The spiced rums on the market, such as Captain Morgan, leave something to be desired. So why not make your own? Be sure to use a good-quality white rum, such as Appleton, Flor de Cana or Mount Gay.
And here's a nice way to use it: Combine 2 ounces of the spiced rum and 5 ounces of the Winter Tonic Water; serve over ice, garnished with a twist of orange peel.
Make Ahead: The rum needs 5 days' curing time, placed near a window.
Yield: Makes 1 liter (about 4 cups)
- 1 whole star anise
- 1/2 3-inch cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 allspice berries
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1/4 ounce (1/2 tablespoon) freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 liter light rum
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- Strips of peel from 1 whole orange (no pith), finely chopped
Use a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder designated for spices to grind the star anise, cinnamon stick pieces, cloves, allspice berries, cardamom and nutmeg.
Pour the rum into a clean, clear-glass 4-cup container; save the rum's original bottle. Add the spice mixture plus the vanilla bean and scrapings and the orange peel. Seal and place on an interior windowsill for 5 days, making sure to shake the mixture each day.
After 5 days, strain through a fine-mesh strainer, then strain again to make sure all traces of the spices are removed. Discard any solids. Use a funnel to return the spiced rum to its original bottle. Be sure to label it accordingly.
From bartender Todd Thrasher of Restaurant Eve, the Majestic and PX in Alexandria.
Tested by Michael Taylor.
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