WAAAAY back in 2016 I created and posted this cocktail, but never gave it the full write up that it deserved so for day 4 of “Cocktailmas” we’re revisiting it.
The Caribbean Christmas has becoming a yearly favorite, and staple cocktail in my annual Christmas party. It’s a classic style recipe similar to the Old Fashioned, but with a bit less involved with muddling ingredients. The rum you chose for this drink will be the star of the show so don’t go for you basic bottom shelf bottle here. From the first pour through today’s revisit my choice is the Plantation 12 Year Aged Rum. It’s reasonably priced and a nice cut above what you’d get out of a standard silver variant from another brand. You would also find this cocktail works well with Appleton Estate and Mount Gay rums interchangeably.
As for the cocktail itself, it’s simple amber color is nothing to turn anyone’s attention, but the cinnamon stick garnish certainly would. On the nose you’re greeted with a simple clean cinnamon aroma. The flavor is a fairly simple one, two punch of rum followed by a complexly warm cinnamon thanks to the mingling of the syrup and bitters. I’ve exclusively made this drink with the BG Reynold’s Cinnamon Syrup and the Bittercube Trinity Bitters, but one could easily swap out the name brand syrup for a homemade batch. The bitters on the other hand would be harder to replicate. They don’t add huge flavor to the cocktail on the front end, but the aftertaste is really where they shine. In theory they could easily be switched out for a dash of orange and a dash of Angostura bitters, but I haven’t tested that one yet myself. With over a dozen bitters already in my cupboard, I don’t need to seek out the classic angostura any time soon. That said for a simple spirit forward cocktail this is VERY easy to drink. Although if you’re not a big fan of cinnamon you might find the flavor a bit overpowering. Regardless though, it’s one of my all time favorite original creations and remains so to this day. If you’re a rum fan, but don’t want to hit the dark stuff all the time. This is the perfect way to bring the sweetness of a rum from the Lesser Antilles, and liven it up for the holidays!
Alcohol Taste Rating: 6.5/10 Overall Rating: 9/10
Caribbean Christmas 1 1/2 oz Plantation Rum 1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup 2-3 Dashes Trinity Bitters Cinnamon Stick
Over ice in a rocks glass/tumbler, pour over liquid ingredients. Stir for 5 seconds. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Every now and then I just happen to get a really good idea. Last night was one such example when I spontaneously was inspired by a bag of apples I picked up at the grocery store. For much of the warm weather this year I found myself making “smash” style cocktails which often feature an uncommon ingredient such as cucumber or basil and muddles it in a glass without straining off the extra chunks. Not everyone is fond of fruit or veggies floating in their cocktail, but as long as it tastes good I’m not complaining.
So, as mentioned earlier this year, I found myself picking up some Apple Crown Royal Whiskey and using it in a few choice cocktails, and I think my creating of the Harvest Apple Smash utilizes it perfectly with the changing of the seasons.
The unique presentation makes it look a bit like an “applesauce” drink, and that’s actually not that far off. With chunks of fruit and red skin floating throughout it just feels like you pulled a cup of cider off the press. The aroma is very apple-y with a whiskey forward and crisp fresh apple at the back of the scent. The flavor profile leans toward that a rich cider from a farmer’s market. The front of your palette is greeted with a little chunky fruit and a sweet apple flavor, mid palette it moves the apple whiskey, and finishes with a cinnamon and toasted apple finish. This is a cocktail right out of a fall festival, without the need for cider in the first place so it’s perfect for any time of year. If you’re looking to kick off your fall with a good cocktail, consider trying this new original cocktail!
Alcohol Taste Rating: 6/10
Overall Rating: 8.5/10
Harvest Apple Smash
2 oz Apple Whiskey
1/2 oz Cinnamon Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice 1/4 Thinly Sliced Apple
Apple Slice (Optional)
In a rocks glass muddle thinly sliced apples and cinnamon syrup until you get a chunky apple sauce consistency. Add lemon juice and ice. Pour over Apple Whiskey and stir well. Optionally garnish with a thin apple slice.
Thought I should get at least one post in this month specifically something Christmasy. You may have already had your parties, but if you’re looking for something to serve to your family on Sunday night after (or even before) dinner you might want to have a look at this one.
I’ve been thinking about this design for quite a while, and I think keeping it simple was the way to go. If you don’t have the specific cinnamon syrup for this, it can be easily substituted with some simple syrup and a few shakes on ground cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg.
With a bitter rum taste and a lingering cinnamon finish, this will certianly raise your spirits this season!
1 1/2 oz Top Shelf Gold Rum
1/2 oz BG Reynolds Cinnamon Syrup
2-3 Dashes Bittercube Trinity Bitters (or your favorite aromatic)
Straight build in a short glass over ice. Stir Well. Enjoy (Garnish with a cinnamon stick?).