Wednesday, November 28, 2012

the cross & the switchblade

1 oz Puerto Rican White Rum (Caliche)
1 oz Dry Vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Crème de Cacao (Marie Brizard)
2 dash Bittermens Burlesque Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass.

Two weeks ago, the Liquor Fairy gifted me a bottle of Caliche Rum, an aged white rum from Puerto Rico. The rum is made by the Serrallés Distillery that also makes Don Q and Blackbeard Spiced Rums; it was created in a partnership between nightlife entrepreneur Rande Gerber and Roberto Serralles, a sixth generation rum producer from Destilería Serrallés. For the aging, they use a solera system with the oldest rum in the mix being about 5 years old, and the color is then stripped away via charcoal filtration. For a price point, the rum seems to be selling for around $20.
Caliche Rum
• Nose: Vanilla, coconut.
• Taste: Coconut, lime, woodiness.
Overall, the rum had a lot more flavor than I first imagined since the PR materials stressed that it was a superpremium spirit (which often means distilled to a higher proof to rid the liquor of its natural flavor); perhaps a little less complex than some of the white rums in my collection but still more flavorful than the Don Q White Rum they also produce.

In searching for a recipe that calls for white rum without drowning out the rum with a dozen ingredients Tiki-style, I got a little frustrated. Therefore, I decided to craft a drink that works well with the rum's flavor profile. My idea was to cross a Scofflaw with a White Witch. Instead of the orange bitters in the Scofflaw, I opted for the spicier and floral ones in the Bittermens Burlesque Bitters. Keeping true to the Scofflaw theme, I thought about Puerto Rican street gangs such as the Mau Maus from New York during the 1950s; moreover, the film about them, The Cross and the Switchblade, seemed like a great name for this cocktail.
caliche rum puerto rico rican cocktail
The Cross and the Switchblade offered a lime, cacao, floral, and grassy aroma. The lime and coconut-tinged sip led into a chocolate and rum swallow. Finally, the bitters' spice and heat on the finish rounded out the drink.

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