If a certain Staten Island groundhog is to be believed, Spring will arrive early this year. Nevertheless, lazy winter weekends are the perfect opportunity to cozy up with all sorts of projects on your to-do (or wanna-do) list. Whether Marie Kondo-ing your cabinets or trying out new recipes, DIY projects are the perfect way to beat those midwinter, cabin fever blues. Now, we know that all that tinkering can work up a thirst. Never fear, here are some ideas (and a cocktail) to whet your whistle.
Pimento Dram Liqueur
Spicy, sweet, and intense, pimento dram is made from allspice (pimento berries) and rum. Centuries ago, British colonizers coined the term “allspice” because the crushed berry combines the flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Originally to add spice to rum and tiki drinks, pimento dram can be used to add depth and complexity to nearly any cocktail.
Using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, crush the allspice berries to a medium-fine grind. They should look similar to coffee grounds as used in a French press.
Pour the grinds into a saucepan, then add 1 cup of the rum.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
Remove the rum from the heat, and let cool only slightly.
Pour the mixture into a clean, empty 750-ml wine or liquor bottle.
Add the remaining rum to the mixture, then cover and allow to sit for about two weeks.
Filter the mixture through cheesecloth, then again through a coffee filter.
Combine the brown sugar and rum to make a simple syrup.
Add the syrup to the bottle, stir to combine, then seal and let the mixture sit for 30 days.
Best known for its use in tropical or tiki-style cocktails, falernum is a liqueur flavored with ginger, lime, almond and baking spices. No one knows how it was invented, but the mixture dates back to 19th century Barbados.
6 oz Smith & Cross Navy Strength Rum
9 limes, zested
40 whole cloves
1.5 oz ginger, peeled and grated
2 T almonds, toasted, blanched and slivered
14 oz. rich simple syrup (2 parts sugar, 1 part water)
¼ tsp almond extract
4.5 oz fresh lime juice
Combine the rum, lime zest, cloves, ginger, and almonds in a jar and seal tightly. Allow the mixture to infuse at room temperature for 24 hours.
Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth, taking care to squeeze the solids.
Add the rich simple syrup, almond extract, and lime juice, then shake well to combine.
Use immediately or store in the refrigerator, tightly sealed, for up to 1 month.
1 oz Denizen 3-year Aged Rum
1 oz Mezcal (we suggest Del Maguey Vida or Banhez Joven)
¾ oz falernum
1⁄2 oz lime juice
¼ oz pimento dram
Lime peel, for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake well, and strain the mixture into a chilled coupe or other serving glass.
Cheers to a DIY job well done!