Frosty Dawn Cocktail

Frosty Dawn

Frosty Dawn Cocktail
1½ ozs. light rum
1 oz. orange juice
½ oz. Falernum
¼ oz. maraschino liqueur
Shake well with ice. Strain over rocks in prechilled old-fashioned glass.

I went with Bacardi, Seville oranges, homemade Falernum (Kaiser Penguin’s recipe), and Luxardo Maraschino, and garnished with an orange twist. I scaled the drink up a bit, as well, since I got 40 ml of juice from my orange (so 60 ml rum, 40 ml OJ, 20 ml Falernum, 10 ml maraschino).

I chose to start with this recipe mainly because I had a batch of Falernum looking for a use. I also had recently come across some Seville oranges, which are a nice change from the ubiquitous Navel.

I really enjoyed this drink. All the flavours balance and blend well, but still keep their identities. Everyone I’ve made it for so far liked it, too. I think this one will go into regular rotation, at least for those times I have Falernum in the fridge.

The earliest version of this recipe I’ve found so far is from The Webtender Wiki, and is dated 1954:
1954, “Frosty Dawn”, Albert Carillo.

  • 7 parts Puerto Rican Rum,
  • 2 Parts Falernum,
  • 1 part Maraschino,
  • 1 oz Orange Juice

If you assume that the ‘parts’ add up to 2 ozs (60 ml), then this comes to 42 ml rum, 30 ml OJ, 12 ml Falernum, 6 ml Maraschino; pretty darn close to the Playboy proportions.

In digging around (mostly online) I found a really common variation that didn’t make a lot of sense to me: 4 oz rum (white), 1 oz maraschino liqueur, 1 oz white (or sometimes red) wine, 4 oz orange juice. It’s clearly based on the same original recipe, but the change from Falernum to wine was odd (not to mention that that is a LOT of rum). Then I found a recipe that specified that the wine should be Falerno del Massico and everything clicked into place. At some point someone came across the recipe and didn’t know what Falernum was. Assuming the it must mean Falerno del Massico, the substitution was made and the proportions changed to suit the new ingredient. There are also a few recipes floating around out there that use the wine-variant proportions, but have changed the wine back to Falernum.

I also found one book that had the name as ‘Frothy Dawn’, which I assume must be a typo, since there really isn’t anything frothy about this drink.

Edit: I did some digging on the name mentioned in the 1954 recipe (as I was unsure if he was the creator of the drink or just someone who submitted the recipe to the newspaper) and found this article, which states that in 1959 Albert Carrillo won a prize for his Honeymoon Cocktail. This drink (not to be confused with the more common applejack-based Honeymoon) contains 1 oz brandy, 1 oz orange juice, ¼ oz Cointreau, ¼ oz Falernum. This is similar enough to the Frosty Dawn that there is little doubt in my mind that Carrillo was the creator of the Frosty Dawn as well.

This post is part of my project to make, and where possible improve upon, all the cocktails in “Playboy’s Host and Bar Book” from 1971.


4 thoughts on “Frosty Dawn Cocktail

  1. Pingback: Frosty Dawn II | Disco Ginferno

  2. Pingback: Carrillo’s Honeymoon | Disco Ginferno

  3. Eric Greene

    Frosty Dawn was created in a contest in Los Angeles and was given first prize. The bartender worked for a restaurant called “Hody’s”, I was working down the street from them at one of the “Huddle” Restaurants.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s