Last minute lady

National Rum Day

Who knew today was National Rum Day?  I sure didn’t until a friend sent me a bottle of Santa Teresa Venezuelan sipping rum.  She is working with the company so she turned me on to a few recipes people have created using the rum as a mixer but encourages people to drink it straight up as well.  I tried the rum and it is delicious and rich tasting-it is not too sweet but also not too dry like my other favorite rum, to be revealed in a moment.

Here’s the Hemingway Daiquiri from Steve Schneider of the Macao Trading Co in NYC, courtesy of Santa Teresa rum:

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 ounce Santa Teresa 1796 rum
  • 3/4 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur

Instructions

Add ingredients to a mixing glass with ice.  Shake and strain into a chilled coupe glass.  Garnish with a lime/brandied cherry flag.

Rum from Venezuela?  Being rather green in my rum knowledge, I had thought of it as only an export from Puerto Rico, where my favorite rum hails from, Ron Del Barrilito. This rum doesn’t taste sweet like some, it is a delicious sipping rum that tastes to me more like whiskey.I love that this rum was born as a result of a family who owned a sugar cane plantation and developed this as a byproduct of the sugar and honey from the land.  One of the sons studied in Europe and returned with samples of cognac which influenced how they continued to make this rum, which explains why it reminds me more of an after dinner, sipping rum rather than an overly sweet mixing kind.

Rum is made from sugar cane or molasses or sometimes even honey and then aged in oak barrels.  It is made all over the Caribbean and South America. Some are sweeter than others and some are best mixed in cocktails like the popular Rum Punch, Daiquiri, Pina Colada, Mojito, Cuba Libre, Hot Buttered Rum or in cooking, like my Aunt Rachel’s famous Rum Cake, which is so delicious or Rum Balls.  Here’s a recipe from a friend of ours, mixologist Nick Mautone for Banana Buttered Rum:

Ingredients

For the banana butter:

  • 1 pound unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 pound brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

For each Banana Buttered Rum serving:

  • 2 heaping tablespoons banana butter
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • Boiling water
  • 1-2 whole star anise, for garnish
  • 1 cinnamon stick, for garnish
Serves 10

Preparation

To make the banana butter, place all of the ingredients for the banana butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until combined well. Roll the mixture into a cylinder in a piece of plastic food storage wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Let the banana butter come to room temperature before serving.

When ready to serve, add two heaping tablespoons of banana butter to each mug. Top with two ounces of rum and fill the glass two-thirds full with boiling water.

Float a star anise or two on top of the butter. Add a cinnamon stick and stir the mixture using the stick. Serve immediately.

Buttered Rum variation: prepare the banana butter, above, omitting the banana and keeping all other ingredients as specified.

Glassware: 6 large mugs

Don’t make the mistake of thinking rums are all alike.  Try a bunch from all over the world and find the one you like!  Celebrate rum today!

Rosemary Maggiore is our Last Minute Lady. A single mom of two kids plus a full time job (she runs this website!) keep her busy and usually pushing things to the last minute. Somehow she manages to keep her cool and her sanity while she enjoys good food, wine, friends and most importantly, family.

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