about figgin’ thyme | a rum cocktail with fig + thyme and how to make allspice dram

I’m a firm believer that when something is meant to happen, it will happen in its own sweet time, at just the right time. There is a reason the saying, “It is what it is,” is so simple, yet so pertinent. We do what we can, with the tools we’ve been given, with the understanding we presently have. The rest works itself out.

I’d like to force certain things to happen, though. Like when you’ve worked really hard on a project, and you want that recognition or that promotion. Sometimes, however, the timing just isn’t where you’d like it to be. {Insert wasted energy, emotions, and countless hours here.}

fig + thyme cocktail | how to make allspice dram | holly & flora

I have a handful of letters I need to respond to, but they sit on my desk, haphazardly tossed in a pile, waiting for the “perfect” time to craft. Maybe I haven’t spoken with one of the letter-writers, and I feel the need to formally write an intense, full-on disclosure and catch-up of my life’s happenings. Perhaps I’ve been in a funk and feel the need to “be in a better place” in order to write back a cheerful friend. A few moments this evening reminded me that there is no time better than the present to start something.

Work at the restaurant has, thankfully, been a little slow this past week, and I was gifted the past two days off. I had a self-imposed, detailed to-do list beckoning me, but I really felt the need to slow down. I baked a peach crumble. I came up with a few cocktails. I did my nails. I drew a bath and picked out a magazine from a stack of periodicals I’d been meaning to read for quite a while.

I randomly grabbed the very first issue of Kinfolk I’d purchased. It was also the first almost-$20 independent magazine I’d purchased. This particular issue, volume seven, published in 2013, was all about ice cream and entertaining. Sometimes, I buy magazines, and they sit on my desk or tabletop for years without my opening them. I figure that what goes around comes around and that the timing will be right, when I decide to crack the spine and flip through the pages. This time proved my assumptions correct. The timing was perfect.

fig + thyme cocktail | how to make allspice dram | holly & flora

I opened to page 102 and read Killeen Hanson‘s words on being neighborly, checking in, and writing to friends and family. She recounts the many times her mother and father have written her over the years: notes on postcards, letters sneaked in junk mail envelopes, folders filled with local newspaper clippings. I’m also a beloved fan of the handwritten letter. Somehow, it supersedes the digital type in a text or email. It takes more time, art, effort. Maybe we, as a culture, have casually and conveniently forgotten this art, since it demands much more of us in our fast-paced, instantly gratified, real-time lifestyles.

“We’ve all received that out-of-the-blue note from a friend; the joy and comfort that these little check-ins bring us is incredible considering the simplicity and scale of the act. It doesn’t take much time or effort to jot down a thinking-of-you note to a friend that will change their day.”

Killeen Hanson, Kinfolk, Volume Seven, “How to be Neighborly: Checking In”

I’m vowing this Labor Day weekend to write letters to those friends, pen pals, colleagues, and family members I’ve been thinking about for weeks, months, even years. That article was so timely and relevant. There is no better time than now to say how you feel and brighten someone’s day with your own handwriting and words and doodles.

  • To my mom, I’m finally sending you the edited CDs of your past singing performances.
  • To Derrick, whom I’ve never met in real life but feel so intricately connected with, look for a recap from the past two years.
  • To Sandy, I’ve finally got a few treats for you. I must confess that I ate the first two batches of cookies I baked for you.
  • And to Gina, look out for a little “hello” in your mailbox this week! Your pen pal is finally following through.

fig + thyme cocktail | how to make allspice dram | holly & flora

Another item I happened upon today was a batch of homemade allspice dram I made back in the spring. I can’t believe I hadn’t even tasted the finished product! I pursed my lips, squinted my eyes, and shook my head. I needed to do something about this situation.

So, what exactly IS allspice dram?

Allspice dram is a liqueur made from allspice berries with a little cinnamon. It marries perfectly with many Tiki cocktails and is a superb match with pears. I am in the midst of making a fig shrub, so I had an extra handfuls of figs. I correctly assumed that the flavors of figs, cinnamon, and allspice would go along quite nicely. This little cocktail brings the flavors of summer and the notes of fall together. It almost feels like Indian summer in a glass.

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about figgin’ thyme | a rum cocktail with fig + thyme

  1. In a mixing tin, muddle the figs with the thyme simple syrup.
  2. Fill the tin with ice.
  3. Add the light rum, apricot liqueur, allspice dram, and lemon juice.
  4. Shake well and double strain into coupe glasses. Optionally, double strain into cocktail glasses filled with ice and top with a splash of seltzer.
  5. Garnish with a sprig of freshly cut thyme.

fig + thyme cocktail | how to make allspice dram | holly & flora fig + thyme cocktail | how to make allspice dram | holly & flora

thyme simple syrup

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3-4 sprigs freshly cut thyme
  1. Using a 1:1 ratio of water to sugar, measure out your desired portion. The recipe above yielded enough for about eight cocktails.
  2. In a saucepan, over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the water. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the sprigs of thyme and let the mixture steep for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Strain off the solids and let the syrup mixture cool.
  5. Store in the refrigerator for up to one month.

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For the allspice dram, I took Marcia Simmons’ lead over at Serious Eats. She proved that making your own allspice dram is just as delicious as the real deal. I have actually had a difficult time finding my favorite rendition, St. Elizabeth’s, so an adaptation on her simple recipe was a lifesaver.

An excerpt from the Death & Co. cocktail book, elaborating on both St. Elizabeth's allspice dram and Rothman & Winter's delicious apricot liqueur. This book is a must-have in any home bar. Definitely one of my favorite purchases of the year.

An excerpt from the Death & Co. cocktail book, elaborating on both St. Elizabeth’s allspice dram and Rothman & Winter’s delicious apricot liqueur. This book is a must-have in any home bar. Definitely one of my favorite purchases of the year.

 allspice dram

  • 1 cup light rum {I went with Downslope, again}
  • 1/4 cup whole allspice
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  1. In a mortar and pestle, crush the whole allspice berries.
  2. Place the crushed allspice in a mason jar and top with the rum.
  3. Shake the jar daily, over the course of four days. On the fourth day, break the cinnamon stick into a few pieces, and add them to the mixture.
  4. Continue steeping for 12 days total. On the twelfth day, strain the mixture through a chinois or fine-mesh strainer. Take the time to make a second pass through a coffee filter for better clarity.
  5. In a saucepan, heat the water and sugar, stirring, until the granules have dissolved. Add the sugar-water to the allspice mixture, shake, and let the flavors integrate for a few days.

The flavor of homemade allspice dram is best, when it’s used within 3-4 months. Even though I forgot about the batch I made back in March, the flavors are still hanging on pretty well. Lots of cozy, baking spice-like notes with a strong liquor backbone.

fig + thyme cocktail | how to make allspice dram | holly & flora fig + thyme cocktail | how to make allspice dram | holly & flora fig + thyme cocktail | how to make allspice dram | holly & flora

Cheers to a wonderfully relaxing Labor Day weekend!

Do you write letters at all? Do you think it is an art worth saving, and, if so, how do you plan on promoting and cultivating its future?

Enjoy those last days of summer, and seriously, disregard anyone who’s telling you it’s over. It’s not. Not until the 23rd. So, why rush it? It will happen, when it happens. Despite a few friends, who are already ordering their PSLs {ahem, Aimee and Nicole!}, I am resisting the urge and am still making popsicles and iced tea. The timing’s just right.

Big hugs,


Jayme Henderson

I am a sommelier-turned-farmer, who recently moved to Colorado's Western Slope to become a full-time grower of grapes and maker of wine. My husband, Steve, and I own and live on a vineyard, where we craft high-elevation white wine and rosé under our label, The Storm Cellar. I enjoy freelance writing and photography, and I am currently the cocktail columnist for Colorado's Spoke+Blossom magazine. I love playing with our two cats, gardening, mixing drinks, finding (and sipping!) great sparkling wine, cooking, playing the piano, and hiking.



  1. Reply


    September 8, 2015

    I had a cocktail this weekend with an allspice dram! It also had hibiscus and it was really lovely. I love the idea of figs and allspice together…also, that color is amazing!

    • Reply

      Jayme Henderson

      September 11, 2015

      Thanks so much!! 💕 What else was in those cocktails, Cindy? I really want to use hibiscus more – like the one that Sherry at With Food & Love recently posted, I think. I’m also making a cinnamon fig shrub that will go perfectly with allspice dram! Happy weekend! XO!

  2. Reply

    Connie Ehlers Fuller

    September 14, 2015

    I am making the dram this week, I think it’ll be good in a rhubarb shrub! (just tested my cardamom bitters and they need a little more time) I do have a question…why do you show rosemary in the photos (which are lovely) instead of thyme?

    • Reply

      Jayme Henderson

      September 18, 2015

      Hi, Connie! Let me know how the dram-making goes! It would be perfect when paired with a rhubarb shrub. I have a fig shrub that I just finished up, and the allspice dram is magical with it. And cardamom bitters? What components do you put in yours? That sounds perfect for fall.

      As far as the thyme conundrum goes, yes, it is actually thyme. It looks an awful lot like rosemary, though. It is a clipping from an older thyme plant that I have. You can get a giggle from a post I recently wrote for the Kitchn about growing thyme. Just read the comments, and you’ll see the explanation. 😉 It does look like rosemary, though!


      Have a stellar weekend!!

      • Mo

        January 6, 2018

        No disrespect, but that most definitely is rosemary. Thyme has completely differently shaped leaves.

      • Jayme Henderson

        January 8, 2018

        No disrespect taken at all. I grow several different varieties of thyme and rosemary in my garden, and this particular variety always gets commentary. I posted a photo of the different varieties of thyme I grow, alongside a sprig of rosemary, for comparison over at a gardening piece I wrote for the Kitchn. I can totally see how it looks like rosemary here.

        –> https://www.thekitchn.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-growing-thyme-221268

  3. Reply

    Becca | Spices and Spatulas

    September 23, 2015

    fig + thyme = the biggest heart-eyes emoji! also, that coupe glass is stunning– love the gold rim! xo

    • Reply

      Jayme Henderson

      October 15, 2015

      Becca! Thanks! And seriously, the big heart-eyed emoji is the best emoji. The glasses are from Andy of Liquorary. He sources out the most beautiful vintage glassware. XO!

  4. Reply

    Edith Schmidt Art

    December 12, 2015

    Love this, the title was great! You are an inspiration to me on how to connect to readers. I wish I could put your brain in my head when I write. I’ll have to do the next best thing read all your post and channel you in my studio.

    • Reply

      Jayme Henderson

      December 12, 2015

      Thanks for saying that, Edie!! I mean it. I feel like I ramble a lot, and I think I’m the only one who actually reads an entire post. They are lengthy – I’m just gonna go with it, though!! 💃🏻 Hee hee, I also love using the word, feck!! It’s even more fun that saying the real word!!

      • Edith Schmidt Art

        December 12, 2015

        Rofl!! I KNOW!!!! I don’t think you ramble, it’s like having a conversation with you, like I was there and you are telling the story. I need to do more of that.

  5. Reply


    January 23, 2017

    Hi…thank you! I found this beauty on pinterest and created. I had used some Ceylon cinnamon I got from slofoodgroup.com which I think will be a nice pair with the allspice. I would highly recommend. Can’t wait to try!

    • Reply

      Jayme Henderson

      January 23, 2017

      Ceylon cinnamon is a perfect pair with the allspice! So happy you have it a go. I am due to make another batch of allspice dram pretty soon. And thanks for the source link. That allspice dram will be perfect in so many tiki cocktails, and I find that making tiki drinks in the winter season is an extra special treat. Cheers!!

  6. Reply


    September 3, 2017

    You got me at fig! Yes you ramble on but it’s entertaining and adds a smile to the day. So guess I’ll have to sign on to the site. Best wishes for a nice Labor Day and please keep all those who are not laborless in floods and fires. 💖

    • Reply

      Jayme Henderson

      December 3, 2017

      Lol on the rambling! 😉 Sorry I missed your comment, Donna-Marie! I was just thinking of figs yesterday and how I missed their tiny window this year. I’m laughing because Labor Day was so long ago, and it wasn’t filled with much rest. It was the beginning of our grape harvest out here in Paonia. I’m FINALLY catching up on “life” now! I can now wish you a happy holiday season, since September has long since passed. CHEERS!!