In each recipe, you’ll find Rum recommendations that I hope will get you close to the desired flavor profile for your drinking pleasure.
When I asked my friends what recipes to consider the most common answer was a Classic Daiquiri. Easy to make, common ingredients, (right now in the United States we can get limes a lot easier than we can get toilet paper) and all you need is a shaker and a good glass and you are set.
The origins of the Daiquiri are controversial but history has its humble beginnings tied to Cuba and the cocktail clubs of New York City. This simple drink has inspired many variations and I encourage you to explore them so you may find your favorite variant.
• 2 oz minimally aged Rum (recommend Don Q Cristal, Mount Gay Eclipse, or Rum-Bar Silver)
• 1 oz lime juice (if you want to dial down the tartness go with 3⁄4 oz instead)
• ½ oz Simple Syrup
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add ingredients, shake hard for 20 to 30 seconds, strain. Garnish the glass with a lime slice.
The next cocktail that was recommended was the Cuba Libre or, minus the lime, the classic Rum, and Coke. Created in the late 1890s during the Spanish-American War, this cocktail became a favorite of United States soldiers stationed in Cuba. It did not take long for the drink to make its way to the States and it was not long before this highball cocktail became a staple in many a Rum enthusiast’s repertoires.
• 5-6 oz of Coca-Cola (or your Cola of preference)
• 2 oz Rum (recommend Bacardi Superior, Real McCoy 3 Year, or Havana Club 3 Años)
• 1 slice of lime
Fill glass halfway with ice, pour in the Rum, and then the Cola (it helps mix the Rum). Squeeze the lime slice into the glass and then add it for garnish.
Rum Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned cocktail is normally made with Bourbon but substituting Rum in the recipe creates just as flavorful a drink. I have heard and read recommendations using immature Spirits for this cocktail, but personally enjoy older Rums for the added flavor complexity they give the drink.
• 2 oz Rum (recommend Appleton 12, Bacardi 8, or Doorly’s XO)
• 1 sugar cube
• 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
• 2 dashes of Orange bitters
• One fresh strip of orange peel and cherry for garnish
Combine all ingredients in mixing glass with large chunks of ice. Stir ingredients until the cube is dissolved then strain into a rocks glass. Add one large cube of ice and stir. Add orange peel and cherry to the glass.
The Rum Sunrise cocktail is another variant; this time substituting Rum for Tequila. Many moons ago this was one of the first basic cocktails I learned to make and is still a favorite when I just want something simple and flavorful to enjoy. You do not want the Rum to overwhelm the juice and syrup flavors but to mingle and augment them.
• 6 oz of Orange juice
• 2 oz Rum (recommend Richland Coastal Rum, Bounty Rum, or Plantation Three Star)
• 1 oz of Grenadine syrup
Fill glass with ice, add orange juice and Rum. Float Grenadine on top and let it sink 1⁄4 way down a glass before imbibing for the best drink experience.
The final cocktail I chose is a tad more complex, but the Potted Parrot is a classic Trader Vic’s cocktail that is a tasty and refreshing drink with ingredients easily found in most home Tiki bars. The recommended Rums present three distinct flavor profiles to demonstrate the versatility of the drink.
• 2 oz Rum (recommend Denizen Merchant Reserve 8 year old, Montanya Platino, or Coruba Rum)
• ¼ oz simple syrup
• ¼ oz Orgeat syrup
• ½ oz Orange Curacao or Cointreau
• 1 oz Lemon juice
• 2 oz Orange juice
• Orange wheel, mint, and cherry for garnish
Put all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker and shake hard for ten to twenty seconds. Strain into ice-filled glass and garnish. Parrot optional.
I know as the current situation continues we all get a little stir crazy and I find myself dreaming of vacations and where we will go once we are all past these challenging times.
Coconut Rum Dole Whip
During our travels one of my favorite things to enjoy when we can find it is Dole Whip. Dole Whip is a Hawaiian frozen Pineapple concoction to which some add flavored syrups to create their favorite fruity variants.
I have enjoyed it in Lake George, New York, Waikiki, Hawaii, and Walt Disney World so I often think of it as a dessert enjoyed on vacation. Instead of adding fruit syrup, adding Rum to the mix creates a pleasant dessert to enjoy on a warm day.
• 5 cups of Frozen Dole Pineapple chunks
• 1 cup of Coconut Milk
• 4 oz Coconut Rum (recommend Siesta Key Toasted Coconut)
• Optional: Add one peeled frozen Banana
• Pineapple slices for garnish
Blend ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth. Pour into a zip-top bag and cut the corner of the bag. Squeeze contents into a glass and garnish.
This recipe makes two to four servings depending on glass size.
As you read this I hope you and your families are doing your best to stay safe and healthy and doing all the things you need to make it through this global event. It will take time for all of us to recover, but especially those who work in the hospitality industry.
When the restaurants and bars reopen may we all do our part and patronize our favorite locales to help them return to normal operations. Until then, I hope you enjoy some of the cocktails in this article and they inspire you to discover new ones to make at home. Please drink responsibility.
And btw: Browse our selection of Rums under $100, these bottles are a great base for cocktails!
Cheers to your good health!