When you hear “rum,” your mind likely goes to a sunny tropical beach: floppy hat atop your head, silky sand between your toes, azure waters stretching out toward the horizon, and a little umbrella propped up in your fruity beverage. Where your mind likely does not go is wintertime.

But it should, says Josh Curtis, bar manager at Malibu Beach Inn’s CBC Restaurant. “If you think about it, all the same spices that you find in tiki drinks — cinnamon, clove, and allspice — are also closely associated with the holidays.”

The syrup responsible for this is falernum. It rose to popularity thanks to Donn Beach’s invention of the tiki bar in 1931, and was designed to transport drinkers of Mai Tais, Royal Bermuda Yacht Clubs, and Chartreuse Swizzles to the very island paradise most people imagine when they think of rum. But the fact remains that its core ingredients — cinnamon, clove, and allspice — are also the magical trio of many a holiday treat and beverage, such as mulled wine.

So, Curtis thought, why not bring the two together?

Holiday Rum Cocktail with Rosemary sprigs burning with Malibu Beach in the background

The “Everyday a Holiday” cocktail does just that. Using aged rum as its base (Curtis’ top choice is Appleton Estate 12 year), the drink combines equal parts fresh grapefruit juice with falernum for a balanced citrus/savory body, then tops things off with a splash of sparkling wine for that bit of holiday pizzazz. Tying it all together is a sprig of activated rosemary. (Twist and bend the herb several times until you can smell it; this releases the oils and the delightful aroma. If you’re feeling particularly inspired, you can also light the rosemary on fire for an extra burst of sensory stimulation!)

“It’s the perfect substitute for a French 75 or Air Mail, which is essentially a French 75 but with rum,” says Curtis. “Anything with bubbles is automatically ideal for the holidays. Plus, you can have it be a lighter option by dialing back the rum to 1 or 1.5 ounces, making it a lot more accessible than some heavier winter cocktails that you can only have one of before really feeling it.”

Between the spices of the falernum and rum, the fizz of the Prosecco, and the fresh scent of the rosemary, this holiday warmer is sure to be a hit across the board — no suntan lotion required.

Everyday a Holiday Rum Cocktail Recipe

2 oz Appleton Estate Rum 12yr
.75 oz Grapefruit
.75 oz Falernum Tiki syrup
2 oz Mionetto Prosecco

Build in a tall Collins glass. Measure and pour all the above ingredients. Whisk briskly with a bar spoon. Fill with ice to the top. Activate rosemary by bending the sprig several times. Garnish with the activated rosemary.