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Jan 19, 2014 08:04 PM

Dark Jamaican rum suggestions?

It's late January in Michigan, which in my world means it's time for festive beverages in the style of tiki. (What? I'm an escapist.) So my last trip to the grocery store yielded white grapefruit, limes, and a bottle of Myers. My ancient mariner tonight reminded me how disappointing Myers is. What should I be using instead? I KNOW there are better options, but this is one rum horizon I have not yet broadened.

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  1. I like Appleton. But I like Bajan Cockspur better.

    1 Reply
    1. re: prima

      Is Appleton dark enough for the tiki recipes that specify dark? Seems a little tame. Bajan rum is harder to find on my side of the of the only things I miss about the LCBO is the rum diversity that came standard. I can get Mount Gay here...but again, not dark.

    2. Can't speak for Tiki recipes, but I consider Smith & Cross an essential rum. Unique and astonishing. Deeply funky.

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      1. Smith & Cross and Coruba are my favorite dark Jamaican rums. Coruba works well because it is quite dry and should be blended with another rum such as a demerara like El Dorado for levels of flavor that is typical in tiki drinks.

        Here's my adaptation of Jeff's Ancient Mariner. By the way, Ocean Spray bottled white grapefruit juice works fine in cocktails. Research has shown that fresh squeezed white grapefruit juice actually improves over the course of several days after squeezing and hits its flavor peak around 72 hours after squeezing and holds for 2-3 weeks, easily. Good quality bottled white grapefruit juice is very near to the quality of fresh squeezed during its peak flavor profile.

        The Ancient Mariner– Beachbum Berry, 1994, his version of Trader Vic’s Navy Grog
        1 oz. El Dorado dark rum
        1 oz. Coruba dark Jamaican rum
        3/4 oz. lime juice
        1/2 oz. grapefruit juice
        1/2 oz. simple syrup
        1/4 oz. house Allspice syrup

        Shake with ice and strain into a hurricane glass or large brandy snifter, then top off with ice. Garnish with mint sprigs and scored lime (Tribal lime.)

        Here's a pic what I mean by a scored "Tribal" lime in one of my cocktails called the Rickey Tiki Tavi, and Indian spice influenced tiki drink.

        1. While not a Jamaican, Cruzan Dark is popular in our home.It is from St.Croix. It is less expensive than many.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Raffles

            Cruzan is ok, but for a better price and much higher quality with more flavor, I recommend the El Dorado line of demerara rums.

          2. Coruba is really where it's at for a Jamaican dark rum for tiki drinks. Appleton Extra is another great rum in my book, and Jeff Berry says in Remixed it can also be used in recipes calling for dark rum.

            As much as I like Smith & Cross, it tends to take over a drink pretty easily. I've found a few drinks where I enjoy Cruzan Blackstrap as well, but that's another one that won't easily slot into any recipe.