At Moneygun in Chicago, they make this hot toddy in a French press. It's the perfect answer to what to drink on a chilly night.
- 1 tablespoon chopped unpeeled fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon loose or 1 bag Darjeeling tea
- ¾ ounce Jamaican black rum
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Lemon wedge (for serving)
Muddle ginger and cloves in a measuring glass. Add tea and 1 cup boiling water and stir 10 seconds. Let steep 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill a mug with hot water to warm it. When tea mixture is ready, pour out hot water, then add rum, cognac, and honey to mug. Strain tea through a fine-mesh sieve into mug and stir to combine. Add lemon juice, then drop lemon wedge into mug. Let sit 1 minute before drinking.
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When it comes to rum, Americans tend to prefer either Captain Morgan spiced rum or Bacardi for their cocktails. That’s left black rum, a way more interesting (and tastier) genre of rum, gathering dust on the shelf. The reason? We Americans just haven’t been exposed to enough of the stuff. But, after a little introduction, we have a feeling you’re going to want to take one of the Caribbean’s best liquors for a spin.
So, what separates black rum from its lighter counterparts? For one, it’s aged for much longer than white rums. The aging process takes place inside a well-charred barrel, where the molasses -based spirit takes on the smoky characteristics of its environment. The result is that black rum shares taste characteristics with your favorite whiskeys , but with a touch more sweetness.
Accordingly, black rum has a way of sneaking into tiki drinks, where it lends its subtle flavor to otherwise fruity concoctions.
“In the world of tiki, black rum is royalty,” says Anthony Schmidt , the beverage director at San Diego tiki bar False Idol . “The viscosity addition is what makes black rums altogether unique.” With its body and complexity, the spirit can stand up to fruit-focused cocktail ingredients in a way that lighter rums can’t.
At False Idol, nearly half of the menu’s 38 drinks incorporate black rum in some way, from the Tradewinds (black rum, apricot liqueur, coconut cordial, and fresh lemon) to the Sidewinder’s Fang (aged black rum, passion fruit, lime, orange, and seltzer water). The bar’s signature punch, Akala The Fierce, demonstrates black rum’s versatility beyond typical tiki flavors, blending it with chai-infused bourbon, vanilla, pimento dram, and orgeat.
“It’s that indispensable,” says Schmidt. “None [of the cocktails] could be as tempting without a black rum.”
Outside the tiki bar, drinkers can add a dash of black rum to a cup of tea for a more tropical hot toddy or to your favorite crockpot hot cider. Brand-wise, we suggest hunting down Hamilton Rum’s Pot Still Black , which the folks at famed Chicago bar Moneygun swear by, or the more readily available versions by Gosling’s and Mount Gay . Whatever you choose, we have a feeling you won’t regret it.
Pearl of the Orient (view)
- 1 ½ ounces Hibiki Harmony infused with dried osmanthus flowers
- 1 ½ ounces La Gitana Manzanilla
- ½ ounce Yuzuri Yuzu Liquor
- ½ ounce Goji berry syrup (Homemade)*
- Garnish: Tangyuan (Asian glutinous rice ball) and Osmanthus flower rim
Glassware recommendation: Coupe glass
- Combine all ingredients into a beaker glass.
- Add ice.
- Stir all ingredients with ice.
- Strain into a chilled glass.
Note: Infuse whiskey with osmanthus flowers for three hours and strain before using.
*GOJI BERRY SYRUP: Add two tablespoon of goji berries, quarter cup of rock sugar to half a cup of water and bring to boil. Take off heat after all the rock sugar melted and let the mixture sit for half an hour. Strain mixture.
BIO: I am currently completing my PhD in Linguistics at the University of California, Los Angeles. My dissertation is on computational linguistics and the content is very dry, like my taste in sherry. I am very new to the world of mixology and my creations are quite inspired by flowers and (I think, clever) puns. Besides dissertating and cocktail making, I keep busy with ballet classes, ikebana flower arranging, and fixing ceramics I purposely break.
The Original (view)
- 1 mandarin orange
- ¼ ounce Campari
- 1 ½ ounces Bodegas Baron, Xixarito Moscatel Sherry
- 1 ounce Lairds Applejack
- Recommended garnish: honey & burnt orange tuile
Glassware recommendation: Coupe glass
- Muddle orange with Campari.
- Add sherry and applejack then fill shaker with ice.
- Shake cocktail then strain into a coupe.
- Recommended garnish: burnt orange tuile.
*THE BURNT HONEY AND ORANGE TUILE:
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp water
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp orange zest
- 2 Tbsp flour
Set the oven to 350. Add honey, sugar, water, and salt in a pan on medium heat and cook until mixture reaches 320 degrees F. Turn heat off and add orange zest first and stir, then add flour and stir. On a parchment lined sheet tray, smooth out mixtures until fairly even. Place in the oven for 8 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let cool. Once cool lightly shatter pieces of caramel tuiles for cocktails.
BIO: As a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, I have always enjoyed everything food, wine, and hospitality. In entering the Sherry Mixology Challenge, I was elated at the opportunity to showcase my love for sherry and great cocktails. Growing up in NJ, I had always wanted to pursue the hospitality industry with all it has to offer. So much so, that I began my career as a dishwasher just so I can get my foot in the door. I even had worked in the kitchen for a small period as a line cook in Texas, Florida, and New Jersey. Years later I shifted into front of the house after graduating college and I have been privileged enough to work for some of the most highly acclaimed NYC restaurants. While since then, I have changed my career path to a corporate role of Talent Acquisitions for new and opened restaurants. Advancing forward my goal is to not just win this competition (fingers crossed), but to continue the fun an exhilarating exploration of food, wine, and service. Happy to be apart of this exciting contest and look forward to the finale!
Otoño Fizz (view)
- 1 ounce Lustau Fino Sherry
- 1 ounce Dussè VSOP
- 2 ounces Carrot cordial*
- ½ ounce lemon
- 1 ounce aquafaba
- 1 ounce soda water
- Ice: 2 cubes to fill
- Garnish: Trimmed Lemon Swath and Fennel sprig (affixed with small clip on side of glass)
(An environmentally conscious straw choice is preferred-personally I like sugarcane straws) Glassware recommendation: Collins glass
- In a small shaker tin build all ingredients except soda water.
- Add cubed ice and hard shake for 12-15 seconds.
- Single strain cocktail into small tin.
- Throw cocktail between two tins 4-6 times in order to further aerate mixture and add texture (can choose to dry shake instead).
- In a chilled Collins glass pour the measured ounce of soda water.
- Tea-strain cocktail into glass.
- Top cocktail with 2 pieces of cubed ice to bring wash-line to top of glass.
- Garnish with a trimmed and clipped lemon swath and sprig of fennel.
Peel and juice raw carrots. Chinoise strain carrot juice to remove excess pulp. By weight, combine equal parts carrot juice to white sugar. Stir until sugar is completely integrated and dissolved. Combine carrot syrup with Aguardiente (I used Antioqueño con Azucar) in a volume ratio of 3 parts carrot syrup to 1 part aguardiente. Stir until completely integrated. Store in a sealed container. Refrigerate.
BIO: I am currently bartending at Blossom Bar in Brookline Village, Massachusetts where I have worked for the past few years. I am not originally from Boston, but I love New England and have called it home for more than half of my life.
- 1 ½ ounces Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla
- ½ ounce Valdespino Palo Cortado
- ½ ounce chamomile-infused Talisker 10-yr
- ¼ ounce Le Verger apple liqueur
- 1 bsp truffle honey syrup (2:1 honey to water)
- 10 drops smoked salt solution (4:1 water to salt)
- Garnish: Spray of dill tincture and fresh dill piece
Glassware recommendation: Nick & Nora
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice.
- Stir to dilute and chill.
- Strain into Nick & Nora glass.
- Garnish with a spray of dill tincture and a fresh dill piece.
BIO: Katie is a bartender in Chicago, where her passion for cocktails and spirits drove her to leave her software development job to seek mentorship behind the bar. She’s bartended at some of Chicago’s top cocktail bars including Moneygun, Drumbar, GreenRiver, and Billy Sunday, and has also been recognized in several major bartending competitions. When she’s not bartending, Katie can be found playing music, doing yoga, or cooking to her heart’s content.
The Ghost Apple (view)
- 1 ¼ ounces High West SILVER Whiskey
- 1 ounce La Gitana (Manzanilla) Sherry
- ¾ ounce Housemade Honeycrisp Apple Simple Syrup
- 2 drops of Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
- Garnish: Picked, Brulee'd Honeycrisp Apple cube (brulee skin only)
- Stir in mixing glass the mentioned ingredients (minus the garnish of course) 20 to 30 times.
- Strain chilled contents into coupe glass. Dip the apple cube garnish (SKIN ONLY) in honey, then dip that into a mixture of sugar & cinnamon (mostly sugar).
- Then BRULEE (hand torch) the sugar coated apple skin garnish so it's crisp but not burnt.
- Pick the Garnish (brulee'd skin side up when placing on the glass). Note: It's easier to pick the garnish first, then brulee the skin.
*HOUSEMADE HONEYCRISP APPLE SIMPLE SYRUP:
- 2 ½ cups of diced up Market Honeycrisp Apples
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water, some shaved cinnamon
Over Med heat for 20 to 25 minutes stirring often until apple cubes are soft, but DO NOT smush the apples for more juice (It will make the final product to cloudy). Strain into vessel. Try to strain out the cinnamon flakes. Use mesh or double strain if need be. Let cool.
BIO: Yanni has worked in hospitality for most of his life, but first became passionate about what the culinary industry could be when he was hired to be a part of the opening team as lead server at James Beard nominated Chef David Lefevre’s first restaurant in 2011 called Manhattan Beach Post. It was there that he first learned about seasonality, depth of flavor, and sustainability. He took those passions to heart which inspired him to eventually become head bartender at MB Post, to earning his level 1 Sommelier certification, to manager at Chef David’s second restaurant “Fishing With Dynamite”, then to AGM of FWD, and finally finishing his career at FWD as General Manager, which helped lead FWD to winning top 100 Restaurants in America by Open Table in 2017. Yanni was intricately involved with, and helped lead the cocktail program for Chef David Lefevre. A passion that he now utilizes with his home bar (which he is very proud of) that includes all the gadgetry and pageantry an aspiring mixologist could ever want!