Drunken Steak

Why this recipe works:
We tried several drunken steak recipes, but the flavor was all over the place—some steaks were barely tipsy while others had us picking a designated driver. We wanted our Drunken Steak recipe to fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. Loose-grained steaks, like the flank steak in this recipe, absorb more marinade, and thus more flavor, than tight-grained steaks. Scoring the surface of the meat with shallow slashes allows the marinade to penetrate into the steak without compromising the interior color or texture. Tasters preferred the cleaner flavor of light rum. The soy sauce in the marinade not only adds intense flavor, but also keeps meat moist during cooking due to its salt content. The marinade’s sugar content (from the alcohol and the brown sugar) encourages a crust to form on the steak when it’s grilled. Since the flavor of the marinade is dulled a little during cooking, we refreshed the flavor by drizzling a bit of reserved marinade over the rested and sliced cooked steak just before serving.

NOTE: Other thin steaks with a loose grain, such as skirt or steak tips, can be substituted for the flank steak. Avoid dark or spiced rum here—its intense flavor will overwhelm the steak. If using a gas grill, grill the steak covered for maximum heat output.


1 cup light rum
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 scallion, minced
1 flank steak (about 1 1/2 pounds), scored on both sides at 1 1/2-inch intervals


1. Whisk rum, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, and garlic in bowl until sugar dissolves. Transfer 1/4 cup rum mixture to small bowl and stir in scallion; set aside. Place remaining marinade and steak in gallon-size zipper-lock bag. Press air out of bag, seal, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.

2. Remove steak from bag, pat dry with paper towels, and discard marinade. Grill steak over hot fire until well browned and cooked to desired doneness, 4 to 7 minutes per side.

3. Transfer steak to cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 5 minutes. Slice thinly on bias and against grain. Drizzle with reserved rum mixture. Serve.