Mixology Monday: Rum

This is my first Mixology Monday, and I'm quite excited to be joining this little tradition. As it's my first time, you will have to forgive me if this post isn't quite up to the standard of what a MxMo post should be.

Today's topic is rum. Rum is a wonderful ingredient and a miserable ingredient. We can't simply say "rum" as an ingredient because you can have five similarly aged rums, and five distinct tastes. One rum might taste like fine French brandy, another like a wonderful Scotch, a third might remind you of a good spicy rye, a fourth could be it's own distinctively rum-y sipper, while a fifth might almost substitute for Curacao! And that's assuming these are all aged gold rums. I have used Bacardi's white rum in place of vodka in a screwdriver, and it worked perfectly. While I couldn't compare at the time, I would suggest that it was fairly similar, with barely a hint of rum to it. I could even see using rum in place of whiskey in a whiskey sour...Hmm...Maybe I should try that... And these are all "rum." We haven't even moved into cachaca, rhum agricole, and Batavia arrack, which are all usually lumped into the same category.

On the other hand, that very versatility and variety in flavor can work to our advantage in cocktails. People like Trader Vic and Don the Beachcomber used the distinct qualities of a variety of rums in their drinks to create effects that could never be achieved with one rum alone. It is this idea, as well as the traditional whiskey sour, which inspire the drink I am about to present. (Did you like the foreshadowing there?) In this case, we take a simple whiskey sour, and replace the whiskey with a nice smoky rum. Looking at the margarita, we add Curacao into the mix, to accentuate the orange taste. However, instead of Curacao, I elected to use a very orange rum: Pyrat XO. This gives us:

The Rough Rider Cocktail
  • 1.5 oz - Smoky aged rum (Ron Pampero Aniversario)
  • 1 oz - Orange Juice
  • 1 oz - Lemon Juice
  • .5 oz - Aged rum with a strong orange flavor (Pyrat XO, if possible. You could use an orange spiced rum like Santa Teresa Rhum Orange, or even Grand Marnier or Curacao, but you would have to modify the recipe.)
  • .5 oz - Simple Syrup
  • 1 dash - Orange bitters (optional)
Shake with ice until chilled, then serve either as a sour over ice in a tumbler, or as a cocktail, neat, in a cocktail glass.
I hope you all enjoy. The name is inspired by the Teddy Roosevelt's unit in the Spanish-American War of the same name. I imagine when they invaded Cuba, they had to replace their Bourbon based drinks with the local tipple, just as we did.

Before I sign off, I just want to handle one bit of administratia. As of Wednesday, this blog will begin a set schedule of posting. Every Wednesday, I will be posting reviews of something or other. The second Wednesday of the month I will be posting a spirit or fortified wine review. The third Wednesday I will be posting a beer review. The first and last Wednesdays will be open reviews for whatever I have around. Ciders, unfortified wines, meads, bitters, and cordials are all fair game, as well as beer and spirits. On Sundays I will be posting other stuff: travels, tours, my experiments, and so on. Throughout the week, I will try and post for special events, like MxMo. This MxMo, I guess, will stand in as my Sunday post.

Okay, I lied. I have a lot more to say about rum. Most of it relates to sailing, though there is another drink in here somewhere, so you may want to pay attention. In almost exactly a month, Newport, RI throws its largest party of the year (actually, of two years): The sendoff for the Newport-Bermuda Race. This race will be full of hard sailing, bookended by weekends of inebriation off of that most sailing-like of spirits: rum. Specifically, Gosling's Black Seal. Rum has always had a close tie to sailing. According to Mount Gay, navigating to Barbados was a challenge, and some sailors took barrels of Barbados rum home as a trophy and proof that they made it to the island. While I think that story is likely a crock, Mount Gay, and Gosling as well, sponsors all sorts of sailing regattas to this day. In fact, one sure way to spot a sailor is to look for the red "Mount Gay hats" that we all wear.

This marketing strategy pays off, and both Mount Gay Eclipse and Gosling's Black Seal are staples in every sailor's rum locker. In fact, sailors love Gosling's so much that Newport is the only place in the world outside of Bermuda that Dark 'N' Stormies are sold premixed in cans. I'll put up a post on the dark and stormy, Dark 'N' Stormy, and rum and ginger in a month for the start of the Bermuda race, but I thought I would share a drink I learned of today: The Light and Breezy. The light and breezy is a combination of rum and Fresca, possibly with a bit of orange or lemon, mixed to taste. I have two thoughts about the origins of this drink. The first is a similar drink which is drunk quite often on Jamaica: rum and Ting. Ting, like Fresca, is a grapefruit soda. Thus, sailors could have replaced Ting with a more commonly available grapefruit soda, and a Jamaican rum with what was in their rum lockers, thus mating Fresca and Gosling's or Mount Gay. Another possibility is that we simply had a hard time finding good ginger beer, so we replaced it with Fresca. Pick whichever story you prefer.

This time I'm really done. Happy MxMo,
The Scribe


Tiare said...

Nice entry! The Rough Rider Cocktail looks good! i`ll try it with Pampero and Santa Teresa orange..

Your writing about the Light and Breezy also catches my attention..as an avid Ting and JW&N overproof rum drinker its not so surprising. And when i don`t have Ting i use Sanpellegrino pompelmo or limonata.
Fresca cannot be found here.

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