Fog Cutter

Not all tropical drinks are made with rum. In fact, some of the most classical tropical drinks out there are made with other spirits, including gin. Besides, using only rum or even tequila in all tropical drinks becomes a bit tiresome. Gin has complexity and sophistication the other drinks simply are unable to match, which is where the fog cutter comes in. The original fog cutter dates back to the 1940s, which makes this a classic cocktail to enjoy not only on the beach but back at home when you want to be reminded of warmer days ahead.

The main problem with most tropical drinks is exactly that – it tastes like a tropical drink. Tropical cocktails, such as those served at tiki bars around the world, are mostly heavy sugar infused beverages that result in massive headaches the next morning. The fog cutter does use some juice and sweetener elements, but it is a refined cocktail that provides just enough sweet and just enough class to make it undeniably one of the finest tropical drinks around.

Fog Cutter - The Perfect Classic Recipe

Prep time

icon3 Minutes




You’ll need a number of ingredients to whip together a fog cutter. These ingredients are:

  • 1.5 oz Silver Rum
  • 1/2 oz Dry Gin
  • 1/2 oz Brandy
  • 1/4 cup Fresh orange juice
  • 1 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp (1/2 oz) Toasted Orgeat Syrup
  • 1 tbsp Amontillado sherry
  • Mint Sprig
  • Fresh orange slice and orchid blossom for the garnish


Add ice into a cocktail shaker, then pour in the rum, gin, brandy, orange juice, lemon juice, and syrup, then shake for 30 seconds. It needs to be completely chilled and shaken well to mix all the flavors together.

Strain the liquid into a highball glass of ice, then pour the sherry on top. Slap the mint sprig (this opens up the mint and releases the oil without damaging the appearance of the mint), slip into the drink, then garnish. Of course, you don’t need to use an orchid blossom if it’s not available, but when you’re going for an excellent presentation, the orchid blossom is a great addition.

With this particular cocktail, it is critical to use fresh orange and lemon juice. While there are a number of spirits in the cocktail there isn’t much in the way of added sugar. So it relies on quality ingredients to blend seamlessly together. You will need fresh juice for this. If you can’t squeeze your own orange juice, opt for a juice not made from concentrate and avoid a pulp juice (it’ll be strained out anyway).

Fog Cutter Nutrition Facts

A traditional fog cutter will be about five ounces of liquid. Anything more or less will alter the nutrition facts.

  • 239 Calories
  • 0g Fat
  • 3g Sodium
  • 0g Cholesterol
  • 6g Carbs
  • 0g Protein


Best Gin for Fog Cutter

The gin is not the main ingredient in the fog cutter. It mixes with the rum and a number of other spirits. Due to this the flavor of the gin, regardless of what you’re using, will not be heavily pronounced. If you want to taste the gin go with something more floral, such as a Hendrick’s or a Bombay Dry Gin, but ultimately it isn’t going to matter all that much here. Just make sure to use a solid quality gin (no bottom shelf gins), as the flat, poorly produced gin can cause the other flavors of this refreshing cocktail to fall apart.

Fog Cutter Variations

With the number of ingredients found within the regular fog cutter, there are several alternatives that use the same basic ingredients but build on it (or alter it just a bit). Here are some fog cutter variations to consider.

  • Samoan Fog Cutter

    The Samoan fog cutter version of the fog cutter is almost as old as the original. It came out a decade later in the 1950s, so it’s hard to not picture Elvis in one of his tiki beach movies not drinking something like this. The main difference here though is there’s more rum, less gin, and the inclusion of a cream sherry.

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  • Lost Lake's Fog Cutter

    Lost Lake is a famous restaurant found in Chicago. While perched off of Lake Michigan and not an ocean, the Lost Lake’s Fog Cutter is a fantastic variation, especially if you’re a gin drinker. This is because gin no longer takes a back seat. The same amount of gin and rum is used, plus a dash of bitters and Curacao is included in this cocktail. Lost Lake also recommended using edible flowers in the cocktail, and not simply a flower garnish.

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  • Paul McGee's Fog Cutter

    This is actually a variation of the Los Lake’s Fog Cutter variation. That’s because Paul McGee is the man who created Lost Lake’s fog cutter in Chicago. The Paul McGee’s Fog Cutter option ditches the bitters and the rum once again is used more in the cocktail. However, this entire cocktail is top shelf and it removes the orange juice inclusion of the cocktail in favor of a Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, which is an orange flavored liquor.

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