Masquerade - Wild Hisbiscus (Flor de Jamaica) & Rum Cocktail

Monday I have Friday (Cocktails) on my mind. Truth be told, everyday I have Cocktails on my mind. Just about anything can get me going. After reading Pat Smith's Invitation to a Masquerade (, it set my mind wandering. The title itself conjured up pools of Rum swirling in spices. I set out to my office, and began creating. A drink to Kings and wrought iron fences with Mardi Gras snapping at its heels.

The Masquerade

2 ½  ounces of white Rum, that has been infused with a vanilla bean for several days
1 ounce of fresh pineapple juice (if possible or if bottled, unsweetened)
½  ounce of fresh lime juice
1 T. (or more, to taste) of Wild Hibiscus  Syrup*

Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Moisten the rim of a Martini  glass with a bit of the lime and twirl the glass edge though the Hibiscus dust**. Strain into the glass, and to gild the lily, eye dropper some dark Rum on top.

*Wild Hibiscus Syrup

½ c dried hibiscus flowers (aka Flor de Jamaica and Sorrel, available at Caribbean or Latin markets)
3 cloves
3 allspice pods
1 small cinnamon stick
3 thin slices of ginger
Peel from approx. half an orange w/out pith
1 ½  c demerara sugar
1 ½ c water
Place all in a pan and bring to a low boil for approx. 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cool and strain.

 Invitation to a Masquerade
by Pat Smith

To Tawn Earnest spokesman for Dollar General
And Summer Ash director of outreach
On the occasion of the Transit of Venus
Let me say upfront I love your names
And I invite you to come as a commedia clown
And her killer shadow
For game-used dirt from all thirty ballparks
Where we will scale outdoor sculpture
To deploy a mobile splicing unit
And bounce it off a donut fender
Darlings please don’t overthink it
Yours sincerely King of Sleep
Répondez s’il vous plaît
P.S. the rectangular holes in my forehead
Are the latest eastern fashion
Perfectly cut voids, one big, one small
You can see the air right through them
The big one holds a shiny metal gizmo
That I think controls my gears
Until I pull back the blue plastic liner
To reveal a dark pond beneath my pool
And a startled puffer fish
Who I guess is me since I smoke
Segments of wrought iron fence

To install on summer cabin porches
And light your way with tiki torches

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