Chow Bella

Rum Bar's Pilfered Lemon Blossom Tincture: The End Definitely Justifies the Means

Spring is fast becoming a distant memory, but Dwayne Allen and Danielle Leoni of The Breadfruit and Rum Bar captured a lovely bit of it and stuck it in a jar.

About two months back, they found a lemon tree loaded with blossoms (more on that momentarily). What they eventually created, with help from the tree, is a lemon tincture that would be added to a new cocktail: the Kiwi Reserve ($9), a pale green and slightly floral number that looks and smells like spring in a glass.

The Kiwi Reserve is composed of:

Mount Gay Special Reserve rum Muddled organic kiwi fruit Hand-squeezed pineapple juice (sweeter, no metallic taste) Hand-squeezed lemon juice House-made lemon blossom tincture House-made lavender bitters

How Allen and Leoni came by the lemon blossoms is the story of two decent people breaking bad . . . .

It was a Sunday, the couple's day off. Allen and Leoni were making a "round-town cruise," walking the neighborhood to decide where they might want to eat. As they approached one of their favorite restaurants (they won't say which), they noticed a lemon tree in full blossom. "It smelled amazing. The aroma just enveloped us," Allen says.

The two looked at each other and said, "What can we do with these?" Leoni remembered she had some Mason jars in the car that she'd bought the day before. She and Allen shook the tree and picked up the lemon blossoms that fell to the ground. Four quarts' worth! They don't think of what they did as stealing (too harsh a word), but it's pretty easy to see they're a little shame-faced. But, hey, does the end justify the means?

In this delicious case, we'd say, yes, it does.

According to Allen, making the lemon blossom tincture was pretty easy: Macerate the blossoms, add high-alcohol rum and a little water to the mix and voila! -- a tincture, which he says is a great way to enhance the flavor of a cocktail and give the ingredients "more root."

Allen hopes the tincture will last through the summer, but now's the time to sip cocktails on Rum Bar's tiny back patio, before high temperatures, monsoon season, or both ruin even the evenings.

When the real dog days hit, Allen will create another lemon tincture-laced cocktail, this time a mash-up of strawberries and lemons to be called The Shaken Tree.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Nikki Buchanan