Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chocolate Spiced Rum

One of my first experiments in making my own ingredients was an attempt to make chocolate bitters. I was fairly excited to read about Fee's Aztec Chocolate Bitters and Bitterman's Mole Bitters. Unsweetened chocolate seemed like a perfect compliment for a lot of drinks, especially those containing rum or tequila. However, the reviews of the Fee Brothers product were less than stellar and the Bitterman's product runs $18/bottle, which seems pretty steep to me. Since my local store for spices, Limbo, carries cacao nibs, I decided to try making them myself. While I was less than impressed with the results, it came to me that the same flavors would also work really well as a spiced rum. So I tossed in some Appleton and let the mixture soak for a week. The results were fabulous. Deep chocolate flavors surrounded by a spicy kick. After that batch was finished, I made another batch with fresh ingredients. That worked out fairly well, though the chocolate was somewhat subdued and the chili flavors were more predominant. My guess is that because the spices extract at different rates, there was more chocolate than spice flavor left over in the once-used spices in the first batch. Either way, it's really tasty and featured prominently in the drink I made for the last Mixology Monday.

Chocolate Spiced Rum
12 oz Appleton V/X rum
5 oz cacao nibs
0.5 tsp chipotle pepper
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cloves
0.5 tsp black pepper

Combine all spices and grind lightly with a mortar and pestle. Infuse the rum for ~1 week or to taste. The spices can be reused at least once more after filtering.

Last, but not least, another recipe to highlight the wonderful uses for this spiced rum:

Spiced Shrubb
0.5 oz Jamaican rum (Appleton V/X)
0.5 oz chocolate spiced rum
0.5 oz Creole Shrubb
0.5 oz lemon juice
0.5 oz grapefruit juice
0.3 oz simple syrup (or less to taste)

Combine all ingredients, shake with ice and strain into a chilled glass.

This is a really tasty drink and a great one for the holidays. Imagine a chocolate-dipped spiced orange that's full of alcohol. The Jamaican rum adds some funk, the citrus juices keep it tart and the spiced rum brings a whole host of flavors. For a liqueur, the Shrubb is very fruity, but drier than one would expect. Depending on how sweet you like your drinks, the extra simple syrup may or may not be necessary. While other orange liqueurs won't work in quite the same way, something like Cointreau might be a decent substitute. No matter what, this is another example of how tiki-style drinks can take a fairly wide array of flavors and meld them into a coherent whole rather than a muddy soup.

1 comment:

  1. Chocolate spiced rum. That sounds really good. I'm going to have to give that a try.