Havana Club

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 good, the bad and the ugly bottle!

I’m lucky enough to be sent bottles of spirits on a reasonably regular basis, so hearing a knock on the door, and seeing a bottle sized parcel in the delivery guys hand leads to great anticipation. Will it be a new product, or an old favourite? Something to delight my taste buds or make me scratch my head and wonder what the producer was thinking when they made this pineapple infused pisco liqueur? Opening the box to reveal the latest addition to the b&t drinks cabinet there is a moment of examination as I look at yet another gleaming gem of a bottle… or not.
 
 
Often the bottle I’m faced with is great, but every now and then I’m left dumbfounded by a poorly designed, cheap looking bottle, and despite knowing that the liquid in the bottle is the most important thing, I’m left feeling disappointed. Recently I have received a lot of new products and have had an instant reaction to the packaging that has set me up for the experience of tasting the liquid inside. Most have been examples of the good, but a few have been bad, and one or two have even been downright ugly!
 

A Little Bit of Favouritism

Looking at my drinks cabinet I have just realised that there are certain bottles that get used a lot more than others. Havana Club 7 year old Rum, Geranium Gin, Siete Leguas Tequila, Sagatiba Velha Cachaca, Wild Turkey 101, these bottles seem to need replenishing rather often. But why is it that I have formed a bond with these brands? It’s not as though I don’t have other great rums or tequilas to choose from, but I seem to often find myself drawn to my old favourites.
 
 
The same is true when I’m sat at a bar, staring at the back bar and pondering what to drink first. I always smile when I see a few of my favourites on the shelf, knowing that I have some choices that are bound to hit the spot. 
 
 
Of course a lot of it has to do with finding products that taste good and I find myself going back to them simply because I enjoy the flavour, but sometimes there is a deeper pull towards one brand over another. I think there are a few reasons for this emotional attachment that go beyond simply liking the taste of the liquid in the bottle.

Leave out the limes!

There’s only so much citric acid a man can take! Don’t get me wrong, I love a well-made daiquiri (with Havana Club 3yo please…) as much as the next guy, and on a sunny day it’s hard to beat a Tommy’s margarita. But after years of drinking caipirinhas, margaritas, daiquiris and aviations I have to say that my love affair with citrus fruit is over!
 
I am always a little disappointed when ordering my first cocktail in a bar when the conversation goes something like this:
 
Bartender: what do you fancy Dan?
Me: I’m not sure, but I’m in the mood for some rum or tequila
Bartender: how about a margarita?
Me: hmmmmm
Bartender: or maybe a daiquiri?
 
It sometimes seems like I am being presented with the most obvious choices not to mention drinks that are easy to make (3 ingredients, shaken and up…). I understand the reason for this, they are popular drinks and generally require little conversation and not a lot of time to make. That’s fine, but it also means that far too many drinkers are missing a chance to taste these fantastic spirits in ways that would perhaps hide their character less.