During my Christmas vacation in Nebraska, my mom and I did some serious grocery shopping. Part of the joy of Midwestern grocery stores is their vastness — I'm pretty sure the liquor section at our supermarket of choice is larger than the entire grocery store near my apartment. So much to discover!
Every Christmas, we pick up a bottle of something new. This year, we stumbled upon Grind, a blend of espresso and rum in an absolutely beautiful package with excellent recipe suggestions on the back. It's sweet and delicious and perfect for late-night holiday cocktails. I won't be able to take that bottle through airport security, and I'm not sure I'll be able to find it at the tiny liquor store near my apartment. But rum, espresso and a little bit of sugar sound like the perfect way to ring in the New Year.
Now, for that pink sugar rim: Over Christmas, I learned it's possible to make your own sugar cubes. Better yet, it's possible to make your own Angostura bitters sugar cubes, perfect for champagne cocktails (thanks, Carey Nershi!) The sugar is delicious, just flavorful enough, and most importantly, a gorgeous shade of pink. It inspired the splash of half and half and club soda in cocktail with serious egg cream vibes.
- 1 ounce espresso
- 1 ounce white rum
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 3 ounces club soda
- splash of half and half
- aromatic bitters granulated sugar for glass rim
- Add several dashes of aromatic bitters to 1/4 cup granulated sugar and stir until mixed well. If you add too a dash or two too many, you can always add a bit more sugar to dilute the mixture.
- Add 1 ounce espresso (or very strong coffee), 1 ounce white rum, 1 ounce simple syrup and 3 ounces club soda to a cocktail shaker with ice and stir until chilled.
- Dampen rim of a glass and dip into pink sugar.
- Pour cocktail mixture into prepared glass and top with a splash of half and half. Serve immediately.
Photos and text by © Theresa Berens, 2015. All rights reserved.