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Favorite simple rum drink recipes?


Scott S
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I don't think white rum is a good substitute for cachaca. Its too sweet and smooth, where what is exciting about cachaca is the raw, wild edge in the spirit. A cachaca made with white rum just tastes too sweet and syrupy to me. I'd rather go with vodka for a tamer drink which I've seen called a caipiroshka, but is also, I think, the same as a lemon drop.

Wish it was easier to get cachaca though. India is far from Brazil, and while most of my friends coming from abroad have been trained in want to bring, even they don't seem to find it easy finding cachaca in London or NY. I have to end up making do with vodka, even though India has tons of sugar cane so should theoretically not find it hard to have cachaca.

I have asked friends in the liquor industry about this, but got no good answer. Currently I am trying to get a Brazilian friend here to start doing some homebrewing, so lets see...

Vikram

I've made Caipirinha with overproof Wray and Nephew Jamaican white rum. Doesn't taste sweet or syrupy to me at all.

In NJ I can get a few different Cachacas, I have Pitu and Barriero at home.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Maybe you should have a nice cocktail the next time you go to a Chinese restaurant and contemplate all the logical flaws of what you just said.

Either that, or someone could suggest a drink that is one of their favorites.

I go to a Chinese restaurant for Chinese food, and the ones I go to don't serve cocktails. If I want a proper cocktail that I'm not making myself, I go to a bar. If you have something to say, please say it directly, but don't belittle the discussion with personal insults and condescension. That's boring and well, fruitless.

If you refer to my original post, you'll see that I mentioned several drinks to make with the rum he didn't feel like drinking neat. The mai tai was mentioned last because of a comment the original poster made about them. Let me try one more time....and then I'm done. The usual thing that passes for a mai tai is full of canned fruit juices like pineapple, orange and guava. They even sometimes add Kahlua and other liqueurs to make the drink even sweeter and muddy tasting. My suggestion was intended to relay the idea that the original poster might appreciate a drink that I'll go ahead and be daring and call a mai tai if it were made more like cocktail with a balance of fresh citrus juice to counteract the sweetness and less like a punch TGIF type of drink full of fruit juices. Or he may not, but options are always a good thing, even if some of them are not something that I care to partake of on a weekly basis.

regards,

trillium

I apologize. I thought you were just showing off, but I can see now that you're sincere.

Queen of Grilled Cheese

NJ, USA

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For simplicity it's hard to beat Ginger Ale and rum with a slice of lime over ice. I drink a lot of rums that aren't really sipping quality this way. But there are differences in ginger ales so check around and find one that isn't too sweet.

Ginger Ale makes a good mixer for white or dark rums.

I agree with Ed. Simplicity. I drink mine on the rocks with a splash of ginger and a squeeze of lime. Bliss. Personally my favorite rum to drink like this is Brugal Anejo from the Dominican Republic. I think it's a classic, and it's pretty available. A lot of finer liquor stores carry it, and it's CHEAP. I get mine for about $11 a bottle. Another one to look out for is a product from Guatemala called Ron Zacapa Centenario. It's barrel-aged up to 23 years, can be drunk neat, and is a knockout. It too is pretty inexpensive, so I mix it up. About $23 I believe. Look for the bottle wrapped in palm leaves.

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Another one to look out for is a product from Guatemala called Ron Zacapa Centenario.  It's barrel-aged up to 23 years, can be drunk neat, and is a knockout.  It too is pretty inexpensive, so I mix it up.  About $23 I believe.

Ron Zacapa Centenario for $23??? Where are you getting this price? I just paid $40 and $41 for two bottles at 2 different places.

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Another one to look out for is a product from Guatemala called Ron Zacapa Centenario.  It's barrel-aged up to 23 years, can be drunk neat, and is a knockout.  It too is pretty inexpensive, so I mix it up.  About $23 I believe.

Ron Zacapa Centenario for $23??? Where are you getting this price? I just paid $40 and $41 for two bottles at 2 different places.

Yeah, thats dirt cheap. I cant get it less than $34 here in NJ.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I'm partial to a splash of tonic .

I had some Schwepps Indian Tonic (in those mini cans - 15cl?) with some Mount Gay the other day and found that it was excessively bitter unless I laced it with shed loads of rum (ie killing the bitterness of the tonic).

Quite nice though and might try again tonight as I need something to cool down now that London has got a little hotter!

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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Great thread!

Caipirinhas are so delicious you have to be careful not to have too many. They also produce the foulest-smelling breath imaginable.

There are two versions - the Carioca caipirinha, hailing from Rio de Janeiro which, typically, requires no effort and the Baiana caipirinha, from Salvador da Bahia, which does.

As you get wonderful limes in the US and the UK (but not wonderful lemons - these have to be freshly plucked, unwaxed, unfrozen, etc) I'd say caipirinhas were bound to catch on.

Here are my recipes. I should add that I was allowed to work for a week in the Academia de Cachaça in Rio - though they only let me cut the limes...

Carioca Caipirinha

1) Roll a lime under the palm of your hand, really leaning into it. You want to separate the juice from the bitter pith. Lop of the top and bottom, discard. Now cut half the lime into eight pieces or, if you're really Carioca, into four.

2) Put into an old-fashioned glass. This is the only one that will do. Add at least a tablespoon of fine sugar. The Brazilians use very fine ("União" being the standard), but the coarser grain will do.

3) With a wooden pestle (the end of a broomstick is ideal if you haven't the real thing) muddle the limes with the sugar, until it's all mushy. Don't puncture the skin or it'll be bitter.

4) Top up with ice cubes, the smaller the better. Fill with cachaça. If you don't have cachaça, Colombian aguardiente is fine. Don't use rum - if you don't have cachaça, vodka is the best spirit, making it a "caipiroshka". With tequila, it's a "caipirila".

5) Mix it round with a spoon and...drink.

Baiana Caipirinha

This is the best, the real thing, but requires a little more work.

1) Cut a whole lime into about sixteen pieces, discarding the ends.

2) Add the sugar and muddle, same as above.

3) Pack the old-fashioned glass with pulverized ice (at least cracked: wrap ice cubes in clean tea towel and bash like all hell).

4) Pour cachaça (or vodka) until the glass is full.

5) Now find something that will allow you to shake it. It should fit over the old-fashioned glass perfectly and form a seal. I use (as does the Academia da Cachaça in Rio, where they allowed me to work for a few days) a sawed-off plastic flowerpot!

6) Shake the living daylights out of it.

7) Serve immediately while the sugar, the lime bits and everything are in a cloudy, icy suspension.

A final note regarding cachaças: the cheapest are sweetest but by no means the worst for caipirinhas. There are thousands of cachaças and the best should be drunk like old tequilas. So cheapest is best: Tatú, Pitu, Velho Barreiro, 51. The more expensive cachaças make lousy caipirinhas.

It's with these last "Baiana" caipirinhas you have to watch it, They're that delectable. The secret is to drink them slowly - they're great even when they're no longer ice cold - and accompanied by alcohol-soaking food. The ideal is, of course, the feijoada - the Brazilian black bean stew.

One every half-hour allows you to have six or seven, easy.

The temptation to suck one down, though, is irresistible. Avoid it like the plague, though. The right cachaça for caipirinha is low-grade cane sugar spirit, heavily reinforced with sugar.

"Caipira" means someone very poor and destitute. Hence the necessity of using a cheap cachaça.

Yummy!

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5) Now find something that will allow you to shake it. It should fit over the old-fashioned glass perfectly and form a seal. I use (as does the Academia da Cachaça in Rio, where they allowed me to work for a few days) a sawed-off plastic flowerpot!

first off - thanks for the excellent post.

secondly - couldn't you use a martini shaker, and then pour it into the old-fashioned glass?

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some people's misgiving w/Trader Vics aside, I've had a really great drink at their place in Palo Alto, called a "Suffering Bastard".

I'm not sure if it's simple, b/c I'm not sure what's in it. I think at least two rums and it is garnished w/half a lime and a cucumber spear. It is very strong and tasty.

With all the rum experts on this thread; any one know more about it?

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Just discovered this thread... What a good question started the discussion. For rum, I've been enjoying Mojitos pretty much exclusively, but now plan to try rum and tonic or dry ginger ale. Before I found Mojitos, I was strictly a vodka and tonic person, if not drinking wine or beer, so similar with the rum sounds good to me.

I just can't do straight, either. "Ice" was a good suggestion, though!

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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some people's misgiving w/Trader Vics aside, I've had a really great drink at their place in Palo Alto, called a "Suffering Bastard".

I'm not sure if it's simple, b/c I'm not sure what's in it.  I think at least two rums and it is garnished w/half a lime and a cucumber spear.  It is very strong and tasty.

With all the rum experts on this thread; any one know more about it?

If I recall correctly, the original Don the Beachcomber recipe went something like this:

equal parts gin, bourbon, fresh lime juice

dash of bitters

fill with ginger ale

No rum. But I'm sure the version you had bore no resemblance to the original. Not necessarily a dig at Vic--hey, at least his legacy is still alive & kicking--it's just that most tiki drinks have been turned into "girl drinks" over the years.

I will have to check it in my (misplaced) copy of Beachbum Berry's Grog Log, which I highly recommend along with its sequel, Intoxica. With them, you can (and will) become a vintage tiki know-it-all like yours truly! (Caveat: Don was highly secretive to the point of paranoia and no one is 100% sure of the original recipes; the Beachbum Berry books are just the most reliable sources I know.)

Queen of Grilled Cheese

NJ, USA

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Back in the days when I drank... we would sometimes start the evening with a drink that got us "up to speed" quickly in terms of blood alcohol level but it's actually still a good drink for those who sip and drink slowly.

Rum Float: make a rum sour, heavy on the light rum and not overly sweet and pour into a tall glass with ice, ensurign to leave about 2" clear in the top of the glass. Now pour your favorite dark rum gently into the top of the drink - pouring it slowy over the back of a bar spoon helps this to work properly. If done correctly, the dark wum will float on the top of the drink. Consume with a straw, taking a partial sip of the rum sour and pulling straw upwards to get some of the dark rum in each sip. As the ice melts and the glass is getting emptied, the drink retains some punch due to the presence of the initally undiluted dark rum.

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some people's misgiving w/Trader Vics aside, I've had a really great drink at their place in Palo Alto, called a "Suffering Bastard".

I'm not sure if it's simple, b/c I'm not sure what's in it.  I think at least two rums and it is garnished w/half a lime and a cucumber spear.  It is very strong and tasty.

With all the rum experts on this thread; any one know more about it?

If I recall correctly, the original Don the Beachcomber recipe went something like this:

equal parts gin, bourbon, fresh lime juice

dash of bitters

fill with ginger ale

No rum. But I'm sure the version you had bore no resemblance to the original. Not necessarily a dig at Vic--hey, at least his legacy is still alive & kicking--it's just that most tiki drinks have been turned into "girl drinks" over the years.

I will have to check it in my (misplaced) copy of Beachbum Berry's Grog Log, which I highly recommend along with its sequel, Intoxica. With them, you can (and will) become a vintage tiki know-it-all like yours truly! (Caveat: Don was highly secretive to the point of paranoia and no one is 100% sure of the original recipes; the Beachbum Berry books are just the most reliable sources I know.)

thanks babyluck, for the info and recipe.

I will definately try the recipe you posted; sounds different from anything I've tried.

I'm with you on the 'girlie' drinks; (not a fan). One reason I like their suffering bastard is that it is less sweet than many of their others. The half lime and cuke keep it interesting.

I'm interested if you find anything more! Thanks.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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