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Havana Club 3 Year Cuban Rum
This month’s box, Sun’s Out, Rum’s Out, was designed using Havana Club 3-year Rum, a world-renowned rum found in bars and on cocktail menus all across the world, and with good reason. It is an ideal rum for mixing a wide range of cocktails as it possesses both depth from the molasses base and the spice profile, and a bright, fresh character full of tropical flavours, an outcome of its continuous still distillation process and its relatively short 3 year aging process in oak casks. A staple brand for classic rum cocktails, and an integral part of Cuban distillation heritage, Havana Club 3-year rum features a fresh, clean sugarcane profile bolstered by notes of spicy oak, tropical fruits and a hint of citrus peel. This humble spirit provides a noticeable rum flavour, but is light enough to allow other ingredients to do most of the heavy lifting, resulting in amazing summer cocktails.
Good Old Fashioned Cola
This world is full of timeless combinations, things that undeniably go together, peanut butter and jam, cake and ice cream and our favourite, rum and cola. There are some important factors which make this particular combination so special; cola is a mixture of a plethora of spices, most notably the kola nut and it incorporates a darker sugar flavour, reminiscent of molasses. Rum also possesses a lot of these qualities, often being made from molasses itself and possessing a similar bouquet of exotic herbs and spices, bestowed by the wooden barrels in which it is aged. Another important element rests in the unmentioned ingredient, the citrus, which brings much needed balance to all that sweet and spicy goodness. This complex cocktail reimagines this classic flavour combination into a delicious Old Fashioned style sipper, employing unique ingredients like lime leaf-infused Cola, preserved lemon, Ms. Better’s Kola bitters, Luxardo cherries and a Fernet Branca mist to elevate a traditional pairing into something spectacular.
So Fresh, So Kwlean
Fresh, clean, tasty and green. That is the mantra behind this awesome summertime cocktail which centers around a relatively unused cocktail flavour, delicious sweet and sour kiwi. While under-utilized, its uniquely fresh profile can offer a lot to the right cocktail, as it instantly imbues a full gambit of tasting notes, adding a sharp, yet saccharine tropical profile. To keep it clean, and to add a fun new technique to your repertoire, you’ll create a ‘flash’ shrub of white vinegar, golden sugar and sumac which gives this cocktail a noticeable tangy bite, softened by the sparkling bubbles of soda water. While tasty on its own, this bright flavour profile is well-served by some balancing notes, provided by the earthy, yet tart addition of Ms. Better’s Kiwi Sumac bitters and citrusy lemon. Once you pour this cocktail into your glass, you’ll be awestruck by its brilliantly green colour, provided by kiwi syrup, underscoring its role as a summertime sipper. Ain’t nobody dope as this drink, its just so fresh and so clean.
For such a simple word, ‘curry’ encompasses a broad range of dishes, as across the world, you’ll encounter many different forms, all with their own, unique spice combinations making up what a particular culture considers curry. There is the ‘classic’ Indian curry spice (which is actually a British concoction, authentic Indian curry blends tend to be more complex), Thai green curry, Japanese curry and so many more, all with their own specific flavours, colours and methods of preparation. While its place in the culinary world is cemented, it is rarely found in the world of mixology, as the heavy-handed spice profile tends to overpower anything else in a cocktail. However, with the right spice blend and complimentary ingredients, which you’ll find in this cocktail, you can create a drink with subtle curry spice and beautiful balance. With fresh muddled curry spices like ginger, turmeric, coriander, and cumin, complimented by the fruity profile of banana syrup, fresh lime and a creamy base of coconut milk, brought together by the addition of fresh muddled banana, you’ll soon wonder what other curry blends you can use in your future cocktails.
Why Cuban Rum?
A special connection exists between sunshine and rum. Of course, we associate many classic rum-based cocktails with the summer season, and even the most tropical of all cocktail categories, tiki, prefers rum as its primary base spirit. However, this connection is cemented right from the beginning, as the sugar cane from which rum is produced only grows in extremely temperate environments, predominately the Caribbean and South America.
Within these warm climates, sugar cane thrives, growing up to 6 meters tall. Its by-product, either sugar cane juice or molasses, is easily fermented into alcohol. While a simple fermented beverage had been drunk by the indigenous in these areas for centuries, when the Europeans arrived, drawn by the warm, sunny weather and rich, fertile landscapes, they also brought with them the techniques to turn the fermented sugar cane into a distilled product, giving rise to the development of rum. Soon rum became the predominant spirit throughout the Caribbean and South America, even surpassing French cognac in the alcohol-for-currency exchange market.
Once its place in the hierarchy of world spirits had been established, it was only a matter of time before it made its way into the bartender’s lexicon, becoming more and more common on cocktail menus by the beginning of the 20th century. However, whereas bourbon or cognac, the prevailing spirits in early cocktails, tended to be more amenable to aromatic flavours, the sweet, bright profile of rum was much more conducive to the tropical flavours of the fruits which the sugar cane grew alongside. The profile of these types of fruits, such as banana, coconut, or pineapple, are also greatly influenced by the climate in which they grow, as the increased sunlight gives rise to an entirely different world of flavours that can not be replicated in higher latitudes.
There is something undeniable about the combination of rum and tropical fruit, as exemplified by the innumerable tiki cocktails featured on menus throughout the world, just as there is something incredibly special about sitting in the sun on a beach with a cocktail in hand, tasting nothing but rum and some delicious concoction of tropical fruit juices. Rum’s place atop the world of summertime cocktails is unrivaled, so what better way to get into summer and celebrate this special connection than with this month’s Crafty Cocktails box Sun’s Out, Rum’s Out.
While it would have been easy to put a full gambit of tropical fruits in this box and call it a day, at Crafty Cocktails, it is important to us to try and showcase a different side to any given spirit, while still trying to maintain the classic summertime profile that most people expect when thinking of rum cocktails. You will discover some unlikely ingredients inside this box yet are sure to find your new favourite summertime sipper.
Missed this box? Click here to order a one-time delivery from our shop!