“It’s a bit laborious, but I think it’s worth it!” says Todd Thrasher of this inventive upending of the traditional winter warmer.
2 oz. buttered rum mix
1 1/2 oz. spice mixture
Ice (both for shaking and a large chunk for the drink)
Tools: mixing glass or tin, barspoon, strainer
Garnish: orange twist
Pour all ingredients over ice in mixing glass or tin. Stir gently for 1 minute, strain into glass with a large piece of chunked ice, and garnish.
Buttered Rum Mix
1/2 lb. unsalted butter
1 liter spiced rum
To make buttered rum mix, in a heavy, small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Heat until the butter stops spitting, skim any foam off the top, then let stand for about 5 minutes; the solid white residue will settle to the bottom of the pan. Carefully pour the clear butter into another container, leaving the sediment in the pan. Then put pan back on low heat (make sure the butter is still liquid and no solids have started to form). Add spiced rum, take off heat right away and stir constantly for 4 minutes. Transfer mixture to a plastic container and put in the freezer overnight. When you take the container out the next day, the butter will have risen to the top of the container in a frozen solid mass. Scoop the frozen butter out and throw it away, then strain the remaining mixture through a fine sieve to get rid of any solids. Pour back in bottle and label accordingly.
1 quart water
1/2 quart light brown sugar
1 1/2 star anise pod
1 Mexican cinnamon stick
5 allspice pods
5 cardamom pods
1/4 oz. grated nutmeg
The skin of 1 orange (no pith)
In a saucepan, bring water to a boil and add sugar. Whisk until sugar is dissolved, add remaining ingredients and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for one hour; it should reduce to about 3/4 quart of liquid. Remove from heat and refrigerate overnight; the next day, strain liquid through a fine sieve into a clean bottle.
Todd Thrasher, PX, Alexandria, Virginia
For more on PX and other modern speakeasies, read "The Secret Society" in the January/February 2009 issue.