Friday, July 17, 2020

DIY Allspice Dram

I've got lots of time on my hands and a stockpile of basic liquors from which I can produce a variety of specialty items. This summer, I decided it would be nice to have allspice dram for tiki cocktails. Allspice Dram has  tropical spice profile similar to Angostura Bitters, but it is less bitter and more forgiving if you overpour. In fact it is delicious by itself, and some drinks can be done with allspice dram as the principal spirit.

Making allspice dram requires more patience than many other liqueurs, especially those made of fresh ingredients. The allspice flavor comes from infusing dried allspice berries, and that takes time. The spirit has to be rum, but preferably a 100-proof rum with a little character, so something slightly aged. Demerara rum is probably the best option, but if you only have white rum, a higher proof means a better infusion and a higher proof for your liqueur.
  • 1/4 cup allspice berries
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar 
  • 2 cups 100-proof rum
This simple infusion starts with toasting 1/4 cup allspice berries in a saucepan (medium-high heat) for about five minutes. This releases a lot of the flavor and it will make your kitchen smell amazing. Allow the berries to cool before crushing them with a mortar and pestle or by using a rolling pin on a cutting board. I've had some success with a large wooden spoon.

Put the berries and rum in a sealable jar and store it in a dark place for 15 days or longer. Give the jar a shake every few days to stir things up.

After the infusion is complete, strain out the solids and pour the infusion into a sauce pan. Heat on medium (higher heat evaporates too much of the alcohol) and add the brown sugar. Stir slowly for fifteen minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. After the liqueur is cool you can store it in a bottle for six months. Flavor appreciably dissipates after this time.

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