This week’s cocktail pairing, for a puzzle box called the “Corkscrew” is named, appropriately, the “Corkscrew”. It appears in quite a few references, with the earliest I can find being the 1974 edition of the Mr. Boston Deluxe Official Bartender’s Guide. However, the origins of this drink remain a bit of a mystery. There is a tangential reference to Burnett’s rum, a defunct brand of inexpensive rum from St. Croix. Sir Robert Burnett was a distiller from the late 1700’s better known for his gin, whose name is now associated with flavored vodka. The best I can do is provide you with the true and accurate history of the cocktail’s namesake – the corkscrew. The first mention of said tool was in the 1680’s, when musket barrel cleaners were modified into “steel worms” to assist with accessing the wine. Reverend Samuel Henshall from Oxford, England improved the design and received the first corkscrew patent in 1795 – the same year our Sir Robert Burnett received his knighthood. Coincidence?!? Yes. Now before you go congratulating the good Reverend, it should be noted that “helixophiles” (that’s right, “cork enthusiasts”) insist the design existed for decades already, and he was just the first to patent.


The corkscrew is indeed a fantastic invention, so simple, so elegant, so necessary. Unless you have a saber, of course. The drink is a light, sweet variation on the martini, albeit with rum. The prominent flavor is peach, which is perfect for the summer. It’s an unexpectedly nice drink with rum, but would certainly work with gin, or even, if you must, vodka. So get out your corkscrew and pull the cork on a bottle of something light and refreshing. Maybe even mix up one of these, to toast the season. Here’s to it – cheers!

Corkscrew c. 1974 (?)

1 ½ oz white rum

½ oz dry vermouth

½ oz peach schnapps

Shake together with ice and strain into a favorite glass. Lemon twist corkscrew garnish.


For more about the twisted Corkscrew Box see:

Boxes and Booze: Perfect Spiral