Trader Vic’s Book of Food and Drink (1946) contains the recipe for this dish. As opposed to some other newer scorpion recipes that call for two rums, this one only needs one. In true tropical cocktail style, rum is the spirit of choice in Bergeron’s scorpion. Of course, Bergeron’s method for making his scorpion takes a bit of finesse, but he makes it well. In his instructions, it is suggested you let it sit for two hours to allow the proper dilution of the punch whose strength is reduced while it’s flavor is tamed.
It would be appropriate to apply the same treatment to many punch recipes. There should be enough punch for 20 drinks with this recipe, making it great for parties. It can be garnished with a gardenia as suggested by Bergeron. A flower is fine, but you can also use slices of orange and lemon and mint sprigs, as Dale DeGroff suggests in The Essential Cocktail.
Usually served as a punch, the scorpion cocktail is a tropical cocktail that is very popular. In the early 1900s, this recipe was a classic, which was altered as ingredients were changed, subtracted, and multiplied over the years. Most scorpions contain rum, orange juice, and orgeat syrup, and there are nearly never two that are alike. In most scorpions, you will find rum as an essential ingredient. Trader Vic’s owner Victor Bergeron who enjoyed it while he was in the islands introduced it to the mainland. You can serve this punch in a scorpion bowl with a shot of rum flaming in the center like a volcano.