Rum takes prominence in portions of the world where sugar is produced on a large scale and the spirit has undergone its own evolution regarding aging and ways to consume the product. As National Rum Day approaches this coming Tuesday (August 16), we took a look at a handful of rum brands along with some cocktails to celebrate the occasion.
We did our best to find out the history of National Rum Day but couldn’t determine a connection. That said, it is universally celebrated on August 16. The history of rum itself is also hard to pin down, with early variations of the spirit reportedly created early as the 1300s. Rum primarily hails from the Caribbean but other nations that grow sugar cane have their own version of the sugar-based spirit. On average, rum averages around 80 proof with some darker rums going slightly higher. Overproof rum usually scores well into the 100s up to 151 proof in some cases.
While clear rums are typically used as a mixer or cocktail base, premium rums are emerging for those who like their spirits undiluted. We’ll return to these pages at a later time to discuss the differences in rum but for now, we’ve got a handful of cocktails below to celebrate National Rum Day.
Mount Gay Rum
Mount Gay Rum, the world’s oldest commercial rum distillery, has an array of rums in its portfolio that range from distilled to aged offerings. A favorite of ours is Mount Gay Black Barrel, which is double-aged in former American whiskey and finished in bourbon casks, making it a fine choice to sip neat, on a large cube, or use in bold cocktails.
Mount Gay Rum Rum Skies
2 oz Black Barrel
.75 oz Elderflower
4oz Tonic Water
Add all ingredients except tonic into the glass and stir. Add ice, finish with tonic and garnish with grapefruit wheel.
Mount Gay Rum Honey Castoff
2 oz Black Barrel
1 oz Lime
1 oz Honey (1:1 Water to Honey ratio)
2 oz Dry Bubbles
Add all ingredients into your tin, add ice and shake. Strain into glass, finish with dry bubbles and garnish with a mint leaf.
Bumbu is another rum we enjoy and the brand’s lineup features the spiced Bumbu Original, Bumbu XO, and Bumbu Creme, all fine choices on their own or on the rocks. And while the XO expression is seemingly designed as a sipping rum (and a fantastic one at that), the good folks at the brand shared a pair of cocktail recipes with us.
Bumbu XO Floridian Fashioned
2 oz Bumbu XO Rum
.5 oz Orgeat Syrup
.5 oz Florida Orange Juice
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Add ingredients to a mixing glass and stir. Strain over ice. – Garnish with a Florida orange twist and Luxardo cherry.
Bumbu Crème Coldest Brew
2 oz Bumbu Original Rum
1.5 oz Bumbu Crème
3 oz Cold Brew
.5 oz Orgeat Syrup
2 Cups Ice
Measure ingredients in blender, add ice, and blend. Pour into a large, stemmed glass. Garnish with whipped cream and Angostura bitters.
Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum is named for late American tatoo artist, Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, and started production of the juice back in 2001. The rum is blended and bottled in the United States and boasts a hefty 92 proof reading on the sip. That means that it’ll hold up to any mixers or fruit juices added and not get lost in the midst. That said, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum can be enjoyed on its own or on the rocks with pleasant results.
Easy Spiced Mai Tai
2 parts Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
1 part lime
¾ part orgeat
½ part dry curacao
Method: Add all ingredients into a tin with a small scoop of crushed ice. Whip shake and dump into glass. Top with crushed ice. Garnish with an orange wheel.
Spiced Rum Pina Colada
1.5 oz Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
1 oz cream of coconut
.25 oz pineapple juice
Method: Add all ingredients to empty mixing glass and shake. Add ice and shake again vigorously. Strain into highball or tiki glass and fill with ice. Garnish with fresh pineapple, maraschino cherry and toasted coconut flakes.
If you’ve got any National Rum Day cocktail ideas to share, let us know in the comments or via social media.
As always, sip safely and surely.