Saturday, June 29, 2013

Rum Cocktails from Refined Rums

     There seems to be a change in the category of rum going on today.  There is a shift from the simple white rum and cola or fruit juice cocktails of yesterday to a much more sophisticated cocktails made with what was considered a sipping rum in years gone by.     I have been getting involved is some of these ideas myself and been very happy with the results.  The concept of making rum cocktails with the likes of Mount Gay XO, El Dorado 15 Year Old , Abuelo 12 Year Old, Papa's Pilar 24 year Dark and Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva as well has netted some very surprising and wonderful results.  I'm not talking about mixing these with coke of something that will cover over the flavor, but making cocktails based on the old standards like the Old Fashion or the Manhattan.   Many of the bourbon based cocktails of old can be made with these fine quality rums with great success.

     I did a tasting at the Rum Bar in Key West that was very successful based on Mount Gay XO.   I used the XO Rum in many of the better bourbon cocktails, producing a fine Old Fashion and a Manhattan that were a step above the bourbon recipes for flavor and depth.   This is only one example of how the rum category is expanding and maturing.  There is a segment of the spirit's following that is wanting the more sophisticated and higher quality rums in addition to cocktails made from these rums.   They don't seem to be afraid to pay for the more expensive rums either in order to get the taste they are craving.

    I find this as a very enlightened trend that will carry the category forward and away from all of the artificially flavored and colored  "Bulk Rums" and into an era of legitimate quality aged rums.  This is the step and the direction that the category really need to be moving toward and away from the "Pirate Grog" of years gone by.   Don't be afraid to try making a cocktail of two with some of your "sipping rums", you will be pleasantly surprise with the quality of the results.   One note when working with the better rums, remember that they have a flavor of their own, and mix only things that will complement the rums characteristic and not clash with them.  You don't want to use mixers that will bury the flavor of the rum either.  ;o)