Over the last few years i’ve taken to drinking spiced rum and coke as my tipple of choice for an evenings drinking, this has been the either Captain Morgan’s Spiced, or Sailor Jerry’s. but in just the last two weeks my eyes and tastebuds have been introduced to a couple of other choices…
The first of these revelations came courtesy of the works annual Christmas Party, not only are we treated to free food; but also to a free bar! Being particularly good news as the venue we were at (Montagu Arms Hotel, Beaulieu.) provides a better selection of after dinner drinks than most hotels/bars i’ve come across. and it was this after dinner trip to the bar in search of the favoured tipple that provided the revelation… Not being able to see either of my favoured versions (Double vision had not set in yet..) Prompted me to ask the Barman if they did any Spiced Rum, (fearing that i might have to actually drink something else…) He said that they did and my choices where Captain Morgans, and Kraken Black Spiced Rum. Normally i have tunnel vision once i have found something i like, and whether or not it was the amount of Red wine with dinner, but with a name like Kraken i thought it was too good a name that i had to at least try it! (could always revert if it wasn’t any good…) But good it certainly was… and i ended up spending the rest of the night drinking it, and the next day where i could buy some from.
Revelation number two…
This actually came the night after revelation number one…! I haven’t managed two nights drinking on the trot for a long time so was feeling slightly delicate from the Christmas Party, so the next night was a little subdued.. The plan for this night was to head into the local town for some ‘quiet’ drinks.. just for something else to break from the norm… First pub in and i stuck to the bottled beer to help break the liver into another nights drinking, while the other friends i where with went straight for the cocktails… (as you do in a cocktail bar) it was the walk to the second pub (a newly converted and renovated old feeds & Hardware store, with existing retro signage) that the bigger revelation came from… deciding that the liver was suitably able to start consuming more i went looking for the spiced rum… Sailor Jerry’s been spotted on the shelf and order placed with whoever’s round it was… 5 minutes later got the “what you having again…?” as apparently asking just for spiced rum and the barman dishing out choices confused my poor friend… One of the options was for homemade spiced rum… Homemade i asked… yes he says… Ok, so in the spirit (no puns intended) of the previous night i went with a double of the homemade with ice, lime and coke… Which turned out to be probably the nicest Spiced Rum and Cokes i’ve ever had! I did ask what went into this particular drink which got the cogs going with me definitely intending to try this myself and as to why i hadn’t thought of it before…
The Basics of Homemade Spiced Rum…
Over the last couple of weeks i have looked at many recipes as to what spices people have added to what Rum they have used as a base.
When starting with a base, most recipes seem to be using Gold rums, also called “amber” rums, these are medium-bodied rums that are generally aged. They gain their dark colour from ageing in wooden barrels (usually the charred, white oak barrels that are the byproduct of Bourbon whiskey). Dark Rums have appeared in a few recipes but on the whole the majority seem to be using Gold, which i can only assume has something to do with the absorption of the spice flavours and that this may take longer to penetrate the darker rums?
There seem to be Six main spice’s and ingredients that go into making spiced rum, from recipes to recipe these tend to vary in quantities and in turn effect the taste of the final rum… These spices are :
- All Spice Berries
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Orange Peel
- Star Anise
- Vanilla Pod
The mixing basics seem to be simple too… combine your variation of ingredients with your selected base rum in a wide necked airtight container. Mix well and let stand for a day in a cool dark place, Shake the mix again and then leave for a further day, at this point you are supposed to be able to (haven’t got to this point yet) do your first taste test… but ultimately leaving it to fuse for 1 week. Basically the idea is that you can add further spices to bring out the flavours you want during this time, and at the point you are happy with the taste you pore the liquid through a cheesecloth to filter out your spices leaving you with the finished product..
My Spiced Rum Recipe…
Looking at the local supermarket at the various choices and hoping to get a “Gold” rum on offer, i eventually after much head scratching chose to go with Mount Gay Eclipse, for two reasons… 1) i have seen this rum used in another recipe. 2) Should i manage to create a pretty good spiced rum, the fact that this is a common rum should help to make the spicing pretty repeatable.
As you can see i had an old Ikea jar lying around that was probably used for rice or pasta at some point, this was washed (dishwashers are great!) and left to dry, i then decanted the contents of the Mount Gay bottle into the jar (not totally sure it would fit) and i was ready for spicing..!
I decide to have a little play with the ingredients that i had or could obtain… also adding i few others and trying desperately to remember what the barman had told me they had put into their version.
I was unable to find any All Spice Berries, so decide to use a smidgen (hugely accurate in know!!) of Ground All Spice instead, i also added a little Lime peel as normally add lime to the drink, i have also added some freshly grated nutmeg.
Other than that i stuck to the same basic spices i had seen in previous recipes, just changing the quantities a little. But hopefully allowing me some wiggle room to adjust the flavours as needed in a few days…
So here’s the starting Recipe i used, If i have to make any additions over the coming week, I will add these on why and the days i added them :
- Pinch of Ground All Spice
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 5 Cloves
- 1 Star Anise
- Half a Vanilla pod (uncut)
- Pinch of Fresh Ground Nutmeg
- Orange Peel roughly 6×1 inches long
- Lime Peel Roughly 4×1 inches long
I have just finished this and i am now storing it in a cool dark place ready for tomorrows mix… another 48 hours and i should be able to do the first taste test…!
Well the 48 hours and the week came and went… and i actually left all the ingredients together for 72 hours before tasting, but continued to mix… On the first taste test, i decided to remove a couple of cloves, and the lime peel; I then added the remaining half of the vanilla pod, this time cutting open and scraping the seed into the pot along with the pod, i also added another cinnamon stick, and more all spice powder and gave it another good shake…
After the week had past the next thing to do was to filter out all the additions and bottle it up…
I had purchased some ‘Muslin Cloth’ from a Food and Cake shop to act as the filter (have seen mentions of Cheese Cloth also being used.)
At first i used a single sheet of the Muslin Cloth to filter the Spiced Rum from the spices, but having used All Spice Powder this didn’t fully remove it, also leaving a film on the top of the Rum; so on the next pass i folded the Muslin sheet (as per pic) to have more layers to filter more out, i did this twice more making it Triple Filtered! Fully removing the film left on top.
So what does it taste like..? -well in truth pretty dam good…!! with the pretty much the entire bottle that i made being consumed on Boxing Day! granted i had help from others that also liked it… As always i added it to a squeeze of lime, Coke, and plenty of ice… With a very smooth first taste, with the all spice and the aniseed coming through at the end…
Seeing as this batch was consumed at a rate of knots, i’m already in the process of starting the second batch…! this time i’m using a standard bottle of Captain Morgans (thanks Secret Santa!) which is a little darker than the Mount Gay Eclipse i used, so the spicing may take longer…
Keep up with the latest update by following my Twitter feed at @mydigitalcrumb