Twin Peaks Mystery Cocktail! | How to Drink

I’m taking a crack at one of the enduring mysteries from Twin Peaks: Just what the heck is a Black Yukon Sucker Punch, anyway?

Twin Peaks is a weird show with a huge cult following that first aired on ABC in 1990. The brain child of Mark Frost and David Lynch it’s a show that I’d describe as a modern weird-west murder mystery soap opera satire? Maybe we should just call it “Trippy” actually. Trippy works. If you’re not familiar, David Lynch is a film maker with a long history of producing off the wall cult films, things like Eraser Head, Lost Highway, Blue Velvet, Inland Empire, etc. Also Dune.

Twin Peaks mainly follows Special Agent Dale Cooper as he investigates the mysterious murder of Laura Palmer, local high-school sweetheart with a dark double life. Along the way we’re introduced to a number of strange and fascinating characters, like Log Lady. One of whom is Twin Peaks circuit judge Clinton Sternwood who rotates into town to dole out justice from the local watering hole. While there, and deliberating the case, he has his legal assistant whip of a batch of Black Yukon Sucker Punches. A visually impossible drink, an equally divided highball, black on the bottom, blue foam on top. What the heck can I do with that…

Well Nick at Cocktail Chemistry came up with a very solid answer, and I think his is worth checking out. He went with a variation on an Irish Coffee, based on the show’s overall love of coffee and a few props from the scene. Thing is, I always figured it was some kind of sarsaparilla on account of the whole vibe of the character and the scene, and I’ve tried for literal years to make this drink work. It was only when I finally decided to embrace some chemistry based approaches that I had the results you’ll see here today.

Black Yukon Sucker Punch
1 oz. -or- 30 ml. Sarsaparilla Syrup
1.5 oz. -or- 45 ml. Bourbon
2.5 oz. -or- 75 ml. Toasted Porter
build in glass
top with Violet Liqueur Foam
Careful, they sneak up on you.

Violet Liqueur Foam
200 g. -or- 7 oz. Créme De Violet
2 g. -or- .07 “Foam Magic”
Combine in ISI whipper
Shake to Dissolve
Charge twice
Produces enough foam for several Sucker Punches

Sarsaparilla Syrup
All by weight!
40 g. -or- 1.4 oz. Sassafras Root
15 g. -or- .5 oz. sarsaparilla root
5 g. -or- .35 oz. licorice root
5 g. -or- .2 oz. cinnamon stick
1 g. -or- .04 oz. Gentian Root
450 g. demerara Sugar
1000g. -or- 32.26 oz. water
boil till sugar dissolved
let sit 10-20 minutes
Cool & Strain

Slowly but surely, I’m starting a mailing list so that I’m not fully dependent on YT’s algorithmized notifications system. If you’ll sign up, I promise not to abuse your generosity, or sell your info to anyone. It’s over on the blog right here:

Sunset Sarsaparilla:
Cocktail Chemistry Sucker Punch:
Glen and Friends Root Beer:
Barfly (affiliate):
Isi Whipper (affiliate):
Foam Magic (affiliate):
Sarsaparilla root (Affiliate):
Gentian Root (Affiliate):
Sassafras (Affiliate):
Licorice Root (Affiliate):

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