Tuesday, August 28, 2012


1/2 Rum (1 1/2 oz Old Ipswich Tavern Style)
1/6 Apricot Liqueur (1/2 oz Rothman & Winter)
1/6 Sweet Vermouth (1/2 oz Cocchi)
1/6 Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
After the Barefoot in the Dark, I decided to make the Superior from William Boothby's 1934 The World's Drinks and How To Mix Them. The drink reminded me of a less citrussy and more grape Periodista so I was definitely intrigued. For a rum, I reached for my new purchase of a local rum made up on the North Shore of Massachusetts, namely Turkey Shore Distilleries' Old Ipswich Tavern Style Rum (they also make a white rum as well). The rum had garnered a lot of praise from reviewers as well as local picky spirits mavens like Deep Ellum's Max Toste, so I gave the rum a chance without having tasted it. Here are my tasting notes:
Old Ipswich Tavern Style Rum
• Aroma: caramel, toffee, butterscotch
• Sip: sweet and rich
• Swallow: some heat, butterscotch, and spice notes that included something almost clove-like
Once mixed, the Superior presented the rum's butterscotch aroma along with the apricot and a hint of citrus. The rum's caramel came through on the sip where it played well with the lemon and the vermouth's grape. Finally, the rum showcased its toffee flavors beside the liqueur's apricot. Overall, I really like this rum, but it was a bit too rich and overwhelming for this recipe; I can definitely see why Max uses this rum in an Old Fashioned along with dashes of Pierre Ferrand Curaçao and bitters at Deep Ellum.


Alex said...

Saw this in my RSS feed and, being on a rum kick recently, thought I'd give it a try. Here's what I found:

Dark yellow, cloudy gold appearance and light nose with the apricot and lemon giving the cocktail a predominantly sweet, citrusy aroma with just a hint of funk from the rum. The sip is sweet with apricot and lemon dominant and the swallow and finish give way to more sour citrus. It’s a very light cocktail, and the rum is really hard to detect, as is the sweet vermouth which, as in many other cocktails, is here less for direct taste and more for the deeper sweetness it contributes. As the cocktail warms a bit, the flavor profile basically stays the same, with less sour on the finish and more fully developed apricot. Although I enjoy this recipe, and find it to be an excellent showcase for the apricot liqueur (seriously, this is really a wonderful showcase for a terrific spirit that I sadly rarely use) I would like more rum flavor. I’ll try this again tomorrow with Appleton Estate VX and see if it gives the stronger rum flavor I am looking for in this cocktail.

As always, love y'all's blog!

frederic said...

Nice tasting notes! What rum did you use by the way?

I'm still pondering what would work best here? A softer rhum agricole, a flavorful white like Banks, or something smooth and aged (but not over barreled) like the Appleton you suggested.

Alex said...

I went with my standard Cruzan white, which, as I mentioned, seemed too lite. Maybe it would be rummier if I just upped the rum to 2 ounces :)

The rhum agricole is an interesting idea. I have a bottle of Depaz, which is fairly dry (and thoroughly wonderful) and I wonder if it would play nicely against the sweetness of the apricot and vermouth. Also worth thinking about is whether this wouldn't be a good recipe to sub in a reposado. Tequila, citrus liqueur, and sour and sweet components...those work in a margarita pretty well :) That said, I'll use the VX tonight and see what happens. Unfortunately, I've never had Banks, despite reading a goo deal of praise about it. Haven't seen it anywhere in the DC area.

frederic said...

Banks is pricy although the price has come down from the mid-$30s to the high $20s since it was launched.

Still waiting for Denizen Rum to reach my state -- it's a Trinidad with some Jamaican that apparently retails for $16. Also Plantation 3 Star White is out but that's in the low $30s range (which is odd since some of the plantation rums like the 5 year Barbados can be had for $17).

The problem I find with most whites are that they're overstripped and not very distinctive or overflavored (J.Wray & Nephew or many rhum agricoles like JM). The middle ground is hard to find.

Alex said...

UPDATE: Interesting to see how the rum choice can completely change this drink. Using the darker Appleton Estate VX turns this completely into a rum drink, with the rum slightly more dominant on the nose and the full spectrum of the taste, from sip to swallow, is rum forward. To be fair, the apricot is always present as a strong supporting player, giving this drink a nice hit of complexity, while the lemon juice provides a bit of bitterness on the swallow and especially the finish. With a stronger rum, this is really two different cocktails, the light rum resulting in a showcase for the apricot liqueur, and the Appleton resulting in a delicious rum cocktail. BOth drinks however, are very good in their own right. It’s hard for me to say which I prefer, but I suppose if pressed, I’d have to go with the version using Appleton, simply because I enjoy a well-crafted rum cocktail.