Don’t be put off by the name. Though it sounds girly, the Apple Breeze packs a nice rum punch, softened by apple and cranberry juices. There’s also tart lemon juice; a perfect foil to the sweet apricot brandy liqueur, which adds warmth on a -22C evening.
Sip and start dreaming of warmer climes.
I used Havana Club rum because I’ve been dreaming about a Caribbean escape all freezing week long. Since Cuba was on the brain, I served my Apple Breeze in a Communist propoganda highball glass from Vietnam. I think it works. This drink will warm you up while vicariously transporting you somewhere — anywhere — sunny and sandy.
2 oz Havana Club light rum
1/2 oz Bols apricot brandy liqueur
1-1/2 oz apple juice
1-1/2 oz white cranberry juice
1/2 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp simple syrup*
Apple wedge garnish
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Garnish with an apple wedge.
*To make simple syrup combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Cool and refrigerate for up to one month.
— Recipe adapted from Cocktails Made Easy by Simon Difford
This week has been all about Jasper, so why not end the week with a warm apres ski cocktail from the Emerald Lounge at the Jasper Park Lodge? I gratefully sipped this drink next to a roaring fire after a morning ski at Marmot Basin and an afternoon snowshoe at Pyramid Lake. It helped thaw my toes and fill my cheeks with that rosy apres glow. Here’s to more winter family adventures followed by warm sips next to a fireplace!
This warm apres ski cocktail will bring a rosy glow to your cheeks.
The Great Hall Classic
1-1/2 oz Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
1 oz espresso (or really strong coffee)
Sugar, to taste
Build drink in a coffee mug and top with steamed milk. Add sugar to taste.
— Recipe courtesy Emerald Lounge at the Jasper Park Lodge
While it’s true that rum punch is the go-to cocktail in Barbados — it’s refreshing and served on ice — it also makes a mean sipper on cold winter evenings. The dark rum is belly warming and the nutmeg adds a winter spice we usually associate with warm drinks such as eggnog. As our friend declared on New Year’s Day (after I mixed up a pitcher), “I could drink 10 of these!”
This cocktail is so good, I bet you could drink 10!
When I was in Barbados in 2010 I must have tried at least 10 different rum punches. What I found is every establishment and Bajan has their own variation on ingredients and exact ratio. In fact, in two stories I wrote for up! magazine, I included two different recipes, one from John Moore Bar and one from Chesterfield Browne, the Mount Gay rum global ambassador. I have played around with my own recipe, however, which I will share with you now — hope you like it as much as I do!
Rum Punch a la Calgary
2 oz dark rum
1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
1 oz simple syrup*
Dash Angostura bitters (or 1 or 2 more, to taste)
Shake all ingredients with ice then strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg.
*To make simple syrup, combine equal parts water and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Cool and refrigerate up to one month.
If you have children, brace yourself for two weeks of sugared-up hyperactivity, toy mahem and general upheaval. To get your zen on in a hurry amid the chaos, try a Hot Toddy on an empty stomach. The nearly 3 0z of booze will immediately go to your head, and you won’t care that your kid is trying out his new Christmas gift marker set on the wall.
The Hot Toddy recipe I like is from Mount Gay Rum. It’s an undeniably festive holiday cocktail that tastes rather like a hot Sidecar, with just a subtle hit of Earl Grey tea. The cinnamon stick garnish is a nice touch. I guarantee that drinking one will bring your back to your Christmas happy place, where sugar plum fairies cavort with magical snowmen. If the holiday hijinks continue, sip another. You deserve it Mrs. Claus (you too, Santa)!
Christmas stressing you out? Bliss out with a Hot Toddy.
1 oz Cointreau
1-3/4 oz Mount Gay Rum
1/2 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Blue agave nectar to taste
4 oz hot Earl Grey tea
Cinnamon stick garnish
Combine all ingredients in an Irish coffee glass, stirring briefly.
Sours have been on my radar lately. Whiskey, tequila, and now this delish apricot sour using rum as its base. I love sours because they’re tart and because I love the way the egg white renders them foamy and smooth.
This sophisticated cocktail shakes rum with lemon juice and apricot liqueur.
I came across the recipe for this Apricot Lady Sour while paging through Cocktails Made Easy by Simon Difford. The ingredients looked like they would shake up nicely and they did. Difford uses Bacardi Superior rum, but since my husband just came back from Cuba I subbed in Havana Club rum. I also used North American-style simple syrup (1:1 ratio sugar to water) instead of the sweeter U.K. style.
This drink’s subtle apricot flavour is complemented by the rum, and the lemon’s pucker is lessened by the simple syrup. It’s nicely balanced, and light, but substantial enough — thanks to the egg white and apricot brandy — to drink on a December night close to Christmas. Enjoy.
Apricot Lady Sour
1-1/2 oz Havana Club light rum
1 oz Bols apricot brandy liqueur
1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup (1 sugar to 1 water)
1 fresh egg white
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.
— Recipe modified from Cocktails Made Easy
Grab some rum, apricot liqueur and lemon juice and get ready to pucker those lips.
The tree is decorated, the kids are in bed, so it’s time to kick back and enjoy some holiday cheer: a Hot Buttered Rum. I like this one from Appleton Estate. It’s strong in a good, I’m-so-done-with-Christmas-decorating kind of way. It takes a bit of time to prepare the cocktail base, but it’s worth the effort.
Appleton Estate makes a mean Hot Buttered Rum. Photo courtesy Appleton Estate Reserve.
Reserve Jamaican Hot Buttered Rum
Large batch recipe for cocktail base:
2-1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 lb. butter
Pinch of Salt
4 oz fresh apple cider
1/2 oz fresh extracted ginger juice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
In a sauce pan over low heat, blend the above ingredients and bring to a boil before removing from the heat. Let cool and store in refrigerator. The base will last four days in the fridge or one month in the freezer.
Individual cocktail recipe:
Using this above prepared cocktail base, select an appropriate mug. Then add:
2 heaping tbsp. of the cocktail base
2 oz AppletonEstate Reserve rum
Approximately 6 oz hot water, stir
Garnish: Cinnamon Stick
Mmmmm … I toast you, fake tree.