiki drinks.

The origin of all “tiki drinks” in the U.S. dates back to the late 1930s when Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron visited Hawaii (more history here).

One story says that Bergeron discovered the Scorpion or Scorpion bowl, as it’s sometimes called, at a bar named The Hut in Honolulu (it’s long gone).

There it was made with okolehao—a local alcoholic spirit fermented from the root of the ti plant.

Okolehao was mixed with a combination of fruit juices (today lemon, orange, and pineapple are typical) and served in a large communal bowl. It’s essentially a rum punch.

When Bergeron returned to his Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California (the original location), he created his own variation of the Scorpion using rum, instead of the okolehao, which was hard to find outside of Hawaii.

There is another origin story that may be more true, with Bergeron discovering the Scorpion at a luau which he attended in 1939. The Daily Beast has done extensive research on it.

You can read that story here.

There are also print references to the Scorpion as early as 1937. It’s reasonably safe to assume, though, that by 1940 those lucky enough to get to Trader Vic’s in Oakland could have a Scorpion.

His original recipe reportedly had 15 different ingredients and was served in a custom-made ceramic “volcano tiki” punch bowl with hula girls (photos #1, #4, and #5) or other tropical-style decorations, meant for two or more people.

A center “volcano” cup (photos #6 and #7) was filled with overproof rum and lit on fire before it arrived at the table. The flaming bowl was garnished with baby orchids or gardenias, to the delight of the recipients.

It was served with long straws for communal sipping.

Did Bergeron invent the flaming center of the drink or the orchids and gardenias he garnished it with? That’s yet to be determined.

But skip ahead a few decades to New York City.

We were lucky enough to dine at the Trader Vic’s branch in the Plaza Hotel in New York City, numerous times in the years before it closed.

As a teenage girl (18 was the legal drinking age at the time), we loved the flaming Scorpion Bowl with its garnish of fresh gardenias. It remains the most memorable drink ever brought to our table.

Over the years, Trader Vic published three different variations of the Scorpion. In his 1946 Trader Vic’s Book of Food and Drink, there was a Scorpion recipe made with rum, gin, brandy and half a bottle of white wine. In other recipes, he substituted pisco for the gin [source].

Other versions appeared in his 1972 Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide, which included a recipe for an individual Scorpion and an updated bowl recipe that would become the more commonly used version of the recipe. Both are reprinted below.

The drink doesn’t have to be flaming, but if it is, remember that it’s real fire, and take all precautions not to ignite your sleeve when reaching across the table to give your companion a piece of Crab Rangoon from the pupu platter* (we speak from experience).

We thank for the information.

Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • 1½ ounce lemon juice
  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • ½ ounce orgeat syrup (photo #7)
  • 1 ounce brandy
  • 2 ounces light rum (Distiller suggests Banks 5 Island Rum.)
  • Shaved ice
  • Garnish: small gardenia or baby orchid

    1. BLEND all ingredients in a mixer with one scoop of shaved ice. Pour into a glass, mug, or one-person volcano bowl.

    2. ADD ice, and garnish with gardenia.
    Ingredients For 3 Or 4 People

  • 6 ounces orange juice
  • 4 ounces lemon juice
  • 1½ ounces orgeat syrup (photo #7)
  • 6 ounces light rum (Distiller recommends Plantation 3 Stars)
  • 1 ounce brandy
  • Shaved ice
  • Garnish: small gardenias or baby orchids

    1. BLEND all ingredients in a mixer with two scoops of shaved ice. Pour into a Scorpion bowl.

    2. FILL the bowl with ice and garnish with gardenias. Serve with long straws.


    *Trader Vic’s pupu platter included Char Siu Pork, Crab Rangoon, Crispy Prawns, Rumaki, Spare Ribs, You can find some of the recipes here.

    A pupu or pu pu platter is a plate of American Chinese or Hawaiian foods consisting of meat and seafood appetizers. In the Hawaiian language, pū-pū denotes a relish, appetizer, canapé, or hors d’oeuvre.




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    Lemon Meringue Float Recipe For National Lemon Meringue Pie Day

    August 15th is National Lemon Meringue Pie Day, celebrating one of America’s Top 10 favorite pies (see the list below).

    We’ve presented recipes for classic lemon meringue pie, as well as more than 25 recipes inspired by the pie: cake, cheesecake, cookies, fudge, pie, waffles, and much more.

    Today we have the simplest lemon meringue recipe ever: a Lemon Meringue Float.

    The recipe came to Cindy Reams, of Philipsburg, Pennsylvania, in a dream. She woke up knowing that she needed to make it. “Thank you, Mr. Sandman!” she says.

    We thank Cindy, Mr. Sandman, and Taste Of Home for this treat.

    While this recipe is a snap to make, if you like to whip meringue, you can add a delightful topping to the floats (here’s the meringue recipe).

    While pink lemonade looks prettier, you of course can substitute conventional, yellow, lemonade.
    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 3 cups vanilla ice cream, softened if necessary
  • 18 miniature meringue cookies
  • 6 cups cold pink lemonade
  • For serving: straws

    1. PLACE 1/2 cup ice cream and 3 cookies in each of 6 tall glasses. Top with lemonade. Serve immediately.

    There are numerous polls and other lists of the Top 10 pies. In a nationwide poll by Schwan’s Consumer Brands North America (the makers of Mrs. Smith’s), respondents were asked what their three favorite pies were. Apple was the runaway winner, with 72% of the votes (47% for plain apple, 25% for apple crumb). The top 10:

    1. Apple Pie, 47%
    2. Pumpkin Pie, 37%
    3. Chocolate Creme Pie, 32%
    4. Cherry Pie, 27%
    5. Apple Crumb Pie, 25%
    6. Pecan Pie, 24%
    7. Lemon Meringue Pie, 24%
    8. Blueberry Pie, 21%
    9. Key Lime Pie, 18%
    10. Peach Pie, 16%

    Other lists include Banana Cream Pie, Coconut Cream Pie, and to a lesser extent, Grasshopper Pie, Oreo Pie, Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie, and Sweet Potato Pie. Every list will be different!


    Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Soda Recipe
    [1] A lemon meringue float with pink lemonade (photo © Taste Of Home).

    Meringue Cookies
    [2] Most supermarkets sell miniature lemon meringue cookies, in white plus pastel colors (photo © American Egg Board).

    Can Of Frozen Pink Lemonade Concentrate
    [3] Pink lemonade concentrate. Just mix it with water (photo © H.E.B.).





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    Singing The Blues Happily, With Deep Ellum Blue Cheese

    Deep Ellum Blue Cheese From Mozzarella Company
    [1] A wedge of Deep Ellum Blue (photo © The Mozzarella Company).

    An Appetizer Plate Of Blue Cheese, Figs, & Prosciutto
    [2] Serve Deep Ellum as a first course or a cheese course, along with figs and prosciutto (photo © Castello USA).

    Taylors Vintage Port With Cheese
    [3] A glass of Port, be it vintage, ruby, or tawny, is an excellent accompaniment (photo © Taylor’s ).


    The Mozzarella Company’s blue cheese, Deep Ellum Blue, was named for a neighborhood of arts and entertainment venues—plus bars, restaurants, and nightclubs—about a mile from downtown Dallas.

    Its history dates to the late 19th century, when it was settled after the Civil War by former slaves as a freedman’s town. Though the area was originally called Deep Elm in reference to Elm Street, its main thoroughfare, it was pronounced “Ellum” by residents, and the name eventually stuck.

    In the 1920s, Deep Ellum started to become a destination for jazz and the blues. Artists like Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter, Bessie Smith, Texas Bill Day, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson and many more prominent performers entertained there. Here’s more about the neighborhood.

    In 1933, a song titled “Deep Elm Blues” was recorded by the Lone Star Cowboys and, later, the Shelton Brothers recorded it as “Deep Elum Blues” (their version).

    Years later, it would be covered by Jerry Lee Lewis (our personal favorite) and The Grateful Dead.

    And so, the Mozzarella Company, located on Elm Street in Dallas, created Deep Ellum Blue cheese.

    Unlike most blue cheeses, Deep Ellum Blue has no blue veins, only a diamond-scored, blue-mold-mottled exterior (photo #1).

    Unlike many blue cheeses, Deep Ellum Blue is subtly flavored, not too strong, and not too salty. Its flavor is robust and earthy. Its texture is soft, creamy, and spreadable.

    It is delicious:

  • On an appetizer or cheese plate (photo #2).
  • In salads (add a slice on top, or crumble).
  • Atop chicken, beef, and veal dishes.
  • With Port and dessert wines.
  • With figs and other fresh fruit.
    In fact, it’s fabulous with figs, which just happen to be in season right now.

    Grab some cheese, some figs, some walnuts, and a bottle of Port or your favorite dessert wine, and luxuriate!

    To make Deep Ellum Blue, pasteurized cow’s milk is inoculated with cultures* and then coagulated with rennet.

    The resulting curds are broken into large pieces using perforated scoops and are stirred very gently so that they remain moist and soft.

    The curds are poured into large square molds placed on mats and left to drain until mature. Then, the cheese is drained and turned and dried for about a month. Then it is washed with blue Penicillin roqueforti mold spores.

    After aging for at least two additional months, the cheese is finally bathed with extra-virgin olive oil. It’s ready for you!

    Look for it at fine cheese stores, or at


    *Cheese cultures are a group of specific bacteria strains that are combined in order to make a particular type of cheese.




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    The Most Popular Julia Child Recipes To Celebrate Her Birthday

    Cassoulet With Chicken, Sausage, &  Bacon
    [1] Cassoulet. Here’s a recipe (photo © Reserve Media).

    Crepes Suzette
    [2] Crêpes Suzette. Here’s a recipe (photo © Betty Crocker).

    Reine de Saba Chocolate Cake Recipe
    [3] Reine de Saba cake. Here’s the recipe (photo © ).

    Quiche Lorraine Recipe
    [4] Quiche Lorraine. Here’s a recipe (photo © Natasha’s Kitchen).

    Vichyssoise Chilled Soup
    [5] Vichyssoise. Here’s a recipe (photo © Umami Information Center).


    August 15th is Julia Child’s birthday. Julia Carolyn McWilliams was born on August 15, 1912, in Pasadena, California. She dies a few days short of her 92nd birthday, on August 13, 2004, in Montecito California.

    From a well-to-do family, she lived a life of privilege. She graduated from Smith College in 1934 and moved to New York City, where she worked as a copywriter in the advertising department of W. & J. Sloane, a fine furniture store.

    In 1942, after the U.S. entry into World War II, she joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)—after finding that, at 6’2″, she was too tall to enlist in the Women’s Army Corps (WACs) or in the U.S. Navy’s WAVES.

    While posted to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) she met Paul Cushing Child, also an OSS employee, and the two were married in 1946. Paul, who had lived in Paris as an artist and poet, was known for his sophisticated palate and introduced his wife to fine cuisine.

    And so begins the legend.

    The State Department assigned Paul to Paris, and Julia enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. She joined the women’s cooking club, Le Cercle des Gourmettes, where she met Simone Beck, who was writing a French cookbook for Americans with her friend Louisette Bertholle.

    Beck invited Child to work with them to give the book the right appeal to Americans. The result: the iconic Mastering The Art Of French Cooking, published in 1961, with 524 recipes which became so popular that the publisher released a second, equally weighty Volume II in 1970.

    In 1951, Child, Beck, and Bertholle had begun to teach cooking to American women in Child’s Paris kitchen, calling their informal school L’école des Trois Gourmandes (The School of the Three Food Lovers). When Child returned to the U.S., she continued her teaching and had a show on the local public television station.

    In the 1970s and 1980s, she was the star of television programs, including Julia Child & Company, Julia Child & More Company, and Dinner at Julia’s. In the process, she not only expanded the awareness of French cuisine, but taught French cooking to enthusiastic fans nationwide—becoming an award-winning national treasure.

    Here’s more about her life.

    So what are the most popular Julia Child recipes?

    There’s no single list, of course, but here’s one from Southern Living magazine, “10 Essential Julia Child Recipes Everyone Should Master.” In alphabetical order, they are:

  • Boeuf Bourguignon
  • Cassoulet (photo #1)
  • Chicken Waterzooi
  • Coq a Vin
  • Crêpes Suzette (photo #2)
  • French Baguette
  • Quiche Lorraine (photo #4)
  • Tarte Tatin
  • Vichyssoise (photo #5)
  • Vinaigrette
    We’ve made most of them but for two: French Baguette and Chicken Waterzooi, the latter of which we’d never heard of (etymology: water (“water”) +‎ zooi (“something boiled”).
    Chicken Waterzooi

    It turns out that the name and the recipe are Flemish, a wine-accented Belgian stew originally made with fish, but subsequently of chicken.

    chicken nestled in a silky sauce of cream and egg yolks. It’s

    Julia swapped the fish for chicken and layered the chicken with vegetables, all simmered in chicken stock and vermouth. “Chicken Waterzooi is undoubtedly one of Child’s most underrated recipes (if not for the fun name alone),” says Southern Living.

    Here’s the recipe, which she gave to The New York Times in 1987.

    The Times commented:

    “It is easy weeknight cooking: the dish can be assembled in the morning before work, or even the night before. Then, in the evening, simmer it for about half an hour, and then use the cooking liquid to make a light but creamy sauce. Serve with potatoes or good bread.”
    Reine de Saba Cake

    And how about a birthday cake for Julia?

    The Reine de Saba cake (Queen Of Sheba) is one of the first French cakes that Julia Child ever ate (photo #3). She could not help but fall in love with the rich, chocolate cake, so sophisticated compared to American cakes [source].

    The chocolate was combined with ground almonds, rum, and meringue, and topped with a chocolate ganache and an optional decoration of almond slices.

    Here’s the recipe.

    Happy Birthday, Julia!





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    Ice Cream & Fudge Creamsicle-Flavored Recipes For National Creamsicle Day

    What do you do on National Creamsicle Day, August 14th? Make a Creamsicle-inspired recipe, combining orange and vanilla flavors into formats beyond the original Creamsicle ice cream pop.

    The original and still beloved, a childhood flavor of ours, is a vanilla ice cream pop covered with orange sherbet.

    We often combine a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a scoop of orange sherbet into a simple, heavenly, dessert.

    But for those who like a more complex recipe, we’ve got seven of them below (cheesecake, ice cream cake, milkshake, and more).

    Our legal department would like us to note that while “Creamsicle” may seem like a generic term, it is, along with Popsicle®, Fudgsicle®, and Yosicle®, a registered trademark of the Unilever Group of Companies and can only be used to identify the frozen confection products of Unilever.

    That means only Unilever can sell anything by those names. But to identify recipes with the combination of orange and vanilla on our little website, we have some editorial license.

    > The history of the Creamsicle.

    This is a non-dairy recipe, made with coconut milk instead of dairy milk.

    Thanks to Fruits From Chile for this delicious ice cream. Chile’s seasons are the opposite of North America’s, so their orchards are bursting with fruit while ours are hibernating.

  • 3 navel oranges
  • 3 cups (or two 13-ounce cans) full fat, canned, unsweetened coconut milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup golden agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For serving: sliced pinwheels of clementines + crushed sugar cones

    1. CUT the peels from the oranges, then slice the orange flesh into thick rounds. Place the rounds on a baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour.

    2. PLACE the frozen oranges, coconut milk, salt, agave, and vanilla extract in a food processor or a sturdy blender such as a Vitamix. Blitz until the ingredients are fully combined.

    3. TRANSFER the liquid to a freezer-proof container. Cover and freeze until set. Before serving…

    4. LET the ice cream thaw at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before scooping. Serve in bowls with slices of clementine and crumbled sugar cones.

    Can you scoop it directly into cones? Sure!

    This easy recipe for marbled orange fudge, from Diane Wampler of Morristown, Tennessee, came to us via Taste Of Home.


  • 1-1/2 teaspoons plus 3/4 cup unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 package white baking chips (10 to 12 ounces—we used Guittard white chocolate chips)
  • 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
  • 3 teaspoons orange extract
  • 12 drops yellow food coloring
  • 5 drops red food coloring
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon orange zest

    1. GREASE a 13×9-inch pan with 1-1/2 teaspoons butter; set aside.

    2. COMBINE the sugar, cream, and remaining butter in a large heavy saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 4 minutes.

    3. REMOVE from the heat; stir in the chips and marshmallow creme until smooth. Remove 1 cup of the mixture and set aside.

    4. ADD the orange extract and food coloring to the remaining marshmallow mixture; stir until blended. Pour into the prepared pan.

    5. DROP the reserved marshmallow mixture by tablespoonfuls over the top. Cut through with a knife to swirl (if you’re not sure how to do this, here’s a video). Cover and refrigerate until set.

    6. CUT into squares.

  • Creamsicle Cheesecake
  • Creamsicle Cocktail
  • Creamsicle Ice Cream Cake
  • Creamsicle Milkshake
  • Creamsicle Shortcake

    Creamsicle Ice Cream Recipe
    [1] Creamsicle-style ice cream, combining the classic duo of orange and vanilla (recipe and photo © Fruits From Chile).

    Creamsicle Fudge Recipe
    [2] Creamsicle Fudge (photo © Taste Of Home).

    The Original Creamsicle Pop
    [3] The original Creamsicle (photo © Unilever).

    Creamsicle Cheesecake Recipe
    [4] Cheesecake lovers: Here’s a Creamsicle Cheesecake. Here’s the recipe (photo © Sweet Street).

    Creamsicle Ice Cream Cake Recipe
    [5] How about a Creamsicle Ice Cream Cake? Here’s the recipe (photo © Life, Love And Sugar).

    Creamsicle Milkshake Recipe
    [6] Cool off with a Creamsicle Milkshake. Here’s the recipe (photo © Williams Sonoma).





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