The Rum Blog

Growing up, I seem to remember that half my family members drank gin (& tonic) while the other half drank rum (& coke). This is in addition to wine, beer, and anything else that the occasion might have demanded. My background is a combo of English, Irish, and Scottish so family gatherings were never lacking in libations...

I am not sure exactly when, but I ended up on the rum side of the family. That is not to say that I never drink gin (or other liquors), but my go-to beverage is rum & coke. Like my maternal grandmother, I initially favoured Bacardi white (I know, BO-RING). I eventually got out of that rut, and decided to go on a mission; a very yummy rummy, rum-tasting mission. 
Join me as I travel through all the rums at the LCBO and outre mer ("across the sea") as well.
Favourite / Best Value Pick

Brugal Blanco

December 26, 2014
My Brugal saga continues.  As previously mentioned, my best friend (and sometimes partner in rum crime) initially introduced me to Brugal.  At the time that she went to the Dominican, I was only drinking white rum, so against all local recommendations she brought me back a bottle of the white rum.  Initially, no Brugal rums were available at the LCBO.  When they did start to carry Brugal, it was only two different spiced rums.  So I have been lucky enough to have other vacationing friends pick up bottles of white for  me.

Over the last few years I have amassed a collection of these nice little duty-free bottles.  

I quite enjoy drinking this rum in the summer with pink grapefruit juice and a splash of cranberry.  It makes for a tart and refreshing beverage.  I think it would be excellent in any fruity, tropical cocktail as well. 

All this talk of rum-based tropical drinks makes me want to go to the Dominican. Hopefully one day soon.
 

Appleton Special

December 26, 2014
This rum is from the same distillery/company that makes Appleton Estate, which I have been drinking for years.  This is sort of like the lower end (at least in terms of price) product.  But I highly recommend this rum.  As a side note, rum sold under the name Wray & Nephew is also from the same distillery.  I have one of those upon which I will be reporting shortly.  
This bottle is a complete steal at $26.  High value for money, in my opinion.  It is great as a mixer with coke (my standard) and also Pink Ting (the new way I like to mix it up now).

It is a beautiful light gold/amber colour and has a nice spiciness to it.  Maybe not the smoothest rum that I've ever had but sometimes you like something that is a little rough around the edges.  

On a tangent, I always find that once I come across or discover something, it starts showing up everywhere.  Shortly after I picked up my first bottle at the LCBO (and was thoroughly enjoying the rum), I celebrated an unnumbered birthday at my favourite Greek restaurant, Mykonos Grill.  

One of the owners was getting me set up with my first beverage, offering me their white rum (which I believe was Bacardi) and also mentioned that he had a spiced rum but couldn't remember what it was.  Being difficult, I made him go and check.  Sure enough, it was this one. I don't think I've ever seen it on offer at a restaurant before or since.

This will definitely not the the last time this bottle graces my liquor cabinet.
 

Flor de Caña - 12 Year Old Centenario

December 26, 2014
There has been a lengthy hiatus from my blog postings. In all blogs. Totally my bad. Life. C'est la vie! However, there has been no hiatus in my rum drinking. I always make time for that. 
At the time that I bought this bottle, it had just recently become available at the LCBO. Although now it is probably old news...

I have previously blogged the 5 Year Old and I also have tried the 7 Year Old at a Drink festival in Toronto but is (still) not currently available at the LCBO.

Both the 5 Year Old and 7 Year Old have a good kick to them.  While I was excited to try this and impressed by the bottle (I know, I am a sucker), it was quite wishy-washy in flavour.  I was quite disappointed.  I guess I could say that it was quite smooth... but lacking in bold flavour.  It was missing all the usual things I would expect; toffee, caramel, wood, smoke, chocolate, coffee. NADA! This is all more surprising given its rich reddish-brown hue. 

The bottle is quite substantial, so maybe its only redeeming quality is that it would make a good weapon. :-)
 

Mixer(s) in a Bottle - Part 2

July 27, 2014
This post may seem a little convoluted but I think it is best to start with the fact that I love grapefruit.  I eat one for breakfast every day.  I also used to mix white rum with pink grapefruit juice and a splash of cranberry. It makes a very refreshing summer beverage.

Now the story takes us to Rhum Corner.  As you may know, I tried numerous cocktails, one of which was called Wray & Ting.  I had no idea what Ting was, but I was excited to learn that Ting is a carbonated grapefruit soda from Jamaica.  While I found that the Wray & Nephew rum overpowered the flavour of the Ting, I think it would be great with a lighter-tasting rum.
I often experience a weird phenomenon when I discover something new; I suddenly see it everywhere.  Last week I saw Ting at No Frills.  And just this week, while having lunch at Rasta Pasta in Kensington Market, I found out that there is also a Pink Ting!  It was so light and refreshing, only mildly sweet and a little tart.  It was the perfect counter to the savoury and mildly spicy jerk. 

After lunch, I was able to find both Tings in a Caribbean grocery store.  My fridge is now stocked for future mixing with rum.
 

Mixer in a Bottle - Part 1

July 26, 2014
A couple of months ago, I heard that Coke from Mexico uses only sugar, not corn syrup.  I found this interesting because I try to eat things that don't have a lot of added, highly-processed ingredients.  While I don't think that sugar is good for me, if given the option I'd rather consume sugar than some cocktail of artificial sweeteners.  But I sort of forgot about this for a while, or rather, filed it away for future reference.
It came to the surface again while I was at Rhum Corner.  I noticed that they were using Coke in glass bottles as a mixer.  That got the wheels turning.  Then I realized how I could do some research.

During my weekly shopping trips to Kensington Market, I often eat at Pancho Y Emiliano, a casual Mexican eatery.  I realized that they sell Coke in bottles!  And they are imported from Mexico and contain only sugar (as the sweetener).  And I found one of the Latin American grocers in Kensington carries the Coke.  It makes me wonder if it is not just Mexican Coke that spurns corn syrup.

I don't think I can detect a major difference in flavour, but I plan to do a blind taste test at some point.  I do enjoy the fact that one bottle is perfect for two rum & cokes.