El Dorado rum

9 rums you should be drinking


Our previous update “9 things you should know about rum” proved to be surprisingly popular, in fact at one point the b&t website crashed because it couldn’t handle all the visits, ‘likes’ and ‘shares’. So since the sun has continued to shine (up until today!) and I have rum on my mind, I thought I’d use this excuse to follow up with a look at some of the rums I’m particularly enjoying at the moment and maybe even throw in a few rum cocktails while I’m at it. Well it gives me an excuse to spend the some time sipping cocktails as ‘research and development’ for this blog.

This post could easily be titled ’39 rums you should be drinking’ but that might be a little impractical honestly, after all, developing nine new cocktails kept me pretty busy. So if you don’t see your favourite rum below, that doesn’t mean I don’t like it, I simply wanted to tell you about a few that I’m particularly enjoying at the moment. I’ve included a new cocktail recipe for each, as well as a few of my thoughts, which I hope will inspire you to grab a bottle of good rum, a few fresh ingredients, and a shaker.

The Spice of Life

There’s been a lot of talk about spiced rums over the past few months, what with Sailor Jerry making the strange decision to change their recipe and rumours of various other premium rum brands working on new spiced variants. It’s not a category that I’ve ever given a lot of thought to but suddenly it’s getting a lot of attention.
I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch of Elements 8’s new barrel infused spiced rum and managed to talk them into letting me have a bottle to play with at home, so now seems like the perfect time to take a look at both this new release and the spiced rum category as a whole. We’re also lucky enough to be in a position to send one lucky reader a bottle of Elements 8 spiced rum so be sure to read on for your chance to win!

Keep it simple

We’ve been treated to an early burst of sunny weather over the last week or so and it has got me thinking about summer drinking. Obviously there are plenty of bars and pubs with terraces or beer gardens, but sometimes there is nothing better than inviting friends over, firing up the bbq and having a few drinks in the garden!
The problem I always have is that I tend to over complicate things when it comes to the drinks side of entertaining, but not this year! I have vowed to keep it simple this summer, so despite having an outside bar that I could stock up with every cocktail ingredient imaginable, I intend to limit myself to a few simple ingredients that I can make pitchers of drinks with.
I’ve always liked the idea of keeping it simple, even if I have usually failed to do so myself. So on my mission to simplify my entertaining I am going to keep a stock of a few mixers, use whatever fruit I find on offer at my local supermarket and maybe keep a couple of bottles of liqueurs on hand just for variety. Beyond that it comes down to choosing a couple of spirits that offer me the most versatility and sticking with them instead of raiding the bitters&twisted drinks cabinets!

Make mine a single barrel rum please!

When I hear the word ‘single barrel’ I usually think bourbon. So I was quite surprised when I was invited to Hix in Soho, to sample some single barrel, single still rums from El Dorado. I have to confess that I was a little perplexed by the idea, as for me the artistry in rum production has always seemed to be in the blending, so the concept of a single barrel rum seemed like an oddity, but not the sort of oddity I was going to miss out on trying.
I’m sure a lot of you know El Dorado rums already, the range that we normally see includes the 3yo white, 5yo and 8yo golden rums and of course the more premium 12yo and 15yo rums. Every now and then you see a bottle of El Dorado 21yo or even the 25yo on a back bar. All of those are fine blends of aged rums coming from a selection of the different stills that El Dorado own.
El Dorado are a bit unique when it comes to stills; they have 9 in operation, including a number of wooden stills and this gives them a huge range of possibilities when it comes to producing rums with different flavour profiles. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to sit in on one of Stefanie Holt’s (El Dorado brand ambassador in the UK) training sessions you get a good insight into the different styles that the stills produce and what they add to each blend. That being said nothing can compare to actually tasting the single still, single barrel rums to get a real idea of how very different they are from each other.

Ladies and gentlemen we have a winner!

I was really surprised at the response to our competition to win a bottle of El Dorado 12yo and 2 tickets for RumFest. Actually scrap that, with a really good bottle of rum on the line and forty quids worth of tickets I guess there was a reasonable incentive to send us a recipe. I was really happy to have so many excuses to drink autumnal rum cocktails! Admittedly the B&T drinks cabinet is now running a little low on El Dorado rums but it was all in a good cause.


After much sipping, and comparing of notes we finally managed to narrow the entrants down to just 10 that we thought were worthy of being added to the Bitters & Twisted drinks database, and the creators of those drinks had their names thrown into a hat so that a winner could be drawn at random… and the winner is…. You’ll have to read on to find out I’m afraid.


The whole point of this competition was that the weather here in the UK has definitely taken a turn for the colder and the leaves are changing colour as we speak. While I am a big fan of sunshine I am also a big fan of all those autumn flavours especially when you throw them at a good bottle of rum and see what sticks! I am pleased to say I have a few new autumn drinks that I will be turning to over the next couple of months, and one that might just see me the whole way through winter. Sadly Rob Poulter didn’t win the competition, but his autumn drink definitely deserves a mention here especially as it helped propel him to Theme’s Bartender of the year recently: