Why do they call it a Scorpion Bowl?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

The Scorpion Bowl is a classic cocktail that has a fascinating origin story. Legend has it that it was first created in the 1930s at a bar called The Hut in Honolulu. The exact details of who invented it are unknown, but it’s said that an unnamed bartender came up with the recipe.

The original Scorpion Bowl recipe consisted of rum, citrus juice, orgeat syrup, and brandy poured over ice. It was typically garnished with an orange slice and served in a large bowl or glass. The name “Scorpion” was given to the drink, perhaps due to its potency and ability to pack a punch.

Vic Bergeron, also known as Trader Vic, is often credited with popularizing the Scorpion Bowl outside of Hawaii. He was a renowned restaurateur and tiki bar pioneer, and he came across the Scorpion cocktail during a visit to The Hut. Impressed by its flavor and uniqueness, he decided to recreate it at his own establishments.

However, Trader Vic put his own spin on the Scorpion Bowl recipe. He added more ingredients like orgeat syrup, orange juice, and grenadine, making it a more complex and flavorful concoction. He also served it in a large communal bowl, allowing multiple people to enjoy the drink together. This communal aspect of the Scorpion Bowl is part of what makes it so popular for social gatherings and celebrations.

The name “Scorpion Bowl” itself is intriguing and adds to the allure of the drink. It conjures up images of tropical islands and exotic creatures. While there is no definitive explanation for why it was named as such, it’s possible that it was meant to evoke a sense of adventure and the unexpected. The Scorpion Bowl is known for its potent mix of spirits, so perhaps the name was a nod to the drink’s ability to “sting” those who consume it.

The Scorpion Bowl is a cocktail with a rich history and a name that adds to its mystique. Whether you believe the story of its origins at The Hut in Honolulu or credit Trader Vic for popularizing it, one thing is for sure – the Scorpion Bowl is a delicious and unforgettable drink that continues to be enjoyed by cocktail enthusiasts around the world.