Yes, I had a lot of drinks geared towards flowers and chocolate boxes this month, but when developing those, I always had in mind creating a polar opposite. True to form around these parts, I had the drink name hanging around in my head looking for a recipe to be paired with first. And then a recipe idea for the Serious Drinks site gave the name a place. Black honey had to be sweet but bitter, a contradiction to perplex the palate. Cynar and Smith & Cross to the rescue!
For the honey-cinnamon syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup honey
4 cinnamon sticks, 2” long
In a small sauce pan over high heat, add ingredients and bring to just under a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain into an airtight container. Will keep for about one month refrigerated.
One tip for your syrup: heat your honey beforehand to make pouring a whole lot easier. 30 seconds in the microwave should do it.
And now the cocktail
2 ounces Cynar
1 ounce Smith & Cross Jamican Navy Strength Rum
3/4 ounce honey-cinnamon syrup (recipe above)
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, from 1/2 a lime (Bearss lime used here)
Fill a mixing glass 2/3 with ice and pour in all the ingredients. Stir for about 20 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe.
It’s a cocktail that confounds expectations. The initial funky aromas of rum, lime, and cinnamon suggest you’re about to have a fruity tiki drink. But your first sip is a mouthful of rich honey and rum’s smoky molasses-like flavor, before things drop swiftly into a forcefully bitter finish from the Cynar. You’ll continue to notice these three discrete periods of sensation every time you raise the glass for another gulp—it drives you to sip again and again.