One of our favorite ways to sweeten up a cocktail…
We love a good holiday drink, and that usually means eggnog when it comes to the Christmas season. Whether you serve it hot or cold, not too many things say “Christmas” the way that a rum-spiked, nutmeg-kissed glass of eggnog does. The only drink that might speak to the holiday season even more clearly is this Island Holiday cocktail. We wanted something fun and festive – even more than your average tiki drink – to help us celebrate the holidays in style this year. The drink is made up of three different flavors that make a drink that is red, white and green to capture the colors of the season.
When you want to add red to a cocktail, most people reach for grenadine. We used our housemade cranberry syrup for color (and flavor), combining it with some aged Jamaican rum (Appleton X/V) and Jamaican bitters to give it some spice. The Jamaican bitters have a strong flavor of allspice, cloves and black pepper, and you can use a splash of allspice dram to approximate them. The white layer is cream of coconut and more rum. This time we used a white demerara rum (El Dorado 3), but it is sweet enough that you can use something like Bacardi, too. The green layer is midori and lime juice, which is a winning combination no matter where you use it.
These layers should all be mixed separately and poured into the drink in layers. They’re not thick enough to build like a pousse-cafe, but they’ll hold their positions without mixing if you pour slowly. We added more crushed ice after each layer so that we weren’t mixing colors in the ice.
The drink tastes fantastic. Lime, cranberry, spice and coconut is an amazing combination, and you get just enough of the cranberries and spice to make you think of the holidays – as if the color of the cocktail weren’t enough! You can sip the layers separately or stir them together. If you stir it up, the drink will have the look of a tropical sunset, which is a bit less Christmasy than the layered look, but just as delicious.
3/4 oz cranberry syrup
1 oz aged Jamaican rum (Appleton X/V)
2 dashes Jamaican bitters or 1 tsp allspice dram
1/2 oz cream of coconut
1/2 oz light rum
1 oz Midori
1/2 oz lime juice
In a small glass, stir together cranberry syrup, Jamaican rum and Jamaican bitters. In another small glass, stir together cream of coconut and light rum. In another small glass, stir together Midori and lime juice.
Fill a rocks glass or a highball glass 1/3 of the way with crushed ice. Pour in red layer. Add in more crushed ice until the glass is 2/3 full. Carefully pour in white layer. Fill glass to the top with crushed ice and carefully pour in the green layer.
Serve with a festive straw or a little Christmas tree garnish.