Mixology Monday: Hard Drinks For Hard Times

by Matt Robold on February 17, 2009

It’s no secret that these times, they are a bit tough.  Everywhere you look people are trying to cut back, scrimp, save, cut corners and generally keep their cash in their wallets.  All of this belt-tightening means giving up on a few luxuries.  So we find ourselves drinking a little less 30 year old rum, and scanning our bars and stores for something sitting on one of the shelves at a lower elevation.

Drinking inexpensive rum doesn’t mean that you have to give up drinking good drinks.  This month Matthew Rowley over at Rowley’s Whiskey Forge has issued a challenge to cocktailians the world-over:

[M]ix, consume, and write about an alcoholic drink you’ve made that resonates with the current economic turndown and explain how it addresses the theme. Maybe you’re drinking less, switching brands, thinking about distilling your own, or finally using up those dusty, orphaned bottles of bizarre cordials and regrettably “charming” housewarming gifts.

I have to admit that this challenge both excited and overwhelmed me.  I immediately knew which rum I wanted to use, but I was going to have to work on coming up with a real cocktail in which to use it.  When I talk to people about rum-related bargains giving you better quality than your more common – err – ubiquitous brands, I always try to steer them away from the Captain and down a few ranks to Sailor Jerry.  Sailor Jerry isn’t the greatest spiced rum in the world, but it’s worlds better than Captain Morgan (in my opinion) and when times are tough, if you can get a full handle of superior rum for only a dollar more than the market leader, then you have to do that.

I spent a few days trying to reason out what I was going to do with Sailor.  I generally only use it with cola and lime or occasionally in fruit juice as a quick and dirty drink.  Its flavor profile can be a little challenging when it comes to general mixing.  The finish is a little harsh and has a bit of a chemical quality to it.

I won’t bore you with all of my attempts here.  Trust me, I’ve already bored the people in the Mixoloseum Chat Room with them.  Suffice to say, I worked through a full third of a handle of Sailor Jerry in my experiments.  Many lemons and limes gave their lives so that I could bring you this drink.  Every inch of counter space in my kitchen is covered with bottles, peels, cans, shakers, spoons, blood, sweat, and tears.  Well, there wasn’t really any blood.  There were a few tears though.

Shortfall Punch

2 oz Sailor Jerry Rum
.25 oz Apricot Brandy
1 tsp Allspice Dram
.75 oz Lime Juice
.25 oz Pineapple Juice
.25 oz Muscavado Syrup (used homemade)
2 dashes bitters (used Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters)
2 oz Soda

Mix all ingredients save the soda in the tin and shake with ice.  Strain into a tall glass full of crushed ice, top with 2 oz soda.  Dust with a pinch of ground allspice.

Be sure to check out Dood’s other Mixology Monday entries

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