Southern Cross Cocktail

The Southern Cross is a cocktail that is most likely named after the star constellation Crux commonly known as the Southern Cross.

I stumbled upon a blog post by my friend Trader Magnus which featured this interesting cocktail from the book  “The Flowing Bowl” by William Schmidt’s in 1891.

I decided i needed to try this one, and then I also made a twist of it using Smith & Cross rum instead of Cruzan and Grand Marnier instead of orange Curacao and finally a pineapple infused soda water.

It`s important to not use too much soda or mineral water in this drink, it will become too dilluted I found out, so use only a little.

The recipe doesn`t call for any garnish so it`s not really necessary but since I happened to have both fresh cherries and pineapple at home I decided to use them.

There`s also a Swedish version from a book called Cocktails by Elsa af Trolle from 1927 with a slightly different recipe. I was forewarned that the Swedish version used too much sugar (1 tbsp) so it may be taken down to 1 barspoon.

But let´s start with the one using Smith & Cross Jamaican rum ( just because this rum is so damned good) I give it a new name since there´s more changes than just brand of base spirit.


0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz homemade demerara syrup
1.5 oz Smith & Cross rum
0.5 oz brandy
Dash Grand Marnier
Dash of pineapple infused soda water to top

Shake, and strain into a double old fashioned glass with crushed ice Garnish with speared pineapple chunk.

I would say that the Smith and Cross is what makes this cocktail the most. I also tried this recipe with aged Cachaca (Abelha Gold) and equal parts fresh lime and kalamansi juices and it was quite delicious.

Here`s the original Southern Cross from “The Flowing Bowl”


The juice of 1 lime
A dash of mineral water
a spoonful of sugar
2/3 of St. Croix rum
1/3 of brandy
1 dash of curacao

Stir this well, fill your glass with fine ice, stir again and strain into a sour glass.

I didn´t have any Cruzan so i used Plantation Barbados  instead. It was a bit too sour with juice from one whole lime in my opinion, but then again our Brazilian limes here are as big as two ordinary limes.

The Swedish recipe from the book Cocktails by Elsa af Trolle from 1927 follows here:

SOUTHERN CROSS (Swedish version from Cocktails 1927)

The juice of 1 lemon
Dash of soda water
A tblsp of sugar
2/3 of St. Croix rum ( Cruzan)
1/3 of cognac
1 dash of orange curacao

Stir this well, fill your glass with fine ice, stir again and strain into a sour glass. The Swedish recipe suggests shaking the ingredients and strain into a glass with some ice cubes.

A tablespoon of sugar might be too much, depending on how large your lemon is, so adjust accordingly.

To sum it up, the name of this cocktail is more exotic than the cocktail itself but since this cocktail is so simple it lends itself for playing around with – try different rums! Also it might be nice to sweeten partly with honey.

Overall a quite pleasant cocktail and worth trying out but not one of those that i keep.

7 Replies to “Southern Cross Cocktail”

  1. Likewise what Sunny&Rummy wrote. I think cocktails that called for “juice from one whole lime” (such as Trader Vic’s mai tai) meant the “bartender’s lime” (aka Mexican lime, aka key lime). Much smaller than the Persian lime you would usually see in a grocery store. From these limes you usually get 3/4 to 1/2 an ounce of juice.

  2. Made it with RL Reale’s and Lheraud VS.
    Wonderful, rum dominates but balance is good thanks to thick demerara syrup and very tart lime. I’m not sure that I was right using cognac here although some fruity and vanilla notes were catched on the background )

    Tiare, thanks for the recipe! It was nice experience for me.


  3. Alex, thanks, well i think you should just try it! i have no idea how it would taste but i`m quite sure it would be good.

    S&R – good limes are one of life´s necessities! i hopw you get better limes now!

    Alessandro – thanks! i hope you´ll enjoy!

  4. I got a tip from someone a couple of years ago that the average persian lime in the late 1800s was about 2/3 the size of today’s limes. So when I see a modern recipe that calls for the juice of a whole lime I’ll equate that to 1.5 oz of juice, but I will knock that back to 1 oz for a pre-prohibition recipe.

    Until very recently the limes here this season have been atrocious, small, dried out husky things. They have also been ungodly expensive. Following vague instructions like “juice of one lime” would have only added 1/2 oz or so of juice. Thankfully it now looks like the Great Florida Lime Famine of 2011 has passed.

  5. Hi Tiare!

    This cocktail definitely is worth having been tried.

    By the way, what do you think about using aged Barbados rum (R.L. Seale’s) instead of Cruzan?

    Cheers, Alex.

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