OK, naming drinks is not my forte but I thought it appropriate to make a play on words on this night when we have to keep our mojo going far longer than we might normally want to. Yes there is espresso, in fact this Halloween Expresso has rum, espresso, maple syrup (YUM!) and half and half. Part cocktail. Part dessert. All good.
Have I mentioned I don’t love Halloween? Too much maybe? OK, it’s almost over and I’ll be done with it but I’ve actually gotten into a bit more this year. I just love the little kiddos on my street and I’m already hearing what they’ll be wearing so yes, sort of excited about seeing them because they’re so excited! I do have a Jack-O-Lantern sitting outside (the one in these photos actually) and I have a real one too but I don’t carve it because I want to cook it after Halloween and freeze the pumpkin for Thanksgiving pies. If you’ve never made your own pumpkin puree; it’s so worth it. Did you know that the canned pumpkin you buy is actually a mixture of different squashes? Tasting true, fresh pumpkin is life changing. OK, maybe not but it is certainly enlightening! OK, I sort of got off track there but I admit I am passionate about fresh pumpkin!
This cocktail came about because I wanted something warming to sip while I wait for the hordes to arrive and while I might love warm apple cider, I still like my cocktails cold. You know I put a lot of thought and consternation into my cocktail making; as in I had a bottle of fantastic maple syrup from my friend Paula sitting in my pantry right next to a jar of dried espresso. Add this fantastic rum from the folks at The Real McCoy on the counter and the wheels started churning. Much like I never drink coffee without half and half I couldn’t imagine this without it either and before you know it a Star Was Born.
Speaking of The Real McCoy? First, don’t you just love the name which by the way is named after Bill McCoy, a pioneering rum runner during Prohibition. Bill would fill a boat with Caribbean rum and sail to New York where he acted as an offshore liquor store and was protected by his location in international waters keeping him out of the hands of the law. Dubbed ‘the Real McCoy’ because it was not watered down like most of Prohibition-era booze it was a huge favorite then and I LOVED it now.
This Five Year Old rum has been produced as a homage to that very rum from long ago and it’s even distilled at the same Barbados distillery before being aged in used bourbon barrels. On the nose, the amber colored rum is full of oak, vanilla and baking spices. Take a sip, and it’s warm and slightly viscous, with flavors ranging from caramel and almonds to toffee, dried fruits and lots more oak. It starts out mildly sweet and finishes very dry. With the addition of the maple syrup in this cocktail that was an important feature as it kept it from becoming too cloyingly sweet. A very solid rum with a surprisingly oaky component; I enjoyed it much more than some rums I’ve tried that are too vanilla heavy. A great all around rum, superb in this cocktail and I’m sure it will be equally fantastic in my holiday rum cake.
I made it while my friend Sandy was here visiting. We had enjoyed a bagel and coffee and I needed to get this cocktail made and photographed. Her look was priceless. I believe she was almost speechless. It’s sweet, there is no doubt but not too sweet (at least not for us!). So it’s most definitely an after dinner cocktail; I would serve it for dessert even but I have to say we sure enjoyed it early afternoon…and got just enough extra steam in our step that I finally got out to buy some Fall decor for my front porch before the season is over! Do you go out for Halloween? I bought this humongous bag of candy with 245 pieces and I’ll make you this cocktail so come on by!