Costa Rica is home to an amazing sustainable organic spice farm just outside of Manuel Antonio called Villa Vanilla. If you are a foodie and plan to be in that area, it's definitely worth a visit for a tour and tasting and to learn how vanilla beans, cacao, and ceylon cinnamon (also known as "true cinnamon") are grown and harvested and it's a great place to pick up some souvenirs from your Costa Rican vacation. Individual whole vanilla beans (in glass vials) or locally grown spices also make excellent wedding favors!
We had a bag of fresh ceylon cinnamon bark leftover from our last visit to the farm, so today we decided to come up with a cocktail recipe using all local ingredients. Full disclosure, I have no mixology experience, but it was delicious and so refreshing!
Spiked Ceylon Tea
1 Bag of Ceylon Cinnamon Bark
1 Vanilla Bean Pod
2 whole Star Anise Pods
1 Tsp. Cardamom Seeds
Centenario or Flor de Caña Rum
Whole Nutmeg for garnish
To make the cinnamon tea, add the bag of cinnamon, the vanilla pods (you can remove the seeds for another recipe), the star anise and the cardamom to a large pot of boiling water and boil for 3 minutes. Turn off the burner and let the cinnamon steep for at least 3 hours, but up to 24 hours for a more intense flavor. Strain into a pitcher and refrigerate.
To make the Spiked Ceylon Tea cocktail, fill a glass with ice and pour in 1-2 ounces of rum (we were trying to keep it local, but bourbon also works great in this recipe), and fill the rest of the glass with the cinnamon tea. Garnish with a stick of cinnamon or fresh grated nutmeg. Disfrute!