By now most of us are melting in summer’s homestretch of sun-filled days and searing heat. And for those of us that like to cool down with more than a water bottle, it begs the question… what to drink?
Our go-to spirit this season is rum. Sure, vodka may reign supreme for calorie-conscious consumers looking for a light liquor with a splash of soda, but if you want to kick it into high gear with a cocktail that actually has some backbone, we’re all about rum.
According to spirit expert Kristen Siebecker, The U.S. and rum go way back. And what better way to spend the forthcoming election season than liquored up as Clinton and Trump go head to head?
“The first rum distillery showed up in Staten Island in New York in the late 1600s and spread its way up the colonial coast to Boston where rum production escalated as the demand grew,” notes Siebecker. “By 1764 the clamor was so great for rum that Parliament modified the “Sugar and Molasses Act” that changed the tax rate, but increased the enforcement of the taxes, limiting trade not only of rum, but also other imports like coffee and lumber. The love of rum but the hatred of taxes bubbled and became a precursor to the American Revolution.”
Siebecker points out three main classifications of rum:
Here are some of Roo’s favorites this season and some recipes:
The Cruzan Rum Distillery is the mothership of rum with a history dating back more than 250 years. Head to Frederiksted in the U.S. Virgin Islands if you want to head straight to the source and take a distillery tour, or simply pick up a bottle and try one of these delicious recipes:
1 1/2 parts Cruzan Aged Light Rum
1 part simple syrup*
Juice of 1-2 limes as needed
10-15 fresh spearmint leaves
In a tall highball glass, muddle mint with lime juice and simply syrup (you want to muddle just enough to bruise the leaves to release the oils and not tear them). Add crushed ice and rum then stir ensuring that the leaves are distributed all throughout the cocktail. Top up with crushed ice, add soda, and stir one more time. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
*To make simple syrup, combine equal parts water and sugar and dissolve over medium heat. Let cool before use.
2 parts Midori Melon Liqueur
1 part Cruzan Pineapple Rum
4 parts Colada Mix*
Combine ingredients in a blender with ice and blend until smooth. Pour into a hurricane type glass and top with whipped cream and a pineapple/cherry stack.
5 parts Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut
8 parts pineapple juice
1 part heavy cream
Combine all ingredients in a blender without ice and mix until well blended. Keep remaining mixture chilled (mixture should last between 5-7 days).
It all began in 1820 with Juan Sebastian Serrallés’ arrival from Spain and the beginnings of his sugar cane planation. Forty-five years later, his son Don Juan produced his first cask of rum and a tradition was born. Don Q Rum is now Puerto Rico’s number one rum.
A large-scale distillery was built in 1935 and rum cocktails have been free-flowing ever since, including the enigmatic Bahama Mama.
1 oz Don Q Cristal
1 oz Don Q Añejo
1/2 oz Don Q 151
1 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1 dash grenadine
1 pineapple wedge for garnish
1 cherry for garnish
Add all ingredients to an ice filled cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a hurricane or large highball glass filled with ice.