If you’re anything like me, you don’t like to wait around for your packages to arrive. We live in an era where information flies across the planet at the speed of light, so you better believe I’m clicking “same day shipping” on that weighted blanket I just ordered. What does this have to do with a cocktail? Well, it’s this sort of impatience that served as the inspiration for one of my favorite, underrated cocktails, the Airmail.
The cocktail originated in the 1930s when Bacardi released a pamphlet celebrating this new, tropical-inspired cocktail that combined the bright effervescence of champagne with the sweet, smooth flavors of aged rum. Their invention proved to be dangerously drinkable, quickly transporting you from point A to point B (if Point A is totally sober and Point B is a pretty great time). Of course, the fastest way to get something anywhere in the 1930s was through Airmail, and thus a deliciously crushable cocktail earned its name.
“It ought to make you fly high,” W.C. Whitfield wrote about the Airmail in his foundational cocktail guide Here’s How, Mixed Drinks (1941). You won’t find the Airmail on most modern cocktail menus, but this crisp, clean cocktail is the perfect drink to celebrate just about anything. Tasting like a cross between the legendary French 75 and a Honey Bee, it’s often garnished with a postage stamp (you read that correctly) and sweetened to taste with honey.
This year I’ll be celebrating the end of 2020 with a riff off the Airmail that I’m calling “Same Day Shipping” (although “The DM” is another solid name) that celebrates the unique way this cocktail carries me from impatient to pleasant. However much like the weighted blanket, I paid way too much to ship here, these can have you snoring in bed before the party even gets started. So it’s always best to imbibe carefully, and I caution you all to avoid online shopping after two or three of these.
Same Day Shipping
Prep Time: 5 min
Makes: 4 servings
- 2 OZ. AGED RUM (GOLDEN RUM)
- .75 OZ. FRESH LIME JUICE
- 1 TSP OF HONEY
- 3-5 CRUSHED ICE CUBES
- 5 OZ DRY PROSECCO (OR BRUT, CAVA, SPARKLING WINE)
- 1 LIME PEEL TWIST
- 1 POSTAGE STAMP (IF YOU CAN FIND ONE)
If you are having trouble mixing the honey, a bit of hot or warm water will help. If you are planning on making a large number of these, then I recommend making a syrup of equal parts honey and hot water then double the amount of honey called for. This will help the honey dissolve into the mixture more quickly. Also, make sure to mix then honey before adding the cracked ice, otherwise, the honey will harden and won’t mix in with the other ingredients.
To crack the ice, I like to hold the ice cube with the flat part facing me. Then use a bar spoon (or any other metal spoon) and whack the flat part of the ice cube with the back of the spoon. This might take a few attempts, and you might get some uneven cracks but that’s okay. The drink will still taste the same — ideally, you want the consistency of gravel.
To easily create the lime peel twist for the garnish, I use a potato peeler and twist the garnish around my index finger. If you find the peel you made is too wide, that’s okay. You can always trim the edges with a paring knife, and you can always reuse garnishes in the next drink.