What I Drank Last Night: Sampan’s Scorpion


In case you missed it, Michael Schulson’s much talked-about new project, Sampan, opened on Friday. I strolled in with a friend last night to check out the drink list and was confronted by this ghastly-looking beverage called the Scorpion Bowl (pictured). I can only imagine what Fergie (as in the owner of Fergie’s Pub, Monk’s, etc. — a real man’s man) thought when he glanced over from his nearby seat to see me leaning over the table to suck something that looked like Kool-Aid through a giant pink novelty straw.

But after a few sips of the stiff stuff, I stopped worrying. The menu states that the $24 Scorpion Bowl — which is actually served in a fish bowl — contains white wine, rum, gin, and pomegranate juice, but the version I had contained vodka, white rum, dark rum, gin, and pomegranate juice (they’re still tweaking the recipe). There are also skewers of tropical fruit that I guess you’re supposed to deskewer and mix into the punch, turning it into one wicked paint-stripping sangria-esque memory eraser. I only made it through about a quarter (or less) of the four-person 750ml drink, because it’s not really my kind of drink (it’s kinda sweet, a bachelorette party waiting to happen) and also because I realized that it would be a really bad idea to drink more than that. As for my friend, he decided to sit the Scorpion Bowl out, saying something about the unsanitary nature of a four-person drink (one word: backwash), which I guess has some validity, though if you actually manage to get through the entire bowl, you’ll probably wind up swapping spit with your drinking companion anyway, so live it up.