Rum and tiki making a spirited comeback
meant for sipping. Tiki mugs aside, does rum have staying power?
It’s perhaps too early to tell, but these three tropical concoctions will help put you under the spirit’s powerful spell.
Rum Punch by Chesterfield Browne, Mount Gay Rum international brand ambassador
It tastes the way a tropical rum drink should: perfectly balanced and pleasantly sweet, but also tart and strong. Close your eyes and let this cocktail transport you vicariously to Barbados, the birthplace of rum.
Browne’s inspiration: “Being in the Caribbean, every island believes they have the best rum punch,” said Browne. He wanted Barbados’s claim to ring true, so he devised a rum punch that’s hard to beat. “I wanted to create something that would wow people.”
Game-changers: Fresh nutmeg and the rum. “Mount Gay rum has a lot of character that can be enjoyed in tiki drinks, including rum punch and the classic mai tai.”
Best place to drink it: Somewhere warm. In Calgary, close your eyes and pretend you’re on a beach. “Stretch your imagination,” said Browne.
Mount Gay Rum Punch
cloves often used in rum cocktails). A float of 151 rum is the fuse. “The Tiki Bomb is going to blow you up. You will get drunk off that drink,” says Phipps. Noted.
Game-changer: The f ire. “The presentation makes people say, ‘I want one of those!”
Best time to drink it: When it’s time to get the party started.
2 oz Cruzan Black Strap rum 1/2 oz dry curacao
1 oz falernum 1 oz fresh lime juice, about 1 lime (save one hollowed-out lime half after juicing)
3 dashes Angostura bitters
1/2 oz 151-proof rum
Method: Rinse a coconut mug with mescal and then pack with crushed ice. In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients except 151 rum. Shake, and then strain into coconut mug. Set hollowedout lime half atop ice next to umbrella garnish. Pour 151 rum into lime half and set afire. Garnish: Umbrella — Recipe by Stephen Phipps, Concorde Group
Privateer’s Punch by Neila MacIntyre, Ox and Angela
It’s tempting to merely admire the tiki mug and its iconic monkey stirstick garnish, but do plunge your swirly straw through the crushed ice and sip this potent punch. The cognac, Cointreau and pineapple juice add a fruity essence that’s weighted by rum and a spicy syrup made from red wine and Angostura bitters. Drink more than one and you’ll understand the expression “punch drunk.”
MacIntyre’s inspiration: Tiki culture. She wanted to create something that looked fun to drink. Of course, the contents have to taste good, but rum and fruit juice do not a tiki drink make. “I really feel that tiki is more of a look,” says MacIntyre.
Game-changer: The red wine Angostura syrup. It’s tannic and aromatic and adds a unique flavour to the punch. Best time to drink it: “Any time’s a good time for a cocktail.” Hear, hear.
1-1/2 oz Mount Gay Eclipse rum 1/2 oz Remy Martin cognac 1/2 oz Cointreau
1 oz fresh lime juice
Method: Combine all ingredients in a tiki mug and stir. Pack mug with crushed ice and garnish.
Garnish: Swirly straw, monkey stir stick, lime wheel and flower (or similar)
*Red wine Angostura syrup
Muddle 2 sugar cubes with 1/2 oz red wine and 1/2 oz Angostura bitters until sugar is dissolved. Yield: 1 oz syrup.
—Recipes by Neila MacIntyre, Ox and Angela
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Chesterfield Browne, Mount Gay Rum international brand ambassador and mixologist, creates a Mount Gay Rum Punch.
A Frost Chaser Old Fashioned made by bartender Bruce Soley at River Cafe. 1/2 oz red wine angostura syrup* 1 barspoon pineapple juice Pinch of nutmeg
A Tiki Bomb made by Stephen Phipps in the Bourbon Room at the National.