Re-embracing Rum

The first hard liquor that ever turned my stomach…was rum. Rum and Coke to be exact. I was a completely inexperienced (though clearly eager) teen and I got completely snockered at my cousin’s wedding reception. The event was being held at a private home and, though barely able to walk, I thought I managed quite a sophisticated wall-hugging stroll from the living room to the nearest bedroom where I simultaneously fell flat on a bed and projectile vomited all over a wall. Classy! It took me two full days to recover from that binge and it all but permanently put me off rum…..which is too bad, since rum is marvelous booze.

I went all the way through my twenties with no rum…even though, in my travels, I was brushing up against rum in every port. In Bermuda I discovered that just walking by the corporate headquarters of Bacardi was enough to raise a little hot spittle in the back of my throat. So the twenties was a rum-free decade. Then came  my thirties..and still no rum. The forties might have been potential rummy years (God knows, children give you enough reason to drink) but I soberly let them slide on by.

Why did this particular regurgitative trauma stay with me so long? I remember my youthful peer group getting just as sick on cheap Spanish wine, not to mention the old varsity football game favorite of Southern Comfort and orange juice, spectacularly dispensed in great arcs over impressive distances,  from oh-so-groovy goatskin flasks. But we all barfed and moved on.

In fact, it wasn’t until I was half way through my fifties that I decided to give rum another go and I can thank one particular cocktail for the reunion. It was a chokingly dry summer afternoon when I had an absolutely terrific mojito. It was the mojito that brought rum back to my lips. I became so smitten with the mojito that it is now the summer sipper of choice on our patio. I have taken to growing my own mint so there is a fresh and ready supply. And when happy hour hits you will find me gleefully harvesting handfuls of leaves in preparation for the libation to come.

I make a mean mojito, if I do say so myself and it is the essence of hot weather refreshment. I muddle the mint, drop in some ice, add one jigger of rum and two jiggers of Rose’s lime cordial, top up with club soda and a splash of simple sugar syrup and stir. Refreshing. Silky smooth. It will zoom down your gullet like an Exocet.

It’s nice to be reacquainted with rum. I don’t yet drink it in the winter when I suppose I could be mucking about with toddies and hot butter. This may come. For now, though, my newfound relationship with rum is a slow go. Let’s take it one season at a time.


5 Responses to “Re-embracing Rum”

  1. Great post on the rum.

  2. Dave, I don’t know if you like (mostly) straight booze or not but if you do like it like dat occasionally, try a great amber rum on the rocks.

    A girlfriend vacationed in Barbados one winter and upon her return presented me with a gorgeous bottle of aged Cockspur Amber. When I cracked the bottle, a tot went over a few ice cubes and I had my first sip of mixerless demon rum. Warm, smooth and much more like a fine whisky than a slug of Screech.

    Bacardi 1873 works just fine. Cheers.

  3. Patricia Ullock Says:

    Just wanted to say it was good seeing you today outsde my local IGA wanting to know if I liked dogs or cats. I like dogs, they need people. I like that. What I didn’t get to say is I do miss you and miss Simi. You were both a wonderful team, the best, thanks!

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