Our man on the barstool gives you three recipes for rum-based fall favorites.
It’s time to close the lid on summer 2014. Put away your floaties and noodles. Stash the cabana wear. The pool is closed.
If you’ve not taken the time to go outside lately—it’s autumn. Maybe one last crank of the lawnmower and you can call it a year. The grass over the septic tank will stay the same length as the rest of the yard from here on out. For me, that’s reason enough to celebrate. The chill in the air and the delightful fall colors give way to relaxation and down-to-earth homey festivities, such as cuddling up in with a warm cuppa and reading the October Christmas sales ads in the newspaper.
However, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy some summer libations of sort when the air gets thin. You don’t have to lock up all of the warm weather treats or buy a ticket to Australia. Rum, for example, isn’t just for pina coladas and daiquiris. The same stuff that keeps you looking cool on the outside is more than capable of keeping you feeling warm on the inside.
For your convenience and safety, I’m experimenting with an artfully labeled bottle of Sailor Jerry Rum that’s been giving me the stink-eye from the bar all weekend. What or who is Sailor Jerry? I’m glad you asked.
Norman Collins (aka “Sailor Jerry”) was a famous tattoo artist, writer and saxamaphone player that lived in Hawaii and inked about everything that moved back in the day. Unfortunately, he passed on his artwork to a guy named Ed Hardy who is now immortalizing his legacy on the T-shirts of low-rider Honda drivers and television ghost ferreters named Zak. On the brighter and more reasonable side of the coin, he also inspired Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, which has a hula girl on the label. (As the bottle empties, more pin-up girls appear on the inside of the label. The more you know…)
Alone, this Virgin Island rum has vanilla, dry, buttery toffee and subtle cinnamon notes and an almost root beer aftertaste. It’s not as sweet as it was prior to 2010, thanks to a change in the distillation process. Those responsible for this invested a lot of time and effort into ye olde maritime rum recipes and figured that authenticity would make pretty good sense for a Navy Rhum. Further testing showed that a proof of 92 was the perfect amount to help people find their sea legs without going overboard.
As aforementioned, I subjected myself to doing some stunt work at the bar and came up with a couple of epicurean toddies for your perusal.
This one, I called something that can’t be printed. So, we’ll name it, “Jerry’s Hot Toddy No. 1”. It’s super easy. Just take 2 parts Sailor Jerry. Add 1 part cherry liqueur, 5 parts apple cider, 1 tsp. honey, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1/2 orange, sliced. Mix it up in a mug and nuke it for 2 minutes. This is mighty comforting. It made me kind of sleepy after the first one. But in the pursuit of science, it took several tries to get it just right. No sleep was had thus until way later.
“The Perfect Storm” is a nautical take on the classic “Dark and Stormy”. I like it a little better than the latter because it’s smoother with the spiced rum. And more importantly, George Clooney drowned in the movie adaptation. For this, combine 2 parts Sailor Jerry with Ginger Beer (not ginger ale) and add a couple drops of Angostura bitters and a big lime wedge over ice. It’s a very refreshing cocktail for any occasion or meal. Best when you’re wearing a big yellow rubber hat and facing toward Gloucester.
A friend turned me on to the “Queens Park Swizzle”. It’s almost like the overhyped mojito but much better. And it’s a heck of a lot more fun to say. Stagger into the corner bar with your best 1930s movie gangster voice and announce loudly, “Gimme a Queens Park Swizzle, Boniface..M’yeah.” He should make you a drink with 2 parts Sailor Jerry, 1 part lime juice, 1/2 part simple syrup, some mint leaves and 2 dashes of Angostura bitters in a tall glass of ice.
There you have it, multicolor leaf lovers. If someone finds you sitting in a squash patch in the middle of the night waiting on the Great Pumpkin, you’ll have three reasons for them to stay there with you.