Just when you thought you were about to dive into an article about a cinnamon French toast cocktail, here we are with a somewhat elaborate recipe for actual French toast—made with rum. In fact, after trying this edible brunch cocktail of sorts, you’ll never look at French toast the same way again thanks to San Francisco chef Nigel Jones, who originally created the recipe for his now-closed restaurant Kaya.
Cooking with rum is an art form every culinary buff and spirits enthusiast should add to their arsenal. “I love cooking with rum because there’s so much flavor to it ... and each style can be used in a specific way,” says Jones. “When you’re working with hearty proteins like short ribs or beef that you plan on stewing for a long time, you can treat rum just like you would wine. The rum melds with the juices of the meat to develop incredible flavor.” According to Jones, who also has been known to serve an overproof rum-based ginger-butter sauce over salmon, cooking with rum is not unlike using it in cocktails, in terms of flavor affinities. Use white rums for a backbone of alcohol, spiced rums for blank canvases that require a hit of baking spice (such as vanilla-flavored cakes), and aged rums for anything that could benefit from subtle caramel notes (or not-so-subtle, depending on how much you use).
If you’re looking for a great cocktail to pair with your boozy French toast, you’ll definitely want to opt for something light and refreshing given the sweet, indulgent nature of the dish. From a classic Daiquiri to a good old Mai Tai or a great Rum Punch, the pairing options are rather endless. Just be sure to keep any overproof rum away from heat sources (unless, of course, you’re serving a cocktail that’s intentionally aflame).
This recipe originally appeared as part of “Another Thing to Do with Good Rum? Cook with It.”
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
- 8 slices cinnamon twist challah bread
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Seasonal fruit, to top
- Powdered sugar, to top
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 ounce aged rum
In a medium-size saucepan, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, coconut milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove.
Place the bread slices into the batter mixture, and flip to ensure both sides of the bread are well-coated.
Melt the butter in a large skillet or on a griddle. Place the bread slices in the skillet or on the griddle, and cook until golden brown on each side (about 2-3 minutes).
Serve immediately and top with the seasonal fruit, powdered sugar and rum maple syrup (1 cup maple syrup and 3/4 ounce dark aged rum combined in a saucepan over low heat until warm).