Easter is a great time to entertain with good wine and high-quality cocktails. On a budget? We show you how to make your value buys taste like a million dollars.
Rum is so hot right now, with global sales going through the roof and those in the know – like us – understand exactly why: rum is versatile with a capital V. And here’s the thing: rum has been the spirit of choice for thirsty connoisseurs for the past 100-or-so years. Only now does it seem that everyone else is catching on. So, which rum is the one for you? And what are the best rum cocktails to try?
We break down the most burning rum-related questions so you can become an instant rum expert, plus we have an easy and warming rum cocktail recipe to try tonight.
Here’s a statement to kick things off: rum is the most diverse spirit of them all. There, we said it. From drinking it neat to enjoying it in cocktails and mixed drinks, no spirit delivers as well as rum. “I’ve been screaming from the rooftops for the past 20 years about diversity in rum!” says Mark Wyatt, owner of the Rum Bar, in Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia’s oldest rum bar.
Rum was the de facto spirit for connoisseurs just 100 years ago. “If you look at old cocktail books, they will suggest a decent rum more than any other spirit,” Wyatt says. “In fact, if you couldn’t find a decent rum they would suggest replacing it with whisky.”
With global sales of rum up nearly 40 per cent over the past year, people are clearly discovering – and loving – rum again. But it’s more than just luck. Australian distillers have been upping their game, too, producing some of the best rum in the world – making way for delicious mojitos, pina coladas, strawberry and other daiquiri combos. The choices are endless. “There are a few Australian distillers that are really kicking goals right now and people are rediscovering what people knew 100 years ago [about rum],” says Wyatt.
“My first answer would be the one that’s in my glass… or a free rum!” Wyatt quips. But there really is no one-answer-fits-all approach to this question. Ask yourself what you want to do with rum. Do you want a snifter? Something to sip on? A cocktail? A mixed drink? It’s about your taste and then pairing a rum to it.
There are many different rum types, but the five most popular are:
Ah yes, spiced rum. How could we forget? Darker in colour and with a spiced flavour, they are extremely popular types of rum. Check out Dead Man’s Fingers Lime Rum, Bacardi Spiced Rum and The Kraken Spiced Rum. And for a unique, spiced-rum twist on a classic favourite cocktail, try substituting the vodka in an espresso martini for spiced rum. “It works incredibly well!” says Wyatt.
There are so many exceptional rums on the market right now and Barbados-style rums are generally considered the world’s best. For an accessible entry point to rum, give Mount Gay or Sailor Jerry Caribbean Rum a try.
Of course, no rum round-up would be complete without mentioning the simple yet delicious mojito. But how do you create the perfect at-home mojito? It’s all about the rum, and we suggest going for Bacardi Superior Rum, Havana Club Añejo Especial and Appleton Estate Signature Blend Rum.
Arguably one of the most popular rum cocktails, a daiquiri is extremely easy to make because it only has three ingredients: rum, sugar and lime. (As many people will attest, you could also add a splash of Cointreau and some sliced strawberries to create a Strawberry Daiquiri). For best at-home results, use a Cuban-style rum, such as Havana Club 3 Year or Bacardi and keep it simple: 50ml rum, 30ml freshly squeezed lime juice, two tablespoons caster sugar, ice, and then give it a good shake (“shake it ‘til it hurts” is a semi-official measurement of time here!). And for a bit of holiday fun, try this: 50ml spiced rum, 30ml freshly squeezed lime juice, ice, a squeeze of maple syrup or honey, and then blitz away!
Yes, it is a thing. And it’s a delicious thing, too. Basically, you use some softened butter and mix it with cinnamon and nutmeg, then stir in some hot water and rum (we strongly recommend Captain Morgan Spiced Rum) to create a perfect winter warmer. “I don’t think there’s anything quite like it actually,” says Wyatt.
Serves 4 Prep 10 mins
125g butter, softened
⅓ cup (75g) brown sugar
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
⅔ cup (160ml) Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
3 cups (750ml) boiling water, cooled slightly
Vanilla marshmallows, to serve
Cinnamon sticks or quills, to serve
1 Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar, nutmeg, ground cinnamon and vanilla in a bowl until well combined.
2 Divide the rum between 4 heatproof glasses. Add 2 tbsp of the butter mixture to each glass and top with the water. Stir until the butter mixture melts.
3 Top with marshmallows and use a kitchen blowtorch to lightly toast, if you like. Decorate with cinnamon sticks or quills to serve.