You've probably caught on by now that we fancy a great tiki-inspired cocktail, and today's clandestine recipe is a witch doctor's prescription that we're happy to fill! Aside from some quality spirits, the ingredient that makes this drink truly special and gives it a sweet kick is homemade spiced simple syrup. Before you run for the hills, you need to know that it's so easy to make. Can you make regular simply syrup? If you answered "yes", you can make pretty much any other flavored simple syrup in about the same amount of time with just an extra ingredient or two. You'll be amazed at the flavors you can come up with!
Witch Doctor's Orders
1 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum
1 oz Linie Aquavit
1 oz Cocchi Rosa
.5 oz spiced simple syrup (recipe below)
2 dashes citrus bitters
Star anise pod (for garnish)
Gather the following: mixing glass, cocktail spoon, ice cubes (for mixing), one large ice cube or chunk (for serving) a strainer and a rocks glass. Build your cocktail over ice cubes in your mixing glass and mix steadily for 20 seconds. Strain into your rocks glass over your large ice cube or chunk. Add your star anise pod garnish and give your drink one or two good stirs with your cocktail spoon. Bottoms up!
Why we love this drink: The rich spice of the Jamaican rum pairs nicely with the caraway notes of the aquavit, while the Cocchi rosa adds a subtle, herbal note of bittersweetness. The spiced simple syrup adds a nice kick to the entire concoction, but doesn't hijack the flavor and overpower the spirits. The scent of the anise pod complements the flavors of the drink – plus it looks fancy AF; the good doctor is sure to approve.
Spiced Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
.4 - .5 oz ground allspice
5 or 6 cloves
Small handful black peppercorns
Fine mesh sieve
Sealed storage container
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and add your spice ingredients to the mixture, stirring to combine. Let simmer 10 minutes. Remove pan from stove and let steep an additional 10 minutes.
Here's where the actual work comes into play: once the mixture has cooled a bit, you need to strain this bad boy real good. I layered the cheesecloth about 3 or 4 times and placed it into a fine mesh sieve, then I strained the contents of the pan into the small bowl. You will need to do this a few times (give the cheesecloth a rinse in between straining) to get out the bulk of the allspice. Once its strained to your satisfaction, you can chill in the refrigerator and it should keep for about a month, a little longer if you add a teaspoon of vodka to the mixture.
Okay, so maybe that took a little work. But trust us...it's worth it.