Appleton Estate’s Cocktails & Cuisine closed its epic food journey on a decidedly stimulating note at Harmony Hall’s Summerhouse Restaurant in St. Mary! For several weeks, we have followed David Morrison, Senior Blender for Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum, as he journeyed through Jamaica seeking out authentic local dishes created by our homegrown Jamaican chefs and pairing them with premium Appleton Estate Rum cocktails.
Accompanied by a bevvy of food connoisseurs, David has trekked from the depths of the Cockpit Country to the cliffs of Negril, from the heart of Kingston City to sleepy beachside villages, tasting the culinary results of our most talented, and enhancing the dining experience with his own creative cocktails. His experiential culinary adventure has led him back in time, to the Summerhouse Restaurant at the historic Harmony Hall.
Harmony Hall is a landmark Georgian-style great house, located in the parish of St. Mary. For the past 200 years, Jamaicans from all walks of life have gathered on her lawns to imbibe art, culture, and merriment in the form of decadent food and exotic cocktails. A recent renovation has restored this beloved property to its former glory!
On the main floor, tucked away behind a uniquely designed bar, you’ll find the exquisite Summerhouse Restaurant. Operated by Jamaican culinary legends, sisters, Suzanne and Michelle Rousseau, Summerhouse’s elegant, inviting atmosphere breathes life into their tagline: Simple Food, Meant to be Shared.
As David and his guests eagerly await their meal, they’re joined by the owner, Michelle Rousseau. “Lamb pairs well with rum cocktails,” she explains, “because we tend to use citrus notes and aromatic flavours like mint, sage and honey while we cook.” Today, David and his guests are going to try Summerhouse’s Marmalade-Glazed Rack of Lamb.
The chef has utilized Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Rare Casks during cooking to enhance the flavours of the entire meal. As Rousseau speaks, piping hot plates of lamb served over smashed butter beans and grilled vegetables—a Mediterranean spin on a classic ‘lamb and potatoes’– appears on the table, along with eager grins from David and his hungry guests. “Notes of citrus and mint will pair exquisitely with a refreshing, clean rum cocktail,” adds Rousseau.
Pair well, they did! The citrus, mint and honey of the meal, inspired David to put a new spin on a classic gimlet. His version, the Honey Soother, includes Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Rare Casks, real Jamaican honey, and lime juice with a sprig of mint. “Real simple but complex,” notes David as his guests take a long sip from their glasses. “Appleton Estate’s 12 Year Old Rare Casks offers beautiful toasted oak notes, nice coffee, rich orange peel, and beautiful vanilla. This drink pairs well with the citrus of the marmalade and the mint.”
As plates are cleaned and laughter rolls out into the sweeping gardens of Harmony Hall, Rousseau announces something special: dessert! “Chocolate pairs well with rum,” she declares, as delectable Mousse Chocolat with Sablée Crusts, filled with salted caramel, toasted almonds and classic French mousse and topped with a rum Chantilly and caramel sauce appear in front of the eager diners.
The perfect aperitif for such a decadent treat? Appleton Estate 21 Year Old Nassau Valley Casks, served neat, of course. Some things in life are perfect just as they are, and this premium rum is one of them!
“Pay attention to the beautiful toasted almond notes, coffee, cocoa, orange peel and vanilla present in this expression,” David advises his guests, as they close their eyes to savour the splendour of the rum paired with the enticing French dessert.
As the friends let their worries melt into the fringes of time, embracing the sensory pleasures of the moment, as so many Jamaicans have done throughout the years on the lawns of Harmony Hall, we are instantly reminded how sweet life can be when we pair all the elements just right! This is Jamaican Excellence, a sweet ending to an incredible gastronomical journey.
Must be 18 years or older to drink. Drink Responsibly.