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.
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.
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.