A couple of weeks ago, we ended a visit to free Fridays at the MOMA with drinks and dinner at the Bar at the Modern. The drinks were particularly welcome after braving the crowds that take advantage of not having to shell out $20 for admission. I had a New Brunswick, which contains rye, lillet rouge, grapefruit, and bitters–a great combination that went really well with steak tartare and sweatbreads, cutting through the richness of both. But the true winner was Ron’s drink: Shot in the Dark, made of Cruzan 2-year Rum, lemon, Allspice Dram, ginger, and Gossling’s Black Seal rum.
It was refreshing–but appropriate for a fall night–spicy, and complex. I ordered St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram and Gossling’s Black Seal rum as soon as I got home and have been looking forward to playing bartender. The Allspice Dram smells and tastes like you would expect: freshly ground allspice, evoking holiday baking and West Indian beaches. It is quite sweet and might work on its own as you would enjoy an herbal tonic.
Our workdays have stretched late into the night since then, however, not allowing us to risk the distraction and relaxation that a drink provides. Tonight, though, after watching a couple of bad movies and doing some work, I decided to make a quick cocktail. No lemon or ginger in the house, and no desire to make a simple syrup meant that my drink could be a complete fail. I put a few ice cubes in a shaker, about 1 ounce of Allspice Dram, 1.5 ounces of Black Seal, and 4 dashes of Regans’ Orange Bitters No. 6. I poured that into an old-fashioned glass and added 1 ice cube. The allspice taste was strong and made me instantly crave eggnog. While the dram is completely filtered and does not contain any allspice powder, it almost felt as if there were ground allspice in my mouth after each sip, which is not unpleasant, even though it might sound that way. Using less dram would make for a more balanced drink and I shall do that in future experiments. But this slightly sweet, strong, heady drink was the perfect end to a rainy Halloween night.