This rum-based drink from New Orleans’ Three Muses is an ode to the sprinkle-covered treats found in cookie tins in grandmothers’ homes everywhere. The sweet, creamy drink is best served as a nightcap or dessert cocktail, and it makes for a fun birthday shot with colorful sprinkles dappling the surface.
While the bar at Three Muses calls for some specific ingredients in the Italian Cookie, there is room for substitutions, starting with the base itself. The recipe calls for Black Magic Black Spiced Rum, but that may not be readily available in all markets. Kraken is a popular and affordable brand of spiced rum, as are Captain Morgan Spiced Rum and Bacardi Spiced Rum. These days, though, there are plenty of options.
The Italian Cookie also calls for Herbsaint, a deeply botanical pastis flavored with anise and other herbs. Herbsaint originally grew in popularity as an alternative to absinthe, which was banned in the United States until 2007 for its alleged (and nonexistent) hallucinogenic properties. Herbsaint still sees use in drinks like the Sazerac, but can be switched out for absinthe if desired. Similarly, while crème de noyaux is listed as an ingredient, amaretto is a suitable substitute; both liqueurs are almond flavored, though crème de noyaux has a bright red color to it. Those who do opt to use crème de noyaux can also use the red liqueur in a Pink Squirrel, another frothy-sweet concoction.
Another key ingredient in the drink is fig preserves. Three Muses uses Rouses’ fig preserves at its bar, a brand from a chain of supermarkets in Louisiana. As that might be difficult for people living outside of the South to get their hands on, any line of fig preserves, or homemade ones, will do the trick.
Finally, the drink is blended and then garnished with sprinkles, sometimes referred to as jimmies. This enhances the similarity to the Italian cookies found in tins, also known as Italian wedding cookies. It’s certainly fun, and adds a sugary crunch to the drink, as well as some color, but it’s not 100% necessary to making the Italian Cookie.
- 1 1/2 ounces Black Magic black spiced rum
- 1 ounce heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 ounce Herbsaint liqueur
- 1/3 ounce crème de noyaux
- 1/3 ounce lemon juice
- 2 barspoons Rouses fig preserves
- Garnish: sprinkles (jimmies)
- Garnish: straw
Blend the spiced rum, whipping cream, Herbsaint, crème de noyaux, lemon juice and fig preserves with ice in a blender.
Pour into a highball glass, and garnish with Italian sprinkles (jimmies) and a straw.