For those of you that are fans of Bravo TV’s Real Housewives of Potomac, you may remember this cocktail from Season 3. If you are not a fan of the show, or are new to my page, here’s a little back story.
I’ve been a part of the food & beverage industry for longer than I care to mention. That being said, curating food and cocktail menus has always been a passion project for me. When I met my wife back in 2012 or 2013, I was serving as the Beverage Director, for a now defunct dim sum restaurant, I was just getting into my cocktail creation groove. At the time, she (my wife) only really drank red wine, on Thursdays, while watching Scandal, in her aptly named “Olivia Pope” balloon wine glasses….enter me!
Curating and creating cocktails can be a tedious task of trial and error, all while attempting to achieve optimal balance and great taste. It also usually results in several missteps and plenty of drunken afternoons and nights! While we were dating and living together, Candiace quickly started to expand her horizons and take on more than a glass of wine, and was clearly benefiting from all of the tasting she got to take part in on a nightly basis. After months of tasting cocktails for everyone else, Candiace wanted me to create a cocktail for her. Not just any cocktail, but one that represented her. Beauty, style, grace, all rolled into one sexy cocktail.
When creating a cocktail, I usually start with the spirit/liquor that I want to showcase. I knew that this cocktail was ALWAYS going to be brown, to represent that smooth sexy skin tone. Initially I thought bourbon, but landed on rum, a spiced rum at that, since, well you know, shes a little spicy! At the time I was creating this “special” cocktail, bitter-esque cocktails using amaros and other similar style spirits were having a moment, and being used a lot. I thought a slight bitterness was the perfect fit to go with spiced rum. It took me quite some time to find the perfect one that wasn’t too bitter, and still was able to add depth. Now, despite what you may see on your tv screen, Candiace is actually a very sweet person, so I needed a sweet component to this beverage. Orange is a great flavor that works with rums. Initially I was looking at a fresh made orange simple syrup, then just orange juice, but it just wasn’t giving what i needed it to. I also wanted this cocktail to be stirred, to keep that sexy, smooth look to it. A shaken cocktail, especially with orange juice, would leave the drink with cloudy look, and just not the look I wanted. So, keeping it a stirred cocktail, looking for an orange element, I began looking at things like Cointreau, Gran Marnier, even Gran Gala. I finally settled on Mandarine Napoleon and it gave what needed to be gave! To finish off the drink and bring it all together, we added a few dashes (3 of them to be exact, because that is my favorite number) of Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters, and a flamed orange peel for garnish to drive home that orange aroma.
Naming cocktails has never really been my strong suit, my creativity only goes so far. For the longest time this drink was simply called “Candiace’s Cocktail”. After we wrapped filming of our first season on #RHOP, and Candiace delivered her iconic clap back; “I came from Jesus!”
I figured now was as good a time as any to #driveback and revisit one of my favorite drinks and share those #benefits with you all. Check out the full recipe below, and don’t forget to tag me in your pictures of you enjoying “She Came From Jesus”!!
“SHE CAME FROM JESUS” Recipe:
- 2oz of Thrashers Spiced Rum
- 1oz of Cardamaro
- .75oz of Mandarine Napolean
- 3 dashes of Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters
Directions: In a mixing glass, add all of the above. Add in a fair amount of ice. Stir for 15-20 seconds. Strain mixing glass into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a flamed orange peel. Enjoy!