There is rum and then there is rhum - rhum…
One ingredient that we have a soft spot for, but don’t get to use as often as we’d like to, is Creme Yvette. Creme Yvette is a floral berry liqueur recently revived by the creator of St Germain. The liqueur is made from violets, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and cassis, sweetened with honey and accented with orange and vanilla. It has a vivid violet color that can make a cocktail really pop, but its flavor is so intense and so berry-forward that it is usually used in straightforward drinks like the Blue Moon or simply combined with champagne.
Our Sword Mistress is a springtime drink that features this lovely liqueur in a recipe that is a bit more layered than some of the recipes it usually pops up in. This drink has an almost candy-like sweetness when you first mix it up, with red berry and floral notes that come from the Creme Yvette. Adding Swedish punsch adds a nice layer of spice, while the bitters cut through the fruity flavors to temper them and add a touch of woodsiness to the mix. The result is a brilliant red cocktail that is sweet, without being cloying, and that has a subtle complexity to it. We like to flame a lemon peel over the top to add some citrus aroma, but a simply squeezing a lemon twist over the top will do the job if you don’t feel like playing with fire.
We used Angostura white rum in this drink, but El Dorado 3 would also be a good choice. Aged white rums have richer, smoother flavor than unaged white rums and make this particular drink a lot more enjoyable than sharp rums so. A light-colored gold rum, such as Mount Gay, might also work in this drink, though as you add color to the rum, you’re going to loose a little of the intense color of the creme yvette, so keep that in mind as you mix your drinks.
2 oz aged white rum
1 oz Creme Yvette
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz Swedish Punsch
1/4 oz simple syrup
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously until very cold, then strain into a chilled coupe.
Flame a lemon peel over the top or simply squeeze a lemon peel over the drink before serving.
Garnish with a fresh lemon twist.