I was delighted recently with an invitation to a virtual r(h)um tasting happy hour hosted by the fine rum specialists – Spiribam. Ben Jones, Managing Director and Kiowa Bryan, National Brand Director, introduced us to fine Caribbean rums from Martinique and Saint Lucia.
Ben and Kiowa explained the differences between rum and rhum. Rhum is made with molasses and rum is made with sugar cane. Two totally different flavor profiles.
The island of Martinique has a lovely tradition of offering guests “Ti’ Punch” (petite punch) at all times of the day and evening. Ben showed us how to make the punch by squeezing a fresh lime wedge into a small cocktail glass, (the squeezed lime wedge now looks like a taco), fill the taco with sugar and drop it in the glass. Fill the glass with rhum to cover the lime “taco”. Swizzle with a traditional swizzle stick. Very refreshing!
After enjoying the tasting (immensely!) I couldn’t wait to make the cocktail recipes that Spiribam sent to me. My favorite is the Chairman’s Cable Car made with Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum. Spiced Rum is all the rage right now and I can see why. This cocktail has just the right amount of sweetness, with citrus and notes of Caribbean spice. The Cable Car Cocktail includes Clément Shrubb which gives it the lovely citrus flavor.
Shrubb is well known in the beautiful island of Martinique in the Caribbean. Shrubb from Martinique — with two B’s —is not to be confused with the infused, vinegar-based shrubs that many bartenders use in modern cocktails. Martinique’s Shrubb is an orange liqueur more closely related to Cointreau or Grand Marnier. Large spiral zests of sun-bleached bitter orange peels are steeped into rhum, along with vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and other typical créole spices. It is bottled with sugar cane syrup and left to finish this traditional spicy liqueur with a rich orange essence.
I garnished my Cable Car Cocktail with a jumbo ice cube and a “tie dye” pineapple garnish sitting on top of it. I made the pineapple garnish with a thin slice of pineapple, adding rows of food coloring, one by one, as I dehydrated the pineapple in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. It took 5 hours to make the garnishes, but well worth it. If the food coloring is added all at the same time, the colors bleed into each other and turn black.
Chairman’s Cable Car
Makes one cocktail.
2 ounces Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum
3/4 ounce Créole Shrub
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
Pour Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum, Créole Shrubb, and fresh lemon juice into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake hard and strain into a cinnamon sugar rimmed cocktail coupe. Garnish with an orange spiral or a tie dye pineapple wedge.
St. Lucian Swizzle
2 ounces Chairman’s Reserve Rum
3/4 ounce falernum
1 ounce fresh lime juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
mint sprig garnish
Build Chairman’s Reserve Rum, falermum, fresh lime juice, and top off the glass with crushed ice. Swizzle hard. Add more crushed ice and 2 dashes of bitters and garnish with mint sprig.
Why the SWIZZLE?
The swizzle is important in mixing Martinique rum drinks. The Martinique-style cocktail swizzle stick (also known as a Le Bois Ll) is made from dried wood stems from the Quararibea turbinata, a tree native to the Caribbean islands.
To mix a cocktail with this stirrer, place the multi-pronged end into your cocktail, take the other end between your two hands, and vigorously rub them together to rotate the swizzle stick in your drink.
What is Falernum and why should I love it?
Falernum can be either a liqueur syrup or a nonalcoholic syrup from the Caribbean. Popular ingredient in Caribbean cocktails, it has ginger, lime, clove and almond flavors. It can also be thought of as a spicier version of orgrat syrup. I made my own homemade Falernum, but you can also purchase a bottle on-line.
Included with the r(h)um samples was a bottle of coconut liqueur. Ben recommended serving it with ginger beer, ice cubes and I added a maraschino cherry. Delightfully refreshing!
There is so much more to know about r(h)um so I will look forward to sharing more with my readers soon…until then…Santé!
Delicious recipes on the Behind The Page Blog: theroanoker.com
Southern Spoonful Recipe Column ~ The Roanoker Magazine
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