If you play your cards right, this is a cocktail that will get you invited to Thanksgiving at Mr. Right’s parents’ house. The technique of smoking the glass is one I first learned in Japan—it’s designed to add olfactory notes when drinking Japanese whiskey, accentuating some of the more subtle flavor notes. And aged rum makes this a smoother, lighter experience than whiskey, but it still still has a warming kick.
Makes 2 cocktails
2 cinnamon sticks, plus additional for garnish
3 ounces rum
1-1/2 ounces sweet potato syrup (recipe follows)
1 ounce amaro
Use a lighter or match to light one end of a cinnamon stick until you achieve a flame, just like a sage smudge or incense stick. Blow it out, then moving quickly, place the smoking stick on a clean (fire-proof) surface and invert a coupé or martini glass over it to capture the smoke. Repeat with second glass.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then add the rum, syrup, and amaro. Stir until well chilled, about 10 to 20 seconds. Turn the glasses upright and divide the drink between them. Using a microplane, grate a little bit of cinnamon over the top of each one.
Sweet potato syrup: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prick a small sweet potato all over with a fork or paring knife, then bake in the preheated oven until tender, about 30 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel, then combine with 2 tablespoons demerara sugar and 1 cup water in a blender and blitz until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the solids, then season to taste with ground cinnamon and cardamom. Makes about 1 cup.
Not feeling Mr. Right?
Open Chappy, grab a Mr. Right Now, and make Diego's quick and easy Bodega Marg.
Diego Alberto Sanchez-Maitret was born in Puebla, Mexico, and prior to moving to New York lived in Boston. He’s worked behind the bars of some of New York’s most popular restaurants, and currently makes cocktails for Spring Street Social Society’s “Secret Suppers” and tends bar at Ludlow House. He lives in Brooklyn.
More in the Dating, Drinking, & Dining Series:
Date Night In:
Roasted Mushroom and Radicchio Ramen
Instead of fighting for a table at your favorite restaurant, open up Chappy and schedule a date night in—where you and your date cook dinner together! Here's a perfect recipe for seasonal, vegetarian ramen that's easy to make at home and designed to be light, so as to not compromise your post-dinner activities.
Photos by Steve Viksjo