Then security hit the airports and liquor had to be packed into your checked luggage. Lets just there wasn't enough liquor in those bottles to make up for a plane ride filled with stress over rum soaked luggage.
I knew I would have to learn how to make my own spiced rum at home. So with a couple of bottles of Ma Doudou in my possession, to use for taste comparison, I experimented with seasoning and sugars and rums. Yes tasting the samples was fun. What I came up with is a recipe that makes my mouth feel like its sitting in a restaurant on Saint Martin. I am posting the recipe here so family, friends & everyone else can make their own!
You'll need a small pot to make the syrup and a large jar to store the rum while it infuses with the spices.
2 to 3 liters of rum (I use Bacardi dark)
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2-4 vanilla beans - split lengthwise and beans scraped out with a knife
2-5 star anise
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon whole green cardamon pods
1 tablespoon whole allspice
18 inches cinnamon sticks (more or less)
Mix sugar and water in the pot and heat to a low simmer. Sugar will dissolve. Add spices and let them all continue to simmer, covered, for 45 mins. Turn off heat and let cool to room temperature. Put syrup with spices into large jar. Add rum of choice. Seal jar with lid and store in a cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks. Show it some love with a shake or two every once in a while.
Start tasting at the 4 week point and when it has enough spice for you strain the spices and discard all but the cinnamon and vanilla beans. Pour your rum into clean bottles and add a vanilla bean and /or piece of cinnamon to each, if desired.
--The rum can be sipped straight as a dessert drink or cordial, mixed with OJ and/or cranberry juice or added to a hot earl grey tea with cream. I made french toast with it this morning (the alcohol cooks off but the flavor remains). It can be used in cooking instead of vanilla. The list is limited by ones imagination.
--You can use what ever kind of rum you like, different rums will add their own flavors. Meyers Dark Jamaican rum will add a molasses note, lighter rums will have less caramel notes. The kind of sugar you use will also affect the final flavors. Start with white sugar which adds the least flavoring. Turbinado sugar adds a little richness, light brown sugar adds more. I used unbleached sugar which adds the lightest note of molasses. Also smell the spices, use more or less to your taste. Taste it as it steeps, you might like more or less steeping time.
--Make your first batch plain. As you get to know the flavors you like you can add bananas to the jar for steeping with the spices or after the spices are strained. Coconut milk, coconut water, or coconut creme each add their own kind of flavors. Some like orange peel, some mandarin segments, some both. Experiment, have fun, enjoy and share the rum!