Tea Time with Santa – Spirit Forward Rum Cocktail for the Holidays

For all my Spirit-Forward fans and Manhattan cocktail lovers, this rum cocktail is the one for you! It infuses some English Breakfast Tea with Vermouth, Sherry and bitters for a beautiful spirit forward cocktail. But who’s the star of this cocktail? We’re using Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum for this sophisticated sip, and we’ve got the recipe for you right here!

Jump to Recipe

Building your Diplomatico Spirit Forward Rum Cocktail

If you’ve been following Liquid Culture for some time, you know my love and appreciate for the Rum category. I don’t tend to work a lot with Latin and Blended Rums, but I was excited to jump on this special release from Diplomatico Distillery. This rum for me carries a lot of the holiday flavours I personally love from fruit cake, ginger, clove and raisin. It has a ton of body and seeing as it’s a great rum to sip on, I knew I had to stir up something sophisticated.

Since the Diplomatico Rum has a nice balance of sweetness, it helped me decide the rest of the ingredients I wanted to pair. For example, Rum and Fino Sherry go very well together, because for me the Fino brings in a touch of acidity and dryness I’m looking to balance off this cocktail. Then we have the Sweet Vermouth, which I recommend a French brand such as Dolin’s because it isn’t heavy on the spices. This rum already has all the spice you need, you don’t need to convolute it with more.

We have one more component to this cocktail that I haven’t mentioned and is vital to this cocktail and that’s the English Breakfast Tea Syrup. Typically I’d recommend infusing the tea leaves in the vermouth and it’s very easy to do. The thing is, I’ve steered away from a ton of infusions these days. That’s because I just DON’T have the space anymore on my bar. That’s why I decided to make a syrup instead and I put less vermouth to help balance everything off. The tea is great for highlighting that Fino Sherry with tannins and more dryness to the palate. I like a full experience with my spirit forward cocktails, and this does just that! Curious how it’s made? Head down below for details.

Tea Time with Santa

Featuring a Spirit-Forward Cocktail infused with Diplomatico Rum, English Breakfast Tea and Sherry!

– Difficulty: Intermediate

Servings 1 cocktail
Author Monica C


  • 2 oz Diplomatico Rum
  • 1/3 oz Sweet Vermouth preferably French
  • 1/3 oz English Breakfast Tea Syrup See below for details
  • 2/3 oz Fino Sherry
  • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 Lemon Twist for Garnish


  1. In a mixing glass, add all your ingredients except garnish. Fill your mixing glass with ice and stir.

  2. Strain into coupe glass. Garnish with Lemon Twist.

Recipe Notes

Want to know how to make the English Breakfast Syrup at home? It’s very simple! Combine 1 cup of boiled water with 1 cup of granulated sugar, add in two tea bags of English Breakfast and let this steep for 5-10 minutes before removing. Allow it to come to room temperature before using.

Looking for more Holiday inspired cocktails? Head over to the link attached HERE for all the ideas this holiday season!

Monica Carbonell

Hi, I’m Monica and I’m your Fairy Barmother. At Liquid Culture, creativity is encouraged and education is used to empower followers to be the best they can be. We want to provide you with the tools to confidently bartend within your own home and to have some fun while doing it too! Inside this website you will find recipes, videos, articles and more that will teach you everything you need to know about being your best Home Bartender!


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