Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.
I wanted rum tonight.
The Lady Friend had a super awesome Manhattan (THIS version) and I was kind of jealous, but I already had my heart set on RUM. I don’t know why, but I did.
So, I started flipping through the New York Bartender’s Guide by Sally Ann Berk, where I had previously found The Million Dollar Cocktail. This book sorts by liquor, which is awesome, so I started in the middle of the rum section. There were a few interesting recipes to save for another time, but I had to start over at the beginning of the section to find this one: Beachcomber’s Gold. I’m going to assume this one was either created by, or named for (or both), Tiki drink legend Don the Beachcomber. Apparently there are other versions out there, but they’re nothing like the version I made. They do use a cool ice “garnish,” but this version is many much more easiers. You heard me.
Three ingredients. And one of them is rum. The other two are actually both vermouth, but they’re different kinds. That’s it. It’s basically a Perfect Manhattan/Martini with rum instead of whiskey or gin. “Perfect” in these cases means using equal parts dry/white and sweet/red vermouths. A Martini uses dry vermouth, a Manhattan uses sweet, and a “perfect” version of either uses both dry and sweet. Got it? Great. Drink time.
From the New York Bartender’s Guide
– 2 oz light rum (Bully Boy)
– 1/2 oz sweet vermouth (Martini & Rossi)
– 1/2 oz dry vermouth (Martini & Rossi)
The book says to shake it, and strain into a cocktail glass full of crushed ice. Nuts to that. I’m treating this like a Martini/Manhattan or any other spirit-only drink, which means STIRRING it. Since she got that first part wrong, I’m also going to ignore that bit about crushed ice, and serve it UP, in a chilled cocktail coupe. There was no word on garnish either, but with rum, a lime peel might work nicely. I left it plain this time.
Broke out the Bully Boy rum for this one. The recipe is for a light rum, but the Bully Boy has tons of flavor. Like a molasses-coated sugar cookie spread its legs, grunted, and gave birth to a bottle of rum. It probably wasn’t the right type of light rum to use for this, as the flavorful Bully Boy tends to overwhelm things, but with only vermouths as the other ingredients, I figure I may as well put something tasty in there. The drink does have a lovely golden hue (hence the name) as the reddish sweet vermouth is diluted by the faint yellow dry vermouth and clear rum.
The drink reeks of the aforementioned sugar cookie offspring, with a touch of grapey wine-ness underneath. This is a brand new bottle of sweet vermouth, and the difference is apparent. Vermouth is a wine, and tends to lose its aroma and flavor after about a month. Keep it in the fridge after opening, but unless you power through Manhattans and Negronis like I do, buy the little 375ml bottles so you don’t feel too bad about throwing any unused remains out at the end of the month.
The taste is a wash of that sweet blackstrap rum up front, with a pleasant warm alcoholic tingle. Interestingly enough, the vermouth strikes back in the middle of the taste, oozing in with a syrupy dark grape and lightly floral essence. I really didn’t expect the wines to put up a fight against the rum, but it really works out well. The vermouths take the sting out of the spirit, leaving behind the flavors, while adding their own grapey contributions. This is certainly a grown-up cocktail, though I would caution that the same recipe with Bacardi will not be terribly exciting. Having had the “perfect” version, I’d like to go back and try both a sweet and dry version of this drink. My guess is that the sweet will have a nice dark syrup to play with the rum’s spice (oooh… especially with a dash or two of Angostura), whereas the dry version will be more akin to a lighter, floral concoction, like the Presidente without the grenadine. I’d go with orange bitters on that one and see how things play out.
Well there you go. I just gave you three cocktails for the price of one. Bunch of moochers. Go make one! NOWS.
The Lady Friend grudgingly tried the recipe and offered the following pearls of wisdom: “I smell the Bully Boy, the cupcakes, rainbows, and all that good stuff. Hmmm. I immediately get the grapey vermouth, but I can pick up some of that sweet Bully Boy. It’s alright. I wouldn’t drink it, but… *shrugs* It’s an interesting cocktail, but I wouldn’t choose it.”