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Jamaica Farewell

I’m thrilled to post the latest edition of Gary Regan’s fortnightly exploration of cocktails with The Professor, because it features a drink created by a friend of ours. Daniel Reichert (formerly of Vintage Cocktails) came up with a lovely, lovely drink called the Jamaica Farewell, and when he sent me the recipe a couple of weeks before last Christmas he reminded me (and all of us) that rum is something to keep you warm on cold winter nights, and mustn’t be confined to the summer. (That Cadenhead’s 12-year-old Jamaica rum I had the other night attests to that … good Lord, mon. My aged rum fanatic period is coming … and there goes my money, honey.)

Gary, as he often does, published an adapted version of Daniel’s cocktail — still quite good, but lacking one ingredient that was originally specified. This is unsurprising, because the aforementioned ingredient is, as we’ve noted in the past, extremely difficult to obtain, and Gary wants people to be able to make these cocktails with relative ease. The drink calls for a small amount of pimento (Jamaican allspice) liqueur — use St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram, or your own homemade. Here’s Dan’s original recipe:

Jamaica Farewell Cocktail
(created by Daniel Reichert)

2 ounces Appleton Estate V/X rum.
3/4 ounce Marie Brizard Apry.
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice.
1 teaspoon pimento (allspice) liqueur.
2 dashes Angostura bitters.

Shake with cracked ice and strain into a cocktail glass;
garnish with a lime wedge.

Gary suggests kicking up this drink with Appleton Estate 21-year-old rum, and that’ll certainly make it more special. However, to make it truly special … that teaspoon of pimento liqueur transforms the drink, lifts it be an exponent or two and carries you off to the beaches of Montego Bay. I’ll be finishing my lastest batch of pimento liqueur tonight, and I’ll let you know tomorrow morning how it turned out.

Now, let’s everybody sing along with Harry …

Down the way, where the nights are gay
And the sun shines daily on the mountain top,
I took a trip on a sailing ship
And when I reached Jamaica I made a stop.
But I’m sad to say I’m on my way,
Won’t be back for many a day,
My heart is down, my head is turning around,
I had to leave a little girl in Kingston town…

Yah, bredda …

Mmmm, blood oranges.

Today’s Los Angeles Times Food Section features an article on blood oranges, which I absolutely adore. Beautiful color, wonderful sweetness, and far less acid than a common navel orange, these beauties are great for savory or dessert dishes, and make great drinks.

The article gives some nifty-looking recipes for blood orange marmalade and a blood orange sangría, but c’mon … is the best cocktail they could come up with a “Blood Orange Blossom”? The orange blossom, which is basically “gin and juice”, has got to be near the bottom of the barrel cocktail-wise, and was originally invented during Prohibition to cover up the flavor of awful homemade “bathtub gin”. Do something more interesting than that, for gawd’s sake. I came up with something off the top of my head one day that’s better than a bloody Orange Blossom:

(or, “Italian Screwdriver”)

1-1/2 ounces Luxardo grappa (or any inexpensive grappa)
1/2 ounce Maraschino liqueur (Luxardo is good)
3 ounces freshly squeezed blood orange juice
2 barspoons of Campari

Build with ice in an double Old Fashioned glass. Stir for 8-10 seconds, garnish with a blood orange half-wheel and serve.

You might also wanna try my recipe for Blood Orange and Rosemary Sorbet, which is really fantastic.