Surprised Cocktail

The Surprised Cocktail
Michael Marquand / Getty Images
Prep: 33 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 33 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
162 Calories
0g Fat
10g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 8mg 41%
Calcium 2mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 38mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Kummel is a caraway-flavored liqueur that's most popular in northern European countries. It doesn't make an appearance often in cocktails, but when it does, the result is quite interesting. The surprised cocktail is one of those recipes and it's definitely a fascinating drinking experience.

In this recipe, you'll mix kummel with rum and orange juice, adding a hint of pimento dram to ramp of up the flavor. Originally, the cocktail calls for Jamaican rum, which tends to have rich, bold flavors that can stand up to the distinct taste of caraway and other herbs found in kummel. Adding the citrus flavor is a nice contrast and the cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove of pimento dram backs up the kummel. It's a cocktail you simply have to try for yourself and there are a few adaptations you can make as well.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a cocktail shaker, pour the rum, kummel, orange juice, and pimento dram.

  3. Fill with ice and shake well.

  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Serve and enjoy.


  • Feel free to pour your favorite rum. Aged or dark rums are going to be best because light rums can get lost within all the drink's complex flavor.
  • Kümmel is focused on caraway seed and typically includes cumin and fennel as well, combining to give it an anise-like flavor. It's not the easiest liqueur to find, but worth hunting down. Look for brands like Combier, Mentzendorff, and Wolfschmidt.
  • Fresh-squeezed orange juice is recommended. You should be able to get 2 to 3 ounces out of the average orange, so you'll have plenty for a few cocktails.
  • Serving this cocktail in a chilled glass will make the entire drinking experience a little more enjoyable. Not only does it stay cold longer, but it also helps marry the flavors.
  • For a quick chill, place a few ice cubes in the glass while you mix up the drink. Discard them before straining.

Recipe Variations

  • One variation of this cocktail uses the same four ingredients, but in a different ratio that focuses less on the rum. To make it, shake 1 ounce light rum with 3/4 ounce each of kummel and orange juice, adding a dash of pimento dram.
  • Aquavit is a good substitute for kummel. It focuses on caraway, though some producers use dill either alone or with caraway, and other herbs may be included.

How Strong Is a Surprised Cocktail?

Most kummel is bottled around 76 proof, making it nearly as strong as the rum you'll pour in the surprised cocktail. With that foundation, this is not a light drink. Its average alcohol content is 26 percent ABV (52 proof), making it a little stronger than the original daiquiri.