I became obsessed with this recipe after finding it in the LA Times last year. It comes from the bar at Hinoki & the Bird, an upscale California restaurant with a Japanese bent. First of all, it’s gorgeous. It’s a beautiful pale pink and it’s garnished with a Christmas-y sprig of burnt rosemary and a shower of freshly grated nutmeg. Second, it’s beyond delicious. Tropical dark rum and coconut cream are elevated by the warm spice of vanilla bean and chocolate bitters, and a whiff of smoke from the flaming rosemary.
This cocktail is much lighter and less sweet than the classic version made with eggs and heavy cream, which means you can drink more than one. I have no doubt you will! Happy Holidays, all!
from the bar at Hinoki & the Bird
for the orange vanilla bean simple syrup
makes a generous 1/2 cup
1 vanilla bean, split down the middle
zest from one orange, removed in a thick strip
2 sprigs rosemary
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup hot water
for 1 cocktail
2 ounces dark rum, preferably Zaya
3/4 ounce coconut cream, well shaken
3/4 ounce orange vanilla bean simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes chocolate bitters
grated nutmeg for garnish
flaming rosemary sprig for garnish (run a lighter over the tips to release the oils)
1. Make the simple syrup. In a measuring cup or bowl, muddle the vanilla bean, orange zest, and rosemary with the sugar. Add boiling water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Set aside to infuse at room temperature for a few hours. Strain before using.
2. In a cocktail shaker, combine rum, coconut cream, simple syrup and bitters over ice. Shake well and strain into an old-fashioned glass. Add ice and garnish with freshly-grated nutmeg and a burnt sprig of rosemary.