I’ve always loved rum and cola. It’s the classic drink of sailors around the world possibly because water is so hard to come by and rum is very plentiful. Perhaps it’s also because during my twenties I spent much time on my family’s Little Harbor Yacht down in the British Virgin Islands. She was a magnificent craft of some 60 plus feet in length, bristling with all the latest technologies befitting a custom built yacht. Some of the more creature comforts were included a desalination plant that created fresh water from salt and another that turned the desalinated water from a liquid state to a solid. We take for granted an ice-maker in our freezer at home but on a sailboat, freshly made ice in your rum drink is a true luxury. The price of water sometimes is triple the cost of a gallon of diesel fuel. The flavor of the ice from the ice-maker is often tainted by the salty minerals in the desalinated water. But when you are out at sea, in the burning sun and it’s over 90 degrees outside, the prospect of a cooling and refreshing rum and cola drink is quite lovely indeed.
Here on terra firma in New Jersey we have an ice- maker in the freezer. However, I can make better ice with an ice cube tray and the Mavea “Inspired Water” pitcher.
What is the Mavea water pitcher? It is, quite simple, inspired water, but what goes on inside this pitcher is anyone’s guess. How do you inspire water? You inspire water by making it pleasurable to drink! I wished we had inspired water on my family’s yacht; I might have enjoyed a few more Rum and Cokes!
The Rum and cola in front of me right now was not made with regular ice, nor was it created with a brand name cola. The basis of this drink is the pure ice cubes made with my Mavea water pitcher. We are on a well instead of city water here in NJ. The water is quite acidic and although it makes ice and that ice is filtered through a cartridge in the refrigerator, it still doesn’t taste as pure as the ice cubes made with water run through the Mavea.
The cola I chose for this cocktail is equally as important as the rest of the ingredients. In this case I chose the Q-Kola made by my friend Jordan Silbert. Jordan is responsible for the famed Q-Tonic, Q-Ginger and Q-Club sodas. Each are made with absolutely the best ingredients available. In the case of the Q-Kola, this is not your daddy’s corn syrup based cola. First of all it is made of organic ingredients. Is this important? To me it is. Secondly it is packed in glass. Glass packed soda just tastes better than canned soda. http://qkola.com/benefits.html Q-Kola is a flavorful blend of spicy, savory, sweet and mysterious. This is why I like it so much!
The next ingredient in my Rum and Kola is not rum. If not rum, what is it? The next ingredient in keeping with my twisted sensibilities is Absinthe from my friend Guy Rehorst in Wisconsin. His Amerique 1912 is a gorgeous slurp of pure power. In a Rum and Kola (twisted up version) I use about a shot of this Absinthe to deepen the aromatics of the rum. Amerique 1912 is no lightweight at 63% alcohol by volume. Be careful! http://www.greatlakesdistillery.com/absinthe.htm
The rum that I use in this cocktail is also equally important. I decided the Atlantico Platino Rum should be the vehicle that transports this cocktail into mystical alchemy. http://atlanticorum.com/ I love the Atlantico Platino for what it is not. It is not flavorless, it is not colored with caramel coloring and it is not mass produced. This is a hand-made rum distilled from freshly crushed sugar cane and molasses based rums. It glistens in the glass and adds true depth to a rum based cocktail.
Sumptuous Syrups of Vermont makes incredibly rich ginger syrup from a small grower of the rare Yellow Ginger. Yellow Ginger is only 1/10 of 1% of the total ginger production in the world. This concentrated ginger syrup is the balance between sweet, tart and spicy. The ginger syrup is the perfect addition to many rum based cocktails. http://sumptuoussyrups.com/ I love the roundness and concentration of the ginger aroma and flavor. It is like a trip up the river into the heart of darkness. Yellow Ginger is very rare indeed!
And for the organic food folks, it’s from an all organic source!
So, we have fabulous hand-made rum from the Dominican Republic, heart pounding absinthe from Wisconsin, Kola from New York, ice produced from water filtered through the Mavea inspired water filtration system, the Sumptuous Syrups of Vermont Ginger Syrup and finally we have the Bitter End Thai Bitters. Thai Bitters? Certainly. I believe this exotic cocktail is not complete without the tangy, mysterious depth of the Bitter End Thai Bitters. There is heat in there. And flavor with a capital F!
The Bitter End Thai Bitters is the razor’s edge between a mere drink and a cocktail. Your cocktails will have depth, character and copious intelligence. But how will this happen? I experimented a bit and found the Kola, Rum, Absinthe and Mavea ice needs about five drops per 16 oz drink to make.
Rushing of Wings Cocktail, with sincere apologies to David Lynch and his seminal film Fire Walk With Me.
Atlantico Platino White Rum
Amerique 1912 Absinthe
Sumptuous Syrups of Vermont – Yellow Ginger Syrup
Bitter End Thai Bitters
Mavea “Inspired Ice” (essential!)
Grilled Lime slice
To a cocktail shaker fill ¼ with Mavea “Inspired Water” cubes
Add the liquors and the Sumptuous Syrups Ginger syrup
Shake until frosty about a minute or so
Pour into tall glasses with fresh Mavea “Inspired Water” cubes
Add five or so drops of the Bitter End Thai Bitters
Garnish with a slice of grilled Lime
Serve to an appreciative friend and then make another for yourself