This week's 10-Minute Happy Hour was inspired by multiple factors. All the hype for Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee celebration this weekend has me in a royal state of mind. Then my darling friend Belinda, who also happens to be British, decided to have an intimate dinner party. Since I've been working mainly on mixed drinks as of late, I offered to bring a cocktail to kick off the evening. The gesture was made before actually thinking through how I'd transport said offer.
While she lives close enough to walk, I wasn't quite sure how to get the cocktails from door- to-door without actually getting in the car; something we'd prefer to avoid when possible. A covered pitcher wouldn't do and the idea of toting an Igloo thermos was unacceptable, seeing as we are adults attending a dinner party not co-eds headed to a concert.
Then it came it to me — jam jars! We have tons of them and new ones waiting in the wings for this year's bumper crop from our CSA. So we decided to put them to good use sooner than expected.
Also factoring in to this week's cocktail was a bottle of aged, filtered Denizen rum (www.denizenrum.com) sitting on my kitchen counter just waiting patiently for the week's tasting line up. I cracked open the bottle to explore and was psyched that a $15 bottle could taste so good. Don't fret — Denizen is a white rum but nothing like some that taste like suntan lotion in a bottle. It's crystal clear but aged so it's got a great smooth mouthfeel and it's more sophisticated than most white rums with tons of flavors ranging from grassy to pineapple and a sweet vanilla finish. Delicious on its own, I knew it would shine in loads of cocktail recipes.
Final factor — my husband and I have been on a bitters kick lately, so we decided on our version of The Queen's Park Swizzle. The cocktail is typically mixed by twirling a swizzle stick, thus the name, but we shook it right in the jar we'd be transporting and serving it in. Also the original recipe called for a heavier dark rum but we opted for the lighter, yet still richly flavored white rum.
This turned out to be the perfect cocktail for my hostess (you know, because it has Queen in the name — not that it has anything to do with British royalty but hey, it works) it calls for both bitters and rum, it was easy to carry and looked fabulous in a canning jar.
So this weekend offer to bring the drinks and bust out your canning jars. Toast the queen if you like, or just relax and enjoy this refreshing rum cocktail with friends. Cheers.
Queen's Rum Shaker Cocktail Recipe
Makes 1 drink. Adapted from The Queen's Park Swizzle.
6 fresh mint leaves 1 ounce simple syrup 1 ounce lime juice 2 1/2 ounces Denizen rum 6 dashes bitters Whole mint sprigs for garnish Ice
Place mint leaves into the canning jar with simple syrup and lime juice. Using a muddler or wooden spoon, gently mix together, and bruise the mint leaves.
Add the rum and bitters. Place the lid on the canning jar securely until you are safely at your destination.
Once you have arrived, add ice, and place the lid back on securely. Shake vigorously to chill. Remove lid, add a sprig of mint and a straw and enjoy.
Maureen C. Petrosky writes what she knows, food, booze and parties. Author of The Wine Club, she appears regularly on The TODAY show to share her vices (and advice) with the world. For more info check out www.maureenpetrosky.com or follow her on Twitter @maureenpetrosky