Homemade Allspice Dram is a fantastic way of bringing a warm spicy note to cocktails. Especially in Tiki cocktails, this sweet and spiced liqueur is a common ingredient.
The dark liqueur is based on Rum and was invented around the 1930s. In the 1980s, with the hype around Tiki cocktails, the liqueur had its peak in popularity.
Today, Allspice Dram is celebrating its comeback as a cocktail ingredient in many bars.
So if you intend to make this delicious liqueur for your home bar, here's how to make a bar-level, homemade Allspice Dram.
What is Allspice Dram?
Allspice Dram is a dark, sweet, and spicy liqueur made from dark Rum and Allspice berries.
These berries are growing on Pimenta trees in Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean. Therefore, Allspice Dram is sometimes also referred to as Pimenta Dram.
Allspice berries are known for their bold spiciness combining many of our favorite savors like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. This diversity in flavor is why they are descriptively called Allspice berries.
In the Caribbean, allspice berries are also often used to season food like Jamaican jerk chicken or Mexican moles.
As allspice berries were so popularly used to season food, it's no wonder that the Tiki culture quickly adopted them.
Tiki legends like the Don the Beachcomber and others transformed the spice flavor into the spiced Allspice Dram Rum liqueur.
How to make Allspice Dram at home?
Until the 1980s, it was easy to get Allspice dram in liquor stores. But at one point, the importation of the spiced liqueur stopped.
Therefore, bartenders and home mixologists had to resort to making their own DIY Allspice Dram.
Today, as the interest in craft cocktails continues to increase, you may be lucky to find a bottle of the Rum liqueur in your local liquor store. But honestly, making homemade Allspice Dram is easy and will also taste better.
The only problem with making DIY Allspice Dram is that you need time. -To be precise, you should plan for about 12 to 14 days to get enough flavor into the liqueur.
Ingredients in Allspice Dram
For making homemade Allspice Dram, we need Caribbean Rum and allspice berries. But that's not where it stops. Here's the full list of ingredients you need to make Allspice Dram:
- Jamaican Rum
- Allspice berries
- Cinnamon stick
- Anise pod
- Demerara sugar
The beauty of a homemade recipe is that you can tweak it. Like this, you can add spices like nutmeg or increase/decrease the amounts to your liking.
How to make Allspice Dram
The biggest hassle about making a DIY Allspice Dram is the waiting time. It requires multiple steps to infuse the Rum with the spices properly.
In a first step, Rum is combined with coarsely ground allspice berries. This mix needs to infuse for at least 4-5 days. During this time, give the mixture a good shake once a day.
Next, the cinnamon stick and anise pod are added. This time the spice mix should sit for at least one week.
After that, the mix needs to be strained with a sieve first. Then once more with a cheesecloth or coffee filter until all residue is removed.
The remaining liquid is then combined with homemade Demerara syrup for the necessary sweetness for the liqueur.
You have to let the liqueur sit in the fridge for another two days before it's ready to be used.
The individual steps don't take much of your time and are straightforward. Still, if you counted the days, you know now that the process of making Allspice Dram takes up to two weeks.
Allspice Dram in cocktails
If you are a fan of Tiki cocktails, you should give this Allspice Dram recipe a go. But not only tropical drinks do benefit from the rich and spicy flavors.
With just 0.5oz of Dram to a classic cocktail recipe, you can bring a spicy kick to classics like a Rum Punch. Here are some more ideas on how to use DIY Allspice Dram in cocktails.
More DIY cocktail ingredients
- Falernum - Another classic Tiki cocktail ingredient.
- Orgeat - An almond-flavored liqueur that's essential in a Mai Tai.
- Homemade Banana Liqueur - Rich and flavorful DIY Banana liqueur made from dark Rum.
- Homemade Grenadine - A homemade version of the controversial Pomegranate syrup.
- Cream of Coconut - Making your own Cream of Coconut can be super easy. Learn how to make it for the perfect Piña Colada cocktail.
- 1.5 cups Jamaican Rum
- 0.33 cups Allspice berries
- 1-2 Cinnamon sticks
- 1 Star anise pod
- 1 cup Demerara sugar
- 1 cup Water
- Crush the dried allspice berries with a mortar and pestle. But not too much. You need coarse and large pieces, not a fine grind.
- Add the Jamaican Rum and crushed allspice into a sealable jar and shake it before leaving it in a cold and dark place.
- Let the mix sit for 4-5 days, and shake the jar once a day.
- After 4-5 days, add the cinnamon stick(s) and anise pod to the mix. Shake again and let everything sit for another week.
- Shake the jar from time to time to ensure that all spices are infused properly.
- After seven days, strain the spiced Rum with the help of a sieve. Strain again with cheesecloth or coffee filter until all particles are removed.
- Heat the water and Demerara sugar in a pan and stir the mix until the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Take the syrup from the heat and let it cool down.
- Next, combine syrup and allspice mix. Give it a shake, and let it sit for another two days in the fridge before using it in cocktails.