Thursday, June 16, 2011

naked lady

1/2 Light Rum (1 oz Ron de Jeremy)
1/2 Sweet Vermouth (1 oz Vya)
4 dash Apricot Brandy (3/8 oz Rothman & Winter)
2 dash Grenadine (1/8 oz homemade)
4 dash Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. I added a lemon twist. For a more rum-driven drink, 1 1/4 oz each for the rum and vermouth, 1/4 oz for the juice, and a barspoon each for the grenadine and liqueur would work.

A few weeks ago, I received a small sample of the new Ron de Jeremy Rum -- yes, the rum that features the likeness and name of adult film star Ron Jeremy. The idea for the rum apparently started as a clever joke using "ron," the Spanish word for rum, and when Ron Jeremy was finally contacted, he approved of the marketing brainstorm. I know from watching the documentary Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy, Ron is a shrewd businessman with a good sense of humor, so it did not surprise me that he would support this venture. Soon, 72-year old Cuban Master Distiller Francisco "Don Pancho" Fernandez got aboard, and they crafted a 7 year old rum made in Panama.

So does the joke end with the name? On the nose, the rum possesses notes of caramel and leather. The sip has a bit of body to it and contains vanilla, clove, and tannin notes; the latter aspect comes across as a wood note that was a little rough. My assessment was that this rum is no joke and would make a good mixing rum but perhaps not a sipping one. Mixing could tame some of the sharper edges and perhaps offer some spice and intrigue to a cocktail. The rum is perhaps priced a little higher than I would like at $30-35 per 750mL bottle; that puts it in the same price league as Smith & Cross, Scarlet Ibis, and El Dorado 12 which is some stiff competition. Moreover, if you forget that I said leather, wood, rough, and stiff in this paragraph, you might even forget the marketing behind this spirit.
My hesitation in using or reviewing this rum was that I needed find the right recipe especially since I was only sent a 4 ounce sample. When I was confirming my remembrance that Up in Mabel's Room was in Crosby Gaige's Cocktail Guide and Ladies' Companion, I spotted the Naked Lady which happens to be a rum drink! Perfect. I adjusted the dashes in the recipe to meet my preferred sweetness to tartness balance point, and my interpretation was pretty close to the recipe I later found on CocktailDB for the drink. The Naked Lady as I mixed it began with a fresh lemon oil aroma from the twist. A sweet lemon sip was supplemented by the richness of Vya's grape flavor, and this was followed by the apricot from the liqueur and the spice from the rum and vermouth with the rum's clove note being the strongest. Overall, the drink was very reminiscent of a less citrussy Periodista, and with the Vya sweet vermouth, it even had the appearance of the Boston version of it (despite the original Cuban Periodista being a white rum drink, the dark rum variation has won out on menus across town here in Boston). In order to tone down the apricot and bring forward the rum, I proposed an alternative recipe in the drink instructions above, but I have yet to try the drink this way; the John Gertsen-approved 2:1/2:1/2 (here, fractionated) did make for a good starting point though.

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