Spiced rum has always been a drink I’ve fancied when the weather worsens. It’s loaded with warm spices and intoxicating aromas. Depending on the variety, you’ll find a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla trapped inside. And I believe those spices lift rum to an entirely different level, one that is perfect for the base of a great winter cocktail.
Summer’s unbridled enthusiasm is tamed by a host of cocktails and mixtures designed to cool you off. There are countless variations with that sole purpose in mind. But during winter, we feel the pain of discontent. We’re left to escape the winter drudgery with just a few libations worthy of soothing a cold night’s chill. Most cocktails designed for this season are hot, yet few strike the chord of comfort that is needed when the fury outside rages on. So I made you this–a non-traditional winter beverage that warms you up from the inside out.
After trying my first dark and stormy, a simple combination of rum and ginger beer, I felt as if something was lacking. So I tried to improve on it, at least for my own sake. I wanted a drink with even more flavour, added spice and great tasting notes. And I wanted something sweeter. I created this drink, The Jim Dandy, to fill that void. It’s a beverage with robust, full flavours and spices to match. The kick from the spiced rum, the soothing power of fresh ginger, the citrus notes from lime juice, the spices from the chai tea and the sweetness from the pear nectar come together harmoniously. It can serve as a great late night cocktail to have by the roaring fire. One sip will warm you, and a few more will make you forget you were ever cold in the first place. As long as I have to deal with the potential brutality of winter, I can turn to this to ease the pain.
The Jim Dandy
Yield: 1 drink
Glassware: Rock glass or low ball glass
Tools: Cocktail stirrer
2 oz (60 ml) spiced rum
3 oz (90 ml) of ginger beer
1 oz (30 ml) of pear nectar
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp (5 ml) fresh ginger, grated
1/2 oz (15 ml) chai tea, cooled
2 dashes of bitters
infused ice cubes (recipe to follow)
pear slices, to garnish
lime quarter, to garnish
1. Take a chai tea bag and pour boiling water over top (as if making tea). Let steep for 5 minutes and place in the fridge to cool.
2. Fill a cocktail glass halfway with ice. Pour in the spiced rum, ginger beer, pear nectar, lime juice, grated ginger and chai tea. Top with the bitters. Give it a good stir to mix all the ingredients together. Place a pear slice and lime quarter on top and finish with an infused ice cube, which will slowly release the added flavour.
**For a big batch method, pour all ingredients ,minus the bitters, into a pitcher. (Multiply the ingredients by the number of people you will be serving to determine the amount.) Pour into individual ice-filled cocktail glasses and top with bitters, pear slice, lime and infused ice cube.
Lime Ginger Ice Cubes
Yield: 8 ice cubes
Tools: Ice cube tray
1 lime, cut into thin wedges (about 8)
a good knob of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (about 8 slices)
1. Fill 8 slots in an ice cub tray with some lime and ginger. Top with water and place in the freezer. Once frozen, remove and add to the cocktail as suggested.
Mike Lewicki is a contributor at The Boys Club and blogger at Verses From My Kitchen.