The Bajan Sunrise Cocktail

The Bajan Sunrise Cocktail

by Mixologist / Owner Stephane Domenge of Scarlet


This layered drink is an homage to Bajan rum punch, with fresh nutmeg grated on top of fruit juice espuma (foam) and a rum base, says Frenchman Stephane Domenge of Scarlet Restaurant.

— Photography: Kenneth Theysen

The name doesn’t come from a love of early morning drinking (or extremely late nights); rather, from the way the white-coloured passion fruit-lime foam sinks slowly into the boozy red liquid below, turning it all shades of orange and yellow with whisps of espuma clouds.

The cocktail is served without a straw, says Domenge, which results in an espuma mustache when sipped. “This is not for ladies who want to keep their lipstick nice and neat”, he jokes. Scarlet does have compostable straws, but if you take Domenge’s advice, you’ll be rewarded with the intoxicating aroma of grated nutmeg and broadleaf thyme followed by a fruity espuma that becomes spiked with smooth and sweet rum as it passes from the bottom of the glass up through the thick foam to your mustachioed lips. “If you use a straw, you don’t get that balance of rum and espuma”, he says.

If you don’t happen to grow broadleaf thyme in your garden (Domenge has a pot of it growing behind the restaurant and in his garden at home), you can use fresh oregano, lemon balm, or lemon thyme, but not dried regular thyme, which has a different flavour. If you don’t own a siphon (you should, for the fun of home-made whipped cream if nothing else), you can replace the espuma with an egg white foam by shaking the infused passion fruit-lime juice with pasteurised egg whites and ice in a cocktail shaker, then carefully spooning the foam onto the rum base; however, an egg white froth won’t have as much body as a gelatin-thickened espuma, meaning the froth will sink faster into the rum – and sunrise will come just a little sooner.

Ah c’est génial, another sunny day on the beach!

Bajan Sunrise
Makes 1 cocktail

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1 ¾ oz. Doorly’s 5 year old rum
¾ oz. Falernum
3 lime wedges, squeezed into a glass to give about 1 tbsp. (15 ml) fresh juice
3 drops of Angostura bitters
½ cup passion fruit-lime espuma (see recipe)
Fresh nutmeg, grated, to garnish


  1. In a tall glass or cocktail shaker, stir the rum, Falernum, lime juice, and Angostura bitters with ice to mix.

  2. Place an oversized ice cube in a stemless
    wine glass or highball glass and strain the drink on top.

  3. Siphon the espuma on top and grate fresh nutmeg over the foam.

Mixologist Stephane Domenge of Sandpiper Barbados

Passion Fruit-lime Espuma

250 ml (8 oz.) passion fruit juice
1 tbsp. (15 ml) lime juice
2 leaves of broadleaf thym
1 tsp. (5 g) gelatin powder


  1. Heat the passion fruit juice and lime juice in a medium saucepan to just below a boil.

  2. Remove from the heat and add
    the broadleaf thyme.

  3. Let cool for 10 minutes, then stir in the gelatin.

  4. When completely cool, transfer the liquid to the siphon and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. The liquid will last several days.

  5. Add the first gas canister to the siphon, shake well, remove it and add the second. Shake well again and depress the lever to extrude the espuma.

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Scarlet Barbados
  • Use a large ice cube, like for an Old Fashioned, so that it melts more slowly.

  • The perfect snack with this drink at Scarlet is the Skinny Poutine, where skinny refers to both the skinny French fries and skins on the potatoes, not the svelteness of the eater. Served in a small cast-iron skillet, the Quebecois dish comes with fresh local Cheddar cheese curds and a chicken jus gravy.

  • Broadleaf thyme is traditionally used in Barbados to ease burns and foot fatigue.

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