Not quite Antigua, but for late March in Seattle, it could have been much worse.
On days like these–when I can leave the Gore-Tex at home and stroll down the street in a short-sleeve shirt, looking out at the torn-paper edge of the snowcapped Olympic Range beneath a cloudless sky–summer feels so close that I’m almost ready to dig the grill out of storage.
Of course, it’s not to be–it never is. Eight years in the Pacific Northwest has taught me that beautiful springtime days are merely cruel hoaxes on the sun-starved inhabitants, destined to be followed by an unbroken stretch of clouds and drizzle that won’t relent until Fourth of July weekend. Still, we can pretend it’s almost summer, just for one night.
One of the pleasures of owning Jeff “Beachbum” Berry’s Grog Log and Intoxica! is that they have so many recipes that answer the question, “What the hell am I going to do with all that homemade pimento dram I have in the cupboard?” On a faux-summer day, a rum drink like Jasper’s Jamaican–which Berry credits to Jasper LeFranc of the Bay Roc Hotel in Montego Bay, from the 1970s–can make the warm season seem that much closer.
- 1 1/2 ounces gold Jamaican rum (I used Appleton V/X)
- 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1/2 ounce pimento dram
Shake well with ice, and strain into cocktail glass.
I’ve taken a couple of liberties with Berry’s recipe. First, his version calls for 1 1/4 ounces rum, which really puts the rum’s flavor at a disadvantage; I’ve upped it another 1/4 ounce, which straightens the drink’s backbone a little. And, Berry’s recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon sugar, which–with the allspice liqueur in there and everything–strikes me as a bit of overkill. Try it, and if you want it sweeter, give it a dash or two of simple syrup.