Cocktail #22: Voodoo Grog

This week's cocktail was a fun (and delicious) one.

I've been wanting to try a flaming cocktail for a few weeks and this week's Voodoo Grog seemed like the perfect opportunity. I found it by looking up cocktails in Jeff Berry's Potions of the Caribbean that use allspice or pimento dram (which I made myself recently and have been wanting to use more often). Following last week's Suffering Bastard, which I found to be a wonderfully spicy and dry cocktail, I was looking for a drink that might have a similar profile and figured that almost anything that used allspice dram would be a good candidate. I wasn't disappointed.

According to Berry, the Voodoo Grog was invented by Trader Vic in the mid-1950s. Berry slightly adapted a version he found in Trader Vic's 1972 Bartender's Guide as such:

1.00 oz. gold Puerto Rican rum (I used good old Bacardi)
1.00 oz. gold rhum agricole vieux (I used the closest rum I had - a rhum Barbancourt)
0.75 oz. fresh lime juice
0.75 oz. fresh white grapefruit juice
0.75 oz. allspice or pimento dram (I cut this back to 0.50 oz. - use what works for you)
0.25 oz. honey
0.50 oz. passion fruit syrup (given my past experience with drinks being overwhelmed with passion fruit syrup, I decided to cut this back to 0.25 oz. and I'm glad I did).
1 egg white
1 cup crushed ice

Dissolve the honey in the lime juice. Place this mixture, and all other ingredients -- except nutmeg -- into a blender. Blend for 20 seconds. Pour un-strained into a Voodoo tumbler, large snifter, or, as I did, into a hollowed out pineapple with the core still intact. Dust with freshly grated nutmeg. Garnish with a mint sprig and pineapple stick (I used three pineapple leaves and a swizzle stick).

I'd heard that nutmeg can sometimes be used on flaming drinks to create sparks with the flame, so figured I would try a small flame with this cocktail. I kept the core of the pineapple intact after using my handy tool to hollow the rest of it out. I then used a plain toothpick to attach a spent half of a lime to the pineapple core. I soaked a sugar cube in lemon extract (which has a higher proof than 151 rum, and thus provides a better flame) and lit the sucker on fire! My first attempt was slightly less flame than expected, so I used more lemon extract - probably about a tablespoon - and tried again, with excellent effect!

***Please note: Always use extreme caution when creating flaming drinks! Always be sober when using flames, warn any guests, be sure you have a fire extinguisher handy, and be sure to extinguish the flames safely before drinking the cocktail. ***

To my delight, not only was this cocktail fun to make and look at, but it was also delicious. The egg white gave it a beautiful, light froth, and the combination of the sweet passion fruit and honey with the spicy allspice dram and nutmeg made for a surprisingly fantastic meld of flavors. The passion fruit did not overwhelm the drink at all - just be careful to not use too much. The two types of rum almost took a backseat - the drink tasted like it barely had any alcohol in it at all.

In honor of the name of this week's cocktail, I give you "Voodoo Dreams" by Les Baxter. Cheers!

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