Fu Manchu – Recipe from David Embury’s ‘The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks’

1 part Sugar Syrup 

2 parts Lime Juice 

4 parts Jamaica Rum 

2 dashes each Curacao and White Creme de Menthe to each drink Shake with crushed ice.

Fu Manchu entered into public psyche in 1911 at the hands of British author Sax Rohmer a fictional Asian villain, very intelligent, and clever enough to almost never get his hands dirty did little to smooth Asian-European relations, and at least one movie release received a stern letter of reprimand from the Japanese consulate as he was thought to Asians to be culturally insensitive, for good reason. The book highlighted a period when people were worried about yellow peril spreading drug culture from the far east to the UK and the US. Ironic considering it was the British who fought and won a war in China to keep the British supply lines open of opium to the Chinese. These had quite a lot of impact and CBS cancelled one showing because of this even in the ‘culturally enlightened 70’s’. His distinctive long drooping moustache is iconic enough to earn a place in the Oxford English dictionary, and most people understand the meaning of a Fu Manchu character, even if they’re never seen any of the popular fiction containing him (me for example). Rohmer wrote quite a lot of other stories, although it’s the Fu Manchu books which made him famous, selling 20 million copies world wide and spurning at least 20 films, tv series, books by other authors and even a tie in with Sherlock Holmes.

It is alleged that the cocktail was invented by Sax Rohmer and appears in Beachbum Berries Grog Log giving it almost Tiki origins and explains the ingredients. I’m always a little reluctant to believe stories of day walkers inventing cocktails, especially ones as good as this, and if it appeared in the Grog Log chances are it had a helping hand from one of the drink factories that were Trader Vic’s and Donn the Beachcombers.

The drink is a good, if not great little thing, essentially a minty daiquiri, and mint and rum going well together is no new idea. I put in ½ part crème de menthe and ½ of the curacao, the latter was a little pointless as the orange doesn’t really show itself past the menthe and lime juice. As with most things its all about the crème de menthe, please don’t use one of those fluorescent looking things which has never seen an actual mint leaf in its life. I’d recommend giving this a try.