Tuesday, June 24, 2008

35) Demon Water Punch

1 oz. Zaya Rum
1 oz. Rhum Neisson Rhum Agricole
.5 oz. Rhum Clement Creole Shrub
.5 oz. Lime juice
Hand full of blueberries
Bundaberg Ginger Beer

Muddle the blueberries in a shaker, add the rest of the ingredients, and shake until well chilled. Double strain into a Collins glass filled with fresh ice, and top with Ginger Beer.

As San Francisco is wont to do, the weather leading into this last weekend went from blazing to frigid in the blink of an eye. Nevertheless, as I strode into Elixir on Sunday, my mind was still in the tropics. What this meant for me is that I wanted to work with Rum, and I wanted to work with different rums together. Kind of like a total bastard of a tiki idea (because I have yet to really delve into the tiki area of drinks). I was most interested in seeing what sort of interplay we could get from a molasses-based Rum, and a cane sugar juice-based Agracole.

As we talked about the idea, Ed pulled up a bottle of Zaya rum, and said we should give it whirl. One taste, and I was firmly on his side. That's some damn fine stuff. He also thought the addition of Creole Shrub would not only add a bit of brightness, and sweetness to counter the lime juice, it would be more Rum! Then we began combing through the fruit that Elixir had on hand -- At first we were tempted to use some fantastic plums that had just come in, but decided that they were perhaps a bit too mild for what we were using. When we hit blackberries we knew we had found our baby -- They looked great, and tasted even better.

As for the ginger beer, it's something I've been getting a bit obsessive about. It's never been a beverage that I much cared for, but have found that it can be a great addition to a cocktail. One gets the nice fizz that one would from soda, but it brings its own spicy bit to the party. I was somewhat worried it might be a bit much for the drink, but as it turned out we didn't end up needing to add too much (thank you Collins glass!).

It turned out to be one of those drinks that Ed and I were especially happy with. It's smooth as hell, with the ginger and blackberries hitting up front then giving way to the notes of both rums. Last Friday's weather, some meat on the grill, and six of these, and I'd be happy as a monkey in a peanut machine. By happy, of course, I mean stupid drunk.

Blog bonus! Much to my embarrassment, I haven't explored Rum nearly as much as I'd like. This is partly due to my unending obsession with Gin and Whiskey, but also because Rum holds over me a strange sort of intimidation level. Which is why I wasn't familiar at all with the Zaya Rum. A bit of research revealed to me that it's a bit pricey, and is much more a sipping Rum rather than the sort of thing one would want to obscure in a cocktail (though it sure made it tasty!). So with that, I have two questions for you, our dear readers.

1) What might any of you with more Rum expertise recommend as a less expensive (less heretical?) Rum to use in this drink?

2) It's about time I get my Rum game going. Anybody have any recommendations as to a good cocktail place to start? The obvious choice is Forbidden Island; however, since I am lacking a car, and Rum education is the sort of thing that makes driving a bit of a bad idea, somewhere in San Francisco would be nice.

Comments always welcome or feel free to e-mail us at drinkaweek [at] gmail [dot] com.

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