As we explore Rum’s origin and history we have learned that from its earliest “Kill Devil” incarnation has always been mixed to create different libations. From Punches made of other Liquors, fruit juices and spices to the more complex modern cocktails, over time certain ingredients stand out as commonly used with Rum.
1. Simple Syrup
2. Velvet Falernum
If you are unfamiliar with this product, I recommend starting with the John D. Taylor since it is easiest of the Falernums to find and creates a foundation to base future experiments upon.
While researching this article I came across this recipe courtesy of Haus Alpenz.
Directions: Stir with ice, strain into double rocks glass and garnish with lime wheel.
3. Grenadine Syrup
In Camper English’s article written for Academics he chronicles how in 1862 in Jerry Thomas’ “How to Mix Drinks” the first known bartender guide, recipes refer to raspberry or strawberry syrup. 50 years later over 100 recipes called for Grenadine as an ingredient. This is well worth the read if you are curious to see how this concoction has evolved to being an ingredient in easily over a thousand cocktail recipes today.
Grenadine Syrup recipe
Directions: Add 1 ¼ cup of pomegranate juice and ¾ cup of sugar to a small saucepan. Simmer and let bubble until it is reduced to about a 1/3 of original volume. Add the remaining juice and sugar along with the Orange water.
Warm on low until all of the sugar has dissolved. Let cool, add splash of Vodka or minimally aged Rum, then use a funnel to pour into the bottle. A favorite Rum cocktail that uses grenadine is the classic Rum Sunrise a riff on the Tequila Sunrise cocktail.
Directions: Fill a glass halfway with ice. Add Rum and orange juice to glass and stir. Slowly pour “drizzle” Grenadine into the drink. As the Grenadine settles it will change the color into the namesake “sunrise” color.
Like Grenadine, they are some chemically concocted imitators in the market so do your homework so you have a quality cocktail experience. A classic Sidecar recipe is made interchangeably with either Curacao or Triple Sec and is a good way to experience this citrus forward cocktail.
5. Orgeat Syrup
Unlike some of the other syrups we have covered this one is not that easy to make at home but is worth a try if you are so inclined. There are quality versions of it being produced by Fee Brothers, Latitude 29 Formula, and B.G. Reynolds that you can find at your local stores or online. Always avoid the cheap imitations.
Basic Orgeat Syrup recipe
1. Chop two cups of toasted almonds then grind in a blender.
6. Fruit Juices and Sodas
I was taught when it comes to fruit juices that if you are not going to fresh squeeze your own, use products that are as natural and as unsweetened as possible. A good many cocktails already have sugar added and sweetened fruit juices will knock carefully crafted drink recipes out of balance.