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rum

Cocktail Recipes

Tropical Storm Cocktail Recipe + 5 Rum Fest Discoveries

October 12, 2019
tropical storm, stolen rum, oleo saccharum

Of all the spirits, my favorite is rum. I love the way they’re made in so many styles, with flavors that reflect their origins.  Few other spirits have a subculture devoted to them. Rum inspired the tiki movement, which celebrates a mythical, tropical land that doesn’t exist except in the minds of expats. But mostly, I love the flavor of dark rums from the Caribbean. An old rum has all the deep, dark and delicious nutty, candied, brown sugar, spicy notes of an old whiskey, but for a fraction of the price.

So late this summer, I went to my first Rum Fest in San Francisco. It’s pretty festive with men and women in vintage tiki attire, tropical plants and leis. But it’s a serious exploration too, with seminars on rhum agricole, and creating sustainable distilleries.

But most people came for the chance to taste favorite rums from all over the world, and discover new ones. Here are my top 5 discoveries from Rum Fest 2019.

bacoo rum

  1. My favorite rum discovery was Bacoo, a new range of rums from the Dominican Republic. Valerie Sansevero, who created the brand with her husband, explained that the Bacoo is a genie like spirit who lives in a bottle, according to folk tales from the Caribbean and Africa. He can grant wishes or he can be spiteful, depending on how you come at him. The line of 5-, 8- and 12-year old rums all showed delicious caramelized brown sugar and fruit aromas you might expect. But Bacoo’s new rum aged in sherry casks, with its floral character and lingering finish, was the showstopper for me.
    Boukman rhum agricole
  2. The most unique spirit was Boukman Botanical Rhum from Haiti. This rhum agricole (made from fresh sugarcane juice instead of molasses) is spiced, but with bitter orange and allspice, so it’s floral, and green like a gin. Founder Adrian Keogh says it’s modeled after the street drink clairin trempé, rhum agricole mixed with bark, citrus and spices. The name on the apothecary-inspired bottle comes from Dutty Boukman, the enslaved man who started the Haitian revolution in 1791. With its social mission–10% of proceeds support education charity Haiti Futur and reviving sugarcane–it’s an attractive alternative rum that’s winning acclaim.Calbert Francis English Harbour
  3. The island of Antigua (it’s pronounced Ann-tee-guh) has only one distillery called English Harbour, established in 1932. Calbert Francis, the affable brand ambassador, says their rums are made in small batches and then aged in bourbon barrels. Not surprisingly, the 5-year-old rum was sweet, spicy and lean, like whiskey. That unlabeled bottle he’s holding is their newest release, the Coeur de Sauvage, their first rum bottled at 148-proof cask strength. I found it pretty aggressive sipped neat, but rum collectors are already angling to acquire one of just 400 bottles being produced.montanya rum
  4. I loved learning about Karen Hoskin, the chief distiller and founder of Montanya Rum in Colorado. So far she’s trained five other women as distillers, and they’re paying it forward while making fine spirits of their own. Colorado doesn’t seem like rum country. But Hoskin’s built a business that’s an expression of her commitment to environmental sustainability. Her entire operation is wind powered, plastic is forbidden and all paper is recycled or composed. And every vendor from the American sugarcane grower to the glass producer has environmental bona fides.
    Pusser's Rum
  5. Tasting Pusser’s Rum was like reminiscing with an old friend I hadn’t seen in years. I discovered Pusser’s in college (I think it was on sale) and fell in love with its deep caramel, vanilla and warm spice notes.  Pusser’s Black Label Gunpowder Proof Rum has a similar flavor profile, but it’s more potent at 54% alcohol. Did you know that British sailors received a half pint, or tot, of Gunpowder rum every day as part of their diet?  The practice ended in July 31, 1971, after someone realized that large seagoing vessels and alcohol weren’t the best combo.

tropical storm rum cocktail gil batzri

Earlier that week, Pusser’s starred in a delicious cocktail called the Tropical Storm that guest bartender Gil Batzri served at a party in Alameda. It was one of those drinks that Dave Wondrich would call “more-ish,” with a beguiling  balance of tangy passionfruit tempered by a bitter edge from two rums. He was nice enough to share the recipe.

Tropical Storm
Makes 1 cocktail

1 ounce passion fruit juice
1 ounce lime juice
1.5 ounces Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof Rum
1/2 ounce Stolen Overproof Rum
1/2 ounce oleo saccharum*
1/2 ounce orgeat** (like Small Hands’)

Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well until well chilled. Then strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.

*Oleo Saccharum is a mixture of citrus peels and sugar that’s been used as a flavoring since ancient times. It means “oily sugar” in Latin. Food 52 says to make it by using a vegetable peeler to remove thin strips of skin from clean oranges and lemons. You need about a cup. Mash the peels into a cup of sugar until it becomes an oily syrup. Makes about 1/2 cup that can be bottled and refrigerated for a week. (This quickie recipe from Saveur mashes uses grapefruit peels and mashes everything together in a plastic bag.)

**Orgeat is an almond syrup with a hint of orange blossom water. It’s most often used in the Mai Tai cocktail.

Affiliate Link Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because I like them,  not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. Whether or not you decide to buy something is your call.

 

 

 

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Drinks

Make a Pink Rose Cocktail for Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2012

Floral rose notes, Pink Pigeon Rum and sparkling wine make for a romantic combination in my Pink Rose Cocktail – it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day.

There’s something incredibly alluring – and delicious – about the combination of roses, raspberries and sparkling wine. The flavor of roses and tart raspberries meld so well, and the bubbles are like an atomizer that bring the gorgeous scent floating out of the glass.

I’ve made plenty of rose and raspberry cocktails over the years, but when Valentine’s Day come around, I like to revisit it to see if I can invent anything new. I love the way the combination of rose and raspberry is a beautiful shade of pink and it’s intensely flavored enough to work with a variety of spirits.

(For some of my favorite pink wines, check out this Valentine’s Day rosé post on Williams-Sonoma’s Blender blog.)

This year I was inspired by the release of Pink Pigeon, a Madagascar vanilla-scented rum from the African island of Mauritius. I used a rose syrup in my cocktail, but it also works with a Tea Rose Petal Jam like this one from Harvest Song. I balanced the fruity and floral flavors in this cocktail with a splash of Campari. Like love, a good cocktail is bitter and sweet.

Pink Rose Cocktail
1 ounce Pink Pigeon Rum
3 raspberries, fresh or thawed frozen ones, plus one for garnish
1/2 ounce rose syrup (or 1 tsp. Tea Rose Petal Jam)
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1 teaspoon Campari
2 ounces sparkling wine, brut, brut rosé or blanc de noirs
fresh organic rose petal

Add the rum and raspberries to a cocktail shaker and muddle. Add the rose syrup (or jam), lemon juice and Campari. Shake until well-chilled, then double strain into a champagne coupe. Top with chilled sparkling wine, then garnish with a rose petal and the remaining raspberry.

©By Maria C. Hunt aka The Bubbly Girl

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Drinks

Punch up Your Next Party: A Sparkling Spring Recipe

February 26, 2011

If you’ve been to a popular mixology bar in the past six months, you probably already know that punch is the hip drink on offer right now. The vintage concoction that your grandma or Aunt Gert loved making is having a Renaissance of sorts.

Of course, a certain sort of punch never really lost its appeal at kids birthdays or coming out parties, but that’s not the drink I’m talking about. The punch that’s popular again takes its cues from the circa 1740s mix of fruits, spirits, spice and wine that Esquire’s Dave Wondrich writes about so ably in Punch: The Pleasures & Perils of the Flowing Bowl.

My sparkling cocktail recipe book The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion (Clarkson Potter, 2009) features several punch recipes, including the popular Framboise Apricot Punch which features three kinds of spirits plus bubbly.

The March issue of Sunset, the fabulous circa 1889 magazine of Western living, features a spring punch I created in the front of the book.

I paired strawberries, the first fruit that comes on strong in spring with juicy winter pineapple and fragrant Meyer lemon zest and juice. The potency came from aromatic Zaya Rum from Trinidad and St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, which adds a most delightful floral note and sweetness. Then I tamed it all a bit with some jasmine green tea. The last step is adding some ice.

It’s best to do this in a large chunk, so it melts slowly and dilutes the punch, an important key to not having a bunch of sloshed guests, as they will find your punch irresistible. I made a decorative ice ring in a bundt cake mold, decorating it with strawberries, lemon slices and mint.

Make a pretty ice ring for your punch by decorating it with fruit and herbs.

Make a pretty ice ring for your punch by decorating it with fruit and herbs.

You can serve a punch in anything, but they look more dramatic in a punch bowl. The fashionable style right now at punch-friendly mixology bars like Craft & Commerce in San Diego, where they mix punch with fine Raventos i Blanc Cava, Clyde Common in Portland or Rickhouse in San Francisco is the opaque, milk glass or ceramic bowl from the 1950s and 60s.

If I’ve whetted your appetite for a a punch recipe that you can try right now, check out the intoxicating Framboise Apricot Punch recipe.

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Drinks

Strawberry Smash Cocktail Recipe

January 31, 2011

This variation on the mojito lets you mix strawberries with your favorite herb such as mint, basil, lemon verbena, cilantro, rosemary or thyme. Be sure to try the drink out before serving it to friends so you get the amount of herbs dialed in to your taste buds. It’s tasty with the alcohol or without; for a totally non-alcoholic drink, use sparkling water instead of the prosecco.

  • 3 ripe organic strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 6 leaves of one fresh herb such as mint, basil, verbena, cilantro OR 1-inch section of fresh rosemary or thyme
  • 1 ounce good white rum like 10 Cane or clean white gin like Bombay Sapphire
  • 1 ounce all-natural sour mix (see note)
  • 2 ounces prosecco

Add the strawberries and your selected herb to a rocks glass. Smash the strawberries and herbs gently with a muddler until the berries are a pulp and the herbs smell strong. Add the rum or gin if using and sour mix to the glass and give it a stir. Fill 3/4 full with ice. Top off with the prosecco. Garnish with a sprig of the herb you used.

Note: To create my all natural sour mix, mix 1 cup lemon and or lime juice with 1 cup sugar in a medium non-reactive saucepan. Heat over a low-medium flame, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When cool, pour syrup into a sterile glass bottle and refrigerate. Keeps for up to 2 weeks.

By Maria Hunt, author of The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Drinks

Raspberry Mojito Float

January 31, 2011

Raspberry Mojito Float

Raspberry Mojito Floats

6 fresh raspberries, plus 1 extra

3 fresh mint leaves, plus sprig for garnish

1 ounce Zaya rum

1/2 ounce simple syrup

1 teaspoon lime juice

3 ounces prosecco

scoop lime sherbet or sorbet

Muddle six raspberries, 3 mint leaves, rum, simple syrup and lime juice in a cocktail mixing glass. Strain the contents into a small flute. Top with the prosecco and add the lime sherbet or sorbet. Thread the mint sprig through the raspberry to make a garnish and serve right away.