Whiskey, port, and allspice dram with a dash or two of orange bitters, my Winter Old Fashioned evokes the warmth of a fireside chat… A perfect holiday cocktail but you’ll enjoy it all winter long… we sure do!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks – Recipe Inspiration
Warm spices like allspice and cinnamon remind us of “the holidays,” right? I think of the pfeffernüsse my husband has made with love nearly every Christmas for the last 40 years… Allspice dram cocktails have become a bit of an obsession!
I first had a winter old fashioned at our youngest son Gerritt’s restaurant (he’s a professional chef) Valentine’s Day 2019. We had a beautiful 5 course meal paired with cocktails. The bar tender/mixologist was gracious enough to share the ingredients – rye whiskey, allspice dram, and port. A few dashes of orange bitters and an orange twist make this a very festive, seasonal, and unique cocktail!
🍊 What is allspice dram?
Allspice dram is a liqueur that goes by 2 names – allspice and pimento dram. Allspice is the berry of the pimento tree. Fun fact: Both allspice berries and pimentos come from the pimento tree! You might find allspice dram called “pimento” syrup, or “tiki” syrup.
The liqueur originated in the pimento tree’s native Jamaica. It finds its way into many rum-based cocktails and was made popular by the original tiki bar pioneers like Trader Vic and Don the Beachcomber.
Homemade allspice dram is easy to make at home. Allspice berries soaked in rum are the base for allspice dram. The berries are crushed, and added to the rum. After 4 days, the broken cinnamon stick is added. A total of 12 days steeping time is required before a brown sugar simple syrup is added.
The completed allspice dram does not require refrigeration (like other liqueurs) and will keep 1 to 2 months. Keep in mind that even though it will not spoil, the flavor will change. I hope you’ll make your allspice dram and explore the world of allspice dram cocktails…
📋 Ingredients Notes
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- whiskey (rye or bourbon) – I prefer rye, and have often used bourbon. I would suggest trying whichever you have in your bar first!
- port – No need to use “top shelf” port, just something drinkable. We prefer tawny port over ruby port as it’s aged longer, less sweet, and has more complex notes like caramel and dried fruit. That being said I’ve often used ruby port, and it’s really good.
- allspice dram – I make my own allspice dram (that contains alcohol). However, you can purchase alcoholic allspice dram at large liquor stores, or order allspice dram online.
- orange bitters – Orange bitters are optional, but I keep them in my bar, and always add a few drops!
- orange twist
Gather your ingredients. You will also need a cocktail shaker or spoon, and rocks glasses. Add the whiskey, port, and allspice dram to your shaker or glass. Shake or stir well to combine. Either pour over an ice cube or add an ice cube.
Add a few drops of bitters and garnish with an orange twist as desired. Cheers!
What is the difference between bourbon and rye? Both are whiskeys, but they have very different flavor profiles. Bourbon must be made from a mash of at least 51% corn, it must be made in the US, and while there is no minimum aging requirement, it must be aged at least two years to be called “straight bourbon.” Rye, on the other hand, needs to be at least 51% rye mash, but many are 95-100%.
One main difference between the two whiskeys is in their flavor profiles. Bourbon – because it’s mostly corn – has a sweet, full-bodied taste. Rye has a somewhat spicy and very dry taste.
Which is better for the cocktail, bourbon or rye? We have enjoyed both immensely, but they do taste different. If you keep one or the other in your bar stock, I’d go with that one. If you’re going to buy the whiskey, see the flavor differences above, and go with your preference.
Do I have to make the allspice dram? No. You can probably find it in liquor stores with a wide selection of liqueurs.
Why make allspice dram? I made the equivalent of 4 bottles for the price of a somewhat inexpensive rum, some spices, and brown sugar… about $20.
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‘Tis the season for family, friends, and celebration… in just days we’ll ring in 2020. Enjoy and be safe!
Winter Old Fashioned
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- Add whiskey, port, and allspice dram to a glass or cocktail shaker.
- Add ice.
- Stir or shake to combine.
- Garnish with orange peel twist and a few shakes of bitters.
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.