2022 Let’s Get Blitzen: Cocktail Advent Calendar – Day 2 – Licorice Allsorts.
This reinterpretation of the early 20th–century Longines cocktail replaces brandy with Mount Gay Black Barrel rum. It employs a similarly unexpected combination of ingredients to yield a flavour reminiscent of Licorice Allsorts.
Mount Gay Black Barrel Double Cask Blend is the perfect foundation for this drink as it is approachable and balanced, with flavours of toffee, gingerbread, and toasted oak, complemented by tropical and citrus fruit nuances like lychee. This rum is first matured in ex-American whiskey casks and then finished in heavily charred ex-bourbon casks. It’s fantastic in this cocktail but equally enjoyable neat.
It takes every drop of heritage – past and present – to make Mount Gay rums. From the founding in 1703, to the legendary leadership of Sir John Gay Alleyne. To the digging of the first and only well. The well that still operates to this day, over 300 years later. To the single-strand fields of cane being planted at the estate today. All of these components go into making Mount Gay so much more than a rum.
As I mentioned, this Licorice Allsorts Cocktail drew inspiration from a drink created by one of the greatest mixologists of the mid-twentieth century, Constante Ribalaigua Vert. Ribalaigua was born outside Barcelona in 1888 and his family emigrated to Cuba in 1900 where his father picked up a shaker behind the bar of the venerable Piña de Plata.
When he turned 16 his father asked if he wanted to follow in his footsteps and take up bartending as his trade. By that time, Cuba was flooded with Americans and the Piña de Plata had become an American-style bar called “La Florida”. Ribalaigua started working at La Florida and by 1918 had saved enough money to buy the bar – the “Floridita” as it became universally known.
As he told the American author Thomas Sugrue in 1935, his “only hobby is his work.” He didn’t even drink but invented a new cocktail nearly every day. He always used top-quality ingredients, kept up with technology and created imaginative combinations of flavours. He was best known for his mastery of proportion and coming up with perfectly balanced cocktails.
The original recipe for the Longines used Spanish brandy as the base spirit and combined it in equal parts with cold, strong brewed tea, and anisette, with just a teaspoon of sugar.
For this interpretation, I’ve changed the proportion to allow the Mount Gay Black Barrel Double Cask Blend to shine while imparting the anise flavour of the Pernod just enough to convey the taste of licorice. Black licorice lovers are sure to love this spirited sipper.
The jewelry worn in these images was generously provided by HOWARD. If you’re looking for a special gift for a loved one or yourself, consider gifting a little sparkle with one of the pieces I’m wearing here:
Join me on Instagram Stories tonight at 5 p.m. to stir up this cocktail together!
This reinterpretation of the early 20th–century Longines cocktail replaces brandy for Mount Gay Black Barrel rum. It employs a similarly unexpected combination of ingredients to yield a flavour reminiscent of Licorice Allsorts.
Express citrus oils from the lemon peel onto the surface of the drink. Rub the peel around the lip of the glass, fashion into a twist, and perch on the lip of the glass for garnish.