We looked recently at The Bramble created by Dick Bradsell. This time we’ll explore a less well known drink of Dick’s called The Treacle. Now if you’re British you’ll need to be patient for a minute while I get everyone else up to speed. The term treacle covers two products used in baking; golden syrup which is sweet, sticky and, well, golden and black treacle which is black, sweet, sticky, tarry with a bitter edge and a hint of spice (and the one that’s relevant to us here). It’s easy to say those are just British equivalents to corn syrup and molasses but they have more complex flavours than those. As well as that treacle seems to occupy some mystic place in British children’s literature, not least as a favourite of a certain annoying little goody-two-shoes teenage wizard. But back to the cocktails. Mr Bradsell’s The Treacle is an unlikely sounding mixture that, as originally written, also has a slightly convoluted mixing process. But don’t worry about that; I’ve straightened it out for you and it works just fine. That’s right; it’s a Rum Old Fashioned with an apple juice float – there’s no fooling you guys! I wasn’t sure what to expect of this cocktail but when I made it for the first time and took my first sip I actually laughed out loud and exclaimed in wonder, “It tastes just like black treacle!” Not bad for something made of rum, bitters, sugar and apple juice. That’s exactly the kind of trick that makes a man like Dick Bradsell a cocktail legend. So if you’re wondering what black treacle tastes like there’s no need to track down that little red tin of Tate and Lyle’s, just mix up one of these.
2oz / 60ml Myers’s dark rum (really it must be Myers’s).
2 dashes of Angostura bitters.
2 teaspoons of 1:1 demerara syrup*.
Stir with ice and stain into a DOF glass containing fresh ice or a large block of clear ice.
Add a strip of orange peel.
Float 0.75oz / 22.5ml of cloudy apple juice (apple cider in American English) on top.
Toast Dick Bradsell (1959 – 2016).
* Make just like regular syrup but use demerara sugar or a mixture of white and demerara sugar. If you can’t find demerara other types of brown sugar will get you close enough.