So, I don’t drink. (I’ll take a small taste of something just to see if it tastes “right,” but I have had maybe one whole shot’s worth of liquor this year doing that.) I have a housemate who does, though, and he loves playing Mystery Bartender. He goes and plays a video game, and I have a blast finding crap out of our cabinet to mix together and see what happens, and then feed it to him. We’ve discovered some very good and some really, really bad things this way.
His liquor of preference is rum, generally speaking. It goes with everything, in everything, on top of everything, and particularly in him, sometimes in quantity. I am looking for interesting and off-the-wall ideas of things to do with rum, and also for recommendations on what kind of rum is good for what purposes. We’ve branched as far out as (wait for it) Bacardi white, Bacardi gold, and Captain Morgan spiced. That’s it. What other rums are there that you love or hate, and why? What do you do with them? Why did you bring that goat into this thread? I await your revelations with bated breath and baited hook!
As it happens, I’m drinking rum right now. Sailor Jack, specifically. It’s 90 proof, but pretty smooth.
Rum is very versatile. You can marinate chicken in it. You can blend it with ice cream and make a killer shake. Good with any kind of fruit juice and most soft drinks (right now I’m having it with Diet Dr. Pepper).
I like Gosling Black Seal dark rum, particularly in a mojito. But don’t use one of those prepackaged mojito mixes. Get guarapo (fresh-squeezed sugar cane juice) if you can – I see the OP lives in Florida, so if you’re anywhere in South Florida with Cuban restaurants or bakeries, you should be able to get it by the cup. If not, make a simple syrup by boiling sugar in water. Crush fresh lime wedges and mint leaves in the bottom of a tall glass (ideally use a mortar and pestle if you can), cover with crushed ice, and then add your Black Seal rum and simple syrup. Garnish with a lime, and you have a pretty authentic and awesome mojito.
Some of these ideas sound so tasty it makes me want to drink!
Re: mojitos - we’ve tried those a few times, with wildly varied success. The best results we’ve gotten have been with fresh-squeezed lime juice and mint leaves muddled in the bottom of the glass with a spoon. Any suggestions on how to reproduce that fresh mint taste without the bits of leaf in the glass? Or, alternately, the way to get the most jump out of your mint without having to stand around for five minutes poking it with a spoon for each glass? I usually use simple syrup, but I’ll have to see if we can get guarapo around here. (I’m in central FL, so it’s a toss-up - but worth a shot!)
For those of you who drink rum straight, what do you look for in a particularly pleasing rum? What do you avoid? Have you had any truly craptastic rum experiences?
Re: Appleton’s particularly - I’ve seen it in my local liquor stores, and it’s not a whole lot pricier than your regular Bacardi or Captain or what have you. Is there a particular reserve that you prefer, or just the normal stuff? What’s the practical difference (i.e., the effects of the aging)?
Your basic problem here is the simple syrup. Replace at least part of it with granulated sugar. Toss the sugar and mint into the glass, then use a pestle, not a spoon, to muddle the bejebus out of it. The sugar crystals tear open the mint cells, releasing more of the mint than just a spoon against glass would ever do. In a pinch, you can use the end of a wooden spoon as a muddler, but if you plan to drink these often, invest in a decent muddler, like this one.