Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Sips & Shots: Why is the Rum Always Gone?

Because there are so many yummy ways to drink it!

When flipping through the index of an extensive beverage reference it became quite apparent that I have many fond memories associated with rum, in one form or another:

When I was just a child, about 4 or 5 I’d say, my Aunt Marie was a big fan of Pina Coladas. My grandmother’s living room was fitted with a well-stocked wet bar and, before she added the rum, my Aunt would pour off some of the sweet, pineapple-coconut smoothie into a mini parfait-style glass so I could be a part of the evening.

Later, growing up in prize-winning strawberry country we’d attend or come back for the Strawberry Festival each April. At this festival would be all manner of strawberry concoctions, confections, crafts and contestants (farmer and pageant alike), including the ever-present Strawberry Daiquiri. In fact, if you ever find yourself in Ponchatoula, Louisiana (now fairly well-known for it’s antiques), stop in at Paul’s Cafe for the most strawberry-laden, smooth daiquiris (virgin or not) ever experienced.

As a newlywed and aspiring baker (pre-Culinary School) I had the ambition to make fruit cakes for our first family Christmas. No, not the brick-o-candied-fruit-and-nut doorstops, an actual cake studded with walnuts and dried apples and soaked for 3 months in dark rum. Of course, they were too good to hold that long and we gobbled them before they were sufficiently convivial.

Rum & Coke (aka Cuba Libre) was an easy drink to order at the bar and tasty without being too strong if you didn’t want it to be. Flavored rums (whether spiced, pineapple or coconut varieties) worked well in this combination, as well. If it was rum, I was willing to try it back during my clubbing years.

More recently, at Trader Vic’s in Atlanta, Georgia, I decided to try the Fogcutter, a tall, tart tiki drink ripe with rum and lime. It was, especially on top of the Mai Tai and the multiple-course meal consumed, impossible to finish but the waiter offered to put it into a go-cup rather than waste it. (We were staying just upstairs in the Hilton, of course, Atlanta does not have the open container laws that one finds in New Orleans.)

So what to make this week to extol the virtues of rum? Since all rum is a product of sugar cane (be it in the form of cane juice or molasses), it’s no wonder that most rum drinks are sweet. As sugarcane was originally an island crop, it’s also no surprise that fruit juices usually play a large part. We’ve discussed the daiquiri, the mojito and even the Trader Vic’s Mai Tai in previous posts so I wanted something a little different for this week. To that end, I bring you two lovely drinks that both happen to use dark rum.

Scurvy Cure

3 parts Pineapple juice
1 part Amaretto liqueur
1 part Dark rum

Pour in a short glass over ice and stir.

This was originally called the Nutty-C in AJ Rathbun’s Good Spirits but both Todd & I felt it was a bit too strong. Not the rum, the amaretto. Also, Todd wasn’t crazy about the color of the drink which, thanks to the pineapple juice, is sort of a murky brown. Adding an additional part pineapple juice mellows the almond out and makes the color more orange though I still think it looks like heavily-lemoned iced tea.

The second drink is also from Good Spirits, and similarly tweaked. Originally intended to be a blended drink, I really prefer drink on the rocks but this required a skewing of the mixers to keep the balance that the blended ice would have afforded. From what was once the Taboo, I give you

The Unspoken

2 oz Dark rum
.75 oz Simple syrup
.5 oz Pineapple juice
2.5 oz Cranberry juice
.5 oz Lemon juice

Pour over ice and stir. Garnish with a chunk of pineapple if you like.

Surprisingly, the Scurvy Cure is sweeter than the Unspoken, despite the inclusion of simple syrup and more juices in the latter.

Incidentally, September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Either of these drinks (or any other frothy rum concoctions) would be ideal beverages with which to celebrate. So mix one (or more) up, pop in a Pirate movie or three and indulge in a few Arr’s and Aye Matey’s with the rest of the world.

Jennifer Walker
Jennifer Walker

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