The White Lion. Perfect Holiday Cocktail?

The Soft Roar of Cotton & Reed's Allspice Dram Shines in this Cocktail

Photo credit Farrah Skeiky

Photo credit Farrah Skeiky

When Cotton & Reed released a new liqueur earlier this year, an allspice dram, we knew immediately that it would be a must-have on our bar this holiday season. With Jamaican roots, Cotton & Reed's take on this predominately allspice berry liqueur has a base of rum with molasses that marries clove, long peppercorn, cinnamon, nutmeg, burdock, dried lime, nigella, ginger and gentian. 

We sampled several cocktails that employed Cotton & Reed's Allspice Dram with cocktail specialist and innovative mixologist, Lukas B. Smith. Allspice dram is this amazingly strong spice flavor bomb carrying forward flavors of the winter season, think gingerbread and fruitcake. You can create a rum cocktail like The White LIon using bright acidity from lime, but it will still purr "winter" with those rich, seasonal layered flavors in the background.

This could be the one. Your signature DC-sourced house cocktail to serve up as the perfect starter this holiday season while you, wearing that fabulous new sweater, join your guests for an attack on the homemade cheese ball. There, we've set the perfect stage for your party: You, the drink and the cheese ball. You're welcome. And thank you to Lukas and Cotton & Reed for sharing the recipe. Enjoy.

White Lion

  • 1.5 oz Cotton & Reed White Rum
  • 0.75 oz fresh lime juice
  • 0.5 oz Cotton & Reed Allspice Dram
  • Scant half ounce simple syrup


Shake, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Photo credit Farrah Skeiky 

Photo credit Farrah Skeiky 

Cotton & Reed Allspice Dram is produced in 750 mL bottles priced at $35 retail.

ABOUT COTTON & REED | Cotton & Reed is DC’s only distillery and bar for rum devotees and new converts alike. The distillery was founded by Reed Walker and Jordan Cotton, former consultants to NASA and the space industry, and the bar program boasts the talents of Cocktail Specialist & Herbalist Lukas B. Smith. The distilling team combines the innovation of Head Distiller Chas Jefferson and Engineer Dr. Jen Phelps. Cotton & Reed balances unusual molasses and sugar varieties, rare botanicals, and distinctive yeast strains to make rums with the depth to spice up any cocktail. Visit Weds-Sunday at 1330 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002.

- Susan Able, Edible DC