As we pick back up with our Vintage Cocktail Project, we have come upon yet another drink with an obscure name and history. Ted Haigh doesn’t provide much on the Diki-Diki, except to note that some will assume it is tropical in nature due to the name resemblance to Tiki-Tiki. Trust us when we say that once you taste this recipe you will not be thinking tropics.
We did find a note on the drink in Cocktails: How To Mix Them, by Robert Vermeire. He indicates the Diki-Diki was first introduced at the Embassy Club in London in February of 1922. And, for the record, diki-diki is said to mean “healthy and wealthy” in the Tibetan/Sherpa language. Now you know.
This is the first recipe we have mixed that uses Swedish Punsch, a somewhat smoky Scandinavian liqueur. The base is Batavia Arak/Arrack and is sweetened with cane sugar. Haigh puts it in simple terms: “Swedish Punsch is to rum as Drambuie is to Scotch.” Does that help anyone? Good. (We used Batavia Arrack, as actual Swedish Punsch was a bit hard for us to come by.)
The Diki-Diki Cocktail
1.5 oz Calvados
1/2 oz Swedish Punsch
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice
Combine all in an iced cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
The aroma is strong of apple cider, which leads to an anticipation of a sweet taste. The actual cocktail is not sweet at all. More along the light notes of a Corpse Reviver. There is no way to confuse this drink with a tropical cocktail. The faint smoky nature of the Swedish Punsch comes through, but the Calvados remains prominent. We did use a freshly squeezed Ruby Red grapefruit for the juice, which added a nice, slightly fruiter taste than I imagine regular grapefruit juice would provide.
Up next: The Fogcutters