This week’s unusually-named cocktail comes courtesy of Model Milk’s David Bain, the winner of last week’s Mount Gay rum cocktail competition organized by Mount Gay’s Canadian distributor, Select Wines & Spirits, and held at Briggs Kitchen + Bar in Calgary. Bain’s delicious libation, basically a rum cherry sour, is named for the sugarcane field burning that takes place before harvesting the cane, to make the process easier and require less manual labour. What’s the connection? Rum is made by distilling sugarcane byproducts such as molasses and sugarcane juice. So, The Fields are Burning is, in a sense, a nod to the spirit’s storied history — and to this cocktail’s surprising, smoky taste.
This delish drink, basically a rum cherry sour, won the Mount Gay rum cocktail competition in Calgary last week.
I am partial to sours — I love how the egg white smooths out a drink’s rough edges and helps combine ingredients. I am also loving cherry sours, as a recent post attests. There’s something about cherry that plays well with dark spirits, from rye to tequila, and rum is no exception. But what really makes Bain’s drink stand out is the smoky flavour. He captures this essence with his simple syrup, and also by setting the coup glass atop a smouldering stave from a bourbon barrel, to infuse the glass before pouring in the cocktail. Yes, setting the stave afire was a bit gimmicky, but trust me, this cocktail’s scrumptious taste is not all smoke and mirrors.
The Fields are Burning
- 1-1/2 oz Mount Gay Eclipse
- 1/2 oz Ginja D’Obidos cherry liqueur
- 1 barspoon Pimento Dram (allspice liqueur)
- Dash Peychaud’s bitters
- 1/2 oz smoked black tea simple syrup (recipe not available)
- 1 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1 egg white
- Lemon grass ash garnish (chop up some lemon grass, then torch it for 40 minutes until it turns into a fine ash)
Combine all ingredients except lemon grass ash into a cocktail shaker. Dry shake to emulsify egg, then add ice and shake again. Strain into a 6 oz coup glass, or cylindrical coup glass, if available. Sprinkle lemon grass ash atop foam and serve.
— Recipe courtesy David Bain, Model Milk
I haven’t written about rum cocktails for awhile, so it was fortuitous that I received samples of a trio of Brugal rums from the Dominican Republic: the Brugal 1888, a sipper; Brugal Anejo, a dark rum; and Brugal Extra Dry, a light rum perfect for summer cocktails like the mojito or daiquiri. Brugal’s angle with the light rum is that it’s “extra dry.” How does this translates with taste? It’s light and crisp and not too sweet. And it mixes well with lemon juice and honey syrup to create the rummy Bees Knees.
This twist on a Bees Knees cocktail features smooth rum and bitters for extra spice.
Yes, it’s true that Bees Knees is a wedding season cocktail traditionally made with gin, but I think it works really well with rum. The honey syrup is naturally sweet, the perfect foil to the dry rum and tart lemon juice. I also love the addition of Angostura bitters — they add a spicy kick reminiscent of a rum punch but in a much lighter, more summery cocktail.
- 2 oz Brugal Extra Dry Rum
- 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 oz honey syrup (1:1 ratio honey to water)
- 3 dashes Angostura bitters
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled coupe (I used a martini glass).
— Recipe courtesy Brugal Rum
I attended a holiday party a couple weeks before Christmas and the host shook up this delightful — and light — take on a traditional eggnog. It’s called a Norfolk Flip; the recipe is featured in the latest issue of Culinaire magazine. Traditionally a ‘flip’ was a drink heated with a fire poker — this method caused the liquid to steam and bubble, a technique called flipping. Eventually bartenders began using eggs to create the desired frothy effect.
A delicious alternative to a traditional eggnog.
The beauty of this drink is it’s made without milk or cream, but still tastes smooth and rich — the secret is the egg (and the spiced simple syrup). This cocktail makes a nice fireside sip throughout the holidays, or toast with it on New Year’s Eve. Cheers!
Happy holidays everyone!
- 1 oz cognac (I used Courvoisier VS)
- 1 oz dark rum (I used Mount Gay Eclipse)
- 1 oz spiced syrup*
- 3 drops bitters
- 1 whole egg
- Nutmeg garnish
- 1:1 raw sugar to water boiled and steeped with a desired amount of cloves, green cardamom, pimento and fresh grated cinnamon.
Combine the fresh cracked egg and liquid ingredients in a shaker. Dry shake to emulsify egg, then add ice and shake again. Strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube inside. Sprinkle with nutmeg and serve.
— Recipe modified from Culinaire, by Tarquin Melnyk