The Unexpected Connection Between The Doctor Funk Cocktail And Treasure Island

We all love a good cleverly-named cocktail, such as the literary-themed The Great Gatsby or Tequila Mockingbird, but there's actually one alcoholic beverage that is directly tied to a well-known novel: the Doctor Funk.

In her book "Spirited: Cocktails from Around the World," author Adrienne Stillman details the origins of the Doctor Funk, which hails from Samoa (via Matador Network). True to its name, we have Dr. Bernard Funk to thank for this delicious drink option. Another thing we (indirectly) have Dr. Funk to thank for? The adventure novel, "Treasure Island" — Funk was the personal doctor of the famous book's author, Robert Louis Stevenson. So, had Funk not been there to see to Stevenson's ailments, we may have never gotten "Treasure Island." Or, Stevenson would've just consulted another doctor, but, at the very least, this cocktail wouldn't have an interesting literary story attached to it, anyway.

However, the Doctor Funk recipe that we know today — with rum as one of the key ingredients — isn't actually what Funk created. His version didn't have any rum in it, just absinthe, lemon juice, lime juice, Grenadine, and club soda. The rum came later, cementing the drink as the tiki cocktail we know and love today.

How to make a Doctor Funk — rum included

It was Don Beach, the owner of a restaurant called Don the Beachcomber in Palm Springs (which is actually considered to be the first tiki bar), who first had the brilliant idea of adding rum to the Doctor Funk in the 1950s (and thus, is sometimes credited as the creator of the drink). So, now that we know how rum came to be included in the mix, how do we make the cocktail?

Making a Doctor Funk is simple. First, gather all of your ingredients: You'll need 2 ½ ounces of dark rum, ¼ ounce of absinthe, lemon, and lime juice, a bit of Grenadine, ½ ounce of simple syrup, and soda water. Then, add everything, minus the soda water, to your cocktail shaker along with ice and give it a good shake. After it's been thoroughly shaken, pour it into a glass — preferably a sling glass — and top it with the soda water. Feel free to add a flavor-enhancing garnish — something like mint or a citrus twist would work well for this drink.