Honey Ginger Rum Cider

Now, doesn’t that title just make your mouth water? Honey Ginger Rum Cider. It just screams FALL.

I hosted a Slow Cooker & Sips event last week with some of the most influential bloggers in our lovely little Chicago area. I will go into a LOT more detail about the “Slow Cooker” portion of the event in future posts, but wanted to toss this cocktail out there in case anyone wanted to oh…I don’t know…make a celebratory drink after last night’s Cubs WORLD SERIES WIN.

I met with my friends at Firefly in my hometown of Wilmette and they helped me craft a this custom cocktail especially for our event! If you haven’t tried Firefly, you are definitely missing out. Imagine being transported out of the North Shore, and landing in Brooklyn. In warm weather, you are treated to a secluded patio with warm bistro bulbs strung overhead. In the cooler months, cozy up inside with bare bulb fixtures, charcoal walls and quirky quotes to pique your interest.

The Firefly Menu is always changing, and this is thanks to Chef Dean whose imagination I experienced first-hand when creating the Honey Ginger Rum Cider. I bellied up to the bar to work with Bradley, their mixologist and bartender. After chatting over potential ingredients, Dean joined our duo and brought some unique flavor to the mix. I tell ya- sometimes I just LOVE my job when you get to spend a night dreaming up cocktails with professional restaurateurs!

We started to build the cocktail with a rum foundation- Papa’s Pilar Rum to be exact. This isn’t your usual “Bacardi & Diet” spirit- this rum has depth with intense flavor. If you haven’t tried a premium rum, these two are the ones to savor.

Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum:
Taste: Intricately flavor- sweet mixed with earthy tones. Mouth-coating with a touch of spice, bourbon, almond and apricot.

Papa’s Pilar Blonde Rum:
Taste: Creamy, buttery, vanilla taste. Layered with soft mango, orange peel and pineapple hints. 

Although this rum is smooth enough to drink neat or on the rocks, using it in a craft cocktail truly elevates the subtle tastes.

Dean, Bradley and I developed the base recipe and had the idea to create an accompaniment offering on the side. Each of us picked an ingredient to test out separately, and they were all amazing. Bradley thought adding a little citrus- lemongrass- would bring add balance to the sweetness of the cider. Dean picked serrano peppers to add a balance of heat (serranos are on average 2-5 times hotter than jalapeños). The key to this? Removing the seeds to add heat without the burn.

I personally loved the cherry juice, although the pineapple juice was a unique twist as well. Here is the basic recipe- test out a few fun ingredients and see where it takes you!

Honey Ginger Rum Cider


2 ounces Honeycrisp Apple Cider
1 ounce Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum
1 ounce Papa’s Pilar Blonde Rum
2 ounces Barritt’s Ginger Beer

Pretty easy, eh? You can lay out glass bottles filled with different natural juices (pineapple and cherry work well), ramekins of finely sliced serrano peppers, a mason jar with lemongrass pieces, and even a pinch bowl with pink Himalayan salt to accompany the base mix.

Have fun with it! You can pre-mix the cider and rum and serve it in a big glass dispenser with bottles of Barritt’s on the side to add in (I don’t like to add carbonated beverages to a signature drink until it is ready to be served- they loose their fizz!).

Serving samples of Papa’s Pilar Rum at my event

Want a non-alcoholic option? Nix the rum (more for you, of course). Want a warm option? Nix the ginger beer and gently heat the cider and rum on the stove or in a crock pot, adding in cinnamon sticks or other spices.

However you serve this, just have FUN with it! Cheers to a happy, hopeful holiday season.