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  • Writer's pictureDane

Drinks with Dane | Week 13

The holiday season is upon us and I am feeling festive. I hope you're all having a great week!


Hi Everyone,

This week’s cocktail: Partridge in a Pear Tree, is just a modern update to a classic format. Pear and apple juice, mulled with classic holiday spice but with a heaping dose of ginger added. Calvados and honey syrup combine to make this a mid-winter sipper festive and warm as a fire on the hearth.

Thank you for your support and please tag me @drinkswithdane on Instagram or #DrinksWithDane so I can raise a glass with you!


Rum Buying Guide: Part 2

We’re back with part two of our rum buying guide. We’re going to take a journey to some fantastic locations filled to the brim with delicious rums to sip and savor.

Barbados Rum

Barbados is often called the birthplace of rum. It hosts four distilleries, one of them being the oldest documented commercial rum distillery: Mount Gay. Rums of Barbados utilize a blend of pot and column distillates that leads to a well rounded rum.

Mount Gay XO: The new Master Blender, Trudiann Branker, has made her mark with the lineup at Mount Gay. The XO expression is an excellent example of why Mount Gay has been going since 1703. A blend of pot and column casks that have been aged for 5-17 years old and matured in American ex-bourbon, whiskey, and cognac casks. Balanced notes of vanilla and baking spices mixed with dried fruit notes. $61

Plantation 5 Year Barbados: This is a blend of rums from Barbados. Aged in ex-bourbon casks on the island. It is shipped to France where it is aged additionally in ex-cognac casks. Complex and well balanced with notes of spiced tropical fruits and vanilla. Great for any tiki cocktail. $23

Foursquare Exceptional Cask Series: Foursquare, particularly with its exceptional cask series, has gained an almost cult like following. This is a series of stand-out rums, an exploration in blending, and a shining example of the wonders of different types of barrels. Finding bottles of this will become harder as time goes on, so if you are lucky enough to see one in the wild - snag it while you can. $60-$100+

Saint Lucia Rum

The island of Saint Lucia is home to only one distillery: Saint Lucia Distillers. They use all imported molasses and a mixture of pot and column distillations. They are known for the exceptional quality of their aged rums.

Chairman’s Reserve Forgotten Cask Rum: In 2007 there was a fire at the Saint Lucia blending facility. The facility was damaged but salvaged. The cellar master had to resort to finding unusual locations to store the rum casks, somewhere even forgotten about. This was the impetus for this extra aged expression from Saint Lucia. Aged in American ex-whiskey casks, this rum is complex and smooth, great for sipping or for a rum old fashioned. $43

Admiral Rodney HMS Princessa: Admiral Rodney is a line of outstanding ultra premium rums from Saint Lucia Distillers. This line of rums has been critically acclaimed in recent years. HMS Princessa is a low pull off a Coffey still resulting in a robust and complex distillate. Age from 5-9 years in ex-bourbon and port casks before being blended together. This is a true expression of Saint Lucia rums. $51

Guyana: Demerara Rum

The now independent Co‑operative Republic of Guyana (located on the Northern Coast of South America) was first colonized by the Dutch. Then, the Dutch colonies were taken over by the English and it became known as British Guiana. The distilleries along the Demerara river, along with their counterparts in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Barbados would make up a large portion of the British Navy rum blend. Over the years, the various distilleries have closed or have been absorbed into one distillery group: Demerara Distillers Ltd. They boast an impressive collection of stills, including a four-column French Savalle still, the last two operating wooden pot stills, and the last operating wooden Coffey still.

El Dorado 12 Guyana: A rich dark rum distilled from molasses. Aged in American ex-whiskey and ex-bourbon casks. This is a rich and flavorful rum with aromas of chocolate and raisin. Smooth on the tongue with vanilla and baking spices throughout. $35

Hamilton Demerara River 86: A blend of aged rums from Demerara Distillers Ltd., this is a blend with tiki cocktails in mind. Rich flavors of stone fruit and smoky hardwoods lead into rich vanillas and burnt sugar. $25

Hamilton Demerara River 151: The same selections of rums from Guyana as above, only at a higher proof. This is the tiki bartenders go-to for 151 Demerara rum. $26


Cocktail of the Week: Partridge in a Pear Tree

Pear and spice work together wonderfully nice for this spicy mix on a hot toddy. The forward ginger notes and classic mulling spices work together to bring a contemporary flavor to a holiday tradition. Enjoy it on its own, or with a splash of your favorite whiskey or brandy. We’ve gone with Calvados to reinforce that pear and apple combination. Sip this under a blanket, by a crackling fire or if you're lucky enough to opt outside, after a chilly day in the great outdoors. It'll warm your hands, your heart, and perhaps your soul just a little bit.


What You’ll Need:

  • Apple Cider (cloudier the better)

  • Fresh Pressed Pear Juice (or pear juice)

  • Whole Cinnamon Stick

  • Whole Star Anise

  • Whole Clove

  • Ginger Root

  • Whole Nutmeg

  • Ground Cardamom

  • Microplane or Grater

  • Calvados

  • Honey Syrup (1:1 honey to water)

  • Mesh Strainer

  • Cheesecloth or Nut Bag


Spiced Apple and Pear Cider

1 cup cloudy apple cider

1 cup fresh pressed pear juice

1 cinnamon stick

1 whole star anise

3 whole clove

1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and cut into julienne

¼ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

In a medium saucepan, add apple cider, pear juice, and spices and cover. Place on medium high heat until it begins to simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to infuse for an additional 15-20 minutes. Strain thought fine mesh strainer lined with nut bag or cheesecloth.

Note: This yields 2-4 servings, depending on mug size. Feel free to adjust the booze till it sips just right.


Partridge in a Pear Tree

Spiced apple and pear cider

1 ½ oz Calvados

½ oz honey syrup

Preheat a ceramic or tempered glass mug by pouring boiling water into the mug and allowing it to warm up for about 3 minutes. Dump out the hot water and pour Calvados and honey syrup into the preheated mug. Fill with cider, stir, and garnish with pear slices and cinnamon sticks. Salute!

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