Category Archives: Rum

MxMo LV: Some Like It Hot!

This month’s Mixology Monday is being hosted by Nancy, aka The Backyard Bartender, and her chosen theme is: Some Like It Hot. Very simple, make anything you want, as long as it is hot. This could not have come at a more perfect time, as it has been below freezing this week, and I very much enjoyed experimenting with many variations of hot beverages.

Last week I was enjoying the Full Sail Black Gold, and I thought that with it’s rich chocolate/malt flavors that it would work well in a cocktail. So after thinking about how I was going to incorporate it, I decided to go the beer syrup route and made an imperial stout syrup. It turned out perfectly. Rich and thick with a lot of the chocolate notes I was looking for.

So now I had my sweetener, but what about the rest of the drink? Normally when crafting a drink I start with the base spirit, but since I really wanted to incorporate the beer it was a little more challenging. As I was thinking about flavor pairings, my original thoughts were apples and strawberries, but neither of those really fit with a hot beverage. However, orange would be perfect. Everybody loves those chocolate oranges, so throw some chocolate and orange together, add some rum, and you have got yourself a drink.

It was a good drink, but lacking somehow. Bitters of course, how could one forget bitters? They make everything taste better. Adding some orange and chocolate bitters really helped tame the sweetness and give a little dimension to the drink. So there you have it, a fine winter warmer for those cold chilly nights. Thanks to Nancy for hosting and Paul for organizing month after month. Be sure to head over to her site for the roundup in a few days. Cheers!

Imperial Stout Syrup
3/4 cup Black Gold Imperial Stout
1 cup Sugar
simmer on stove until sugar is completely dissolved.
Cool, and fine strain to remove the beer head.

Pirate’s Gold
1 1/2 oz Jamaican Rum
1/2 oz Demerara Rum
3/4 oz Stout Syrup
1/4 oz Creole Shrub
5 dashes orange bitters
5 dashes chocolate bitters
2-3 oz Hot Water

Vintage Cocktails #48: The Twelve Mile Limit

Our next drink was created by 1930′s journalist Tommy Millard to toast the boundary of U.S. territorial waters. Although prohibition was still in force, all it took was a little distance to free yourself from the laws that you disapproved of. That and a friend with a boat of course. Cheers!

Twelve Mile Limit
1 oz White Rum
1/2 oz Rye Whiskey
1/2 oz Brandy
1/2 oz Grenadine
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Spirit Reviews: Ron Zacapa Centenario

Ron Zacapa Centenario is considered by many to be the best rum in the world. With a Beverage Tasting Institute high score of 98, it is one of the highest ranking rums in the world. After winning the International Rum Festival’s top honor five years in a row, it was retired from competition and now serves as a benchmark by which other rums are judged.

Zacapa rum is produced in the mountainous region of Guatemala. Distilled from the first pressings of sugarcane, the rum is then aged using the Solera process at an altitude of a mile and a half above sea level. The Solera process has been used for centuries by wine makers to achieve a consistent product from year to year. How this system works is that barrels from one year are stacked upon barrels from the preceding year. At bottling time, a percentage of liquid is drawn off from the oldest barrels on the bottom. Then they are refilled from barrels one year newer, up to the top of the stack, where unaged rum is added. This allows the rum to be blended several times and aged in different types of barrels. Lastly, the oldest barrel in a 23 barrel stack will have rum far older than 23 years as the bottom barrels are never fully emptied. As a result of using this process, Ron Zacapa rum is actually a blend of rums from 6-23 years of age, blended for consistency. So lets get on to the rum!

Ron Zacapa pours a rich, coppery brown, with legs that cling to the glass. It has such a soft nose for such a well aged rum. There are no funky aromas, but instead gentle molasses, sweet honey and vanilla, with some slight citrus notes to round it out. The flavors are so deep and complex that I could actually just smell this rum forever, but it’s in the glass, so I best proceed.

This rum is super complex with tons of flavors going at it. The first sip is rich caramel, toasted nuts and very mild oak flavors. As it goes down your throat you get a taste of butterscotch, some spicy notes, and just a hint of coffee. Zacapa rum has a very light texture, which is interesting for a rum of its vintage. While I am a fan of it, some feel that this rum is far too sweet.

All in all, I would have to agree that this is perhaps the best rum in the world. While I have by no means tried all the rums out there, of all the widely available rums this is by far the best. Although it really is best served neat, I would also recommend this for some simple, understated cocktails where the rum takes the center focus. At under $50 a bottle, you should do yourself a favor and make this a rum to have. Your tastebuds will surely thank you. Cheers!

Rating: ★★★★★

Vintage Cocktails #41: The Doctor Cocktail

The first cocktail using my homemade Swedish Punsch will be the namesake drink of the author of Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, The Doctor Cocktail. There are several versions of this particular drink, this version coming to us courtesy of Trader Vic. This drink is an amazing combination of rum, rum based liqueur, and lime juice. Delicious.

Doctor Cocktail
2 oz Jamaican Rum
1 oz Swedish Punsch
1 oz Lime Juice

Hot Buttered Rum

When it starts to get chilly up here in the pacific northwest, all I want to do is stay inside, wrap myself in a blanket in front of a fire, and enjoy a great wintertime beverage. Probably one of my favorite holiday bevies is a good Hot Buttered Rum. While I like to make my own buttered rum batter, this is a drink that can be easily made with ingredients on hand as well.

Hot Spiced Rum – Bartenders Guide (Jerry Thomas,1862)
1 tsp sugar
2 oz Jamaica Rum
1 tsp spices (allspice & cloves)
1 piece of butter as large as half of a chestnut
3-4 oz hot water

While this is a fine beverage for a chilly evening. It can be made even better with a little preparation.

Buttered Rum Batter
1 Cup Butter
1 Pint Vanilla Ice Cream
1 lb powdered Sugar
1 lb brown sugar
2 tbsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla extract
allow butter and ice cream to come to room temperature. Mix well.
Can be stored in refridgerator for up to a week, in the freezer for a month.

Mixing this batter into your rum makes for a warm, rich, spicy drink that is perfect for those long winter nights. If you want to go even richer, hot cider may be used in place of the hot water.

Hot Buttered Rum
2 oz Spiced Rum
2 heaping barspoons batter
4 oz hot water
top with freshly whipped cream if so desired.