Photos by James Eastman
While many of us consume clear spirits regardless of the season, that familiar dip in the mercury can bring about a craving for richer, darker flavors. From crisp to funky, dry to sweet, smoky to clean, rum has a plethora of flavors, uses, and personalities. Rum is brilliant in a Martinez, savory in an Old Fashioned, but my favorite application is the classic Daiquiri—strawberries and whipped cream not required. Or actually, prohibited.
With such a wide swath of rum flavor profiles available, we recommend stocking your home bar with several different rums (see our Hot Toddy recipe). A few of our favorite rums are Wray & Nephew—which at 127 proof can be used to make bitters, Smith & Cross—a beautiful, rich, full bodied beauty, and Neisson Agricole Blanc—a Rhum Agricole from Martinique that is slightly sweet with a very pleasant organic component. A Rhum Agricole is distilled from pressed sugar cane juice instead of molasses and offers more variability than traditional rums, since the resulting spirit will have a sense of “terroir” depending on the land where the sugar cane was grown.
Since autumn is upon us, we infused our simple syrup with a healthy dose of crushed allspice berries and fortified the fall flavors even further with several dashes of Easy & Oskey Autumn Spice bitters.
Play around with different rum proportions, perhaps even add a splash of smoky Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, and embrace the chill (at least for now).
The Autumn Spice Daiquiri
1 oz Smith & Cross Rum
½ oz Neisson Rhum Agricole
1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
¾ oz allspice simple syrup
¼ oz Easy & Oskey Autumn Spice bitters
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with clean ice. Shake vigorously to combine, 20 seconds or more. Strain into a cocktail glass.
Allspice Simple Syrup
Combine 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water in a pan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and add ¾ cup crushed allspice berries. Let mixture steep off the heat for at least an hour. Strain, discarding allspice. Allspice simple syrup will keep refrigerated for several weeks.