Black Rum- ward off the chill with us this winter
Written by Bret Kimbrough, Manager, Distilling and Operations
Recently, I was at a friend’s house having a drink while their pet parrot sat on my shoulder. Sunny, as she is named, gently whistled in my ear as I sipped my cocktail and for a brief moment I thought I might be at a Caribbean port of call with my mateys spending my treasure.
Alas, I was still at home in Frederick, but it was nice how a good spirit and great company could feel like a much needed vacation from the end of year chill.
As we make our way through winter here in the Mid-Atlantic, those brief breaks from the cold, snow, and damp become more and more necessary. So, we made a little something that will send you on a brief trip to the tropics, even if only for an evening.
Rum. That magical, fruity elixir that turns a glass of cola into a party, transforms fruit juice into a magic potion and makes ginger beer a vacation in a glass. It has a versatility that most spirits can’t match, and it comes in a variety of forms. Rum can be spiced, barrel-aged, silver, gold, heavy, light, or even fruit flavored. But we are presenting it to you this year in one of its oldest forms: Black.
Rum has a history that is unique among spirits. It never had a homemade or boutique phase. Thanks to the scale of sugar cane processing in the New World, Rum immediately became a mass market commodity all over the globe. Whether as the drink of pirates and sailors, a good for trade or a smuggler’s bounty, rum’s importance in the colonial era was unrivaled in its value and importance. And the fact that it was made from sugar production leftovers made it very profitable for its producers.
Nowadays, rum can be made by one of two distilling processes: Column distillation which yields very light-bodied and delicately flavored rums, or pot distilling which gives us funky, heavy, more assertive spirits. We chose to pot distill our rum because we feel this produces a more complex and interesting spirit that reflects rum’s true nature. The fullness of flavor and aroma of the molasses is preserved in all of its tropical wonder. Plus, this would have been the way the original Caribbean distillers made their rum all those centuries ago.
We made our black rum by fermenting black strap molasses, then distilling it twice through our pot still to yield a clear, sweet spirit with flavors of pineapple, coconut, sugar cane, and bright citrus. Then, to add even more complexity and depth we cooked a refined sugar syrup until it was dark as pitch and added to the white rum in just the right amount, adding a deep copper color and a caramel richness that takes the drink to a whole other world. Now, on top of the tropical fruit of the white rum we have notes of brown sugar, banana and cinnamon. The mouthfeel grows into a lush, palate coating silkiness that lingers long after you take a sip, and your insides feel the cozy warmth like you just took a bite of a comforting, hot dessert.
So, what are some ways to enjoy this old fashioned delight? Well, there is the classic Dark and Stormy with ginger beer and lime. Or the famous New Orleans Hurricane with lime, orange and passion fruit. A splash of dark rum in your Screwdriver gives you a Brass Monkey. There are myriad ways to enjoy this dark beauty, so let your imagination run wild, get yourself a parrot and give yourself a break from the daily grind with Tenth Ward Black Rum!
Description: Pot distilled from 100% molasses and sweetened with molasses-cooked caramel.
Tasting Notes: Savory candied pecans on the nose. Banana, brown sugar, pineapple, and citrus flavors with a flirt of molasses and toffee.
How to Mix It
Dark and Stormy
1.5 oz Tenth Ward Black Rum
0.5 oz lime juice
.5 oz simple syrup
Pour rum and lime juice into a glass, fill with ice, top with ginger beer and garnish
1 oz Tenth Ward Black Rum
1 oz light rum
.5 oz lime juice
1 oz orange juice
0.5 oz passion fruit juice
0.5 oz simple syrup
0.25 oz grenadine
Garnish: cherry and orange wheel
Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice, shake and strain into a glass. Fill with ice. Garnish (Optional: add overproof rum to spike it)
Hot Buttered Rum
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted softened butter
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly ground is best)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For Each Cocktail:
2/3 cup hot water
1 oz batter, plus more to taste
1.5 oz Tenth Ward Dark Rum
Use a fork or beaters, whip the batter together, and store it in the fridge. Put the batter and rum into a mug, and top it with boiling water.
How do I get my hands on it???
You can sign up today for free. Bottle Club members get all the perks at Tenth Ward, including having access to exclusive cocktail menu items, four amazing Bottle Club-only releases per year, special invites to Bottle Club-only events, and more. We also now offer shipping throughout Maryland and DC! Just check out our blog about the Perks of Being a Bottle Club Member here.