Rum! It was the drink of the pirates and the Royal British Navy that hunted them. Long after the water and beer had been drunk, casks of rum—a liquid that could never go bad, and still hasn’t—were cracked to quench these Caribbean seafaring gents’ thirst. Produced from molasses (a byproduct of the sugar-making process, and plentiful on the Caribbean’s many sugar cane plantations), rum quickly gained popularity and became a staple aboard the trade, pirate and navy ships surveying the region. More than 200 years later, that heritage is still celebrated, with many of the best-known rums still produced on those historic plantations and authentic Caribbean cocktails replicated in homes and bars across the globe.
Mariners in the 18th century made their rum into a grog with water and lime juice, but as the characteristically sweet liquor has taken on a more complex flavor profile—white, gold, amber and spiced rums come in countless flavors and varieties—so have the concoctions they meet in the glass. Having experienced something of a resurgence of its own in recent years (look no further than the very popular Rhum Corner in Toronto, Canada or Rum Club in Portland for proof), rum has cocktail enthusiasts buzzing about new twists on classic ideas, and we had to share a few of our own.
A rum concoction fit for a privateer. This spicy departure from the classic Dark ’N’ Stormy is surprisingly complex and packed with flavor. If you’re looking for a drink to make you feel like a real man, this is it:
- 1 oz. Blackheart® Spiced Rum
- 1 oz. ginger beer
- 2 dashes Tabasco sauce
- ¼ of a fresh lime Lager beer
Squeeze lime into glass, fill with ice, add Tabasco, Blackheart® Rum and ginger beer. Top with lager beer.
A bold twist on an authentic Jamaican punch. The light fruit juices combine with the deep spiced rum to make a genuine crowd-pleaser that goes down just as well at brunch as it does on the beach at sundown.
- 2 oz. Blackheart® Spiced Rum
- 2 oz. pineapple juice
- 2 oz. orange juice
- 1 oz. lime juice
Pour ingredients over ice into highball glass, stir and serve
Part Sangria, part Negroni, all boozy. The orange slices are our favorite part, but exercise caution: they pack a punch!
- 1 ½ cups amber rum
- 1 cup citrus-flavored aperitif
- 1-2 750 ml bottles chilled Prosecco
- 2 oranges, sliced and twisted
Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl or pitcher and chill. Add ice just before serving
This isn’t your mom’s frozen daiquiri! The herbal freshness of rosemary and the tartness of the rhubarb and lemon combine to make a very sophisticated tipple in a blushing pink hue. It does require some advance prep work, but if you’ve already made the juice and syrup, it’s a great party punch.
- 1 ½ oz. white rum
- 2 tbs rosemary syrup (recipe below)
- 1 ½ oz. rhubarb juice (recipe below)
- 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
- Rosemary sprig
- Lemon twist
ROSEMARY SYRUP: Combine one cup of water and two tablespoons of sugar in a saucepan. Simmer until sugar is dissolved, then remove from heat, add a half cup rosemary leaves and steep five minutes. Strain and let cool.
RHUBARB JUICE: Place three cups rhubarb (cut in to quarter-inch cubes), one tablespoon lemon juice, one and a quarter cups water and half a cup of sugar in blender. Puree, then strain out pulp. Chill the juice. Combine ingredients and serve over ice in a highball glass. Garnish with sprig of rosemary and lemon twist.
THE DIRTY MOJITO
Traditionally, the Mojito is made with white rum, but this is one of those times that bucking convention leads to great rewards. Using spiced rum results in a cocktail sophisticated enough for the discerning palate, but with the refreshing quality Mojitos are known for.
- 1 ½ oz. Blackheart® Spiced Rum
- ½ cup soda water
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- ½ lime, cut into 4 wedges
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 cup ice cubes
Muddle the mint leaves, lime wedges and sugar in a large glass, then fill glass nearly to the top with ice. Pour rum and soda water over ice.