Tue | Dec 18, 2018

A joyful Appleton dinner

Published:Thursday | December 21, 2017 | 12:08 AMJody-Anne Lawrence
The cherry on top of the evening was the Joy, had neat.
Joy Spence and Jason Clarke toast to a wonderful evening.
Desserts to caress your sweet tooth – the banana brûlée (centre), crispy rum and raisin bread pudding and salted caramel (right) and dark cherries and chocolate torte accompanied by the Estate Old Fashioned. The Estate Old Fashioned 1 part Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12-year-old 2 teaspoon brown sugar 2 dashes of Angostura bitters Orange peel (garnish) DIRECTIONS: Dissolve brown sugar into Appleton Estate Rare Blend rum into a rock glass. Add four cubes of ice, add bitters and stir 32 times. Release orange oil from rind and use it to garnish.
Start your night with the mango-peppered shrimp salad with avocado and lime dressing and your palate will thank you for it.
This wet sugar-glazed pork belly with charred scallion and roasted pumpkin puree was to die for.
X-Ale 1 part Appleton Estate Signature Blend 2 part ginger ale Wedge of lime Sprig of mint DIRECTIONS: Place two to three ice cubes in a highball glass. Squeeze lime and drop into glass. Add Appleton Estate Signature Blend and top up with ginger ale. Garnish with mint and serve.
Estate Daiquiri 1 1⁄2 part Appleton Estate Reserve Blend 1 part fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon of brown sugar 1 orange peel (garnish) DIRECTIONS: Dissolve 1 tablespoon of brown sugar in 1 tablespoon of water to make a syrup. Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a tall glass.
Cheers to a wonderful evening.

It's the most wonderful time of the year, and to celebrate, the rum specialists – Appleton Estate – along with the first female master blender, Joy Spence, hosted an intimate dinner featuring a three-course menu by chef Gariel ‘Gari’ Ferguson paired with, you guessed it, good ol’ Jamaican rum.

The evening began with appetiser of mango peppered shrimp with avocado and lime dressing to open up the palate after being greeted with the first cocktail of the night, the X-Ale. This was followed by a wet sugar-glazed pork belly with charred scallion and roasted pumpkin puree. It was the hit of the night. Guests couldn’t get enough. It was aptly paired with the Estate Brown Sugar Daiquiri, another favourite of the night. And the cherry on top? The dessert trio which included a crispy rum and raisin bread pudding with salted caramel, a banana brûlée and sorrel and chocolate torte to caress the sweet tooth, perfectly accompanied by the Estate Old Fashioned cocktail.

After enjoying such a succulent dinner and pleasurable dining experience, Food consulted the man himself, so that you can recreate the experience at home this holiday.

Ferguson’s tips:

1. Have a meal plan: Plan everything from start to finish, in advance. The plan should include the meals that you are going to prepare as well as every ingredient that you will need and how long it will take to prepare the meal. Knowing exactly what you want will help with your shopping list so that no ingredient gets overlooked. It also helps with scheduling on the day.

2. Do not be too ambitious: This is something that you should consider when you are making your meal plan. This is not the time to try somethingnew. Your guests would much rather something well prepared than an experiment. Something may go wrong and that is very risky.

3. Shop in one place: This will save you time and also help you to avoid the Christmas rush.

4. Prep carefully: Prepping saves time but do so with caution. Things like fish are not usually preseasoned, but if you do, add the salt at the last minute as the salt will dry the fish. This can also be the case with beef, depending on how you are going to cook it. Pot roasts and stews can be fully seasoned as they are usually cooked slowly, retaining moisture. If it’s for the grill, hold back on the salt.

Bonus tip: Always have help. Do not do everything yourself. This will leave you feeling overwhelmed and fatigued. As it pertains to the fabulous cocktails, here are the Appleton cocktail recipes that will make your dinner parties happy and bright.