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Allspice Dram and DIY Allspice Dram for Cocktail Enthusiasts

Welcome to the world of mixers and tinkers, where the alchemy of cocktail craft sparks the imagination and tantalizes the taste buds. If you’ve been exploring the realm of mixology, you may have come across the enigmatic elixir known as allspice dram.

It’s a must-have in your ingredient repertoire for that spicy, warm, and aromatic touch in your classic and bespoke cocktails. But what if you don’t have it on hand, can’t find it in stores, or just love the satisfaction of whipping up a homemade batch of magic?

I am here to demystify the process of allspice dram alchemy and to provide you with a variety of substitutes should you need them. It’s a delightful adventure in spices, spirits, and the art of flavors.

Ready to lift the lid on the secrets of allspice dram? Hold your mixing spoon, and let’s plunge into the depths of this aromatic wonder.

Key Takeaways:

  • Allspice dram is a flavorful, versatile ingredient that adds depth and complexity to cocktails.
  • Making your own allspice dram at home is simple and yields delicious results.
  • There are easy substitutes for allspice dram if you’re short on time or ingredients. You can experiment with different options to find the perfect substitute for your taste.
  • Remember to balance your cocktails by paying attention to the proportions of spirit, sweetness, sourness, and bitterness.

What is Allspice Dram?

Before we start mixing things up, let’s clarify what allspice dram is. Often known as pimento dram, allspice dram is a spiced liqueur made by infusing allspice—also known as pimento berry—with rum and sweetening the concoction.

It carries a rich, complex flavor with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, often described as a fusion of the three spices. Its profile is further deepened by the bold character of the allspice berry, which gives it a slightly peppery note, akin to a spiced Caribbean gingerbread.

This dram offers a warming, lingering effect on the palate, which makes it an excellent complement to darker spirits such as rum, bourbon, and whiskey, as well as adding a distinctive twist to clear spirits like gin and vodka.

In a cocktail recipe, allspice dram brings a nuanced depth, a layer of warmth, and often a whisper of sweetness that can transform a mundane mixed drink into a crafty concoction that’s nothing short of enchanting.

DIY Allspice Dram Recipe

If you’re the adventurous, hands-on mixologist, making your own allspice dram is not just an excellent fallback option — it’s an exciting path to crafting a unique blend tailored to your personal taste.

The following recipe is designed to ensure that even a home mixologist can create a vibrant, flavorful allspice dram with ease.


  • Half a cup of allspice berries
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • The zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 liter of overproof rum (to extract the most flavor)
  • 2 cups of brown sugar or 1.5 cups of simple syrup, as per your sweetness preference


  1. Prepare the Spices: Lightly crush the allspice berries, cloves, and cinnamon sticks using a mortar and pestle or the back of a knife. This releases more of their essence and aids in the infusion process.
  2. Mix the Ingredients: Place the spices and other ingredients in an airtight glass container, and pour the rum over them. Seal the container tightly.
  3. Infusion Time: Store the mixture in a cool, dark place for two to three weeks. Shake it every day to ensure the flavors are infused evenly.
  4. Sweeten to Taste: After the infusion period is over, strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove the solids. Now, add the brown sugar or simple syrup. Taste as you sweeten, so you can customize the sweetness to your liking.
  5. Storage: Pour the dram into a clean, airtight glass bottle, ensuring the lid is tightly sealed. The homemade allspice dram should keep for about a year in the refrigerator.

Applications in Cocktails

But why stop at just making allspice dram? It’s time to put your creation to good use with some delicious cocktails. There are myriad of cocktail recipes that call for allspice dram, and of course, you can tailor them using your DIY dram or one of the substitutes. Here are a few classic cocktails that burst with flavor when allspice dram is introduced:

  • The Jamaican Old-Fashioned: A delightful twist on a classic, substituting simple syrup with allspice dram.
  • The Lion’s Tail: An ageless beauty of a bourbon cocktail, marrying bourbon with allspice dram and a hint of citrus.
  • The Don’s Spiced Cider: A scrumptious sip that balances the warmth of rum with the comforting spices of allspice dram and apple cider.

In these and countless other recipes, allspice dram—especially your homemade or substitute version—will elevate the experience, adding that singular complexity of spicy, sweet, and citrusy flavors.

Substitutes for Allspice Dram

If whipping up your own batch feels a tad too daunting or if you’re just navigating your way through the beginning stages of home mixology, there are a few easy substitutes that can be used in place of allspice dram without compromising on taste.

The Cinnamon-Clove Infusion

For a quick fix, infuse some rum with a generous number of crushed cloves and a couple of cinnamon sticks. After a few days, strain out the spices and add a touch of simple syrup to the rum to sweeten. This makeshift allspice dram will provide the same earthy warmth and sweet-spice finish to your cocktail.

The Spice Tea Syrup

Brew a strong black tea with a few allspice berries, a cinnamon stick, and a handful of cloves. Once the tea is cool, add equal parts of sugar to create a spiced syrup. This syrup can replace allspice dram in most recipes, bringing a bit of complexity and a dash of sweetness.

The Pimento and Bitters Solution

If you have whole pimento (allspice) berries, muddle them with a sugar cube and a few dashes of bitters. This mixture approximates the depth and warmth of allspice dram quite well and can be a quick and easy substitute in certain cocktails.

Home mixologists should approach these alternatives with a willingness to experiment and adjust, as the flavor profiles may slightly vary from the original allspice dram. Taste your substitutions as you go, and remember that the exploration itself is half the fun of mixing drinks at home.

Tips for Home Mixologists

Now that you’re well-equipped with recipes and substitution ideas for allspice dram, here are a few additional tips to further enhance your mixology experience:

Balance is everything: When you’re creating your cocktails, be meticulous about achieving a good balance between the spirit, sweetness, sourness, and bitterness. Allspice dram, whether it’s store-bought, homemade, or a substitute, should be a supporting player, not the star.

Storage Wisdom: Keep your allspice dram, whether homemade or not, in a cool, dark place to maintain its flavor. The refrigerator is your friend, especially if you’ve made a large batch and won’t use it all right away.

Allspice-Dram DIY version

DIY Allspice Dram Recipe

This easy DIY recipe teaches you how to make your own allspice dram at home. Perfect for adding depth and complexity to cocktails, this homemade version is a must-try for any home mixologist.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 2 cups


  • Small saucepan
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth
  • Clean, airtight glass bottle for storage


  • 2 cups dark rum
  • 1/4 cup whole allspice berries
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 cup simple syrup equal parts sugar and water


  • In a small saucepan, combine the rum, allspice berries, cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean, and cloves.
  • Heat the mixture on medium-low heat until it starts to simmer.
  • Reduce the heat to low and let it gently simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let the mixture cool completely.
  • Once cooled, strain the mixture using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a clean, airtight glass bottle.
  • Add the simple syrup to the strained mixture and stir well.
  • Store in a cool, dark place or in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.


  • You can adjust the amount of allspice berries and cloves based on your personal taste preference.
  • For a spicier allspice dram, add a few whole peppercorns to the mixture while simmering.


Serving: 1tablespoon
Keyword diy allspice dram
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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating