Spice Up the Holidays Hanukkah Party

I've officially gone megshuganah.

Well, maybe not officially, but there's nothing quite like planning a party for eight of my nearest and dearest while at the same time coming up with recipes incorporating Captain Morgan's spiced rums.

When most people think of rum, or even Captain Morgan, they think of one of a few things:

  1. Captain and Coke
  2. Caribbean flavors
  3. Spiked apple ciders and fall-type foods

I had to shirk convention with my Hanukkah party. I told you about my menu plan about a week ago, and like all plans, a few things changed… but it's been the consensus of all who attended that the party was a success! The kitsch was a hit!

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Thanks to a stipend from Captain Morgan, I was able to purchase new table linens along with the ingredients for the food at our party! I went all-out blue-and-white Hanukkah with a new table runner, special glasses for the cocktails, and even a new vase for our Hanukkah-appropriate flowers.

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In the spirit of our traditional Hanukkah party, I made us a giant batch of potato latkes, gingersnap meatballs, hot dogs, baked beans, and roasted brussels sprouts. As usual, they all were delicious and just as nostalgic-tasting as they always are. Then, in the spirit of Spicing up the Holidays, I developed three new recipes using Captain Morgan spiced rum, both the original and black varieties.

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The cocktail was a shout-out to our Russian immigrant relatives, most of whom came to the United States in the early 1930s. Ok, that's a bit of a stretch, some michegas if you will.

I modeled my cocktail after a White Russian, but instead used Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum, whipped cream flavored vodka, a bit of cream, and a fancy-schmancy gingersnap cookie crumb rim on the glass. I call it "The Russian Jew". (Get it? Like a white russian, but at a Hanukkah party?)

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The Russian Jew Cocktail

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: n/a

Keywords: beverage captain morgan Hanukkah Christmas winter

Ingredients (1 cocktail)

  • 1 ounce Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum
  • 1/2 ounce whipped cream flavored vodka
  • 2-3 ounces cream, plus more for garnish
  • gingersnap crumbs


Pour a small amount of cream in a small dish. Dip the edge of the glass into the cream, then into the dish of gingersnap crumbs.

Fill the glass with ice cubes.

Add the Captain Morgan Black, whipped cream vodka, and cream.

Stir and enjoy!

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My sister-in-law Rivian was the cocktail's biggest fan… I knew she would be too! The Captain Morgan Black is absolutely delicious, slightly smoky, and was complemented by the cream and gingersnap perfectly.

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Our next Captain Morgan-spiked dish is a tribute to my grandfather, who was the king of barbecue. Even though he passed away when I was just barely 5 years old, I still remember him manning the grill and making delicious ribs with homemade barbecue sauce.

My mom helped me come up with this idea, and I'm so happy she did. It was quite a hit! I served the sauce with some simply-cooked shredded chicken, made in the crock pot. While this was intended as an appetizer, it ended up being a side dish for dinner. The sauce had a nice vinegar bite to it, with a warmth provided by the Captain Morgan Black.

Miniature Hawaiian rolls made for perfect little BBQ sliders… this is definitely Not Your Bubbe's BBQ!

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Not Your Bubbe's BBQ

Ingredients (3-4 cups)

  • 3 small onions, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 12 oz tomato paste
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 2 Tbsp brown mustard
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Worschesterhire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kitchen bouquet
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil (or other flavorless oil)


Heat the oil in a large pot.

Add the garlic, onion, and green pepper to the pan and cook until the onions are soft.

Add the remaining ingredients except for 1/4 cup of the Captain Morgan Black.

Simmer over medium-low heat for about 45 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced to a thick barbecue sauce.

Strain over a smaller pot.

Add the remaining rum, and simmer over low heat.

Serve with your favorite meat.

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Finally, the course I was the most excited about: dessert! Last year, I made a phenomenal bread pudding with chocolate and caramel. Everyone has mentioned it multiple times since then, so I knew that I had to make something similar for this year. What more perfect of a place to use some Captain Morgan Original than in the custard base of a bread pudding? The whole thing was topped with some apple cider caramel sauce and vanilla bean ice cream (and plated by my amazing pastry chef sister! Friends in high places, I tell ya…) Everyone enjoyed it thoroughly, and commented that the spice from the rum and the general not-too-sweetness of the dish made it perfect.

The butter, cream, eggs, butter, and butter (and did I mention butter?) in this made it Straight to Your Tuchus Bread Pudding.

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Straight to Your Tuchus Bread Pudding

Ingredients (12 servings)

    For the bread pudding
    • 1 large loaf challah
    • 6 eggs
    • 1 cup cream
    • 2 stick butter, melted and divided
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1/3 cup Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum
    • 1/4 cup large-grain sugar (like Sugar In The Raw)
    For the caramel topping
    • 2 cups apple cider
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 stick plus 2 Tablespoons butter


    For the bread pudding

    Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.

    Cut the challah into bite-sized cubes and place the cubes in a large bowl.

    Pour 1/2 of the melted butter over the bread and toss to coat.

    Transfer the bread cubes to a large baking dish.

    Mix the eggs, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, and Captain Morgan Spiced Rum in a large bowl (I used a stick blender to combine). Slowly add in the remaining melted butter. Stir to combine.

    Pour the cream/egg mixture over the bread cubes in the baking dish.

    Stir gently until all the bread cubes are somewhat coated.

    Sprinkle the coarse sugar over the top.

    Bake until browned and puffy, about 40 minutes.

    Allow to cool slightly, then cut into squares.

    Serve with apple cider caramel and vanilla bean ice cream.

    For the apple cider caramel

    Pour the apple cider into a large pot.

    Heat over high heat until it comes to a boil.

    Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the apple cider has reduced to about 1 cup.

    Add the sugars, water, and cream to the apple cider.

    Bring to a rapid boil, being careful as it may boil over.

    Simmer until an instant-read thermometer reads 245°F.

    Remove the caramel from the heat, transfer to a heat-safe container, and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

    Reheat in either the microwave or in a pot on the stovetop when ready to serve.

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    Our guests all had a blast, left happy and full… and maybe a wee bit tipsy…

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    Thanks to all my family for coming and enjoying all the food! I had so much fun cooking and party-planning! Another big thanks to Captain Morgan for the opportunity to participate in their Spice up the Holidays competition! Winners will be chosen this week by Captain Morgan USA and Chef Spike Mendelsohn.

    Be sure to check back and see how my party and recipes fared. There are 9 other competitors, and 5 categories! I'm hoping my chutzpah at least gets me a shout-out…

    Happy Hanukkah to all!
    FCC Disclosure: Captain Morgan USA provided me with the spiced rum used in the recipes as well as a stipend with which to purchase ingredients. All recipes and opinions are my own.

    This entry was posted in Captain Morgan, family, simple recipe and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

    11 Responses to Spice Up the Holidays Hanukkah Party

    1. mom says:

      all was delish!!!

    2. David says:

      The food was great and so was the company. Love, David

    3. Biz says:

      Your table decorations are beautiful Mara! The only thing that threw me on your menu was the hot dogs?!

      Happy Monday!
      Biz´s last blog post ..Piggyback Tavern

    4. Now THAT, sounds like a great party!!! Gah! You did an amazing job Mara!!!
      Melissa @TryingtoHeal´s last blog post ..Oh Nuts! Macadamia Nut Cherry Banana Bread

    5. Good luck Mara! You did Captain Morgan proud!

    6. Marianne says:

      What a great party! I bet all of the food was delicious. I have to say, I’ve never been much of a spiced rum fan, but your recipes intrigue me, especially the BBQ sauce.
      Marianne´s last blog post ..Taste Test – Spaghetti Squash

    7. Nice table setting and good choice of color. All three recipes were creative, fitting for a Hanukkah party. Do you also bake challah loaf?

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