Sixties and Sunny

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.

Jasper’s Jamaican

  • 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.

2 Responses to Sixties and Sunny

  1. Rick says:

    If only I could get my hands on some Lemon Hart… I have a few feelers out to friends who live in states where it could be ordered from CA, but my luck in finding it has been pretty much nil.

    I can order it from the state, but it requires me to purchase a case (12 bottles). Although I can see myself going through a case of the 80proof in a year or so, the 151 proof is more of a hard sell. Dropping $250 for a case of liquor is a hard sell anyway.

    Any thoughts? I’d love to be able to make more of the recipes from Grog Log in addition to Pimento Dram, which sounds delicious.

  2. Paul says:

    I hear you–we can get Lemon Hart in Washington, but there’s plenty of other things we can’t. I rely on the occasional business trip to San Francisco–hello, BevMo!–or Canadian vacation (when I can raid the duty-free shop for top-dollar items like Cointreau for a pittance)to fill in the blanks in my liquor cabinet.

    The 151-proof Demerara runs about $27 a bottle here. I don’t know what shipping costs, but if you can’t find a better alternative, shoot me a note and I’d be glad to help you out.

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