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not so sweet/non fruity dark rum cocktails?

I am a neat scotch and dry martini (with bitters) gal, and the fruitiest I can go is a mojito. With that established, I have a bottle of Appleton Estate 12 yr that I carried all the way from Jamaica. And it is just sitting there. I thought I can just sip it, but it is just too abrasive (and yet cloying) to drink by itself. I think I just am not a rum person considering that I can sip scotch, tequila, mezcal and gin by themselves. What can I do to salvage this bottle?

I really really really hate to mix it with OJ. I tried and didn't like it. Other citrus (lime/lemon) are fine but sweet drinks make me gag. If nothing works, please direct me to home cooking board, where I can flambe my butt off. Merci!

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  1. And I have a nice selection of scotch (gifts) and never even cracked 'em open because I'm a rum kinda gal! ;)

    The Appleton (one of my favorites) is great in a mojito. I also enjoy it mixed with seltzer and a squeeze of lime.

    1 Reply
    1. re: VictoriaL

      We should meet somewhere and exchange re-gifts.

      I've never tried dark rum in a mojito. Do you prepare it as usual?

    2. Have you ever tried a Dark 'n Stormy? Dark rum and ginger beer. I guess sweetness would depend on the ginger beer (not ginger ale!) you get.

      3 Replies
      1. re: sonia darrow

        I think I might love it with something like Reeds. Assertive over assertive kind of deal. Not sure if they are available here (MTL) though, but noted.

          1. re: kenito799

            I drink my D&S with Reed's. Reed's and Gosling's or Reed's and Cruzan Black Strap, it's the bomb! Even Sailor Jerry's will do in a pinch.

      2. For a quick apéro or if I run out of mint, I simply drink my rum with some tonic water and maybe a splash of lime. I find that the aroma of the rhum comes through very nicely. I also find that mojitos are better with dark rhum.

        1. Mai Tais, done the way Trader Vic invented 'em back in 1944. He originally used the 17-year rum from J. Wray & Nephew, which now bottles under the label Appleton Estate. It's well-balanced, and quite strong.

          Juice of a large lime
          1/2 ounce orgeat syrup
          1/4 ounce simple syrup (you might want to leave it out. Maybe.)
          3/4 ounce orange curaçao
          2 ounces Appleton Estate Extra (the 12-year rum you have)

          Shake everything like hell with crushed ice. Pour into a double rocks glass, and garnish with a sprig of mint and a spent lime shell. It's heaven in a glass, I tell ya.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

            sippin one now. THis is one of the best uses of rum that i have found. I using the cheap stiff bow so i imagine appleton 12 would be heaven. If you want to go the extra mile make your own orgeat and be sure to get quality orange liquor - i've been using rhum clement creole shrub lately

          2. mojitos are really "fruity", although they are generally (too) sweet.

            I would try something like Dale DeGroff's Anejo Highball.

            Añejo Highball
            1 1/2 ounce añejo rum
            1/2 ounce orange curaçao
            1/2 ounce lime juice
            2 dash Angostura Bitters
            1 ounce ginger beer
            Garnish: Lime wedge, orange wedge.
            Build in a highball glass.
            Source: Dale DeGroff

            1. Just go easy on the sugar in a rum swizzle recipe like this:

              The bitters can add body and take off a sweet edge. The above is akin to the 'official' Bermuda Rum Swizzle, but has less fresh fruit juice and you mentioned you don't like 'fruity'... this is what the closest-thing-to-official looks like:
              And it's really supposed to have Gosling's Black Seal rum.

              1. I recently started making Manhattans with rum instead of whisky. A tasty twist on a classic cocktail. There's some sweetness there (I mix 'em 3:1), but it isn't overwhelming.

                4 Replies
                1. re: alanbarnes

                  You bring up an interesting point. Obviously, that's no longer a "Manhattan". But, when I have a spirit, and am looking for something new, I just substitute the liquor into another drink. Taking a margarita and subbing whiskey or rum isn't odd, or bad, at all. That type of subbing is generally a good start.

                  Experiment! With 750 mls, you've got a bunch of chances to get it right! Or, at the very least, to your liking.

                  1. re: tommy

                    The name I found for the drink is a Cuban Manhattan, although "Pirate's Cocktail" also came up. IMHO, neither name is a winner, but the drink is. For now I'll just call it a "rum Manhattan." If people can order "vodka martinis," that's gotta be allowed.

                    1. re: alanbarnes

                      you can call it an "alanbarnes" for all i care. as long as it's good!

                2. Wow, this is a weird coincidence. Rum isn't my liquor of choice, but it's one of my boyfriend's favorites. Yesterday a friend of ours bought him a bottle of Appleton Estate as a graduation present.

                  1. I wish I read this five years ago. I like you. I just went to Jamaica. Brought back a bottle of Appleton's special and just ran out of scotch. I search for a non-sweet way to use it (because Jamaica rum drinks are incredibly sweet, except for the Caribbean coffee). And I find this. The selzer and lime is not bad. But if you make it like a scotch by flavoring the rum with the selzer and lime instead of adding the rum to a 'selzer and lime' drink it may be more up your alley. I used Perrier and fresh lime. It's nice.

                    1. It will make a good Daiquiri. This recipe is good for all older rums.

                      2 1/2 oz Rum
                      3/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
                      1/2 oz simple syrup

                      Shake and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.

                      By the way, that rum is pretty easy to find in the states.

                      1. I like rum with a little coconut water, or with grapefruit juice (the bitterness of the grapefruit is a nice counterpoint to the sweetness of the rum)

                        1. The Rum Old Fashioned isn't a bad way to go either...
                          2oz Appleton
                          1/4 oz Falernum
                          dash of bitters (I use our fig bitters)