Monday night Julie and I went to Drink.  We settled into the small ice station bar and began chatting with bartender Joe Staropoli about what we were in the mood for.  Julie told Joe that she wanted something spicy—cloves spicy, not jalapeno spicy.  This is what led to our introduction to allspice dram which I kind of fell in love with.  This amazing stuff, also known as pimento dram, is made with rum and pimento berries, or as we know it, allspice.  British explorers in the 18th century thought the dried pimento berry tasted like cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, all in one, so they called it allspice.  But it’s more than that just clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg flavors.  There is also a distinctive peppery note that lingers on your tongue.  It is just so yum!

At Joe’s suggestion, Julie enjoyed a Lion’s Tale, a cocktail featured in Café Royal Cocktail Book published in London in 1937.  The spiciness of the dram was supported nicely by the warmth of the bourbon.  Absolutely delicious!

Lion’s Tale

1½ oz bourbon

½ oz St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram

½ oz lime juice

¼ oz demerara syrup

2 dashes Angostura bitters

For my second drink, I asked Joe what he could make me with my new favorite ingredient.  Do you like ginger, he asked.  Yeah, I like ginger.  What he mixed up was so good.  He calls it Smile at Smolak.  He originally created this drink to satisfy a request for something with autumnal flavors.  The name references a farm in North Andover where you can get all your fall staples—apples, pumpkins, etc.  [I think there might be more to the story behind this drink, but that’s what I remember.]  The apple brandy and Punt de Mes are a solid base upon which the ginger syrup and the allspice can stand and shine.  From the first sip, my mouth was tingling with yum spiciness.

Smile at Smolack

1½ oz Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy

½ oz Punt de Mes

½ oz St. Elizabeth All-Spice Dram

½ oz ginger syrup

2 dashes mole bitters

Here’s to falling in love with allspice dram. Cheers!