Four Reasons to Toast July 4th with Rum
Beer might be the iconic way to celebrate American Independence Day, but maybe this year, times call for something a bit stronger.
Like, how about rum? The rum category is second only to vodka in the United States, according to Tommy Bahama, makers of ultra-premium rum. So while it's not exactly fair to make a bad pun about rum being the spirit of America, you'd be far from unpatriotic if you incorporated it into your July 4th plans.
Four reasons to toast with rum this Independence Day:
- As a spirit, rum was first distilled in the Caribbean -- most likely Barbados -- but it quickly became popular of the northern colonies in the New World. It turns out that the country's founding fathers -- among them Paul Revere, George Washington, Ben Franklin, were no different than most manly men of their time -- they knocked back a few pints of the beverage distilled from sugar cane .
- Rum wasn't just for Revolutionary War types. From John F. Kennedy who reportedly sipped it over dinner while watching the 1960 election returns, to Ernest Hemingway, who was a big fan of the daiquiri. (Although not for Papa would be the gussied up drinkable-dessert-Slurpees of today -- in Havana, he favored the daiquiri at El Floridita, which he liked to be made with two shots of rum, lime juice, ice, no sugar, and sometimes a touch of grapefruit juice and a few drops of maraschino liqueur, writes Wayne Curtis.)
- Like most facets of American history, rum's history is complicated. The sugar cane that was used to create the molasses which became rum was produced by Caribbean slaves who existed under brutal conditions, writes Jan Rogozinksi in a Brief History of the Caribbean. Raise a glass in tribute, and in remembrance of a time when independence was not as widespread as it is today.
- Rum innovation continues strong today. The finalists for the annual drink of this year's upcoming Tale of the Cocktail festival in New Orleans were all variations on the julep - the original American cocktail. But while a julep is typically made with bourbon, the winning cocktail was the Creole Julep -- made with rum. It was created by Maksym Pazuniak, bartender at Rambla and Cure. Here's the recipe:
2 1/4 oz. Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum
1/2 oz. Clement Creole Shrubb
1/4 oz. Captain Morgan 100 Rum
2 dashes Fee Bros. Peach bitters
2 dashes Angostura bitters
8-10 mint leaves
1 Demerara Sugar Cube