Friday is National Rum Day -- the perfect excuse to sit back, put your feet up and enjoy a truly languorous cocktail. Whether it's a refreshing mojito, a chilly pina colada, an Anejo highball or a classic cable car, there's a rum cocktail for everyone.
You don't have to be sipping the strong stuff at a breezy hotel lounge in Havana to celebrate the holiday. Instead, bring the Cuban city to you with nine cocktail recipes that'll have you happy, and tipsy, in no time.
Akasha's Ruby Red mojito
5 minutes. Serves 1
2 wedges lime
2 to 3 teaspoons agave syrup, or to taste
1/4 cup white rum, preferably Crusoe organic
1/4 cup freshly squeezed Ruby Red grapefruit juice
Additional fresh mint and lime wedge for garnish
Place mint, lime and agave syrup in a sturdy glass. Use a muddler to crush the mint and lime to release the juice. Place ice in a beverage shaker and add mint mixture, rum and grapefruit juice. Shake well and serve over ice in a highball glass. Top off with club soda. Garnish with a lime wedge and sprig of mint.
Carbohydrates 8 grams
Sodium 2 mg
4 minutes. Serves 1
1 1/2 ounces light rum, preferably Matusalem
1/2 ounce lime juice
1 tablespoon cane sugar
3/4 ounce fresh pineapple juice
1 barspoon (about 1 teaspoon) apricot eau de vie
1 dash bitters, preferably Angostura
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain. Serve immediately.
Carbohydrates 18 grams
Sugar 17 grams
Sodium 1 mg
Mucho Ultima Mexicana Restaurant's fresas mojito
Total time: 8 minutes
Servings: Makes 1 cocktail
Note: Adapted from Mucho Ultima Mexicana Restaurant in Manhattan Beach. Simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water heated until the sugar dissolves to form a syrup.
3 to 4 lime wedges, to taste
1 to 2 strawberries, to taste
10 mint leaves
1 ounce simple syrup
1 1/2 ounces light rum, preferably Bacardi Superior
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the lime wedges, strawberries, mint leaves and simple syrup. Add the rum and shake with ice. Pour into a glass and top with soda water. Serve immediately.
Each cocktail: 166 calories; 1 gram protein; 18 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 0 fat; 0 cholesterol; 14 grams sugar; 8 mg sodium.
Note: From Xiomara Ardolina of Xiomara restaurant in Los Angeles. Guanabana pulp is found in the freezer section of Latino markets.
1/2 cup crushed ice
4 teaspoons sugar
2 ounces light rum (1/4 cup)
1 ounce triple sec (2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup frozen guanabana pulp
1/4 cup lime juice
1 spearmint leaf or 2 leaves other mint
Spearmint sprig, lime slice, for garnish
Blend the ice, sugar, rum, triple sec, guanabana, lime juice and mint leaf in a blender until slushy. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with the spearmint and lime.
Giovanni Martinez's daiquiri recipe
Total time: 8 minutes
Note: "It sounds terribly boring, but there's nothing like a good daiquiri," says Martinez, the head bartender at Fig & Olive in West Hollywood. His only change from the classic formula is to use slightly sweeter Key lime juice.
2 ounces light rum
3/4 ounces Key lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
In a cocktail shaker, combine the rum, Key lime juice and sugar. Add ice and shake vigorously, so that it's aerated. Strain and serve in a cocktail glass garnished with a lime wheel.
Each daiquiri: 183 calories; 0 protein; 15 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 0 fat; 0 cholesterol; 13 grams sugar; 1 mg sodium.
Total time: 20 minutes, plus steeping and cooling times for the agua de jamaica
Note: Adapted from Allan Katz, Cana Rum Bar. Dried hibiscus flowers and canela (Mexican cinnamon sticks) are available at Latino markets. Edible silver leaf flakes are available at select baking and cooking supply stores.
Agua de jamaica
3 2/3 cups water
1 2/3 cups dried hibiscus flowers
Peel from ½ Valencia orange (or the whole peel of a small orange)
2/3 cup sugar
1 large stick canela
3 star anise
1. In a large plastic container, combine the water, dried hibiscus and orange peel. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the mixture, and drop the peel in too. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours to steep, then strain.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with 1 cup of the strained hibiscus tea. Bring to a simmer, stirring or whisking the sugar until it is dissolved. Add the canela and anise, and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
3. Strain the cooled mixture into the container with the remaining cold tea, discarding the spices. This makes about 3 cups, more than is needed for the recipe. Store it, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.
1/2 ounce spiced rum (Katz uses Montecristo)
3/4 ounce ginger liqueur (Domaine de Canton)
1/2 ounce agua de jamaica
1/2 ounce lime juice
2 dashes bitters (Peychaud's)
Orange twist, for garnish
Edible silver flakes, optional
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the spiced rum, ginger liqueur, agua de jamaica, lime juice and bitters. Shake and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a fresh orange twist. Add a sprinkling of edible silver flakes, if desired.
Each cocktail: 120 calories; 0 protein; 13 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 0 fat; 0 cholesterol; 11 grams sugar; 2 mg. sodium.
Cucumber watermelon mojito
Total time: 5 minutes
Note: Adapted by Ryan Magarian from a drink developed for Katsuya. Make a simple syrup by boiling granulated sugar in an equal amount of water until the sugar dissolves; allow to cool.
4 triangles seedless watermelon, about 3 inches high and 1 inch thick, divided
7 cucumber slices, divided (6 of them seeded, 1 for garnish)
3 large sprigs mint, divided
1 1/2 ounces soju
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
3/4ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce ginger ale
1. In a shaker, add 3 watermelon triangles, 6 slices of cucumber, 2 sprigs of mint, the lime juice and the syrup. Hand press with a muddler.
2. Add the soju and fill the shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 6 seconds.
3. Strain over fresh ice into a tall glass and top with the ginger ale.
4. Place a watermelon triangle and a cucumber slice on a toothpick and place in glass for garnish along with a sprig of mint.
Each serving: 97 calories; 0 protein; 13 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 0 fat; 0 saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 2 mg. sodium.
Candied kumquat mojito
Total time: 20 minutes, plus macerating time
Note: From Peter Birmingham at Norman's, where the drink is made with Ron Matusalem Platino rum. Birmingham also recommends Bacardi Silver or Cruzan Estate Light rum. You'll have enough simple syrup and candied kumquats for up to 12 drinks.
1 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
12 kumquats, whole
1 stalk lemongrass, ends trimmed and two outer layers removed, slightly smashed with the side of a chef's knife
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
1. Add the boiling water to the sugar. Stir to mix and dissolve the sugar, cool.
2. Bring a pot of water to boil. Blanch the kumquats for 1 minute, drain.
3. Place the sugar water, lemongrass and orange blossom water in a bowl. Add the kumquats, placing a small plate on top to submerge the kumquats. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up until 3 weeks.
3/4 cup boiling water
3/4 cup sugar
Add the boiling water to the sugar. Stir to mix and dissolve the sugar. Cool.
6 mint leaves
3/4 ounce (5 teaspoons) simple syrup, divided
1 candied kumquat
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 ounces rum
1 tablespoon pineapple juice
1 wedge lime
Splash club soda
1. In a double old-fashioned glass, muddle the mint with one-fourth ounce (two teaspoons) simple syrup. Add the candied kumquat and muddle. Add ice to glass.
2. In a cocktail shaker, mix together the lemon and lime juices, the remaining one-half ounce (about 3 teaspoons) simple syrup, the rum and pineapple juice. Shake well. Pour into the glass, add the wedge of lime and splash of club soda.
Hot banana buttered rum
Hot banana buttered rum
15 minutes, plus chilling time. Serves 1
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/3 ripe banana, well-mashed
1/4 cup (2 ounces) brown sugar
Scant ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Small pinch grated nutmeg
Small pinch ground cloves
Very small pinch grated star anise
1/4 Fuji apple, finely grated
In the bowl of a food processor or mixer, combine the butter, banana, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, star anise and apple, blending until smooth. Place the mixture in plastic wrap and roll into a log. Refrigerate until firm. The log makes enough for more than one cocktail, and it will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week.
HOT BANANA BUTTERED RUM
Prepared banana butter log
2 ounces dark rum, preferably Diplomático
Star anise, for garnish
Cut a half-inch piece of the butter log and place into a coffee mug. Add the rum and fill the remainder of the mug with boiling water. Garnish with star anise.
Calories 263, protein 0 grams, carbohydrates 9 grams, fiber 0 grams, fat 12 grams, saturated fat 7 grams, cholesterol 31 mg, sugar 8 grams