- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
SPIRITS Blue curaçao Gin Kahlúa Lillet Blanc Midori (melon liqueur) Rum (white, gold, dark, and spiced) Tequila: an affordable one, plus an expensive one such as El Tesoro or Chinaco Blanco Tia Maria Triple Sec Vodka
SPIRITED BUT NONALCOHOLIC Angostura bitters Club soda Coconut milk Cola Cranberry juice cocktail Cream of coconut Grapefruit juice Grenadine Lemons and limes Mint (fresh) Nutmeg (whole) Passion fruit syrup Pineapple juice Sour mix Tonic
COLLINS (a.k.a. highball, for drinks over ice with flat or fizzy water)
OLD-FASHIONED (stout and sturdy tumbler)
Juicer (always use fresh lemon and lime juices)
Cocktail shaker (get one that holds at least 14 ounces so it can shake two drinks; some varieties come with a strainer), preferably metal
Strainer (if you, like James Bond, like it neat-i.e., you don't want ice-and you don't have a shaker, you might want to invest in a Hawthorn strainer, the kind with the spring around the rim)
NOTES ON INGREDIENTS
Lemons and limes: Pick heavy fruit, which will be the juiciest. Release the lime's juices byrolling it before cutting. Key limes are small (the size of a golf ball), with a thin skin that's yellower than that of American limes (which are a hybrid of the Key lime and the citron).
Coconut: The fruit of a coconut palm, a coconut has a woody shell that is encased in a fibrous husk. (Coconuts that you find in stores usually have the husk removed.) Young coconuts have fresh meat and an edible jelly-like coating between the meat and the liquid. The meat dries out as the coconut gets older. To crack a coconut, either whack it with a hammer or the blunt side of a cleaver, or heat it for ten minutes in a 300°F oven, then crack the shell and pry out the meat. Have a bowl handy to capture the liquid.
Coconut milk: Coconut milk can be found canned in most grocery stores in the Asian foods section. (Or make your own: pour 1 cup of boiling water or milk over 2 cups of grated fresh coconut, then strain after half an hour.) Coconut milk is used in curries, sauces, and stews. Don't confuse it with cream of coconut (Coco López is a popular brand), which is a sweet, thick cream (like a syrup) used in drinks such as piña coladas.
Nutmeg: Buy it whole and grate as needed. Grated fresh nutmeg is so aromatic and strong that it transforms a frothy coconut drink.
Ice: Watery ice makes a poor drink. Take ice out of the freezer just before making your drink. If using a metal cocktail shaker, fill the shaker with ice and ingredients and shake until a frost appears on the blender (about fifteen seconds); longer than that will result in a watery drink, and shorter than that won't chill the drink adequately.
When people think of Caribbean drinks, they think first of rum. Rum is distilled from sugarcane (cane syrup, cane juice, or molasses), which gives this liquor an underlying sweetness. The color is determined by three factors: the distillation process (lighter rums are made in "continuous" stills, but darker premium rums are often made in old-fashioned pot stills); the aging process (some rums are aged in oak or bourbon barrels for up to twenty years); and in some cases, the addition of flavorings such as sherry, caramel, or raisins, or of colorings. In broad terms, English- and French-influenced islands tend to produce dark rums, while Spanish-influenced islands favor white or light rums.
There are four basic types of rum. WHITE or light rums are clear like water, light-tasting, and good in mixed drinks or punches. GOLDEN or medium rums are aged in oak barrels, which give them a slightly spicy aroma. They have a softly sweet aftertaste, and are appropriate in cocktails in which you'd like the rum flavor to be evident. Full-bodied, somewhat spicy DARK rums are good for mixing when you want a predominant rum flavor. They're also terrific served neat, as you would a Port, or simply with a bit of ice. (Vintage rums distilled in small batches are particularly rich and aromatic.)
Finally, SPICED rums are white, golden, or dark rums infused with spices, citrus, vanilla, or other flavorings. They work well with fruit; in grogs, punches, and mixed drinks; and as a cooking ingredient. Some people like to take their spiced rums straight, too.
You can also find rum infused with coconut. Some foodies snub such a concoction, but it can make a damned good tropical drink.
This fruity tropical drink will put you on island time. Be as liberal as you desire with the rum. Always use fresh sour mix, which is easy to make (see the recipe below).
1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice 2 ounces pineapple juice 1 teaspoon grenadine 1 1/2 ounces white rum 1 ounce Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum or other spiced rum 1 ounce sour mix (below) 1/2 ounce Triple Sec Maraschino cherry, for garnish
Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour the orange juice, pineapple juice, grenadine, white rum, spiced rum, sour mix, and Triple Sec into the glass and stir gently. Garnish with the cherry.
Recommended Listening "Boat Drinks," by Jimmy Buffett, from Volcano
To make a batch of sour mix, combine 1 12-ounce can of frozen lemonade concentrate with 2 12-ounce cans of frozen limeade concentrate, then use the empty container to add 6 12-ounce cans' worth of water. Keep covered, in the refrigerator.
Originating in Trinidad centuries ago, calypso music was to the West Indies what spirituals were to the South: a vehicle for the oppressed to sing their woes and transfer information in a lyrical, clandestine manner.
2 ounces Mount Gay Barbados Rum or other golden rum 1 teaspoon grenadine 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 4 ounces pineapple juice Splash of ginger ale Pineapple wedge, for garnish
Fill a large Collins glass with ice. Add the rum, grenadine, lemon juice, pineapple juice, and ginger ale in order and stir. Garnish with the pineapple wedge.
Recommended Listening "Oh Goody!" by Barefoot, from Hot! Hot! Hot! Collection
"Calypso is a thing I'm telling you When you are singing, you must learn to impromptu Never mind your English, but mind your rhymes, When you get the gist of it, just sing in time, For veteran calypsonians are known to be Men who can sing on anything instantaneously."
-The Gorilla (calypsonian)
SERVES A CROWD
Every island bar has a version of this famous Caribbean drink. I've sipped some great ones-on the veranda at the Cotton House on Mustique and in the open-air bar at Bananas on Vieques, to name a few. This recipe follows the ditty: "One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, and four of weak." A "topping" layer of dark rum, coupled with a short straw, will bring the aromatic magic of rum to the fore.
1 part lime juice 2 parts grenadine, or simple syrup (page 24) or a combination 3 parts rum; either white, golden, or dark or a mixture 4 parts fruit juices (pineapple, orange, passion fruit, guava, mango) Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish Lime slices, for garnish
Mix the lime juice, syrup, rum, and fruit juices in a large bowl. Sprinkle with nutmeg and lime. To serve, ladle the punch into ice-filled glasses.
Recommended Listening "Dance Bonne Pa Dance," by Kanda Bongo Man, from Hurricane Zouk
This classic Cuban drink (pronounced mo-HEE-to) is all about the fragrant mint mingling with the rum, lime, and sugar.
1/2 to 1 teaspoon powdered (or regular) sugar 1/2 lime, freshly squeezed 4 peppermint leaves plus 1 sprig, for garnish 2 ounces white rum 1 ounce club soda (optional)
Put the sugar in a highball glass and squeeze in the lime juice; stir to dissolve. Add the mint leaves and crush against the side of the glass until the aromatic oils are released. Add the lime rind. Fill the glass with crushed ice, add the rum. Top with club soda. Garnish with the mint sprig.
NOTE: A refreshing cooler, mojitos are fun at parties. To make a pitcher, multiply the ingredient quantities by the number of guests. Mash the mint and sugar in a bowl with a wooden spoon (or in a mortar with a pestle), then add the lime juice and rum and stir until the sugar dissolves. Strain the mixture into a pitcher. (The recipe can be made up to this point several hours ahead and kept refrigerated.) When ready to serve, stir gently, and pour the mixture into glasses filled with crushed ice. Top it off with club soda, if desired (it's not authentic, but the effervescence of sparkling water is nice), and serve with a sprig of mint and a wedge of lime as garnishes.
Recommended Listening "Sweet Rum and Starlight," by Earl Klugh, from Love Songs
Like single-malt Scotch, not all rums are created equal; taste depends on where and how it is distilled, the soil and weather of the sugarcane plantation, and so forth. These are some of my favorite sipping rums.
Barbancourt Estate Reserve du Domain 15-Year-Old Rum (Haiti) British Royal Navy Imperial Rum (Jamaica) Cockspur V.S.O.R. (Barbados) Flor de Cana Grand Reserve (Nicaragua) Gosling's Black Seal Dark Rum (Bermuda) Mount Gay Extra-Old Rum (Barbados) Pampero Ron Añejo Aniversario (Venezuela) Plantation 1983 Old Reserve Rum (Jamaica) Ron Matusalem Gran Reserva Rum (Cuban style) St. James Hors d'Age Agricole Plantation Rum (Martinique) Westerhall Plantation Rum (Grenada)
This Cuban drink was named after General Menocal, who in the '30s liked rum almost as much as power. This drink is traditionally made with Bacardi, though other white rums may be substituted.
2 ounces Bacardi white rum 1 ounce dry vermouth 2 ounces pineapple juice 1/2 ounce grenadine 1 ounce sour mix (page 10) Lime slice, for garnish
Fill a mixing glass or cocktail shaker with ice and add the rum, vermouth, pineapple juice, grenadine, and sour mix. Shake well and strain into an attractive martini-style glass. Garnish with a lime slice.
Recommended Listening "Mimi," by Cubanissimo, from Reincarnación
Originally produced in Cuba by Desi Arnaz's grandfather, Bacardi rum moved its operations to Puerto Rico after Fidel Castro nationalized the rum industry and confiscated the company's plant in 1960. Today, Puerto Rico remains the world's largest rum producer-mostly because, as a commonwealth of the United States, Puerto Rico can ship its products to the States duty-free.
A far cry from the pedestrian Rum and Cola, this elegant libation was invented by one of Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders fighting the Spanish-American War in Cuba, who asked a Havana bartender to mix him a cocktail of rum with cola and a bit of lime on ice. (Created fourteen years before, Coca-Cola was considered exotic and was brought to Cuba by Americans.) Other soldiers asked for the same drink, and they toasted the locals and their victory-"Cuba libre!" ("Free Cuba!").
2 ounces white rum (Bacardi is traditional) 1/4 lime 1 to 1 1/2 ounces cola (to taste)
Fill a highball glass with ice. Add the rum; squeeze in the lime juice, then toss in the rind. Add the cola and stir.
Recommended Listening "Rum and Coca-Cola," sung by the Andrews Sisters; or by Lord Invader, from 1946 Calypso at Midnight
"If you ever go down Trinidad They make you feel so very glad Calypso sing and make up rhyme Guarantee you one real good time Drinkin' rum and Coca-Cola, go down Point Cumana Both mother and daughter, working for the Yankee dollar Oh, beat it man, beat it." -from "Rum and Coca-Cola"
Flavored with coconut, Malibu Caribbean Rum seems a bit cheesy, and it does smell like suntan lotion, but it offers a deliciously subtle coconut flavor in this grownup lemonade.
1 1/2 ounces vodka 1 1/2 ounces Malibu Caribbean Rum or other coconut-flavored rum 3 ounces pineapple juice Maraschino cherry, for garnish
Fill a tall glass with ice and pour the vodka, rum, and pineapple juice over. Stir with a straw. Garnish with the cherry.
Recommended Listening "The Dolphins," by Fred Neil, from The Other Side of This Life
Made with Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum, this buccaneer is sweet and smooth, with a hint of almond and coconut. (The word buccaneer, by the way, derives from the practice by French pirates of curing their meat in the native manner, using a wooden frame called a boucan. They were first called boucaniers.)
1 1/2 ounces Malibu Caribbean Rum or other coconut-flavored rum 1 1/2 ounces amaretto 1 1/2 ounces Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum or other spiced rum 1 1/2 ounces cranberry juice cocktail 1 1/2 ounces pineapple juice
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients. Shake vigorously five times, then strain into two martini glasses or other festive glasses.
Excerpted from CARIBBEAN COCKTAILS by JENNIFER TRAINER THOMPSON Copyright © 2003 by Jennifer Trainer Thompson
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.