As we’re approaching what would normally be March Break, I’m sure many of you are reminiscing fondly about the heart-racing moments of standing in the security line at the airport behind a family of 7 as they are informed they can’t travel with more than 3 ounces of liquid and proceed to sort through their luggage to dispose of full-sized bottles of body wash and shampoo – all while you hear the final boarding call for your flight echo over the PA system.
Or maybe you’ve found yourself daydreaming about how you’d be spending your evenings getting ready for dinner at the all-inclusive and wondering whether the matte or glossy concealer will do a better job of grafting your peeling, sun-scorched skin back onto your nose.
Good news my friends, I’m here to offer you a getaway in a glass. All the sunny flavours of the Caribbean at a fraction of the cost and no risk of sunburn.
Throughout the month, I’m going to be sharing recipes that transport you to cerulean waters and palm trees without the headache of air travel.
This Escape Artist Cocktail is a sunny mélange of Jamaican rum, chile liqueur, hibiscus syrup, pineapple and lime juices. Garnished with a bouquet of fresh mint and a hibiscus flower in syrup, if you’re feeling bougie.
One of the few pieces of good news to come out in the past year has been the wider availability and selection of interesting wines, spirits, and beers at bottle shops in our favourite bars and restaurants. I recently picked up a bottle of Ancho Reyes (ancho chile liqueur) from the bottle shop inside Town on Elgin Street here in Ottawa.
Since there are so many great hidden gems for spirits, wine, beer and batched cocktails coming onto the National Capital scene, I’m going to create another Guide on Instagram to share the knowledge with my local followers.
I was all too eager to put my newfound treasure (the Ancho Reyes) to good use. The Escape Artist is the perfect outlet for its smoky, spicy palate, well-balanced funky Jamaican rum, sweet, and sour – truly one of my finer creations.
Escape Artist Cocktail
- 1½ oz aged Jamaican rum like Appleton Estate Signature Blend
- 1 oz chile liqueur like Ancho Reyes
- 1½ oz pineapple juice
- ½ oz lime juice
- ½ oz hibiscus syrup
- Garnish: bouquet of mint
- Garnish: pineapple wedge optional
- Garnish: hibiscus flower in syrup optional
- 2 hibiscus teabags
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup sugar
Add all ingredients except garnish to a cocktail shaker. Shake over ice until well-chilled. Strain into a highball or Tiki mug filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a bouquet of fresh mint, pineapple wedge, and hibiscus flower in syrup, as desired. Serve with a straw.
Steep hibiscus teabags in 1 cup of boiling water for 5 minutes. Pour into a small saucepan with sugar. Simmer over medium heat for a few minutes until sugar is dissolved. Cool to room temperature and strain into an airtight container. Syrup will keep in your fridge for 2-3 weeks.