A few weeks ago, Rich and I went to Wine and Dine Wisconsin in Milwaukee with our friends Bob and Don. It’s a cool exhibition, and pretty decent deal, where around $40 will get you sample tastings of everything from the latest craft-made Wisconsin cheeses to sips of some pretty darned fine wines, beers, and spirits; some from Wisconsin producers, and others from away.
One of the samples we tried, and that Rich liked quite a bit, was this cocktail featuring Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum.
Rich decided that this would be his Thanksgiving Cocktail; but first, we had to find the recipe, and buy the bitters, conveniently offered for sale by the very nice folk of Bittercube – purveyors of small batch, hand-crafted bitters, all made in Milwaukee.
Due to a little confusion on my part – or mebbe it was the wine and cocktails I’d been sampling along with my escargot puff pastry lollipop – I thought we needed several different bitters to recreate Rich’s drink, so opted to buy the sampler pack; not inexpensive at $50, but not out of line for good bitters.
So, I now have the makings for some rather interesting cocktails, including an Old Fashioned that I really need to get to; but all I truly needed was this fine bottle of Blackstrap Bitters and a few other interesting ingredients. And speaking of ingredients…
•2 oz spiced rum
•1/2 oz cherry-orange syrup
•2 drops Blackstrap bitters
•2 cups water
•4 cups sugar
•2 cups orange juice
•10 oz tart cherry concentrate (look with the fresh/organic juices in the produce section at your market)
Note: this is one, fine cocktail, but it doesn’t come cheap. The rum was only around $20, but the tart cherry concentrate ran to $15, and if you haven’t purchased even plain old everyday bitters, be prepared to be surprised at the price.
Still, it’s the Holidays, so let’s carry on and make a drink!
Bring the water to a boil over medium high heat, then add the sugar, whisking or stirring, for about five minutes, or until the sugar is totally dissolved and you have your basic simple syrup.
Remove from the heat, stir in the tart cherry concentrate and the orange juice, then set aside to cool.
Pour the spiced rum and cherry-orange syrup over ice in a cocktail shaker, then add two drops of the Blackstrap bitters.
Give it a good, long shake to blend and chill well, then strain into a cocktail glass and serve with an orange slice.
I am uncertain who to credit this recipe, the fine folk at Bittercube, or the no doubt equally fine folk at Bacardi and their charred oak spiced rum, but whomever came up with this ‘Old Oakheart’ cocktail, they should know that Rich is quite thankful, but a bit uncertain about whether or not he’ll be sharing…
Good thing I made a large batch of that cherry-orange syrup.
And a Very Happy Thanksgiving.