For more than 300 years rum has been the spirit of choice in the Caribbean and much of Central America, held in high esteem by everyone from pirates to the Royal Navy to sunblock-covered vacationers. In general, rum made on Spanish- or English-speaking islands or countries is distilled from molasses, while French-speaking islands utilize sugar cane syrup (and also use the spelling rhum). Popular in tropical drinks such as the Piña Colada, Daiquiri, and Mojito, rum also has a more serious side. Aged dark rums that add depth and complexity to cocktails are also terrific to sip on their own. Additionally, rum can be used to add a little kick to ice cream and cake or in marinades for meat and seafood. Whichever way you like it, be sure to enjoy it and celebrate National Rum Day.
This Spanish version of the Moscow Mule is made with Dos Maderas PX Rum. After five years of aging in oak barrels in the Carribean, this dark amber colored rum is sailed to Spain where it undergoes an additional five years of aging, first in barrels that held Palo Cortado Sherry and then in Pedro Ximenez (PX) barrels. The smoky flavors and fig notes add a distinctly Andalucian touch.
Named for the explorer who established the town of Darien in Panama and who is credited with discovering the Pacific Ocean, Balboa Punch is a thirst-quenching blend of Panamanian rum and tropical fruit juices. Ron Abuelo 7 Años gets its deep color and mellow taste from resting seven years in small oak barrels and a great addition to your bar.
Rum Diplomático is produced at the foot of the Andes Mountains in Venezuela. This line, the Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva, is aged for 12 years in used bourbon and sherry barrels, which impart a deep color and complex flavor to the finished rum. Use it to mix a strong and elegant Old Fashioned with some Latin flavor.
Created by mixologist David Gonsalves, of Chicago’s The Violet Hour, the June & Henry gets its Latin spice from the addition of Ancho Reyes chili liqueur. Winner of the James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program in 2015, The Violet Hour’s cocktail menu features 22 seasonal libations that highlight the well-chosen ingredients. This cocktail mixes rhum with lime juice and simple syrup, chili liqueur, and cool cucumbers.
Rum isn’t just for sipping and mixing into cocktails; its sweetness makes it perfect for adding to desserts. Rum raisin ice cream is a favorite among the shops that line the seafront walks on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. We love it so much we included this recipe our The Fire Island Cookbook.