Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Brad's Smooth n Spicy

It's Happy Hour and time for a cocktail. I've always enjoyed a unique martini. I don't like my drinks to taste like straight up alcohol. I also don't usually make my own cocktails and leave this one for the professionals.

I knew I wanted to go with something from Colorado where I live. So I visited my local liquor and wine store. They've always advised me well in the past. Vodka? No. Whiskey? No. Spiced Rum? Ooh, this could be good. I picked up the bottle and being a graphic designer, fell for the label. It happens. But I read that it was an American Distilling Institute Silver Medal Award Winner from 2012, so it must be good.

I got the bottle home and started messing with simple syrups. I first tried a spiced one with cinnamon, clove and allspice. But it seemed too much like the rum. Maybe fruity would work?! I've always loved the combination of orange and ginger and went with that. The aroma from my kitchen soon filled my house and smelled absolutely divine!

This is where my brother-in-law, Brad, steps in. Being a former bartender, I knew he could lead me in the right direction not only with taste, but proportions. Like I said before, I order drinks, I don't make them. He advised me to definitely go with the orange-ginger syrup, not spiced. Told me how to garnish my drink properly. And ta-da, the perfect sipping cocktail.

So, this one is for you, Brad. You rock!

Brad's Smooth n Spicy
by Holly

For the simple syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Rind of a medium orange
1 teaspoon crystalized ginger, smashed

For the glass:
Orange zested sugar
Orange peel curly cues

For the cocktail:
2 parts (shots) of Dancing Pines Distillery Spice, spice flavored rum
1 part (shot) simple syrup

To make the simple syrup, combine the sugar, water, orange peel and ginger in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook and stir occasionally until the sugar and ginger have dissolved, about 15 minutes. Strain and reserve.

In a shaker, filled with ice, add the rum and simple syrup, swirl (do NOT shake) until chilled. Dip a martini glass 1/4" in water and dip into the orange sugar. Strain and pour the cocktail into the glass. Garnish with an orange curly cue and enjoy!

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