Rum And Rum Cocktails
July 31, 2003 8:03 PM   Subscribe

Yo Ho Ho And A Bottle Of Rum! In August, one's lazy fancy turns naturally to sex mush daiquiris; caipirinhas; mojitos; piña coladas and other rum cocktails. Why is the great cane spirit, infinitely complex and delightful - which, in its young, white distillation can be used instead of vodka or gin in any highball or cocktail - so neglected nowadays? And whatever happened to the most politically delicious reason for drinking Coke: the embargo-busting Cuba Libre, made with delicious, sinful Cuban Havana Club?
posted by MiguelCardoso (54 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Self-link: my Caipirinha recipe - not that I'm not having one right now. Of course I am.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:15 PM on July 31, 2003

caracho is the drink of the devil.

it will turn your tongue into a pillar of salt, and cauliflowers will sprout directly beneath your eyeballs.

the only proper accompaniment to such an evil drink is a handful of tylenol and three or four bottles of gatorade.

avoid at all costs.

rum is great, though.
posted by fishfucker at 8:17 PM on July 31, 2003

It's not a self link when you link to MetaFilter, even for you, Migs.
posted by timeistight at 8:21 PM on July 31, 2003

Mojitos and you together here means you know there is a God.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:22 PM on July 31, 2003

"Beer Rum is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

(ahh. MiguelCardaso posting booze links again. There is some good in the universe today.)

And remember, kids -- it's not a Cuba Libre without the lime.
posted by eriko at 8:25 PM on July 31, 2003

Two years ago, in the 58/58 bar of the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan, a very gifted bartender from Trinidad called Chris, despite my protests, made me a superb mint julep with old Jamaican rum which I grudgingly had to reorder several times. It was a sort of Caribbean-American giant mojito. No Kentucky but plenty lucky.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:29 PM on July 31, 2003

How many juleps did it take before you stopped protesting he be called Chris? *runs*
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:44 PM on July 31, 2003

mmmmCuba Libre. I am now thirsty.
posted by ilsa at 8:46 PM on July 31, 2003

WolfDaddy - he never did accept Chris was a lousy name for a barman. I suggested Parker and Hernando, but did he listen? Did he hell. His mother was just as stubborn. Shortly after, he was fired, of course. ;)

P.S. I had no idea you were a closet syntax-watcher. My next dangling participle shall be dedicated to you.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:58 PM on July 31, 2003

If you're looking for something less complicated but still a summertime treat, run and ginger ale in equal proportions over ice with a big wedge of lemon serves as an excellent psychological balance enhancer.

In winter? Mulled rum and sugar. Two shots of rum, warmed (like on the bricks of your fireplace), add a tablespoon of brown rock sugar and a splash of 7-up (not too much).

Rum drives me crazy. Tequila I can drink all day, but rum? I hit my fourth, I started breaking glass. Happens every time.
posted by UncleFes at 9:10 PM on July 31, 2003

There's a bar on Haight in San Francisco called Hobson's Choice, which serves 60 different rums and countless rum-based drinks. Try it out.
posted by waxpancake at 9:11 PM on July 31, 2003

now i'm thinking of the Caipirinovskas (vodka instead of rum i think) I had in Lisbon...mmmm
posted by amberglow at 9:22 PM on July 31, 2003

I had a caipirinha just the other night. Mmmmm.

Here in Wellington, NZ, Havana Club is on the shelves of most inner-city bars. And I can assure you that whether caipirinha, mojito, or the rum and coke of my youth, cane spirit is not neglected here.

The thing I like about caipirinhas, apart from the perking-up effects noted in the earlier thread, is that they need not be very sweet. I like a drink that bites back.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:25 PM on July 31, 2003

Frozen watermelon daiquiris are yummy for a summer refresher. An alternate way to make them is to cut the watermelon in cubes, lay it on a tray and freeze it for an hour or two. Put the liquid ingredients in a blender and feed the frozen watemelon squares in a few at a time to make a nice slush.

Alternately, you may want to make a "drunken watermelon." I haven't tried this yet, but a friend was telling me she served one at a bbq last year. You take a whole melon, cut a plug in the side, pour in a pint or so of light rum, use the plug you removed as a stopper, taping it back on with duct tape, and then put the whole melon back in the fridge for 24 hours. Turn it a few times. Next day, drain & slice the melon.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:32 PM on July 31, 2003

Migs, from now on I am calling you Hernando. What with the links you post and the recipes, you pretty much are the MeFi bartender.
posted by Salmonberry at 9:46 PM on July 31, 2003

"Alternately, you may want to make a 'drunken watermelon.' "

Also here, but vodka is better than rum. :P
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:49 PM on July 31, 2003

Not a pedant, Migs, but you paint a vivid picture, and I amused myself with the image of you presenting alternate names--I've always thought Vladimir to be a nice name for a bartender, don't ask me why--whilst slowly sinking into etoh insensibility
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:06 PM on July 31, 2003

On fruity summer drinks: a couple years ago, I tried to make margaritas at a friend's house. Being about as good a bartender as I am an airline pilot, they were way too strong. So we threw what was supposed to be margarita into the blender with a couple quarts of frozen strawberries. I know, I know, strawberry margaritas are nothing new, but the extant lime juice really made the strawberries *kick*. In flavor, that is. The tequila (hornitos) kicked me hard enough that by the time I was done with the dry rub on the BBQ, I needed to pass out.
posted by notsnot at 10:47 PM on July 31, 2003

hey everyone, cachaqa isn't rum. It does come from sugar cane, but its not rum.

you do know what they say about the caiprihina? nobody has just one, but no one has more than two. Many a staggering night on ipenema and arpoador will attest to that
posted by jmgorman at 11:19 PM on July 31, 2003

That linked mojito recipe isn't so good. A perfect one really should be made with simple syrup, not plain sugar (or even super-fine or "bar" sugar). Dissolve one cup sugar in one cup water over low-medium heat, stirring constantly until all crystals are gone -- takes about 2 minutes, and makes infinitely better cocktails.

Plus, you can store the remainder in the fridge and add it to iced tea for rehydration the following day.
posted by pineapple at 1:11 AM on August 1, 2003

Because I'm lazy, I make mojitos in the blender -- pouring in lime juice, mint leaves, rum, UK lemonade (which is like 7-up, but a bit less sugary), and ice cubes.

However, I have also discovered that if you use frozen strawberries instead of the ice cubes, it's divine...
posted by Katemonkey at 1:31 AM on August 1, 2003

Captain Morgan and Dr.Pepper over a truck load of ice and that is me happy.
posted by Frasermoo at 1:43 AM on August 1, 2003

Mount Gay is rum is pretty good too (and relatively cheap - at least compared to aged Havana Club... ai!)

It's a tad sweeter and mellower than most other dark rums. It doesn't hold up against the big boys, but mixes just fine: some angostura bitters, lime juice and ginger... mmm... It's nine in the morning here, and I'm thinking about booze...
posted by bifter at 1:47 AM on August 1, 2003

Dr Pepper?!? What decade are you living in? ;-)
posted by bifter at 1:47 AM on August 1, 2003

It will perhaps help to cement my reputation as the all-devouring low-rent alco-Charybdis to Miguel's urbane and ever-classy cocktail-Scylla to tell the tale, but the only time I have ever vomited blood after a session of intense boozing was as a result of the consumption of great quantities of the foul and evil Captain Morgan spiced rum, many many years ago. The hashish also in my system at the time only made the experience that much more unpleasant.

I am still inexplicably fond of rum, though, which is perhaps unusual, as most people seem to develop an aversion to the liquors which traumatized them the worst. If that were the case for me, I'd be left without anything to drink, and that would just be sad.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:04 AM on August 1, 2003

I don't really drink, but rum is the only alcohol I will imbibe: no discernable IQ loss (unlike with beer) just a mellowed feeling.

Morgan's Spiced rum an coke. Mmmm.
posted by Blue Stone at 2:44 AM on August 1, 2003

I can't touch Morgans Spiced because of the 'Stavros Effect' mentioned above, hashish included.
posted by Frasermoo at 3:15 AM on August 1, 2003

I can't touch rum-- when I was bartending in Wales I had the typical bad morning after a TON of Lamb's Navy and now I'm not fond of it.

Because of that, when Miguel said that white rum could replace gin, I turned away (I lovegin) from my screen. Now though, I think about a light rum and tonic and it might be good if I hold my nose just for the first sip.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:40 AM on August 1, 2003

If Mojitos or Caipirinhas aren't your style, there's always this, which I knocked up when working part-time at a bar:

Fill glass with ice. Add a splash of Rose's lime cordial, then a generous amount of Wray & Nephew overproof coconut rum (or, ugh, Malibu if you're desparate). Top up with ginger beer (again, ideally Jamaican). Stir vigorously. Drink. Rinse, repeat.
posted by riviera at 3:49 AM on August 1, 2003

Is there someplace to buy lime cordial in the US? The asian supermarket has Ribena (for MUCH cheaper than the tiny bottles at import shops), but not lime cordial. We have Rose's Lime Juice. It's frustrating.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:55 AM on August 1, 2003

In the spring of 1806, London wine and spirits merchant James Gosling set out from England aboard the chartered clipper Mercury with £10,000 of merchandise bound for the Virginias. After ninety-one desperate days on becalmed seas with their charter running out, they put in at the nearest port, St. George’s, Bermuda.

Rather than pressing on for America, James opened a shop on the King’s Parade, St. George’s, in December 1806. In 1824 the enterprise was moved to Front Street in the new capital of Hamilton. By that time, Ambrose Gosling - James' brother - had joined the firm, and in 1857 the name of the business was changed to Gosling Brothers.

To this day the company remains the oldest surviving business in Bermuda and is still a family concern. This is important because they make Gosling Black Seal Rum. This is important because it was was awarded a Platinum Medal in the World Spirits Championships, conducted by the Beverage Tasting Institute.

In a blind taste test consisting of an extensive collection of world class rums, Black Seal was rated 96 out of a possible 100 and the judges had the following to say: "Deep, assertive and highly flavored. Very fragrant with herbal sharpness. At the finish there is a softness and elegance. A most complex and unusual spirit."

An amazing spirit that you all should try.

The black seal juggling the rum barrel on the label has an interesting history. In 1860 the first oak barrels of rum distillate arrived in Bermuda. After much experimentation in the blending process, the distinctive black rum was formulated and offered for sale. At first they didn’t call it Black Seal, in fact up until the first world War it was sold from the barrel, and folks brought in bottles for a fill up of “Old Rum” or so called because of its distinctive smoothness. Eventually, the black rum was sold in champagne bottles, reclaimed from the British Officer’s Mess, and the corks sealed with black sealing wax. Pretty soon people began to ask for the “Black Seal”. In 1949 a play on words and images gave birth to the barrel juggling black seal.
posted by Irontom at 4:27 AM on August 1, 2003 [1 favorite]

This Bar does my favourite caipirinhas, and a fair mojito too. Its also quite nicely located and gets a lovely sunset.

Wouldn't you know it, its only 30km south of Lisbon so Miguel could probably be there in an hour.
posted by biffa at 4:47 AM on August 1, 2003


Actually, it's Cachaça in a Caipirinha, but you're right, it's not rum. As for having more than two, I've done it and survived -- on the Praias Arpoador and Ipanema, as well...
posted by syzygy at 5:08 AM on August 1, 2003

Damn, Irontom. That was the most romantic post I've read in quite some time! Thank you!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 5:43 AM on August 1, 2003

Yum, rum. Dark, spiced, on ice with not much cola (the only time I drink the stuff), and a squeeze and a slice of fresh juicy lime.
Rum is mellowing, I agree. Too much of many other hard alcohols turns me into a pseudo-punkrock juvenile delinquent wannabe, and I can't bear the day-after 'sorry I threw you out the poolroom window last night' phonecalls anymore (it was 1st floor/he was fine/we're still good friends).

Formative rum days: highschool lunchtimes my best friend and I used to spike our coke (and sometimes rootbeer when the 7-11 had it) slurpees (aka slushes) with nicked sloshes of her dad's dark rum. Quite good actually, though, I don't recommend the waxed-cardboard? disposable cups and the fuschia-coloured thick plastic straws for the discerning drinker.

/on preview: I'll be on the lookout for that, Irontom, thanks.
posted by spandex at 5:45 AM on August 1, 2003

The only kind of hangover worse than a gin hangover is the kind you get when your buddy comes back from the LCBO one night and says "Hey, I couldn't find the Appleton, so I bought this 151 stuff instead. Want to have a swig?"

On the plus side, I haven't had to sterilise a cut since!
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 6:55 AM on August 1, 2003

Speaking of summer drinking, I've recently been converted to drinking Pimm's thanks to a gift of a litre bottle and a decent recipe.

Chuck away all that twaddle about cucumber & apples (since when have apples been an English summer fruit?) and off you go...

• 5:2 Pimm's:lemonade (a good one, not loaded with sugar) or 2:1 if yer feeling hard
• handful of bruised fresh mint (whole - don't chop it up or you'll be picking it out of yer teeth for the rest of the day)
• slices of lime
• hulled strawberries, in quarters

In a jug, cover & in the fridge for 30mins to an hour, You want it to chill & the vegetation to infuse but not so long that the strawberries turn to mush. Serve in a highball over ice.

Variations: Shot of vodka or gin added. Borage if you can get hold of it. If you are going to use apple or cucumber at least peel 'em.

Not that this has much to do with rum. I vote Wray & Nephew overproof.
posted by i_cola at 6:59 AM on August 1, 2003

i_cola: the cucumber thing is because the skin tastes somewhat of borage, which isn't always available. You shouldn't put in slices of cucumber, but peel strips of the skin off with a vegetable peeler (or knife, if your skillz are up to it). It works - honest. (Throw the peel away??? Nooooooo!!!)

Anyway, you're right: Pimms is ace. Not sure about your proportions though - only a boor makes Pimms stronger than 3:1, or so they say... ;-)
posted by bifter at 7:49 AM on August 1, 2003

They've been saying for years that rum would be the next scotch, that super-premium brands would come out, all that. I'm still waiting. My last two purchases have been Mount Gay Extra Old and a Kentucky rum (Pritchett's? I can't seem to find any mention of it on the web), both about $30 a bottle. Neat, thank you. Black Seal is a good back-up, about $15 a bottle here in the DC area.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:11 AM on August 1, 2003

Rum? Neglected? Not hardly. Guzzled, maybe, but never neglected.
posted by nickmark at 8:49 AM on August 1, 2003

Alternately, you may want to make a "drunken watermelon." I haven't tried this yet, but a friend was telling me she served one at a bbq last year. You take a whole melon, cut a plug in the side, pour in a pint or so of light rum

For the teetotalers 'round here, a really interesting variation on this: pour in half'n'half, or if the thought of that clogs your arteries, whole milk. This is pretty close to a drink I was introduced to by a bunch of Samoans that they called "Sasa". I've tried variations with small amounts of cinammon and lemon juice, but the odd bleand of creamy and watermelon is the basic taste I really quite enjoy.
posted by namespan at 9:40 AM on August 1, 2003

For the teetotalers 'round here, a really interesting variation on this: pour in half'n'half

What's half'n'half there? In the UK its a combination of lager and guinness. (Sounds yummy in Watermelon doesn't it?)
posted by biffa at 9:47 AM on August 1, 2003

Biffa: that looks like the Bar do Guincho which is indeed a good place for a caipirinha, being the place where Western Europe begins - or ends, according to your perspective. There's a live webcam on their site for nostalgic purposes!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:07 AM on August 1, 2003

half 'n half = cream & milk
posted by widdershins at 11:22 AM on August 1, 2003

H&H is also usually used in coffee, for those of us who don't like black.
posted by e^2 at 11:32 AM on August 1, 2003

There's a timely article in today's Washington Post.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:14 PM on August 1, 2003

Is there someplace to buy lime cordial in the US? The asian supermarket has Ribena (for MUCH cheaper than the tiny bottles at import shops), but not lime cordial. We have Rose's Lime Juice. It's frustrating.

Rose's lime "juice" as sold in the US is, essentially, lime cordial -- concentrated sweet lime syrup.
posted by redfoxtail at 5:58 PM on August 1, 2003

bifter: Cheers for the cucumber info...I'll give it a try. [I think my anti-cucumber thing has been fueled by my other half's aversion to the stuff.] With the proportions, I found 3:1 just too weak. Apparently, Pimm's used to be a lot stronger - around 40% - but my bottle says 25%.

BTW, I found a recipe for homemade Pimm's. 2:2:1 Gin:Red Vermouth:Orange Curaçao for the alcohol base & have a play with the herbs.
posted by i_cola at 1:19 AM on August 2, 2003 [1 favorite]

I recommend the Bacardi factory tour, if you are in Puerto Rico. Also, a bit of history on a different rum;'s_rum_and_history.htm
I think I will pour myself get a Vanilla Bacardi (beware the Bat!) and coke. Great topic, MC.
posted by mcchesnj at 5:32 AM on August 2, 2003

I'm a bit late to the party, I know, but might I recommend Rhum Barbancourt, from Haiti? [Warning: Flash site] Both the 8- and 15-year old varieties are marvelous, and even the 4-year old is good enough to sip neat.

Sadly, even here in Miami it can be hard to find in a bar. I suppose the touristas are only interested in rum and Coke, strawberry daquiris, or some bastard mutation of a mojito.

As a side note: I actually entered a bar that prepared their mojitos with green creme de menthe rather than muddled mint leaves, rendering the result a hideous fluorescent lime color. Philistines.
posted by mkhall at 3:08 PM on August 2, 2003

i_cola: the weakness thing is probably pretty academic anyway, as it depends on your ice habits. Personally, I absolutely pack glasses and jugs with ice, then pour drinks over it. It gets cold enough then that the ice doesn't melt and dilute the drink too quickly - don't know if you do the same? Might explain why a 3:1 tastes too weak if not...

The home-made Pimms recipe is interesting - there used to be four or five different types of Pimms apparently, but they only make one (the gin-based one) these days. Didn't know that they pulled the strength down at the same time. Anyway, I've got a real thing about home-made hooch. Brewed some beer from scratch a few years ago (not a kit - malt, hops etc), which was fun, but had troubling repercussions. I am absolutely *itching* to do some home-distilling (and have expert advice from an experienced moonshine producer...), but am terrified of blowing my shed up (oh, and it's illegal, of course...)
posted by bifter at 4:36 PM on August 2, 2003

Actually Miguel its the Bar do Peixe at Praia do Meco, just up the road from the town of Alfarim.
posted by biffa at 2:50 AM on August 4, 2003

Pimms: happened to be in a bar serving a lot of Pimms yesterday (When I bought the jug I thought someone else would help me with it) and they had Pimms' own recipe cards on the tables, they recommmended the 3:1 ratio.
posted by biffa at 2:53 AM on August 4, 2003

there used to be four or five different types of Pimms apparently, but they only make one (the gin-based one) these days

You'll occasionally find the Vodka Cup in Britain, though I don't reckon it's a patch on the gin-based one. And the reduction in strength is only recent (last, what, five years or so?) and can be mitigated by adding a good measure of gin to the mix.

(I grow borage in my windowbox for summer Pimms.)
posted by riviera at 11:55 AM on August 10, 2003

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