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Dark Jamaican rum suggestions?

Wahooty Jan 19, 2014 08:04 PM

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. prima RE: Wahooty Jan 19, 2014 08:10 PM

    I like Appleton. But I like Bajan Cockspur better.

    1 Reply
    1. re: prima
      Wahooty RE: prima Jan 19, 2014 08:45 PM

      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 border...one 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. EvergreenDan RE: Wahooty Jan 20, 2014 05:17 AM

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

      www.kindredcocktails.com | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

      1. JMF RE: Wahooty Jan 20, 2014 07:33 AM

        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. r
          Raffles RE: Wahooty Jan 20, 2014 08:05 AM

          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
            JMF RE: Raffles Jan 20, 2014 08:21 AM

            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. n
            nickls RE: Wahooty Jan 20, 2014 11:28 AM

            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.

            1. Wahooty RE: Wahooty Jan 20, 2014 03:03 PM

              Thanks, gang. I'll be on the lookout for the Coruba the next time I'm in a halfway decent liquor store. That's the kind of suggestion I was looking for - something affordable for mixing but better than the ubiquitous Myers. But thanks for reminding me to put Smith & Cross and various El Dorado products on my shopping list, too.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Wahooty
                JMF RE: Wahooty Jan 21, 2014 05:52 PM

                The one bad thing about Coruba is the bottle/label. It looks like cheap crap.

                1. re: JMF
                  Wahooty RE: JMF Jan 21, 2014 09:31 PM

                  Yeah, I think had I just seen it on a shelf, I would have passed it by. Which is precisely why I started this thread. ;)

              2. d
                DavidT RE: Wahooty Jan 21, 2014 02:10 PM

                If you are looking for an aged rum that you can drink straight (like a good brandy or single-malt whisky), look for Rhum Clement, which is from Martinique.

                5 Replies
                1. re: DavidT
                  JMF RE: DavidT Jan 21, 2014 05:51 PM

                  Only thing about Clement is it's a rhum agricole, which has a very different flavor profile. It and Rhum JM are fantastic, but the Martinique rhum agricole's are very different critters than rums made from molasses.

                  1. re: DavidT
                    Wahooty RE: DavidT Jan 21, 2014 09:32 PM

                    I have several rums that are great for sipping neat...this happens to be a tiki-specific quest. But I do appreciate the suggestion!

                    1. re: Wahooty
                      JMF RE: Wahooty Jan 21, 2014 10:48 PM

                      Rhum agricole is definitely used in some tiki drinks. Usually a mix of several rums to get a really broad rum flavor profile. That's one of the things that tiki drinks are known for, mixing rums.

                      1. re: JMF
                        Wahooty RE: JMF Jan 22, 2014 06:42 AM

                        Yep, I'm aware of that, but I don't exactly have the budget to be mixing with Clement. ;)

                        1. re: Wahooty
                          JMF RE: Wahooty Jan 22, 2014 07:21 AM

                          I understand. Some of the Rhum JM are inexpensive enough for cocktails. I find that anything $30 a bottle or less I can use in cocktails, especially if they are modifiers and not the bulk of the main spirit.

                  2. Dapuma RE: Wahooty Jan 24, 2014 07:08 PM

                    Coruba should be your tiki mixing rum of choice for a dark Jamaican rum

                    It is superior than Appleton 12 in most tiki drinks and it is also much less expensive

                    Smith and Cross (gold Jamaican) is not a dark jamaican and very funky, I like it quite a bit but it takes the drink in a different direction, not traditional per se

                    You would sub Appleton V/X for Smith and Cross, and come up with a similar but more complex/funky drink with the Smith and Cross - I would probably start out with Appleton V/X and try them side by side both are good additions

                    For a good sipper ED 21 is pricey but excellent, before going for that make sure you enjoy ED 12 / LH / LH 151 flavor, if so you can pull the trigger with confidence

                    Not sure i would sip Rhum Clement VSOP but you should certainly use it in your Mai Tai along with Appleton V/X or Smith and Cross

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