It's time to gird up for yet another “National Whatever Day” – but we won’t hold the onslaught of made-up holidays
against National Rum Day – Sunday, Aug. 16 – because rum cocktails are just too much fun. (Not to mention perfect drinking in our climate, especially this time of year.)
We’ve gone straight to the source for most of these recipes, collecting a solid selection of drinks with something for every taste from five national rum brands, plus a couple from our own Remix cocktail column
. You can find these products locally in bars like Aku Aku Tiki Bar, The Woods, Lil Indies, Cask & Larder, Prato, and Pharmacy, among many others, and at retail spots like Total Wine & Spirits, ABC, Antonio’s Wine & Spirits, Vines Wine & Spirits and more (phone first).
Cruise through this article, pick up whatever you don’t already have in your home bar, and get ready to celebrate on Sunday. Actually, one day might not be enough – “National Rum Three-Day Weekend” has a nice ring, doesn’t it?
Remix: Daiquiri No. 1
No. 1 is a little refined; No. 2 is a little funky. If you think of daiquiris as sissy blender drink, you've been drinking in the wrong bars.
- 1 1/2 ounces rhum agricole (I used Clément)
- 1/4 ounce Luxardo Maraschino
- 1/2 ounce fresh ruby-red grapefruit juice, plus a strip of peel
- 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1/4 ounce simple syrup
- champagne or other sparkling wine
Pour all ingredients except champagne into an ice-filled shaker and shake. Strain into a chilled coupe glass, top with a float of champagne, and garnish with a wide strip of grapefruit peel.
Note: If you don’t have fresh grapefruit juice, don’t use canned or bottled; just increase the lime juice. On the other hand, if you don’t have fresh lime juice, Sicilia brand is an acceptable substitute.
Remix: Daiquiri No. 2
Simpler, more to the point.
- 2 ounces Cruzan Blackstrap Rum
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1/4 ounce Velvet Falernum
- 1/2 ounce Demerara simple syrup
Pour all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker and shake well. Strain into a chilled highball glass over a large piece of ice.
3: Rum Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva:
The Old Cuban, kind of an updated mojito, was first served by renowned mixologist Audrey Saunders at the Pegu Club. Here, Diplomatico presents the cocktail as currently mixed at Eleven Madison Park in NYC.
- 1 1/2 ounces Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva
- 3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
- 6 mint leaves
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Add all ingredients, except champagne, to a shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into glass. Top with champagne.
4. Grander Rum: Grandhattan
Grander is an eight-year-old, 90-proof rum distilled in Panama in bourbon barrels – that wood and the higher proof, along with the absence of any added sweeteners or flavorings, give Grander the heft of your favorite brown spirits.
- 2 ounces of Grander Rum
- 1 ounce of sweet vermouth (preferably Carpano Antica)
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
5. St. Augustine Distillery: Riberia Rider
The artisanal St. Augustine Distillery, which we profiled
in our May 6 issue, releases its first rum Sept. 3. (Road-trip time.) The first few batches will be available only in their on-site shop, however; the final version won’t be in shops until January 2016. Brand ambassador Zach Lynch named this cocktail after Riberia Street, where the distillery is located in the historic district.
- 1 1/2 ounces St. Augustine rum
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 ounce Aperol
- 3/4 ounce velvet falernum
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
- lemon peel
Include all ingredients in a shaker, including bitters. Shake and strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a lemon peel.