Missionary's Downfall #0
Fruity | Citrus | Tropical

Missionary's Downfall recipe

Missionary's Downfall cocktail

What is a Missionary's Downfall cocktail?

History and background

The Missionary's Downfall cocktail was, like many tiki classics, created by Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt (Donn Beach). The location of the invention of this cocktail was the legendary Don the Beachcomber tiki cocktail bar in Hollywood, California. Don the Beachcomber was the trendsetting bar that kicked off the Polynesian tiki bar and restaurant craze.

We don't know the exact year of the Missionary's Downfall's creation, but it was probably some time in the 1930s. The Missionary's Downfall is one of the most popular tiki cocktails of all time and is one of the essential cocktails every self-respecting tiki bartender should know. It can be made with or without a blender. But there are endless debates on what the best way to prepare a Missionary's Downfall is.

Flavour Missionary's Downfall cocktail

There is a good reason why the Missionary's Downfall is one of the most popular tiki cocktails among bartenders. This refreshing rum cocktail combines fresh, fruity, herbal, strong and sweet flavours, which are all nicely balanced. The strong, full-flavoured yet neutral character of the white rum is enhanced by the rich notes of peach provided by Bols Peach, the tropical fruitiness of the pineapple juice and the fresh lime juice. Fresh mint lends its unique, fresh herbal flavour to the Missionary's Downfall cocktail. The sugar syrup marries all these flavours together and creates a velvety aftertaste.

Ingredients for Missionary's Downfall

How to make a Missionary's Downfall cocktail?

Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and fill it up two thirds of the way with ice cubes. Shake the cocktail for around 10 seconds and strain it into a tiki mug filled with ice cubes. Finish it off with a scoop of crushed ice and garnish with a sprig of mint.

What bar tools do you need to make a Missionary's Downfall cocktail?

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Jigger
  • Strainer

Missionary's Downfall cocktail garnish
Sprig of mint


Missionary's Downfall cocktail recipe variations
Variation 1: Base Spirit
The grassy, fruity nature of white rum seems like a world away from Bols Genever but both spirits actually share the same flavours. Bols Genever is perhaps not the first spirit you'd think of using in a tiki classic like the Missionary's Downfall yet it combines beautifully with the pineapple and peach. If you want to add an aged nuance to the drink, use Bols Barrel Aged Genever.

Variation 2: Modifier
The Bols Peach modifier gives you a starting point for experimenting with other flavours. If you want a variation that is subtly different to the original with Bols Peach, Bols Apricot Brandy is a nice option. But if you want take the cocktail in an entirely different direction, replace the Bols Peach with Bols Amaretto. By using Bols Amaretto with its almond notes, you stay true to the tiki cocktail flavours lurking in the background of the Missionary's Downfall. This cocktail variation can best be described as a Mai Tai meets a Missionary's Downfall.

Variation 3: Fresh pineapple
It may seem like a rather straightforward suggestion, but it can be good to replace the pineapple juice with chunks of fresh pineapple. Cut two pineapple rings into pieces and muddle them with the mint at the bottom of your shaker. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake the cocktail for around 10 seconds. This gives the Missionary's Downfall cocktail a more intense pineapple flavour and a fuller, creamer texture.  

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