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This Tropical Gin Cocktail Is Worth Going Overboard For

Tropical drinks get a bad rap as super-strong, super-sweet and super-complicated. Not this one, which combines gin—not rum!—and just a splash of ginger liqueur with fresh grapefruit and pineapple juices. Created by Michael Richardson, who opened Kapu (Hawaiian for “keep out” or “taboo”) in January 2023 in Petaluma, this drink embodies the vibe of the cocktail menu. “It’s definitely tropical-heavy,” he explains. But think “well-balanced, old-school drinks,” to be enjoyed in a dramatic space furnished with pufferfish lamps and vintage pachinko machines. As with any good tiki bar, he says, “It’s all about escapism.”

The Scuttle might be particularly appropriate to consume in the “Captain’s Quarters” room, a shipwreck-themed speakeasy. “When someone purposely sinks a ship,” Richardson says, that means “it’s taken out to sea and scuttled.”

Scuttle Cocktail

Courtesy Michael Richardson, Kapu Bar, Petaluma, California


  • 2 ounces Junipero gin
  • ¼ ounce King’s Ginger Liqueur
  • 2 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
  • ½ ounce fresh pineapple juice
  • ¼ ounce Coco Lopez cream of coconut
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 1 pinch Kosher salt
  • Long grapefruit peel and mint sprig, for garnish


Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin. Muddle mint to release aromatics. Add cubed ice and shake until chilled. Double strain into a cold coupe glass (using a Hawthorn strainer over a fine mesh strainer to catch any mint fragments). Garnish with grapefruit peel and mint sprig.

This article originally appeared in the June/July 2023 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!