Recreating the Red Ryder cocktail has become one of my favorite holiday traditions. I came up with this recipe years ago for a holiday pairing dinner with cinnamon as the theme, and have made it for friends and family ever
since. Not only is this cocktail seasonal and festive; it is also easy to make and the house-made infusion always impresses.
Here’s how to make a spirited memory — and no, you won’t shoot your eye out. *When preparing for future events, keep in mind that the infusion takes just over a week to prepare.
Mulled Spiced Rhum Infusion
750ml Rhum Barbancourt 5 Star
1 Ceylon Cinnamon Stick
10 oz Clove
5 oz Anise
Weigh out spices. Using a potato peeler, gently peel the skin off the orange. Air-dry orange peels at room temperature for 24-48 hours. In a 1 liter glass jar (or any vessel with an airtight lid) combine dried peels, spices, and rhum. You can use any aged rum, preferably one on the drier side. I like to use Rhum Barbancourt 5 Star from Haiti, which is made from the juice of sugar cane and aged for eight years. Once sealed, gently shake to mix ingredients, then store in a dark cool place for one week. After one week fine strain infusion to remove spices. Pour the strained rhum back into it’s original bottle.
1 ½ oz Mulled Spiced Rhum Infusion
3/4 oz Dolin Rouge Sweet Vermouth
½ oz Benedictine
2 ½ oz Champagne
Orange Twist and Brandied Cherry for Garnish
Combine first three ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a flute. Top with Champagne and garnish.
*Use any dry sparkling wine instead of Champagne. Spanish Cava is made in the same method as Champagne and is a great valued alternative. Choose one labeled Brut, Extra Brut or Brut Nature.
*Use any sweet vermouth. Make sure the bottle is no more than six weeks old and has been refrigerated once opened. Since this is a delicate cocktail, and the spiced rhum should be at the forefront, it’s preferable to use a lighter style sweet vermouth. Dolin Rouge keeps the drink soft and also adds dried fruit and floral notes.