Care for a Rum Cocktail?
This week marks the 10th anniversary of washingtonpost.com, which means it's probably time for a cocktail. If you're not as excited about this milestone as we are at the Web site, perhaps you can toast to the official beginning of summer (the solstice takes place at 8:26 a.m. tomorrow). But the real question is: Do we really need an excuse for a summery quencher?
(Today's post is laced with alcohol, by the way. For drinks without the hard stuff, take a look at these non-alcoholic ideas. )
For me, summer cocktailing means rum. Gin and tonics are about as old hat as my 20-year-old pair of blue seersucker Bermuda shorts, but that doesn't mean I harbor ill toward the isle of Bermuda. In fact, one of my ultra-favorite sippy-poos (a term coined by my Aunt Ginny) is a Dark'n' Stormy, considered the national drink of Bermuda.
Made famous by Goslings rum, a Dark 'n' Stormy is dark rum spiced up with ginger beer, the forerunner of ginger ale - neither of which should be confused with beer of the Budweiser variety. Ginger beer is a highly effervescent, intensely flavored soda made from fresh ginger.
I like how the drink implies impending doom and the short time I have with my drink is a before-the-storm, appreciation of life.
Here are the details (with a little help from washingtonpost.com Bars & Clubs Editor Fritz Hahn)
Dark N Stormy
2 ounces (1/4 cup) dark rum (Goslings, Myers, Mount Gay, Bacardi)
5 ounces ginger beer (Reed's Ginger Brew is one of my favorite bottled brands)
Pour the rum over ice in a highball glass, then fill with ginger beer. Squeeze in a lime wedge. Stir to mix.
Recently, I was in Miami with my good pal, Nancy, who had her first experience with the mojito, a Cuban rum cocktail with a limey-minty twist. Ever since our return to reality, Nancy has been pestering me for a recipe. This one is for her.
2 ounces white rum (1/4 cup)
1 ounce fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons superfine sugar
4 sprigs fresh mint, leaves removed from stem
Place mint leaves and syrup (or sugar) in a tall bar glass, and using a pestle or end of a wooden spoon, mash sugar into leaves until sugar is dissolved. Add lime juice, rum and ice. Cover and shake. Top with club soda, if desired. Garnish with mint sprig and lime wedge.
For those of you interested in being more precise in your mint leave mashing, consider the muddle, a handy tool with a gentler touch. (It will also make you look like a pro!)
"Ultimate A-To-Z Bar Guide" by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst
"Mambo Mixers" by Arlen Gargagliano
King Cocktail, a Web site from Dale DeGroff, author of "The Craft of a Cocktail," which features an A-to-Z list of 100 recipes.
Got more drinky-drink ideas to share? Join me at noon for What's Cooking, my weekly live chat-fest.
Then at 3, Bill Buford, a writer for The New Yorker, fields questions and comments on "Heat," his new book chronicling his experiences cooking for a year at Babbo, the famed New York restaurant owned by celebrity chef Mario Batali.
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