Yo Ho Ho and Several Bottles of Rum

Today's recipe in my calendar is one of the champagne cocktails that I mixed up over the weekend, so I decided to catch up on an old recipe or two. Actually one; I meant to make two, and I am making two, but only one from my calendar. I'll explain.

As part of my mail-order shopping extravaganza a few weeks ago, I ordered a bottle of Demerara rum, which I can't find it locally. Demerara rum comes from the country of Guyana in South America; it's sort of a generic term. Like most rums, you can buy it in various proofs and aged various lengths of time. 151 proof demerara rum is the only 151 proof rum that Internet Cocktail Database recommends. I bought a bottle of El Dorado Special Reserve 21 year, 80 proof. A rare burst of splurging and not going for the cheap stuff, but it'll last me forever, unless, with my champagne tastes, I develop a liking for it.

This recipe calls for equal parts Demerara, light rum (Tommy Bahama), and gold rum (cheap Bacardi, which I'm trying to use up to make more space on my shelf), orgeat syrup (the first recipe calling for that in quite a while; I have a bottle of Fee's), OJ, lime juice, pineapple juice, and passion fruit juice (I used the liqueur). I usually hate recipes that call for a dozen ingredients, but this one wasn't bad.

And it's good too. I'm not a big rum fan, but the molasses flavor really comes through in this drink, almost like it has brown sugar in it. On the first swig I wasn't sure I liked it (I could taste the pineapple juice, not always a turn-on unless I"m licking it off someone), but the cocktail grew on me. It's on my list for one of the handful of recipes from my calendar that I'd make regularly.

For my second cocktail I had planned to make a second recipe from August calling for Rhum Barbancourt, which hails from Haiti. But while looking around the net for info on Demerara rums, I found another Demerara recipe with many of the same ingredients and looked awfully good. The recipe was on the great Kaiser Penguin cocktail site: www.kaiserpenguin.com

It calls for OJ, lemon juice, passion fruit nectar (I used liqueur), Demerara, light rum, dark rum, maybe another ingredient or two. I wasn't as crazy about this cocktail. The OJ and lemon juice came through a little too much, and the Myers's dark rum gave it a pure alcohol taste that I often get from that.

I did make the Rhum Barbancourt recipe after all: you quarter a lime, muddle it with some honey (the best is from Flying Bee Ranch, available on ebay), add Damiana, RB, and another mystery ingredient or two. (I had all these recipes written down to refer to; the cats must have been getting mischievlous and used my notes for paper hats). This is my first cocktail with Damiana and I liked it. It gives a cocktail a spicey, cinnamon-like taste. This cocktail is sweet, but the Damiana and the lime help cut it and give it a nice south of the border flavor. Good drink.