Tag Archives: aged rum

Cocktails O’Clock: Campari Flamingo

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Ok, so one of my rather sad pastimes is perusing the internet for new and innovative cocktails, new bars in my local area and literally anything to do with cocktails in the UK (and to be honest I don’t usually stop at the UK, but it’s a good start). Now recently this pastime has led me to uncover what I feel are great summer cocktails, and they are cocktails either not being served locally or just unheard of by people I speak to.

Whether you want a long refreshing fizzy aide to your evening or a shorter more refined flavour experiment, there’s a summer cocktail for you. Like Rum, Vodka, Tequila or Gin? Well you’re in luck, just follow the links for 10 of the best summer cocktails, using those spirits, you’ll ever try.

For the here and now, this great pink cocktail is rather refreshing and a perfect strong arm for all you ladies out there…

The Campari Flamingo

¾ measures Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

1 ½ measures aged rum*

½ measure Campari

3 measures Grapefruit SodaT

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Pretty in Pink: The Campari Flamingo – Picture & Recipe from http://www.seriouseats.com/

Method:

1)      Fill a shaker with ice, and pour in the Rum, Campari and Lime juice.

2)      Shake well & strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.

3)      Top up with the grapefruit soda and garnish with a lime wedge and grapefruit twist.

Top Tip: The best rum for this sort of cocktail is one full of flavour, try Appleton Estate, or Chairman’s Reserve for the best results. But ultimately, like any cocktail, just use your favourite rum, and you’ll get a great drink.

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A great example of a great aged rum…

*The term ‘Anejo’ is Spanish for aged (and Reposado the Spanish for rested). Anejo Rum is rum that is aged by (generally) leaving it in sealed barrels over a period of time. 5 year old rums have been aged for 5 years and 7yo for 7 (it really is that simple). For best results and ease of purchase, look for the golden/dark rums as aging of spirits like this commonly results in the golden/black hues of the spirit.

T Grapefruit Soda is a great flavoured fizzy drink, but if you like your soda a little more natural why not take a leaf out of Phillip Ward’s book and check out this great alternative using soda water, fresh grapefruit juice and sugar syrup: Phillip Ward’s Paloma Recipe…

So as you can see this cocktail is a great summery drink, with the crisp refreshing tastes of citrus and the bitter taste of Campari. The soda just lightens the drink up a bit to make it a truly refreshing summer spritzer.

Great for BBQ’s, summer garden parties, and; due to the ease of which it can be scaled up to a punch sized volume, it even suits house parties (should the mood take you).

This drink should be on your ‘to try’ list if only as you finally have a drink other than the 3 basic (and rather classic) Campari cocktails everyone knows about… Hopefully this leads you to try this wonderful spirit and how it can blend well with other spirits, but also other flavours allowing you to experiment and come up with new and wonderful drinks yourselves.

Enjoy it and, as always, drink responsibly folks! 70cl of Campari can go a long way if you treat it right. Worth the £15 odd you will shell out for it.

Best chance for purchasing a bottle near you is:

Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrison’s, Aldi, Lidl, and if all else fails try online at: the great WhiskyExchange OR the ever reliable TheDrinkShop.

Drink up me’ hearties yo-ho!

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Black Tot Day: What do we do with a drunken wailer?

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Remember how sad you were when you saw this scene? Imagine how the sailors felt…

Ever heard the stories of sailors swabbing the puke off their decks? Or stories of drunken nights they don’t remember? No? Neither have I, and that’s for one reason: Sailors were well’ard. Back in the day Sailors were manly men. Men who had engines, internal combustion engines that run on the darkest of rums: BLACK RUM.

This fabled spirit is widely available nowadays but its humble beginnings are not lost on those who care…

On July 31st 1970 a tragic event befell the Royal British Navy: the very last ration of rum was given out to the sailors under the flag of her majesty’s fleet. This was a tragic and sad day for all those who would call themselves sailors, after all this day ended a 300 year old tradition.

“A mighty bowl on deck he drew

And filled it to the brink

Such drank the Burford’s gallant crew

And such the gods shall drink.

The Scared robe which Vernon wore

Was drenched within the same

And hence his virtues guard our shore

And Grog drives its name.”

An excerpt from Mariners Mirror by L.G. Carr Laughton, 1919

Back in 1655 the rum ration started (unofficially – as if there’s any other way) and carried on until Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon of the West Indies fleet insisted the rum be watered down and served with lime: And thus became known as Grog (after his nickname: Old Grog).

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The ‘Old Grog’ himself: Vice-Admiral of the West Indies Fleet: Edward Vernon…

This sounds like a great rule to me. And it was a shame they stopped it. Apparently during the 1950’s there was concern caused that the rations supplied might impact the ability of the sailors to operate the more complex warships. Personally I think it would’ve created a much more interesting world. I mean imagine the crap that would float to shore from the abundant collisions and groundings? Not to mention the rather abundant plunder to be had for treasure hunters scouring the sea floor.

You see the choice by the British government to ban the rum rations has created a loss of jobs and slashed the dreams of all those kids who grew up wanting to be Indiana Jones or Lara Croft. Hell, I wanted to be a treasure hunter (I still do!) and they ruined my life. Kind of.

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Treasure hunters: Whichever one you preferred, they both lived great lives, I still wish I could be like Indy.

Anyway in all seriousness this day has been celebrated by rum lovers everywhere, with rum brands making the most of the day with offers, competitions and of course sales. On that fateful day many of the sailors held mock funerals, others poured their last ‘tot’ into the sea and various other events.

Finally, an ending thought:

Black Tot Day (BTD) is not without its positive notes… In 2010 a company called Speciality Drinks realised that the remaining stores of Naval rum were available for ‘procurement’… They purchased the remaining rum stores and on July 31st 2010 they (re)launched their plunder under the apt name: ‘Black Tot Rum’.

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One ot the most expensive rum’s on the market. I still want one…

This rum is unique as it has been preserved in its stoneware flagons for the four decades between Black Tot Day and the launch of possibly one most unique alcohol products ever sold. Whether you’re a naval history enthusiast, or if you just like rum this is something you just have to try /own. If you can afford it that is!

If not, settle for a bottle Kraken Spiced, a bag of limes and rather large bottle of cola.

Until the next time readers!