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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Celebrate National Rum Day with a delicious Rum cocktail

The Rapture Cocktail will float you up to heaven.

It can be argued that Rum is more of an American drink than Bourbon.  Demon Rum was manufactured in New England as early as 1664 when the first Staten Island, New York, distillery was established.  Originally made from molasses, a waste product of cane sugar manufacture, Rum was the drink of choice in colonial times, and our hearty forefathers consumed it in “mass quantities”.  (Don’t forget that in those days, the water could kill you.)  Rum is perhaps the most legendary of liquors, having associations with pirates, patriots, rum runners, the sea, the tropics, and even Tiki bars.  (For more on Rum and its history, see Wayne Curtis’ book “and a Bottle of Rum”) or even Wikipedia.  Now, however, to help you celebrate National Rum Day (August 16), here are some classic (and new) Rum cocktails for you to try this evening.

The Rapture cocktail is named in honor of events set to occur on Judgment Day.  Ingredients include fine Demon Rum, Campari, Cointreau Orange Liqueur, and Sweet Vermouth.  Judgment Day calls for earthly ingredients redolent of the Garden of Eden, and the Rapture will not let you down.

The Daiquiri  is one of the classic Rum cocktails.  Beloved of Ernest Hemingway (and countless others), this blend of Rum and freshly squeezed lime juice (plus a little sweetener) is hard to beat.  The Mojito , another classic Rum cocktails, is easy to make and even easier to enjoy.  Rum, lime, sugar and mint: who would have thought that those simple ingredients could taste so good?

You have read about my love of Mai Tais on this site, and about my introduction to this ambrosial cocktail sitting in a semi-private tea room at a Japanese restaurant in Chicago.  This cocktail is perhaps the quintessential Tiki tropical concoction.  The preceding link is for a delicious, touristy (i.e. sweet) Mai Tai.  If you’re looking for a drier, cocktail-style Mai Tai closer to Trader Vic’s original recipe, follow the link in this sentence.  It has very little fruit juice and more Rum flavor.

When you get to Hawaii, be sure to kick back on the lanai and enjoy a Piña Colada (follow the link for my rocks recipe).  Upon arrival in that most pleasant of states, get to the grocery store and/or the ABC Store and buy some Rum and the necessaries for Piña Coladas.  Piña Colada is a delicious cocktail, especially if you enjoy sweeter cocktails, Rum-based cocktails, or Tiki cocktails (or all three).  Finally, the Rum and Coke is a long-time favorite. This cocktail (don’t forget the lime) is simplicity itself, and is hard to mess up.

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