Hello Winter Nights spiced rum cocktail made with Swan Knight Distillery golden spiced rum, in 2 martini glasses and surrounded by roses

Hello Winter Nights, a spiced rum cocktail

Here is how to make the rum cocktail:

Cocktail ingredients for a single serving
- 50ml Swan Knight Distillery golden spiced rum
- 50ml prosecco
- 25ml simple syrup
- 25ml lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
- 5 large mint leaves

Recipe
- Chop the mint leaves and put them in the simple syrup. We stirred the mint and syrup together and left it in the fridge overnight but mixing vigorously also works
- Pour in the lime juice, rum and Angostura bitters
- Sieve the mixture
- Top up with prosecco
- Mix well and garnish with a wedge of lime

How and when to drink this spiced rum cocktail

As a refreshing and easy to make cocktail, we named this spiced rum cocktail, Hello Winter Nights, as it is perfect for sitting in front of a cosy fire. To be honest, we enjoy this drink as the nights start to get darker in early Autumn but it is flexible enough that it can be served all year round. The mint, rum and lime juice complement each other delightfully and the prosecco (or champagne, if you prefer) bring the bubbles and make it a refreshing long drink. It can be served in highball glass or a champagne flute, depending on the occasion.

Inspiration for the cocktail

As we enjoy both the French 75 and the Tom Collins, it was not surprising that they led the way when we were looking for a new cocktail to try. In fact, that is how we came across the Old Cuban rum cocktail, that was created by Audrey Saunders.

The French 75 is named after the WWI 75mm calibre field gun. It is usually made of gin, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and Champagne. However, we have seen it made with other spirits, sugar instead of simple syrup and prosecco rather than Champagne. Although there are several stories surrounding its origin as a cocktail, it is likely to have been created in the 1920s. It was described in the book "The Savoy Cocktail Book" by Harry Craddock in 1930 and that probably brought it to the world stage. Some early variations of the French 75 used cognac, rather than gin, and having tried it, we can confirm that it is a delicious alternative.

A Collins name is usually used to describe a spirit with citrus and sugar, over ice and topped up with soda water. Served in a tall glass, it is a sour cocktail by taste and as a category of cocktails, it is extremely popular. In fact, we have tried it over the years with the addition of many fruits and even over sweetened by the addition of considerable amounts of infused simple syrups. The Tom Collins name appears to come from the fact that early renditions used Old Tom Gin as the spirit base.

The Old Cuban, created in 2001, was made by Audrey Saunders while she was working at the Beacon restaurant. Its inspiration come from the Mojito, which is another of our favourite drinks, but this cocktail uses aged rum instead of the white rum that Mojito originally used. The fresh lime juice, simple syrup and mint are familiar from the Mojito but the bitters and Champagne make it, in our opinion, a more complex rum cocktail. As can be seen from the recipe, we swapped champagne for prosecco, in order to get a gentler taste that can be sipped in front of a roaring log fire.
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