Airmail

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Cocktail History

The Airmail is a classic cocktail that was first published in 1949 in Esquire’s Handbook For Hosts: A Time-Honored Guide to the Perfect Party. The recipe is essentially a tropical variation of the French 75 that’s made with rum as the base instead of gin or brandy and citrus and honey syrup as the sweeteners. It then tops it all off with refreshing sparkling wine just like the classic but stretches the ingredients over ice in a highball glass instead of a coupe or champagne flute.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Sparkling Wine: This is a carbonated wine made with white or red grapes. We used Villa Bellezza Winery Brillante because it has a light and airy flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Gruvi Non-Alcoholic Prosecco in place of the sparkling wine.

Dark Rum: This is a type of rum made with sugarcane, spices, and water that has been barrel aged for a long period of time. We used Appleton Estate Special Gold Rum because it has a delicious rum flavor with notes of vanilla and baking spices. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Caleño Non-Alcoholic Dark & Spicy Tropical Spirit in place of the rum.

Lime Juice: This is the liquid juice of a lime. We used freshly squeezed lime juice.

Honey Syrup: This is a sweetener made with honey and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s simple recipe.

Lime Peel: This is the peel of a lime that has been rolled and stuck on a cocktail pick.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer.

Cocktail Pick: This is used to hold the garnish. We used one from the I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Pick Set.

Tasting Notes

The Airmail begins with aromas of lime and dry white wine before featuring the distinct taste of Jamaican rum’s funky flavor profile along with tart citrus balanced by the rich sweetness of the honey, all chased by the zing of sparkling wine in the throat.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: As expected, we enjoyed the Airmail and agreed that the rum was the perfect base liquor to stop the sparkling wine from stealing the show as it tends to do. In fact, come summertime when rum is front and center on the menu again, we think we’ll mix up a few more of these for ourselves, air travel or not.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“This drink is basically a honey-sweetened Daiquiri in a French 75 template, and it’s quite delicious. The Jamaican rum’s funky flavors play a huge role, taking front and center in pretty much every sip, while the lime and honey balance the drink and give the sparkling wine a base. While I was generally a fan, Kendall definitely liked this one more than I did, and I’m happy that I have a new sparkling cocktail to add to her regular menu.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“The Essential Cocktail Book’s description of this cocktail was a ‘Caribbean-inspired French 75,’ and I thought that was the perfect way to think of it. Over the last year, I’ve learned that I’m likely to love just about any cocktail topped with sparkling wine, and this was another winner. In my opinion, most taste like a flavored bubbly, but the rum really shines in this recipe. I would make this again during the summer months when rum is on the menu but I still want some sparkle.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks by the editors of PUNCH and Megan Krigbaum.

Sale
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
Hardcover Book; Editors of PUNCH (Author); English (Publication Language); 352 Pages – 09/05/2017 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$13.05 Amazon Prime

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail Book

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 3 oz Sparkling Wine
 1 ½ oz Dark Rum
 ¾ oz Lime Juice
 1 Lime Peel

Method
1

Add rum, lime juice, honey syrup, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a highball glass over fresh cracked ice.

4

Top with sparkling wine.

5

Garnish with lime peel.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 3 oz Sparkling Wine
 1 ½ oz Dark Rum
 ¾ oz Lime Juice
 1 Lime Peel

Directions

Method
1

Add rum, lime juice, honey syrup, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a highball glass over fresh cracked ice.

4

Top with sparkling wine.

5

Garnish with lime peel.

Airmail

Make It a Mocktail: Use Gruvi Non-Alcoholic Prosecco in place of the sparkling wine and Caleño Non-Alcoholic Dark & Spicy Tropical Spirit in place of the rum to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
Sturdy, stainless steel blade; Soft, comfortable, non-slip handle ensures a safe grip; Hand wash with warm, soapy water and promptly dry
$12.99 Amazon Prime
OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set - Swivel and Julienne
OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set – Swivel and Julienne
Sharp, durable, Japanese stainless steel blades won’t rust; Straight Peeler all-purpose design for effortless prep
$16.95 Amazon Prime
I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Picks Martini Picks Set (Pack of 15)
I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Picks Martini Picks Set (Pack of 15)
Measure: 4.25″; Material: stainless steel 304, color: silver; Reusable martini olive skewers, stainless steel olive stuffer.
$6.99 Amazon Prime

More Rum Cocktails

If you like this rum-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Plum Swizzle Cocktail Recipe

Plum Swizzle: A brandy, rum, and plum wine cocktail made with orange juice, lime juice, orgeat syrup, crème de violette, absinthe, mint, and an orange twist

Zombie Cocktail Recipe

Zombie: A rum cocktail made with velvet falernum liqueur, Donn’s mix, lime juice, absinthe, grenadine, Angostura aromatic bitters, and mint

Jamaican Mule Cocktail Recipe

Jamaican Mule: A rum cocktail made with ginger syrup, lime juice, pineapple juice, Angostura aromatic bitters, candied ginger, a lime slice, and an orchid blossom

Greena Colada Cocktail Recipe

Greena Colada: A rum cocktail made with triple sec, lime juice, lemon juice, Green Chartreuse, velvet falernum liqueur, crème of coconut, mint, and a lime wheel

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