Thu | Apr 15, 2021

Home is where the rum is for the season

Published:Thursday | November 19, 2020 | 12:16 AM
JWN Academy trained mixologist Randeen Thomas gently stirs a Stormy Valley cocktail to perfection at Appleton Estate’s Home is Where is the Rum is mixology session.
JWN Academy trained mixologist Randeen Thomas gently stirs a Stormy Valley cocktail to perfection at Appleton Estate’s Home is Where is the Rum is mixology session.

As the world slowly adjusts to the 'new normal', rum lovers continue to search for new and exciting ways to enjoy brands of their choice. Luckily, senior blender for Appleton Estate David Morrison and JWN Academy trained mixologist Randeen Thomas are prepared to share simple yet powerful ways rum enthusiasts can have the ultimate sipping experience in the comfort of their own homes responsibly.

The duo hosted yet another ‘Home is Where the Rum Is’ mixology session, live-streamed from Appleton Estate’s official Instagram page last Friday.

Morrison got things started by reminding viewers that the cocktails being curated are not only nuanced and exquisite, but also can be made with little effort with whatever ingredients audience members had in their own homes.

The first drink on the menu got flowing by splashing a bit of fresh coconut water into the mix (literally) to bring new life and refreshing quality to the Epic cocktail.

“If you want to make this drink for a small gathering at your place or whatever the occasion might be, it’s probably best to freeze the coconut water a couple of days before,” he said.

Thomas added some ice cubes to his glass, noting that it is best to freeze purified water. Next, he added the rum of choice, the Appleton Estate 8-Year-Old Reserve Rum then topped it off with some fresh coconut water. Just like that, the first cocktail was complete.

Morrison was sure to interject reminding viewers that there are other ways to make this cocktail even more exquisite. He said, “Keep in mind, this method here is the more conventional way. These days, I like to try things a bit differently by freezing the coconut water into ice cubes and adding it to the rum, neat. Then what you do is allow these ice cubes to melt gradually, and you will find that the taste is a very varied experience”.

As the ice cubes melt, the coconut flavour will begin to mingle with the rum, allowing them to better enjoy the complexity of the Appleton Estate 8-Year-Old Reserve Rum.

Next on the menu was the Appleton Estate Stormy Valley, a twist on the classic cocktail Dark N’ Stormy.

“What we’ll do is ‘Jamaicanise’ it and make it that much nicer with our [Appleton Estate] 8-Year-Old Reserve,” Morrison promised viewers.

This mix started with a bit of ice, followed by two ounces of Appleton Estate 8-Year-Old Reserve Rum. Thomas then suggested adding a dash of Angostura Bitters to bring out the flavour of this magnificent rum before adding a half-ounce of lime juice to his glass, the latter also being optional. Thomas topped it off with some ginger beer before giving the glass a nice little stir.

“When you have cocktails with carbonated beverages in it, it’s best to stir as opposed to shake. This impacts the taste of the drink,” said Thomas.

“The spiciness in the ginger also complements the drink nicely, highlighting the beautiful nuances of the rum,” Morrison added.

The third and final cocktail on the menu was a Tiki cocktail originating in the Polynesian region. While this may sound ‘out there’ to some viewers, Morrison assured rum lovers that “Appleton Estate rums make some of the best Tiki drinks in the world.”

The senior blender shared yet another surprise for viewers, revealing another ‘interesting’ component they would be combining for the final, exquisite drink of the occasion: Campari.

“For this final drink, we are making what they call a Jungle Bird,” said Morrison.

Before getting things started, Randeen Thomas made viewers aware that some shaking would be involved and that a simple reusable water bottle would do the job just fine. Thomas started with a half-ounce of Campari, noting that viewers could add more, depending on whether they wanted the final product to be on the bitter side.

This was followed by some Appleton Estate 8-Year-Old Reserve Rum, accompanied by fresh, natural pineapple juice, both at 1 ½ ounces. He then added 1 ounce of simple syrup, noting: “If you don’t have simple syrup, you can make it easily by using one-part granulated sugar, one-part water or two-parts sugar, one-part water. It all comes down to the taste you want. But all you are doing is dissolving sugar into the water.”

Morrison added that dark sugar is also an option, one that can replace the granulated sugar, giving the final product a touch of molasses. This may improve the cocktail, depending on what rum lovers are looking for.

Next, Thomas added a half-ounce of lime juice then put it all into the shaker.

After shaking the drink to perfection, he added: “At home, you can garnish it in the same glass, and you can also use fresh ice. In the bartending world, we call it ‘dirty ice’. This helps to keep the flavour of the drink.”

Thomas garnished with a pineapple wedge and a pineapple leaf, encouraging viewers to do the same when they purchase the pineapple to create the Jungle Bird in the comfort of their own homes.

In less than twenty minutes, viewers were treated to three very different, straightforward cocktail options that they can create in their own homes to make for a delightful sipping experience.

“You can make everything we described to you with what you have at home. Just get your bottle of Appleton Estate 8-Year-Old Rum and your bottle of Campari and mix away responsibly,” said Morrison.

“Experiment is the name of the game. And remember, home is where the rum is!” he finished.