Learn how easy it is to make your own Pomegranate Spiced Rum for friends and family. Also included, are steps to make your own Smoked Rum, too!
If you are like me, you are down to the wire with the gift giving. I burnt myself out on baking these past few years, no pun intended, so I have been avoiding the kitchen this year. The hubby got into the Holiday Spirit a few years ago when I suggested a gifting infused booze to our friends.
Now this was something he could totally get excited about. And I didn’t have a sink full of dishes to clean up afterwards! We’ve dabbled with vodka and tequila. So this year, we decided that Rum would be our poison of choice. More specifically, spiced rum.
How to make pomegranate spiced rum
Spiced rum is a lot easier to make than you think and it requires less time than fruit infusions. There is no exact recipe, as the flavors you add is up to you and your personal taste. Even if I could, there’s no way I could give you the exact formula of what my husband created for our spiced rum.
There was a lot of experimenting and adding this and mixing that. So have fun with it!
To start, you need a good base: a good rum. This can run the whole spectrum of choices. Since we were bottling a lot of rum, we chose a simple plain Bacardi rum in the giant size from Costco. Again, the rum you choose is up to you.
For spice flavorings, you can choose from the following:
- orange peel
- cinnamon sticks
- star of anise (very strong flavor, use small segments)
- vanilla bean (split in half lengthwise)
- cardamon pods
- allspice berries
- freshly ground nutmeg
- smoked wood (like hickory or mesquite)
The amount of time needed for infusing is up to you and the flavor you want. Our rum was ready after a couple of days because we added a large quantity to our mix. The color darkens the longer your goodies sit in the rum.
How to choose the spices for pomegranate spiced rum
My tips for making your own spiced rum is to use the flavors you like, start conservatively and check your concoction regularly. If you do not want a lot of pepper kick, only add a 1-2 peppercorns. Anise is super strong and too much will ruin your rum, as we found out! Start with small pieces and keep these stronger flavors in the rum for less time.
We loved the zing of the orange, cinnamon, cardamon, pepper and vanilla in our rum. And at the end, after the spiced rum was flavored how we liked, we added some pomegranate concentrate for a deeper, fruity touch.
(You know I had to add pomegranate, right?!)
How to add smoke to alcohol
Now last month, the hubs and I were experimenting with our handheld cold smoker, the Smoking Gun, with our cocktails. For great smoked flavor, you add smoke to your glass, cover it for a minute or two, then pour in your cocktail.
I decided to make some smoked rum to bottle up as gifts, so I smoked the bottle and sealed it for 5-10 minutes. Then I filled the bottle with rum, poured it right into the smoke and sealed the bottle.
Almost a month later, that rum is still pretty darn smokey. The hubs added a splash of our smoked rum to our spiced rum to round things off. (See what I mean about the experimenting?!)
This stuff is pretty potent and smokey. Drinking it straight up was too rough for my hubby, which says a lot. But, it’s a great way to add some smoke to your rum cocktails without pulling out the smoking gun.
We added smoke to some of our bottles of pomegranate spiced rum for more flavor, some bottles we just smoked plain rum. If you don’t have one, you should seriously consider it as a great gift. So many fabulous uses for it, including my recipe for smokey bacon guacamole!
There you have it. Last minute gift needed? Smoked rum, baby. Got a few days? Pomegranate Spiced Rum. You can even leave the spice ingredients in the bottle when you gift it, like we did. This smoking technique is also terrific with whiskey, too.
Recipes using rum
So now that you have made some homemade spiced rum and/or smoked rum, what can you do with it besides sipping it or mixing cocktails? I like adding rum to my cooking and baking, as well. For example, I add rum to make my mai tai cranberry sauce. I even mix rum with powdered sugar to make a wonderful glaze for my red, white and blue berry cake.
And for the holidays, nothing screams Christmas like an old fashioned fruit cake. This Alton Brown Fruit cake is a favorite, with the dried fruits all soaking in rum before it is mixed in the batter and baked.
- 750mL rum
- 1 small orange
- 2 3-inch cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 1/2 vanilla bean, cut open lengthwise
- 1 TBS pomegranate concentrate
- Pour rum into a large glass container.
- Using a potato peeler, remove zest from small orange and add to the rum.
- Stir in cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, cardamom pods and vanilla bean.
- Seal container and let rum infuse in a cool dark place.
- Check the flavor of your rum after 2 days. The longer the spices sit, the more flavorful your rum will be.
- Once you are satisfied with the flavor, strain out spices and stir in pomegranate concentrate.
- Your pomegranate spiced rum is now ready to serve.