Episode 15: Smith & Cross Jamaican rum

5 Minutes of Rum episode 15: Smith & Cross Jamaican rum, pimento liqueur, and Black River Punch. 

Allspice tree

Pimento Liqueur

1/4 cup dried whole allspice berries

1 (one) 750 ml bottle of light Virgin Islands rum

2 cups demerara sugar

1 cup water

Grind the allspice berries to the consistency of ground coffee. Combine in a saucepan with 1 cup of the light rum and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and stir. Funnel into an empty rum bottle with grounds and fill 3/4 of the way with more of the light rum. Cap and let it sit for 2 weeks, shaking once a day.

After 2 weeks, remove from bottle and strain through cheesecloth. Then filter 2 more times through unbleached paper coffee filters or twice through an aeropress. Make a demerara sugar syrup with the 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Combine equal parts of this sugar and the pimento rum, bottle, and let sit for at least a month. 

Black River Punch

1 oz fresh lemon juice

1 oz demerara sugar syrup

1/2 oz falernum

1/4 oz pimento liqueur

3 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican rum

2 oz black tea

3/4 cup crushed ice.

Combine all ingredients and flash blend/mix for 5 seconds. Pour into a tall glass or tiki mug and fill with ice cubes. Garnish with fresh grated nutmeg.

This recipe can be scaled up as a punch for a large gathering. The simplest way is to just multiple each ingredient by how many total servings you want. If you want to arrive at a specific fluid total, you'll need to do a little math. For example, to make 1.5 gallons (192 oz), divide the end total ounces desired by the amount of 1 serving (8.5 oz), or ~22 in this case. When scaling up for a punch, regardless of how, omit the ice. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a large vessel (a punch bowl works nicely) and pour into cups filled with ice like a gentleman. A punch cup serving is typically about 4-5 ounces over ice. 

Substitutions: 1.5 oz Smith & Cross and 1.5 oz Appleton VX, or 3 oz Appleton VX, depending on your taste. 1.5 o Smith & Cross and 1.5 oz Batavia Arrack is also a fine choice.