Rum Pa Pum Pum

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Chi Chi Rodriguez (www.latinosportslegends.com)

“The first time I played the Masters, I was so nervous I drank a bottle of rum before I teed off. I shot the happiest 83 of my life.” ~ Chi Chi Rodriguez.

When I was a kid, I loved Chi Chi Rodriguez. Why? Because he always had the best outfits at the PGA tournaments. I especially enjoyed his hats. I have a mild fetish for snazzy headgear. Here’s a little tidbit I bet you didn’t know about Lady Sensory: I grew up on a golf course. No, not literally. That would be totally weird. What I’m trying to say is: golf outings, tournaments, and trips to the driving range were all methods my father, the infamous Crazy Bob, employed to spend his quality family time with me. My father was, and still is, a very good golfer. However, he is not a good golf instructor. So, when I refer to the notion of quality family time, I mean my father telling me I’m going to be the next Nancy Lopez followed by hours of criticism about: my grip, stance, and alignment while I desperately begged to putt-putt for the fun of it. I managed to tune out his comments by therapeutically washing all the golf balls in his bag at every ball wash station.  I guess you could call that cathartic.  Fun, confidence-building quotes were shouted at me like: “Keep your eye on the ball!”
“Follow through!”
“What in the (insert exploitive here) is wrong with you?”
“You just don’t want to learn!”
We involved my mother one time per year for the family tournament and the last attempt at this venture resulted in the two of us physically throwing the balls down the fairway out of aggravation, Crazy Bob getting mad at us for doing that, Crazy Bob shoving me out of the golf cart because I was running it in circles, followed by Crazy Bob running over my foot with said golf cart, and concluding with a grand finale of an odd conversation on the back nine regarding my parents’ sex life. Back then we didn’t call this abuse, we called it character-building. Oh, I know what you’re thinking: I thought this post was going to be about The Little Drummer Boy and now she’s quoting golfers and talking about her dysfunctional family golf outings. Well, you are actually wrong about both. This little ditty is all about rum cocktails. So come along, y’all! Let’s head on over to the 19th hole and make some drinks together while trying to repress our childhood!
 
For the time being, I’m going to keep it simple and cover two brands of rum and one drink for each. You do the math. Despite the fact that Chi-Chi Rodriguez and many fine rums hail from Puerto Rico, the rums I would like to discuss are from two different countries. The first rum I’d like to introduce to you is probably my favorite and the “best of all time, all time!” Yes, I’m quoting our boy, Kanye, and you can check the previous post if you have questions about that nonsense.

A shot of cakes being made and samples at the Bermuda Rum Cake Company at the Royal Dockyard Glassworks

 
Gosling’s Bermuda Black Seal Rum: While you can find it in the states, I discovered it on my first trip to Bermuda several years ago. Gosling’s Black Seal is a dark, smooth, delicious, rum reminiscent of caramel. It is used in the preparation of Bermuda rum cakes, fish chowder and several cocktails indigenous to the island: the Rum Swizzle and the Dark ‘n Stormy. The latter is what we will be making here. As a side note, it’s really nifty to go to the Royal Dockyard Glassworks and watch the glass blowers create art and jewelry while you sample all the rum cakes at the Bermuda Rum Cake Company. Oh, and don’t you worry, we’ll make that Rum Swizzle another time when we chat about Bermuda in greater detail.  Both of these cocktails are very simple to make, but they do require quality ingredients. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Dark ‘n Stormy

Serve in rocks or highball glass, fill glass to the top with ice.

Pour 1.5 oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum over the ice (more or less, depending on what kind of AM meeting you have scheduled)

Top with Barritt’s Ginger Beer. Barritt’s can be found in the U.S. but you can substitute with Saranac, Gosling’s or Reed’s Ginger Beer if you can’t get your hands on Barritt’s.  If desperate, ginger beer can be substituted with ginger ale but it lacks the distinctive bite and extra ginger flavor that balances the dark rum.

Stir well, garnish with a lime wheel if desired. I generally do, but it’s just fine without one if you’re lacking in citrus supplies.

The next rum I’d like to discuss is really not a rum per se, but is often referred to as a Brazilian Rum, otherwise known as cachaça. Cachaça is similar to rum in that it comes in both white and gold, but while rum is made from molasses, cachaça is made from fresh sugar cane juice that is fermented and distilled.  Cachaça is used to make Brazil’s signature cocktail, the Caipirinha. I recommend using Leblon Cachaça, pictured below (far right). Per the website, Leblon’s final distillation is done in XO Cognac casks from France so it gives it a special nuance which sets it apart from other brands. Whatever they do, it seems to be working because it’s mighty tasty and I’m thinking about taking an evening to toy around with it and make a Leblon mojito of sorts.

Prepping for cocktail hour!

Leblon Caipirinha (adapted from the Leblon website: http://lebloncachaca.com/the-caipirinha/)

Serve in a rocks glass

1 lime, cut into 8 wedges, you will use half a lime

Place 4 of the wedges in the glass with 2 teaspoons of sugar, mash the lime wedges and sugar with a muddler or heavy spoon for about 15 seconds. I use turbinado sugar even though most recipes call for a superfine simply because I like the flavor of turbinado better. You will need to muddle turbinado a bit longer to help it dissolve. Fill glass to the rim with ice and top with 2 ounces of Leblon. Stir well and sip. It’s delicious and refreshing! You can garnish with a piece of sugar cane if you have it handy…because everyone has that around the house, right? If not, throw another lime wedge in for garnish.

I bet you’re wondering if I ever play golf anymore.  I will tell you that while I enjoy cute golf attire and madras wear, I never became the next Nancy Lopez. My golf specialties consist of polite clapping, playing the role of beer wench, and putting through a tiny windmill. If only I had access to these delicious cocktails on the golf course back in the day with Crazy Bob. They might have prevented anyone from getting teed off….

Dark 'n Stormy made with Gosling's and Barritt's...and a flamingo!

 
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