I love good drinks, I love Dry Martinis, I love good rum, I love aromatic cocktail, I love french vermouth, I, love Gilka Kümmel, I love white rum, I love traditional spirits, I love bitters, I love a good strong aperitif drink. there I went:
Stir on ice like you would a Dry Martini (as cold as can get), strain into an iced cocktail glass and twist a citrus peel (orange fits extremely well, like always with rum, but try lemon, or lime, or even grapefruit…).
This is a kind of classic drink in every way and actually I did and do not even feel like I invented something when i tried it for the first time about two years ago back there at lovely „Cable Beach Manor“…
On the one hand it’s like everything the great David Embury asks for in a „real cocktail“ (like 50% liquor at least, ice cold, rather dry than sweet…), it’s a combination British and Caribbeans must have liked (there are several drinks with rum and kümmel where the Brits went, like the „Kingston“, and the „Lupe Vélez Cocktail“, it’s pretty close to a classic Dry Martini (of course the are several variations with a dash of kümmel…) but believe it or not, there is nothing like that in the Savoy, nor in the Cafe Royal, or in The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. Kingsley Amis might have liked it (strong, kümmel, martini lover… well, Brit!) but no, nowhere a „Dry Rum Martini“ with a dash of kümmel.
There is one drink that helped me a little on the way – from Charles H. Baker jr.’s „South American Gentleman’s Companion“:
The Georgetown Club Cocktail
2 oz white rum
3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry
1 tsp Falernum
stir, strain, twist.
He insists on „no bitters, this time“ (which makes perfectly sense, with all that spices in the falernum) and points out „you’ll like the subtle wedding of the delicate rum with the falernum flavoring and the bitter herbing of dry vermouth.“ Bingo!
And „delicate rum“ is the stichwort here! I love slightly aged but still white rums for this one, like the cubans do it (Varadero, Havana Club, Santiago de Cuba… the „tres años bottlings“) but my over all favorite in here (and in my Silvery Death) is „one of the oldest, white molasses-based rums on the market today“, as Ed Hamilton points out in his rum database:
Oh, happy days when I could go and buy a liter of this great four-years-aged-in-wood-and-then-charcoal-filtered delicacy in that Harbor Bay Liquor Store on East Bay Street for less than 12 bahamian dollars! Now and here and yes I still love Berlin, it’s around 20,- and euros and 700ml and ordering and shipping and 5,- more…
And how delicate it is – this one proofs Embury wrong when he writes that rum do not fit well with dry vermouth. It’s fresh and clean and crisp but has not that harshness of other white rums (that might be great for Daiquiris…). There is that oak, that little tropical fruit, that hint vanilla, but not that sweetness of other aged cane spirits (that might be great in a Mojito). It’s great for dry, aromatic style drinks with a lot of rum in it – I love that! The only other rum I liked almost as much in these two drinks was Rubi Rey, a „single barrel finished white rum“ from Puerto Rico (guess what, it’s Bacardi – questionable claim, with this !finished“ and single-barrel-single-malt-talk“, but great taste never the less…), but never found this one in Germany.
But try it with what ever white rum you like, and I’ll go and make some Falernum now. Next time more about this great stuff, or about Gilka Kümmel (the bartender-lab-guys were so kind to invite me to THE GREAT KÜMMEL TASTING – thanx again!) and the Lupe Vélez Cocktail, or…
Ps: and did I ever tell you, that I love the Ministry of Rum? Go there and to the Rum Recipe Contest and please vote for La Muerte Plateada, and I might get that book by Ed Hamilton about the rums of the eastern caribbean. Become a member (a decision for a lifetime nobody ever regretted!) and you can even vote three times a day for that great drink…!😉
Thanks in advance and I´ll let you know when there might be a chance that I stir one for you, right here on this pages!