There’s no doubt that the Holidays are a great time of year to break out the RumChata. Show up to the party with a chilled bottle, and people will always be thrilled. Of course, this leave lots of opportunity to experiment with great Rumchata winter drinks.
RumChata, if you don’t know yet, is rum, cream, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar. It’s great to mix with warm drinks (coffee, cocoa and tea) and it makes for some killer cocktails with lots of spirits. Here’s one I made called a Candy Cane:
Candy Cane (by Greg Mays)
in a rocks glass filled with ice, add:
1 1/2 oz RumChata
1 1/2 oz white rum
3/4 oz of peppermint schnapps
stir gently to combine
carefully drizzle grenadine down edges of glass to resemble stripes
I have been glad to have RumChata join us as a sponsor for the past few years at Simple Cocktails, and I’ve been starting to wonder if I’ll run out of ideas for new RumChata cocktails. Today, I opened, the liquor cabinet, and thought to myself: what do I love? Let’s make that a drink.
I grabbed RumChata, rye whiskey and aged rum. I poured equal parts and shook it on ice. I could not believe how delicious this cocktail was. Time to share the recipe…this is my current go-to RumChata drink!
I’ve had the pleasure of working with RumChata for the past few years and have had the opportunity to experiment at great lengths with their versatile cinnamon cream liqueur. So far, I’ve run into very few limitations for RumChata in cocktails. Initially, I began with riffs on the White Russian, or the other standard cream liqueur drinks, like a splash in coffee or cocoa.
What has surprised me, though, is how RumChata works with other liquors, like gin, applejack or whiskey. In fact, I’ll go as far to say that cocktails with RumChata and whiskey are some of my favorites. Here’s a new cocktail I created called the Hunny Peach:
Did you know that combining a shaken cocktail with club soda can give you a “foamy” consistency to a tall drink? That’s exactly what I had in mind as I made this cocktail with RumChata and as warmer weather is on the horizon.
This tall cocktail, in fact, is really a template for a delicious creamy drink, and nearly every part can be interchanged with other ingredients to create a unique RumChata soda that fits your tastes. Don’t like chocolate syrup? Replace with caramel! There are lots of great options here.
Here’s the recipe for this simple, tasty soda fountain drink:
I love challenging myself to come up with creative new ways to mix RumChata, and the cinnamon-and-cream deliciousness always mixes very well with other items in the bar.
Because Fall is coming soon, I’ve begun thinking about seasonal flavors I can mix with RumChata, and decided on a spiced concoction that turned out really beautiful and really tasty. I’ve named it the Angel Wings because of the deceptively pink-ness of the drink, which is surprisingly strong. Here’s how to make it:
Angel Wings (by Greg Mays)
in a cocktail shaker, combine:
1 oz RumChata
2 oz reposado tequila
1/2 oz herbal liqueur (like Jägermeister)
1/4 oz Grenadine
shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
garnish with cherries
The spice and the tequila balance very well with the spices in RumChata and make for a bright, flavorful and tasty cocktail.
RumChata’s a great liquor to splash in your coffee or hot chocolate, but don’t forget that it can also be enjoyed as part of an iced-coffee cocktail during the summer. I applied a little creativity on this recipe and came up with a delicious and refreshing drink. It’s really simple to make and RumChata’s cream-and-cinnamon flavor is at the forefront. Try this one out:
RumChata Coffee Shake (by Greg Mays)
in a cocktail shaker, combine:
1 oz RumChata
1 oz coffee syrup (I used Trader Joe’s)
1 1/2 ounce white rum
2 dashes of whiskey barrel aged bitters
shake with ice and strain into an ice-filled old fashioned glass
I feel like with every RumChata cocktail I make here at Simple Cocktails, it becomes a challenge to be more creative and more interesting with the next recipe. Now that we’re on the brink of Spring, my focus has drifted to my mint plants, which are just starting to show signs of life.
So how to incorporate mint into a cinnamon-rum-and-cream liqueur like RumChata? It turns out RumChata was actually the perfect binding ingredient to the other two I chose to use in this cocktail: apple whiskey and creme de menthe! Here’s how I made it:
Though we’ve spent the year proving otherwise, I don’t think there’s any doubt that RumChata’s real season to shine is the winter. With it’s creamy cinnamon and rum notes, there are a lot of opportunities to make some killer cold-weather cocktails with it.
I’ve been working hard to break RumChata out of it’s shell this year, though. It obviously plays well with coffee, chocolate and rum, but I’ve been working to pair with with spirits you wouldn’t necessarily think of using (like gin in the Red Summer).
So for our final RumChata foray, I’ve gone all warm and wintry with Calvados (a Spanish apple brandy) and a spiced liqueur. I call it the Apple Snap:
Apple Snap (by Greg Mays)
in a shaker, add:
1 oz RumChata
1 1/2 oz of Calvados or apple brandy
1/2 oz of spiced liqueur, like Besamim or Snap (I used Besamim)
add ice, shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
garnish with an orange peel and a sprinkle of nutmeg
RumChata has proven to be a more diverse liqueur than I initially guessed it would be when I first tried it. Sure, it does great with the flavors of coffee, cinnamon, chocolate and rum, but every time I’ve tried to push it into unfamiliar territory, it has held up extremely well.
I approached this cocktail from a Italian perspective, using Italian brandy and an amaro together with RumChata, and as fall approaches, I created another great seasonal RumChata drink: the Italiana RumChata. This can be served up in a cocktail coupe or on the rocks (pictured). Here’s how to make it:
Italiana RumChata (by Greg Mays)
In a shaker, add:
1 oz RumChata
1 oz amaro (I used Amaro Montenegro)
1 1/2 oz brandy (I used Vecchia Romagna)
2 dashes bitters
shake with ice and strain into a old fashioned glass filled with ice
When you’re searching for inspiration for a new cocktail recipe, sometimes the ingredients are the first thing you put together, and sometimes the name of the drink presents itself and you build from there. I’ve been working to take RumChata from its place as a typically-wintertime liqueur to an ingredient I use year-round, and the name of the drink was there waiting for me: Red Summer.
Something bold and sexy, I figure, and I decided to go really crazy and use a “summer” ingredient I had never even considered with RumChata: gin. In this case, I added Caorunn Gin, a Scottish gin with a faint trace of apple flavor (part of the distillate, in fact).
I’ll be honest: I thought to myself, what’s the most summery and least likely ingredient for a RumChata cocktail, and gin was my answer. When I took the first sip of this drink, though, I realized I had come up with something very special. The cinnamon of RumChata plays against the sweet grenadine and the apples-and-spices botanicals in Caorunn. This is a great drink that you have to try!