Originally, the Surfer On Acid was a hodgepodge of liqueurs (think Baileys, banana schnapps and coconut schnapps). But in the early ‘90s, Los Angeles bartender Eric Tecosky did away with that sickly sweet shot and made something great. It all happened one night when a gaggle of blissed out 20-somethings ordered a round of Surfer on Acids (Surfers on Acid?) at his bar. Tecosky had never heard of the cocktail and, when he asked the group was was in the drink, he decided that the only thing worth saving was its name. He scrapped the original recipe and applied the name to a Jägermeister-based shot he was working on at the time. From there, the Surfer on Acid took on a life of its own and eventually became a modern classic.
For our take on the California staple, we made the drink long and tall by adding a touch of fresh lime juice and a topper of seltzer so that it can be sipped rather than shot. Tiki-esque in flavor, this cocktail manages to be bitter, herbaceous and tropical all at once. The Jäger at the base adds a boozy bite and notes of sarsaparilla, black pepper, cola and a dark bitter edge, which brings balance to the acidity and sweetness of the pineapple juice (as odd as it sounds, Jäger and pineapple are a match made in heaven). If possible, use freshly pressed pineapple juice instead of the canned option. It gives the drink a bright, natural sweetness and boosts the tart acidity of the lime juice. Ideal for lazy beach days and backyard barbeques, the Surfer on Acid is an underrated summer gem that deserves more attention. Be sure to mix one up the next time the sun comes out.