Red Figures: Puerto Rican Rum

After the chill in Arizona and heated tempers, I mean “reactive decisions” in Florida, I am guessing PGA Tour fans and players are ready for some good old-fashioned island fun. After the week in Puerto Rico, perhaps the rum should be flowing.

Rum is a bit rebellious by nature.

To start, it is made with what is currently almost a dirty word: sugar. Well, either the byproducts or the juice from sugarcane to be exact.

Second, there are very few rules and regulations about its distinctions. In fact, Puerto Rico is the only territory that legislates how long it must be kept in barrel. There are different types, but unlike tequila, the lines are kind of fuzzy. Appropriate, I would say.

Light Rum (or Silver/White Rum): As the name indicates, this is the clear stuff. Light on flavor, you want to use this for cocktails. Perfect for Mojitos and Pina Coladas, the signature drink of Puerto Rico.

Gold or Amber Rum: This one has likely spent some time in barrel, fuller flavor than the light rums, but not overpowering. Think Cuba Libre or a Rum Punch.

Spiced Rum: Just like it sounds. Spiced. This would be tasty in a Coquito, Puerto Rican Egg Nog.

Dark Rum: Big and bold flavors – spices, molasses, caramel – come from a good amount of time in charred barrels. Many recipes call for a combo of light and dark rums, like a Hurricane. Obviously, this is your rum for a Dark and Stormy.

Puerto Rico is the home of Bacardi, probably the most well known brand here in the States. Don Q is the most popular on the island and also sold in the States. If you are more of a “straight up” drinker, choose aged rum for a great sipper. Whether you like your rum on the mellow side or sweet and spicy, there is a cocktail for you.

I asked friends what was their favorite rum cocktail. Here is a recipe for each type of rum.

Blueberry Mojito

  • 2 oz. Light Rum
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. simple syrup
  • 4-6 mint leaves
  • Small handful of blueberries
  • Club soda

Pour the rum in a tall glass. Add the mint muddle to release the flavor. Add the blueberries and continue pressing. Add the lime juice and simple syrup. Top off with club soda.

Don Q Punch

  • 2 oz. Pineapple Juice
  • 1.5 oz. Don Q Gold
  • Dash Grenandine
  • 2 oz. Orange Juice 

Nevisian Rum Punch

  • 1 oz. Dark Rum
  • 1 oz. Spiced Rum
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 2 oz. ginger ale
  • Bitters and fresh nutmeg
  • Served with an orange and cherry skewer 

Dark and Stormy

  • 2 oz. Dark Rum
  • 4 oz. Ginger Beer (Something with a kick)
  • Splash of lime juice

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