Need to add some delicious spice to your cocktails? Or maybe you came across allspice dram in a recipe and need to know what the heck it is. Well, here's what you need to know...
What is allspice dram?
Allspice dram is a rum based liqueur made by infusing rum with dried allspice berries before diluting it with simple syrup. The result is a sweet alcoholic drink with a bold clove-like taste that pairs especially well with other tropical flavors.
It is most well known for mixing in tiki drinks but fell out of popularity and production in the 80's as the cocktail world entered its dark ages.
Allspice dram vs. Pimento dram
Allspice dram and pimento dram are the same thing. Pimento are the dried berries that come from the Pimenta tree which are more commonly know as allspice so the only difference is in the name.
Homemade allspice dram recipe
To make your own allspice dram you will need: whole dried allspice berries, white rum, a cinnamon stick, and brown sugar.
The first step is to infuse the rum with allspice flavor by letting the allspice berries sit in the rum for 10 days. I know that's a long time to wait but you don't have to do anything but let it sit in a jar, it's easy.
On day 8 add in the cinnamon stick to build another level of spice. Don't put it in right at the beginning or the cinnamon can really dominate the allspice.
NOTE: This recipe needs to infuse for several days so plan ahead and make a batch now before you need it
The last step is to make a simple syrup with water and brown sugar and mix it together with the infused rum to create a liqueur that adds both flavor and sweetness to cocktails.
Once finished, your pimento dram can be best stored at room temperature and will last for several months. The alcohol content won't let it go bad but as it gets too old the flavor can slowly start to change.
Allspice dram substitute
You can make a quick substitute for allspice dram with rum, Angostura bitters, and simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water). Combine 1 oz of white rum, 3/4 oz of simple syrup and 5 dashes of Angostura bitters. Use this in place of the allspice dram in your drink recipe.
This quick substitute will have a different deep spice flavor than the real thing, but it can definitely do in a pinch. If you don't have any simple syrup made just add equal parts sugar and water (about 1/3 cup) to a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar crystals are dissolved.
If you want to try an allspice dram cocktail before committing to buying the whole bottle this can be a great alternative.
Best Brands of Pimento Dram
Don't feel like spending the time to make your own?
There's a few great brands of allspice liqueur that will make awesome cocktails. They can be harder to find than some other bottles so become friends with your local liquor store owner and convince them to buy a case.
- St Elizabeth's Allspice Dram: The market standard from House Alpenz has a bright spicy flavor and a great lingering pimento aftertaste
- Bitter Truth Pimento Dram: A slightly thinner liqueur with a healthy allspice and clove kick
- Hamilton Pimento Dram: A more rum forward version with less sweetness and a more mellow spice flavor
Allspice dram cocktails
So you've got your bottle of tropical flavored goodness, but what should you make with it?
Lions Tail: Probably the most well known allspice cocktail which uses a sturdy base of bourbon and pairs it with fresh lime juice to make a tropical tasting whiskey drink.
Three Dots and a Dash: A tiki classic that's packed full of tropical flavors. The allspice dram is only a modifier in a fairly long list of ingredients, but if you like tiki drinks you should shake one up.
An Old Fashioned: Replace your 1/4 oz of simple syrup with allspice dram for an Fashioned variation that tastes like a Christmas vacation.
Experiment! The best part about making your own drinks is that you can do whatever you want. Even though it's bold, allspice can partner well with lots of other flavors so try substituting it in to drinks where it seems like a nice pairing.
Whiskey, rum and brandy are natural fits as well as fruity flavors like apple, pear, peach, pineapple, or just about any type of citrus.
Some more deliciousness:
- 1 cup White Rum
- 1/4 cup Dried Allspice Berries
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 1 1/4 cup Water
- 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
- Grind up your dried allspice berries using a mortar and pestle, coffee/spice grinder, or by covering them with a plastic bag or clean towel and smushing them with a rolling pin.
- Put the ground allspice berries into a clean storage container, pour the rum over top and cover.
- Let the allspice and rum infuse at room temperature for 8 days.
- On day 8 add the cinnamon stick and let infuse for 2 more days.
- On day 10 combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
- Strain off the spices from the rum infusion and combine the rum with the sugar/water mixture (simple syrup) to finish the allspice dram.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight bottle for up to several months.
Share the dram!
Next time you come across a new recipe with allspice dram try making a batch of your own!
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