"But I got wise, you're the devil in disguise, oh yes you are…"

by Katie Pizzuto on October 31, 2008

in rum

That’s me in the photo on the right, a couple of years ago…Greenwich Village on Halloween night, at a bar my friend was playing at. I started out as Captain Morgan, but by the time that photo of me and “Howard Stern” was taken, Carmen Miranda was wearing my pirate hat because a Jedi Knight had taken her fruit. You can tell by how “crisp” the photo is, that my friend, the Prom Date From Hell, was in NO condition to drive. Anyhow, a comment I left on another blog yesterday included the mention of hot buttered rum, which is a great nightcap for this time of year, and it left me thinking about rum. THIS, I thought, would be a great opportunity for a throwdown between the angels and demons of the rum world—gold rum in particular. Let the games begin…

As I’ve said before, I grew up in a Cuban household. Needless to say, being able to roast a pig by the time I was 10 was only one of the small benefits of my upbringing. Another was learning to tell which rums were good and which could be used to clean a carburetor. The beverage that was once considered currency has its soul in Cuba. Gold rum, though, is in its own category because of how often it’s manipulated. Rum is distilled from molasses which is a byproduct of sugar production. Gold rum is supposed to then be aged in charred barrels to give it not only its hue, but its caramelized flavor overtone. But, because rum has no international ruling body imposing production laws on it, it is almost impossible to know if you’re getting the real deal. Many companies cheat, in fact, use their harsher unmellowed white rum, and then add caramel, molasses or food coloring to darken it. I don’t like people who cheat at Monopoly…I sure as hell ain’t gonna like someone who cheats one of my favorite spirits! Unfortunately, getting those companies to ‘fess up and admit that their product is a distillate Frankenstein is about as easy as getting a diet dish out of Paula Deen, so I can’t point the finger at one particular rum and stick it in the demon’s corner of the ring. If you care at all, though, that the beverage you drink is made with integrity, you’ll research…like I did.

The TKO decision? Flor De Caña Gold Rum. Made in Nicaragua, this amber-hued lovely is smoother than Telly Savalas’ head, with beautiful hints of brown sugar and vanilla. Its distribution in the US is limited right now because of other monsters (ahem, Bacardi, Myers, etc.) that dominate our shelves, but its found a home in Miami, so hunt it down online. I like it neat, with a little squeeze of lime, but I know others like it on the rocks. Leaving it at room temp, IMHO, lets the volatiles carry the aromas to your nose. But for the sake of all that is holy, do NOT stick this in a damned Piña Colada, or I will hunt you down like Ted Nugent during deer season. As for the hot buttered rum recipe? Here ya go…

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Linsey October 31, 2008
2 Chris Walker October 31, 2008

Mmmm. I feel like doing a cartwheel thinking about how delicious hot buttered rum is.

I really have to stop reading wine related blogs. (Not really.) Now, on top of another French bottle I’ve got to find, I have to go look for a bottle of Flor De Caña Gold Rum.

I’m glad to see rum get the respect it undoubtedly deserves, by the way. Too often it is neglected (even by me) or considered a second tier liquor (not true). I probably feel as strongly about tequila as you do about rum.

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3 Katie Pizzuto October 31, 2008

Rum is my go-to drink if I’m drinking something straight, Chris, but it’s gotta be the good stuff. Bermudez is another great brand. As for tequila, one of my favorites is Sauza Tres Generaciones. One of my bartender friends used to make me a “tequila martini” by swishing a little triple sec around in a chilled martini glass and then adding the Sauza, but it has to be an aged tequila! Good stuff!! PS – you can try the hot buttered rum with hot water instead of cider if you want… That won’t mask the flavors of the rum as much….I do both, depending on the mood…or is it the moon??!?

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4 Coupe 60 November 1, 2008

Nothing to really comment about on today’s blog. I just wanted the privilege of commenting on the #1 ranked wine blog on the internets…

Keep on doing what your doing Katie…except maybe shaving the upper lip next time you have an opportunity to be photographed with a celeb…

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5 Katie Pizzuto November 1, 2008

Thanks so much, Coupe! Now the goal is to stay on top! As for the moustache, you haven’t lived until you’ve gone out with a girl who attracts more girls than you!!

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6 Gus November 1, 2008

After having being in several Latin American countries and the Caribbean islands and having tasted several brands and types of rum, I have to agree with you that Flor de Caña is, at least for me, the SECOND best. The BEST, however, and most mellow is, unfortunately, illegal to bring into the US. HAVANA CLUB (Añejo Reserva), made in Cuba, beats any rum hands down! For those of you that have never had the opportunity to taste it, I feel for you! It’s too bad that the WORST rum in the world is the one that has taken over the marketplace – Bacardi. But then again, if you don’t know any better, you don’t miss anything.

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7 Jeff November 4, 2008

I remember that night very well! LOL!!

You ROCK!

😉

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