1 vanilla bean
Sugar, for sprinkling
1½ oz. aged rum (I recommend Plantation Barbados 5-year Grand Reserve.)
1 oz. simple syrup*
¾ oz. lime juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
6 mint leaves
Champagne or dry sparkling wine, to top
Mint sprig, for garnish
• Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, removing and discarding the seeds. Sprinkle the sugar over each half of the bean, pressing lightly to ensure adhesion. Set aside.
• Add the rum, syrup, lime juice, bitters and mint to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake 17 seconds.
• Double strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a martini glass.
• Top with the Champagne or sparkling wine. Garnish with the mint sprig and sugar-coated vanilla bean.
* To make simple syrup, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool before using.