It’s a spirit that is feeling a little left out now that the gin revolution is here. Will it fall back into fashion?
The sale of gin of all flavours and colours have sky-rocketed in recent years. Gin was, at one time, seen as the tipple of spinsters, an old-fashioned drink that offered very little other than a headache the next day. But gin or Mother’s Ruin as it was once known, turned itself around.
Young people love it. Men love it, women love it, cocktail drinkers love it… but it has left other spirits in the shade. Whilst we won’t undermine the power of gin, we feel that rum, a warm, luscious Caribbean spirit, has been left on the shelf.
It’s time to reach for it and bring back into the eye line. But like all drinks, it has it complications. Mix it with flavours that swamp it leads to a bitter spiciness that can be off-putting. Subtle flavours become lost in in depth, complex notes and yet, with the right mixer in the right setting, a glass of rum will sink down a treat.
The perfect rum cocktail for newbies – Daiquiri
Take care with the popular rum cocktails especially those pre-mixed in cans because their sweetness is not replicate in handmade, true-to-life cocktails.
This is certainly true of the rum-infused Daiquiri cocktail. Blended, fructose-filled, sweet Daquiris are not the ones that Hemingway enjoyed on a sunny afternoon in the Riviera or the cocktails lounges where the well-heeled gathered.
This easy to make, simple three-ingredient-cocktail is a great way to say hello to the wonder mellow but punchy flavours of rum.
To 2 fluid ounces of rum poured over ice in a cocktail shaker, (opt for an unflavoured, straight tum) add a dash (½ fluid ounce) of simple syrup* and a squeeze of fresh lime to taste.
Shake and strain into a champagne glass with a round bowl (also known as a coup glass).
*simple syrup is, as the name suggests, a simple sugary syrup that adds sweetness to cocktails without the sharpness. You can make your own sugar syrup or you can buy a good quality bottle of simple syrup from most supermarkets. You’ll find it either lurking in the baking aisle or close to the coffee. You may even find a bottle or two in the spirit aisle.
Less sweetness, more spice – Dark n’ Stormy
From BBQs to enjoy the summer sun, to just needing a little fizz without the cloying taste of sugar, the Dark n’ Stormy cocktail will fit the bill.
Again, opt for an unflavoured rum and in a large glass, use a long-handled spoon to gently swirl together 4 fl oz. of ginger beer with 2 fl oz. of rum. Garnish with the lime wedge, sit back and enjoy.
Mix it up – the perfect mixers for rum
If shaking cocktails is not your thing, then you’ll be looking for a simpler combination to bring out the rich earthy, fruity flavours of rum. Thankfully, there are several options.
- Rum and pineapple – there is possibly nothing better than mixing your favourite rum with pineapple juice. Whether you on the English coast or the depth of countryside, this classic comb will take you right where you want to be with all the flavours of a sun soaked Caribbean beach right there in your glass.
- Rum and coconut water – another great combo that will liven up any rum tipple is coconut water. Again, it has all the flavours of the Caribbean right there for the taking. Coconut water is now readily available in most supermarkets and is relatively inexpensive too.
- Rum in your hot chocolate – as a spirit, there are few that carry you through from one year end to another. You may associate rum with sunshine – we’re with you there! – but in the depth of winter when you want to add a little piquancy and warmth to your favourite hot chocolate we defy you to find anything better than a shot of rum in your hot chocolate.
- Fruit punch – the punch bowl has always been underrated in our opinion. For any gathering, whether that’s a BBQ in the summer or a festive get-together, the rum punch bowl should be the centre of attention. Choose a wide, open bowl, pack it with fresh fruit floating like islands in a good quality smooth orange juice and add plenty of rum. Let it sit and mingle for an hour or so before you guests arrive. They’ll love every sweet, fruity mouthful.
Choosing a rum (when you don’t know what to look for)
If you’re new to rum, buying your first bottle can feel like a minefield. They’ll be bottle after bottle on the shelf and online, all vying for you attention.
The good news is, is that unless you pay very, very little for a bottle of rum, you are unlikely to hit a bad one. As they age and as the price point increases, you’ll find the flavours develop and you’ll welcome a range of brands to your cabinet.
- White rum – clear and light bodied, white rum is in its infancy and so the flavours are simple. Great for punch bowls and lighter cocktails.
- Gold rum – straw coloured, this rum has spent some time stored in oak barrels and has started the aging process. Still great for cocktails the flavours are slightly more intense.
- Dark rum – as the name suggests, this is a darker rum that know have a full profile of flavours to content with. You may find sipping this or enjoying with a light, subtle-flavoured mixer the best way to enjoy it.
- Spiced rum – this is a rum that has absorbed a complex map of spices whilst it has aged in the barrel. It’s a rum that deserves your full and undivided attention.
- Navy rum – this is the strong stuff with an alcohol content of 50 to 60%. IT’s not for rum beginners…
Will rum outpace gin?
It isn’t a race nor a competition so there is no need to pitch rum against the popularity of gin. But rum has been left behind a little and that’s a shame in our eyes. Why not give it a go?