Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Rum Cocktails

Ti’ Bijou

Ti’ Bijou cocktail in a rocks glass, garnished with an orange peel
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Shannon Mustipher

This twist on the Bijou cocktail was created by New York bartender, writer and rum aficionado Shannon Mustipher during her time at the now-closed Glady’s bar in Brooklyn. The classic Bijou features gin, sweet vermouth, green Chartreuse and orange bitters, while Mustipher’s Ti’ Bijou enlists gin as a secondary spirit, instead calling upon earthy rhum agricole as the base spirit.

Mustipher starts with Boukman botanical rhum agricole from Haiti. If you can find it, go ahead and do the same. Otherwise, another Haitian rhum agricole like Barbancourt blanc will do the trick. She doubles up the proportion or rhum to gin, and then enlists blanc vermouth, chamomile tea syrup, a pinch of salt and orange bitters, adding everything into a glass that’s been rinsed with absinthe. That absinthe is employed in a similar fashioned to how it’s used in drinks like the Sazerac, where even a small rinse adds notable flavors and aromas to complement the other ingredients.

The result is a cocktail that’s earthy and herbaceous, sporting a flavor profile reminiscent of the original Bijou, but with more grassy, herbal and floral notes due to the rhum, absinthe and chamomile tea.

The Ti’ Bijou shows what rhum agricole is capable of. It’s not just for Ti’ Punches and Daiquiri riffs. When employed by a skilled barkeep (or adventurous enthusiast), the popular spirit can be incorporated into complex, nuanced cocktails featuring a wide range of ingredients and flavors.

Ingredients

  • Absinthe, to rinse

  • 1 ounce Boukman botanical rhum agricole (or Barbancourt blanc)

  • 1/2 ounce London dry gin

  • 1/2 ounce Dolin blanc vermouth

  • 1/2 ounce chamomile tea syrup*

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 2 drops orange bitters

  • Garnish: orange peel

Steps

  1. Rinse a rocks glass with absinthe, then discard the excess.

  2. Add the rhum agricole, London dry gin, Dolin blanc vermouth, chamomile tea syrup, salt and orange bitters into the glass with 1 large ice cube, and stir until chilled.

  3. Garnish with an orange peel.

*Chamomile tea syrup: Place 2 cups water in a pot over high heat. Add 2 cups sugar, bring to a boil, and stir until it dissolves. Add 2 chamomile tea bags, turn off heat, and let syrup cool. Strain into a container and refrigerate.