Cruzan Rum at Gramercy Tavern
You know I don’t really do much in the way of brand-specific work here at Spirited Cocktails. I haven’t done many brand reviews (though I’ve had a lot of requests, so I may start), and I very rarely call for a specific brand of spirit in any of my recipes. I think it benefits the consumer to try different brands on their own and determine what suits their own tastes.
Earlier this week, though, @NYBarfly (whom you should be following on Twitter) was gracious enough to invite me to join him in meeting Andrea, an educator at Cruzan Rum, at Gramercy Tavern. Many brand ambassadors claim to be “educators”, but Andrea is the real deal. She knows more about rum than I think she cares to admit, and I couldn’t help but truly respect her once she went all “spirits geek” on us and the bottles of molasses came out at dinner!
As Andrea taught us, Cruzan Rum has a long and rich history on the island of St. Croix. You may know them well for their wide variety of flavored rums (including guava, coconut, pineapple, and more.) But Cruzan seems to be trying hard to really expand their line of “pure” rums – a line which now includes a single-barrel estate rum, a black strap rum, and others – in order to help rum win the respect it truly deserves.
All too often, we think about rum and we form an immediate association with mojitos. Mojitos aren’t all that bad, but they’ve been so over exposed (thanks to brands like Bacardi), that they’ve become a sugary shadow of their former selves. In fact, rum is used in some of the most classic cocktails (like the Daiquiri) as well as some of the earliest punches. A quality rum can also be mixed in a number of modern cocktails (as I’m about to show you), or even sipped straight on its own.
The supremely-talented bartenders at Gramercy Tavern were kind enough to mix up a few different cocktails with Cruzan rum. I didn’t capture all of the proportions for each one, but I’ll give you a rough description, and because I’m so dedicated, I guess I’ll head back to Gramercy Tavern soon and dig up more detail for you!
If you ever have a chance to catch up with Andrea and hear her speak about rum, I highly recommend it. I believe she’ll be appearing at the Tales of the Cocktail event later this summer. In the meantime, maybe I can talk her into a guest post here at Spirited Cocktails.
As I said, I’ll be working diligently to dissect the three cocktails I described above and recreate them for you here. If you just can’t wait, swing by Gramercy Tavern here in New York and ask one of the talented bartenders there to help you out – I’m certain you’ll enjoy them!