Rum is nice to sip or mix into Daiquiri & Grog cocktails. It's Passover friendly, being grain-free. Make a cocktail today, no beach required!
The Jewish holiday of Passover challenges the creativity of many a baker.
During Passover, observant Jews will eat an unleavened bread called matzo (literally, the "Bread of Affliction"), a bland cracker-like flatbread.
Flourless Chocolate Walnut cookies are one solution to the challenge, i.e. not using barley, oats, rye, spelt, or wheat as ingredients.
Those same grains feature prominently for whisky and bourbon expressions. So what’s a trying-to-follow-Passover-whisky-reviewer to do?
How about review something that does fall under the ok-for-Passover umbrella…rum! A product of sugar cane (and a cousin to molasses), rum is a spirit that’s fine for the holiday.
Then, just for grins & giggles, I'll make simple rum cocktails from them and review those as well.
Bacardi and Brugal Rums
At home, April 22, 2019
- Nose: light white sugar, light citrus, hint of almond
- Taste: sweet white pepper, hint of almondin the middle, light vanilla
- Finish: alcohol warmth lingers with white sugar and a touch of almonds
- Comments: great as a mixer; alone, flavors are muted
Brugal Añejo Superior
- Nose: dark brown sugar, oak, hint of lemon, light caramel
- Taste: strong sugar cane taste (unrefined sugar syrufollowed by dark woody notes, like chewing on a piece of sugar cane, light body
- Finish: cane notes linger along with a hint of baking spices
- Comments: I didn’t know what to expect, so the contrast between the dark sugar cane influence and a woody darkness is striking
Using rum in cocktails
The tasting notes above are a good start, but most of the time rum is used as a mixer rather than straight.
Say it with me now in your best pirate voice. “Arrrgh!”
Both Daiquiri and Grog cocktails use the same three ingredients, rum, lime juice, and simple syrup, so comparing the differences between the Bacardi white rum and the Brugal dark rum will be easier.
Let's start with our simple syrup, shall we?
Step 1: Make a molasses-flavored simple syrup
Both these Daiquiri and Grog recipes use Demerara Syrup rather than simple syrup in their preparations.
Why? The benefit of using a raw sugar syrup is that it brings an undertone of molasses to the syrup, allowing it to really enhance the rum flavors in the cocktails.
Just to remind you, simple syrup is just equal parts water and granulated sugar boiled together until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Demerara Syrup is just made with brown demerara sugar instead of granulated sugar.
Demerara sugar is similar to turbinado sugar (or coarse sugar) like Sugar in the Raw. Both have a coarse grain texture, golden brown color, and subtle molasses flavor. For our purposes, you can substitute turbinado sugar for the demarara in the syrup. If neither are available, use brown sugar instead.
By the way, a 1-1 recipe ratio of equal parts water and sugar is standard for simple syrups, but it's not set in stone. Like with chocolate ganache, you can alter the ratio to make it heavier (more sugar) or lighter (more water) as required by a recipe or for personal taste.
Turbinado Simple Syrup
- small saucepan
- ½ cup turbinado sugar, like Sugar in the Raw, see Recipe Notes
- ½ cup water
- Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Immediately take the saucepan off the heat.
- Let cool, then pour into a container (something clear to show off your nice golden syrup) and store in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Step 2: How to make a Daiquiri cocktail
Now that we have our molasses sugar syrup, let's make a Daiquiri and a Grog.
The method for both a Daiquiri and Grog are very simple. Put all the ingredients in a shaker and...well...shake, shake, shake!
We'll make the Daiquiri cocktail recipe first.
- martini shaker
- 2 oz white rum, like Bacardi white rum
- ¾ oz turbinado syrup
- ¾ oz lime juice
- Add all ingredients to a martini shaker filled with ice, shake 20 to 30 seconds.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer (to remove any ice particles) into a chilled lowball glass.
- Serve garnished with a slice of lime. Enjoy!
Step 2: How to make a Grog cocktail
Making Grog is similar to the Daiquiri, except with less simple syrup and the addition of water.
- martini shaker
- 2 oz dark rum, like Brugal Añejo
- ¾ oz lime juice
- ½ oz turbinado syrup
- 1 oz water
- Add all ingredients to a martini shaker filled with ice and shake 20 to 30 seconds.
- Pour into a lowball glass and enjoy. Yo-ho-ho!
Tasting comparison between a Daiquiri and Grog
I thought I’d like the Brugal and Grog over the Bacardi and Daiquiri (given it’s aged, like scotch), so I was surprised that the Daiquiri won out for me. I really enjoyed the clean crispness of the Daiquiri and the clean rum flavor this time.
That’s not to say that if a tiki-mug filled with Grog were handed to me that I’d turn it away, not by a long shot.
Both of these simple rum cocktails would be lovely to sip on a summer evening...on a beach…with swaying palms…sorry, got carried away for a moment.
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!