Home Knowledge Allspice Dram Substitutes – 5 Of The Best

Allspice Dram Substitutes – 5 Of The Best

Allspice dram next to a lady making a tiki cocktail

Allspice dram is a liqueur that’s made by infusing pimento berries with pot-stilled Jamaican rum. It’s a popular cocktail modifier that provides a dark, bitter, and spicy counterpoint to sweet ingredients that commonly get added to tiki or exotic tropical drinks.

If you’ve got none at home and can’t find it at the store, then you’re going to need a replacement. Finding an allspice dram substitute can be a challenge, thanks to the drink’s unique flavor profile; however, there are a few options you can look at. They won’t be perfect, but they’ll allow you to finish that “Ancient Mariner” or “Lion’s Tail” without the original ingredient.

What can I use to replace allspice dram?

The best off-the-shelf alternatives to allspice dram are Old New Orleans Cajun Spice Rum or Dark Matter Spiced Rum. Angostura Bitters will work in a pinch, but it has a noticeably different flavor profile. For a more authentic replacement, make your own at home with a few simple ingredients.

1. Old New Orleans Cajun Spice Rum

Time required to make replacement: none

Old New Orleans has produced a Cajun Spice Rum that’s a little different than regular spiced rum. Instead of blending a flavor-infused syrup into rum, they take a blend of rums and infuse it with a selection of baking spices for four to six weeks.

It includes allspice as one of the key ingredients along with others like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Although the flavor profile won’t perfectly match allspice dram, it makes a useful substitute that’s perfect for holiday and tiki-inspired cocktails. One sip and you’ll be momentarily transported to the Caribbean.

2. Dark Matter Spiced Rum

Time required to make replacement: none

Dark Matter Spiced Rum is made in Scotland and is a molasses-based rum. It is a full-flavored drink with notes of fresh ginger, long pepper, green peppercorns, and most importantly allspice.

Like the product that Old New Orleans produces, there are additional flavors that you wouldn’t get from allspice dram. But just because something has a different taste, it doesn’t mean the ingredient will be out of place as a substitute.

Dark Matter Spiced Rum slips nicely into a “Cuban Love” or “La Cola Nostra” – it gives a little extra warming spice which most people will appreciate.

3. Angostura Bitters

Time required to make replacement: none

If you don’t want the additional flavors that come with buying a ready-made spiced rum and don’t have time to make your own, then Angostura Bitters will work in a pinch. This is an herb-infused alcoholic tonic that adds bittersweet, spicy flavor to cocktails.

We won’t try and convince you that this replacement tastes the same as allspice dram. But it can be used similarly and will allow you to mix that next Fall or Christmas cocktail if you’re in a pinch.

4. Allspice berries

Time required to make replacement: 12 hours

If you need to replace allspice dram, then try using whole allspice berries. Although you may not find them at your local grocery store, they are fairly easy to find at specialty spice stores.

Whole allspice in a scoopOnce you have these dried spices in your possession, you’re ready to get started. Follow these simple steps for a fail-proof recipe.

  1. Add a quarter cup of allspice berries to a mortar and pestle and crush into pieces, to help release the aromatics.
  2. Make a simple sugar solution by heating one cup of sugar with one cup of water in a saucepan. Once the sugar is dissolved toss in the allspice and cook for a minute before removing from the heat.
  3. Allow it to cool before transferring the liquid and spices to an airtight container and refrigerating for at least 12 hours.

You can now strain this spice-infused liquid and combine with rum for a makeshift allspice dram. Although it’s not 100% authentic, this option is a nice mid-way point between using a ready-made spiced rum and making genuine allspice dram, which takes two weeks to make.

5. Homemade Allspice Dram

Time required to make replacement: 14 days

If you’re in no hurry, then why not make your own authentic allspice dram with a few simple ingredients? This method is similar to the recipes used by commercial brewers to make the drink.

Makes: 3 cups. Preparation time: 15 minutes.


  • ¼ cup whole allspice berries
  • 1 cup light rum
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 cup brown sugar


  1. Use a mortar and pestle to crush the allspice into large chunks.
  2. Add the spices to a small sealable jar then pour in the rum. Close the lid and shake well then allow it to steep for five days, shaking the jar each day.
  3. On the 5th day open the jar and add a cinnamon stick then close.
  4. On day 10 strain the liquid through a coffee filter to ensure there are no bits leftover. Set aside in a jar or bottle.
  5. Heat the water and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan and boil until the sugar dissolves. Allow the mixture to cool before combining it with the rum. Shake the mixture before allowing it to rest for a further two to four days.

Storage: Your homemade allspice dram can be stored at room temperature for up to two months. Although it won’t go off, it will begin to lose its flavor quality after this time.

Pimento dram substitutesFast facts about allspice dram

  • It is an intensely bitter ingredient that isn’t pleasant consumed on its own.
  • It’s also known as allspice liqueur and pimento dram.
  • Some popular cocktails that use it include Rum Barrel, Ancient Mariner, Jasper’s Jamaican, and Three Dots and a Dash.
  • The legendary cocktail created by Don the Beachcomber, Spices #2, uses allspice dram as a key ingredient.
  • The allspice is a berry that is harvested from the pimento tree.
  • Some popular brands include Bitter Truth and St Elizabeth Allspice Dram liqueur.

Related reading:
What is a useful alternative to Amer Picon?

Summing up

Allspice dram is a unique ingredient that adds a bitter flavor to drinks. There aren’t a lot of alternatives on the market that offer the same flavor profile, but Old New Orleans Cajun Spice Rum, Dark Matter Spiced Rum, or Angostura Bitters are all good options. They can easily be found online or at well-stocked liquor stores. To get a more authentic tasting cocktail, you’re better to make your own version of allspice dram at home.

What are you looking to make with allspice dram? Please let us know in the comments below.