#RumForTheHills: HBG Rum Blend 1

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Y’alllllllll. I did it, I decided to make a Rum blend to use in Punches, Swizzles, and other large format Tiki drinks and today, I’m pretty pumped to present it to you.

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Ok, let’s talk.

  1. “Whuuuuuuut gurl? Why do you need to make a blended Rum when you can just use a split base in a cocktail?” Excellent question! I did it for a couple of reasons: Firstly, I love having a premade Rum Blend on hand so I can just use it without thinking about the specs. Secondly, when things sit together in a bottle for a few days/weeks, the flavors “marry” together and groove a bit more.
  2. “Ok Cool gurl, which Rum made you start thinking about making a blend?” Hamilton 86 cause I’m obsessed with it. Hamilton 86 is very dark and has notes of leather, tobacco, fruity goodness and I’m digging it for these colder months.
  3. “Hamilton 86, got it. Then what?” Well, despite what I just said about loving the darkness of Hamilton 86 I wanted to add some top notes of potent funkiness and immediately thought, “RUM FIRE!” Yes, this overproof funky beast is super potent and great in long format cocktails.
  4. “Anything else?” I added Plantation Barbados 5 cause it’s an easy Rum and would add some length. Then added Denizen Aged White to further lighten and dry out the blend.

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I’m gonna give the recipe to y’all in parts not ounces/ml so you can make as much or as little as you want.

HBG Rum Blend #1

  • 2 parts Hamilton 86 Demerara Rum
  • 1/2 part Plantation Barbados 5 Year Rum
  • 1/4 part Denizen 3 Year Aged White Rum
  • 1/4 part Rum Fire

Combine ingredients and bottle. Use this blend however you like but I’d recommend in a Swizzle, Punch or large Tiki drink.

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Cheers and happy blending!

Putting Raspberry Syrup to Work: Double ‘R’ Punch

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Alright y’all, it’s the first day of autumn and at this point I have to admit something: no matter what season it is, I want a Tiki drink. Adding to this constant desire is the bottle of Raspberry syrup I made last week, which goes SOOOO well with Rum. So no matter what the weather, as long as you’ve got Raspberry syrup, Orgeat, and Rum, you could really get into this Punch.

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The thing about Raspberry syrup is that it can totally be used in place of Grenadine. I was reading through tons of recipes from the Prohibition era and there was actually a high number of instances where Raspberry syrup was called for or used as a Grenadine sub. The other thing I found interesting was that almost all of these recipes used Brandy or Rum as the base spirit.

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Hell yeah. Rum. Rummmmmmmmmmm. I’m starting to think that my brain is automatically like, “but how can I put ingredient ‘x’ with Rum?”

And note my new (vintage) Planter’s Punch glass! Isn’t it cute? So cute! And appropriate since I am using Jamaican Rum in this recipe! (Thank you Denizen Merchant’s Reserve!)

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I think the process went something like this:

  1. I was like “Ok, the Raspberry syrup is both sweet and tart and goes well with Lemon & Lime, so lets start there.”
  2. Then I wanted Orgeat to help smoooooth things out cause there was a lot of acid happening with the juices + syrup.
  3. But then I wanted anise so I thought Absinthe + Peychaud’s for extra spices and depth
  4. Finally the Rums: Plantation Barbados 5 for smoothness, Denizen Merchant’s Reserve for the funk to dry the drink out a bit.

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…Mint for aroma and cause it’s so pretty with the red color of the drink. Same reason for using a Blue umbrella: colors are important when creating drinks! It’s like you’ve made a tiny, albeit temporary work of art!

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Double ‘R’ Punch

  • 1 1/2 oz Plantation Barbados 5 Year Rum (Sub a smooth, aged Rum)
  • 3/4 oz Denizen Merchant’s Reserve 8 Year Rum (Sub Jamaican Rum)
  • 1/2 oz Raspberry Simple Syrup
  • 1/4-1/2 oz Orgeat*
  • 1/2 oz fresh Lime Juice
  • 1/4 oz fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • 8 drops St. George Absinthe Verte
  • Garnish: Mint sprig, Tiki Umbrella

Combine ingredients over ice and shake. Double strain into Planter’s Punch glass or Collins glass over crushed ice and garnish.

*Totally depends on your Orgeat. I’m using homemade Orgeat and it’s not as sweet as something like B.G. Reynolds Orgeat. I’d recommend starting with 1/4 oz, taste the drink, then add more if needed.

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This photo is really making me wanna escape to a tropical place…like right meow.

Cheers and have tons of fun with your Raspberry Syrup drinks!

An Illustrated Guide to All Things Rum

Rum Guide: What's in a Bottle

Hey y’all, as I was rolling through my twitter feed, I ran across this Rum Guide from Fix.com and thought it was worth posting cause: 1. I’m obsessed with Rum, 2. its got recipes for a couple of Rum cocktails and y’all know how I feel about that. (Good, I feel real good.)

Rum Guide: Dark ’N’ Stormy Recipe
Source: Fix.com Blog

From Fix:

“Molasses based rum is the most common form. This type of rum is brought to a boil and the sugar is then transferred to tanks where it crystallizes and becomes molasses. A mixture of yeast, distilled water, and nutrients is then fermented for up to three weeks…

Knowing the basic rum terminology will go far next time you are in the rum aisle. Know how to read the bottle and find the perfect rum that agrees with your taste buds. Whether drinking it neat or in a cocktail, there are qualities of rum on all spectrums. Ignore the jargon written on bottles that are just trying to pull you in, trust your research instead.”

Then they proceed to give a breakdown of the Rum categories, which is totally great info for any Home Bartender to have.

Rum Guide: Classic Mai Tai Recipe
Source: Fix.com Blog

And, I fully support anyone talking bout a tasty Mai Tai recipe! Cheers and may your Rum education be factual and deeeeeeep.

L’Orgeat Mai Tai

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Summer Monday. Summer Mondaaaay. On one hand, it’s summer and on the other hand, it’s freaking monday! Fortunately, I’ve got something really cool to share with y’all on this paradoxical day of the week!

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Behold: L’Orgeat Almond Liqueur!

A couple of weeks ago L’Orgeat hit me up on Instagram and asked if I wanted to try some of their brand new Orgeat Liqueur. I obvi said, ‘Yes PLS!” and so here we are.

As a Tiki fanatic, I was a bit skeptical but I’m really digging this stuff. Made from California Almonds, it’s 20% ABV, has the viscosity of a really great Orgeat, a nice amount of Orange Flower Water, and really really works in a Mai Tai!

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Like, I was shocked how well it worked in a Mai Tai! SHOCKED I SAY!

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L’Orgeat provided me with a lil booklet of recipes (how thoughtful!) including one for a Mai Tai. The recipe called for “Jamaican Rum” so I used my fave Denizen Merchant’s Reserve 8 Year Rum. I’m also obsessed with this Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao, so boop, it went into the drink. They suggest using Smith & Cross as a float and gurrrrrrrrrl, it was goood.

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L’Orgeat Mai Tai

  • 1 1/2 oz Jamaican Rum (Denizen Merchant’s Reserve Rum is killer)
  • 1/2 oz L’Orgeat Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
  • 3/4 oz Lime Juice
  • Garnish: Lime shell with Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum, Mint Sprig

Combine ingredients over crushed ice and short shake. Dump contents of shaker (ice and all) into chilled Double rocks glass. Plop your Lime shell in there, add some Smith & Cross to the shell, and a Mint Sprig. Whenever you feel like dunking your Smith & Cross into the drink, dooooo it.

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Btw, this Rum and this Curaçao are BEST FRIENDS y’all! BEST FRIENDS!

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A million hot as hell Mai Tai cheers to all y’all and I totally recommend L’Orgeat for all your future Mai Tais!

Blind Tiger

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Today I’ve got a lively and flavorful concoction for Irish Whiskey Month! Teeling Small Batch is joined by Jamaican Rum, Citrus sherbet, and a bunch of herbaceousness for this exciting tipple.

If you wanna join the party, use the hashtag #IrishWhiskeyMonth on Instagram and I’ll repost your photo! The only rule is that you have to include Irish Whiskey in your cocktail.

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Yeah y’all, my fave split base is back in action! If you haven’t put Teeling Small Batch with Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum, you need to step to it!

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Cast of Characters:

  1. I wanted to use Citrus Sherbet with Teeling Irish Whiskey and Smith & Crosss cause I thought they would make some serious magic together. Turns out they do!
  2. Then I wanted to add some herbaceous notes to the drink to add depth and make things more interesting. Since Amaro CioCiaro has a lot of Orange flavor, it seemed just right to compliment the Sherbet.
  3. Lastly, I added Dale Degroff’s Pimento Bitters because they have Wormwood, Anise, and spices. Basically, I wanted to make things even more interesting.

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Blind Tiger

  • 1 1/2 oz Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Smith & Cross Navy Strength Jamaican Rum
  • 1/2 Amaro CioCiaro
  • 1/2* oz Citrus Sherbet
  • 1 dash Dale Degroff’s Pimento Bitters (sub Allspice Dram)
  • Garnish: freshly grated Nutmeg

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into double Rocks glass with ice and garnish.

*If 1/2 oz makes the drink too sherbety for you, change it to 1/4 oz and taste.

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Sherbet dreams y’all! May your Irish Whiskey Month be supremely delicious!

Capone’s Curse

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I was totally ready to share a stirred drink with y’all, when suddenly it snowed again here in Brooklyn! This change of weather has me feeling pressed to post another Tiki The Snow Away drink (and this one uses Templeton Rye ). MAY THE GODS FAVOR US WITH BETTER WEATHER!

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Warmer climates! Warmer climates! Oh how I wish I was in a warmer climate!

Seriously though, doesn’t the sight of this drink make you wanna get on a plane to Central America/Hawaii/The Caribbean/Southern California? Me too.

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Here are your cast of characters:

  1. If y’all can’t tell, I’m on a bit of a Templeton Rye kick: “The Good Stuff” is so smooth and plays so well with others. It works extra well with Rum!
  2. Speaking of Rum: Smith & Cross + Templeton Rye is a great split base. Highly recommend.
  3. Orgeat, Piña, Lemon: These three make for a really killer Tiki “punch base”
  4. Bittermens Elemakule Tiki Bitters: Tiki in a bottle. Seriously, the spices are perfect.

 

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The name of this one is a play on the fact that Al Capone was obsessed with Templeton Rye during his bootlegging days. I imagine that Capone took a vacation to the Caribbean, and though surrounded by Rum, still couldn’t get Templeton out of his head.

Capone’s Curse

  • 1 3/4 oz Templeton Rye
  • 3/4 oz Smith & Cross Navy Strength Jamaica Rum
  • 3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 oz Orgeat*
  • 10 drops Bittermen’s Elemakule Tiki Bitters
  • Garnish: Pineapple Spear Bunny Ears, pineapple chunk, Luxardo Maraschino Cherry

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into tall Tiki Mug over crushed ice and garnish.

*Every Orgeat is different, adjust according to the sweetness of your Orgeat.

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Cheers to y’all in this strange February weather!

Surf Girl

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Happy Monday to y’all! I feel like I’m about to give birth to a cocktail baby cause I’ve been working on this set of drinks for so long! Pumped for two reasons today:

  1. We’re over 1/2 way through Tiki The Snow Away and guess what y’all? We just had our first snow in Brooklyn. PHEWWWWWW, I was getting nervous that there would be no snow to Tiki Away!
  2. Surf Girl. I’ve been working on this set of cocktails for a long time now and am finally ready to share them with y’all. Grab your boards, the above ingredients and a Surf Girl Tiki mug!

If you want to share a tropical drink during the month of January, use the hashtag #TikiTheSnowAway on Instagram and Twitter, or tag u/homebargirl on reddit.

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As you can probably tell, Surf Girl the drink is inspired entirely by Surf Girl the Tiki mug. I found these two vintage beauties awhile ago and knew I had to make a concept drink with them.

Look how serene and majestic these Surf Girls look riding those unending waves. Look at their fish friends!

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To me there were a couple of goals for this concept drink:

  1. Make a drink worthy of and consistent with the mug: this meant that the drink had to be blue and foamy so the top of the drink would look like a cresting wave.
  2. Make it tropical and delicious: It’s no secret that  Denizen Aged White Rum is my favorite white Rum. I have used it consistently for a while now and truly love all of the banana, tropical fruits, and hints of funk that it offers. With Denizen White in place, I wanted to build a set of ingredients that compliment the base spirit.
  3. Therefore, my base trio for all Surf Girl drinks is Denizen Aged White Rum, Senior Blue Curaçao (only the good stuff!), and Coco Lopez.

 

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If you note the texture of the drink, it’s blended and this is crucial to achieving the overall effect of a Surf Girl on the wavvves. I’m also keeping all of the garnishes the same for each Surf Girl variation to achieve a cohesive line of Tiki drinks.

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Here are your cast of characters: to the Surf Girl trio we add Smith & Cross Navy Strength Jamaica Rum, Pineapple Juice, and Lime Juice.

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I mean damn, right? Doesn’t this mug deserve a line of concept drinks?

Surf Girl

  • 1 1/2 oz Denizen White Rum
  • 1/2 oz Blue Curaçao
  • 1/2 oz Smith & Cross Navy Strength Jamaican Rum
  • 3/4 oz Pineapple Juice*
  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz Coconut Cream
  • ~8 oz Crushed Ice*
  • Garnish: Tiki umbrella, Maraschino Cherry, Pineapple chunk

Combine ingredients and blend for around 7 seconds. Pour in a 10 oz Surf Girl Tiki Mug and garnish.

*I think I have stated this before (or it’s generally understood in the Tiki world) but it’s critical that you use unsweetened, nothing added, just straight-up Pineapple juice. I like Lakewood Pineapple cause it’s literally juiced Pineapple.

**Amount is approximate cause I don’t have crushed ice. I crack all my ice from cubes and the shards might be a bit larger than yours if you’re using a crushed ice machine.

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Maybe it’s the Cali beach girl within but I am FEEEEEELING this.

Cheers to you and all your party people during Tiki The Snow Away!

 

Winfred Bumbry Punch

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Soooooo, woah. I feel like a whirlwind of things have happened! We returned from our holiday in Tulum, Mexico to Brooklyn and then it was Thanksgiving week which meant parties, parties, and feasting and several batches of Punch! AAAAAAAAAAH.

However, I would never complain about an opportunity to create a new Punch, especially not one with such exciting ingredients.

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I created this particular batch for a Friendsgiving party with some of my oldest friends. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I met many wonderful people in Birmingham, AL where I lived for 10 years. I played in bands with these people, threw dance parties with these people, and they became my crew.

At one time or another, myself and some of these wonderful people moved here to NYC and now we’ve all been pretty tight for around a decade. We have a group text that has been named several ridiculous things (Autumn Boyfriends, Looty Sweater Clurb, 10 Red Dancing Lady emojis in a row), but is currently named Winfred Bumbry.

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Here are the cast of characters for Winfred Bumbry Punch: Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey + Smith & Cross make up my fave split base of all time. Ruby Port + Plantation Barbados 5 for length, greater depth, and cause Port is SO GREAT IN PUNCH. Lemon Sherbet cause I’m obsessed, LITERALLY OBSESSED with making classic Punches, and classic Punches frequently have Sherbet as an ingredient.

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Don’t forget the Nutmeg! It’s the only Punch garnish you’ll ever need.

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There were 7 people at our Friendsgiving party and we drank ALL the Punch. ALLLLLL OF IT. But hey, my friends are big drinkers so one could probably serve 8-9 people with this Punch.

Winfred Bumbry Punch

  • 1 1/2 Cups Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
  • 1 1/2 Cups Navy Strength Rum (Preferably a blend of Demerara and Jamaican Rums)
  • 1 Cup Plantation Barbados 5 Year Rum
  • 1 Cup Ruby Port
  • 1 1/2 Cups Lemon Sherbet
  • 6 cups Club Soda + 1 large Ice block* for the Punch bowl
  • Garnish: freshly grated Nutmeg
  • Glassware: Tea Cups or Punch cups

Combine Whiskey, Rums, Port, and Lemon Sherbet in an airtight container. Stir ingredients and chill for a few hours or overnight. When serving, add an Ice block and Club Soda to Punch bowl. Grate Nutmeg over the top of the Punch bowl and serve.

*You could freeze water in a Quart size tupperware overnight and use that as the Ice block if you don’t need to be fancy. Personally, I don’t need to be fancy.

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Cheers to all y’alls Holiday Parties!

 

 

Punch for Two: Oranje Punch

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Welcome back to Punch For Two! It’s been awhile but let’s not pretend that we ever really forget about sharing a delicious tumbler of punch with our friends and loved ones! Also, it’s October. SEASONALLY APPROPRIATE Y’ALL.

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I’m pretty excited about this one cause it’s 1. Punch, 2. uses Lemon Sherbet, and 3. contains Denizen Merchant’s Reserve.

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When I started the Punch for Two Series last year, I will admit, I didn’t really have much of a clue about what I was doing. The ingredients were tasty, but I was approaching punch-making from a cocktail perspective. Yes, amateur at best and not the best way to create a Punch recipe. Forgive me!

(and now you say to the computer, “Home Bar Gurl, you are forgiiiiiven.”)

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Well, now I’ve read David Wondrich’s immortal book about Punch, and I’m creating Punch recipes with a more informed perspective. Therefore, two things are imperative: 1. that we add water to our Punch and 2. that we get our Nutmeg ready for grating!

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Here are the majestic ingredients. You’ll need to make sure you’ve got Lemon Sherbet  and DD Mix (or another Allspice + Cinnamon Mix) ready. I promise you, Lemon Sherbet will change your life and give your drinks so much more pizzaz. Pizzaz is a thing we like, right? YAS.

Oranje Punch for Two (yields 2-3 servings per person)

  • 4 oz Denizen Merchant’s Reserve Rum
  • 1 oz Smith & Cross (Optional, I wanted more heat & funk)
  • 1 1/2 oz DD Mix
  • 1 oz Carpano Antica
  • 2 oz fresh Orange Juice
  • 1 oz Lemon Sherbet
  • 3 oz Cold Water
  • Garnish: freshly grated Nutmeg

Combine ingredients and stir. Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour. When serving, add ice, add Punch, and grate Nutmeg over each Punch cup.

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I swear to the stars, Denizen Merchant’s Reserve is phenomenal in Punch. Cheers to all y’all’s autumnal festivities!

National Rum Day 2015

Rums

I’ve made so many Rum cocktails since I started this blog that I can’t even count them all. With all those #TikiTheSnowAway drinks last January, to a million Daiquiris, to various and sundry Rum cocktails, I am constantly asking myself, “where’s all the Rum gone?” I thought perhaps those crazy Monkeys from the “Blame the Monkeys” series had drunk it, but no.

It was I who guzzled the Rum!

This sunday is National Rum Day, so let’s give a huge round of applause for the glorious Rums you’ve got in your Home Bar! Here’s my lil tribute:

Brugal-Extra-Dry

Brugal Extra Dry is probably the closest I’ve got to a standard light Rum, yet way more delicious than most. It’s excellent in Daiquiris, Piña Coladas, and anything light, bright and fruity. Hailing from the Dominican Republic, Brugal Extra Dry is aged and has a wonderful nose of Coconut, Toasted Marshmallow, and Pineapple/Citrus.

Cocktails: DKO Punch, Classic Daiquiri, Pineapple Cinnamon Daiquiri

Denizen

Denizen Aged White Rum. I’ve probably used this one at least 2x more than all other ones because it this White Rum has loads of flavor. With grassy, banana, and pineapple/citrus notes, Denizen White Rum really packs a punch. I love using it in shaken fruity Tiki cocktails but also stirred drinks. LUV U DENIZEN.

Cocktails: DD’s Shrunken Skull, Golden Banana Grog, Captain Corcoran

Angostura-7

Yes, the House of Angostura makes more than just bitters! They make several killer Rums and a delicious Amaro too! I got this Rum to replace the beloved Flor de Caña 7 (my liquor store switched Rums on me!) and though not quite as smooth, the Angostura 7 makes up for that smoothness with versatility. Totally tasty and has a short, wide finish which makes it really useful for Tiki/Tropical cocktails. Angostura 7 is also great if you’re going to be making a drink with an Amaro, Liqueur or another ingredient with a longer finish.

Cocktails: Blame the Monkeys No. 3, DD’s Shrunken Skull

Smith-&-Cross

The funkiest one of my bunch, Smith & Cross Navy Strength Jamaica Rum is UNBELIEVABLE! Literally unbelievable. It’s so damn good. It is also 1/2 of the greatest split base of all time! I think about it every time I want a drink to get a little bit wild. Tons of fruity funk right in your face and a beautiful finish + that Navy Strength for bite! CHOMP!

Cocktails: Gamekeeper’s Grog, Seafarer’s Sour, West India Docks, Orgeat Gabor

Hamilton-151

If you’re into Rum and haven’t yet checked out the Ministry of Rum, you best head over there and get into it. A very tall man named Ed Hamilton has catalogued nearly every Rum on earth and used his vast knowledge to start a line of his own Rums. I just got this Demerara Hamilton 151 after Lemon Hart went RIP and It’s like 1000x better, no lie! The Tiki gods will bless you when you get this Rum.

Cocktails: my version of a Painkiller, Jet Pilot, Cobra’s Fang

BMD-Rum

Last but definitely not least, Berkshire Mountain Distillers Ragged Mountain Rum. Now, I got this during that trip to the Berkshires back in the spring but DID NOT OPEN IT! Why didn’t I open it? Because it’s a Rum which has been aged in Bourbon casks for the purpose of actually tasting like Bourbon! It’s Bourbon Rum! I tasted it at the distillery and was Bourbon during the first wave, then the Rum hits you on the way down your throat. Totally out of sight! Totally magnificent. It totally won a Double Gold at the SF Spirits Awards. Boom! I wanted to wait til the autumn for this one, so look for it in some drinks soon!

Hope you’ve enjoyed Home Bar Girl’s lil tribute to National Rum Day! Let’s all make some tropical cocktails to celebrate! Cheers!