Bare Knuckle Boxer | Hitman

Forget sniper rifles, garrote wires and silenced pistols. Today, we’re creating the only truly subtle assassination method there is: a poisoned drink, adapted from a Hitman recipe of rum, vodka, orange juice and bitters.

Bare Knuckle Boxer.png

You’ll need

  • 1 1/2 oz aged rum
  • 1/2 oz vodka
  • 4 oz orange juice
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1/4oz salt syrup

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir briefly until chilled. Strain into an old-fashioned glass.

“No, you moron—it’s 2 of rum, not vodka. Now take it away and do it again, kurva…”—Viktor, to a long-suffering bartender.

The Hitman series gives players a multitude of options in killing their targets. Guns, explosions, gravity: all are tools in Agent 47’s arsenal. But in the Showstopper mission in Hitman (2016), the balded wonder is offered a classy (and classic) option: poisoning his target’s favourite cocktail while posing as a bartender.

And when I’m offered a genuine, real life, not-having-to-dig-around-for-possible-ingredients cocktail recipe in a game, you better believe I’m bringing it to Experience Bar.

The drink in question is the Bare Knuckle Boxer; a concoction of orange juice, rum and vodka and… salt. Huh. Weird. Yeah, the original recipe (which you can see by zooming in on the recipe card with a sniper rifle) calls for 2 ounces of rum, 1 ounce of vodka, 1 ounce of orange juice, a sprinkle of sugar and a sprinkle of salt.

Right off the bat, this is weird. It’s 3 ounces of pure liquor, with a tiny splash of orange juice. I tried it as written aaaaand… it was pretty awful. Maybe if the orange juice had been lime, it would’ve been a little more palatable—but it called for orange juice. So that’s what I stuck with when recreating it.


Looking for other assassin-related cocktails? Check out my selection of Assassin’s Creed cocktails.


First, I reduced the amount of booze right down to 2 oz, and reduced the proportion of vodka. I wanted the rum to shine through more, but I also understood that this was intended to be a strong drink. Hell, it’s right there in the name. So I didn’t remove it entirely, and didn’t replace it entirely with rum so that those oaky rum notes didn’t completely overpower everything else.

I also upped the orange juice, and introduced just a dash of bitters to add a little something-something to the flavour. Rum is a nice, deep liquor, but the Angostura just gives it that little touch of bitterness to round out the sweet and sour of the orange.

Lastly, I replaced the sprinkle of salt with a “salt syrup”, made in much the same way as you’d make simple syrup. This meant that the salt actually melded into the orange juice, rather than sitting all gritty at the bottom of the cup.

The drink is transformed. It’s got the salt, the sugar, the bitter, the sour, the richness of the rum and the power of the vodka, all wrapped up into one. I bet that target will love it. But it feels like it’s missing something…

…oh yeah. The poison. Whoops. Guess we’re just shooting this guy in the head after all.

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