~ by Jenny Benzie, Advanced Sommelier + Certified Wine Educator, Proprietress of Épernay Wine & Spirits ~
Summer is in full swing and so are the cocktail soirées. Whether you are meeting up with friends who have just arrived on island, après les plage with the family, or cocktails and sunset before dinner, there is no lack of excuses to partake and enjoy a refreshing cocktail concoction. Since it is summer and the sun happens to be out, no better time to also bring the rum out!
Rum is synonymous with island living. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be an island full of palm trees in order to take advantage of the benefits of rum drinking, but an island with a culture of sun, sand, surf, and sometimes a little sailing, fishing, or other watersports.
Mount Gay is a craft rum with a generationslong history dating back to the 1700s, making it the oldest existing rum brand in the world. It is also closely associated with sailing and a preference among sailors.
While you may not be an avid sailor (or even like being on a boat), you can enjoy the pleasures of this rum after the beach at Fifty-Six Union Restaurant in their lovely garden setting. Aptly named the Mount Gay Cocktail, this simple, easydrinking libation consists of Mount Gay rum and coconut water, served on the rocks with a splash of pineapple juice and a lime wedge. Just hum a Jimmy Buffett tune for some added ambiance and you will feel like you are in the Caribbean instead of New England. For another uncomplicated and well-known rum drink, there are numerous variations to the traditional ‘Dark ‘N Stormy.’ Where dark refers to dark rum, most commonly Gosling’s Black Seal Rum from Bermuda, the stormy is in reference to ginger beer, a naturally sweetened, carbonated, non-alcoholic beverage, served over ice and garnished with a lime wedge. A mixologist twist to this theme can be found at The Seagrille by the name of (using your best Southie accent) “dACK + Stormy.” This recipe calls for Old Monk Rum, an Indian Rum that is aged for a minimum of eight years and has a distinct vanilla flavor, which is mixed with Tuck’s delicious, not so sweet House-made Ginger Beer and fresh lime. Please keep in mind that this drink can be consumed rain or shine.
After a long weekend on Nantucket and while you are at the airport but not quite ready to leave this magical paradise, take advantage of one last rum drink to round out your island vacation. Staying with the Caribbean theme with rums from the Leeward Islands, Crosswinds Restaurant offers a refreshing rum drink to enjoy before your safe travels back to America. Take time to stop and smell the coconuts with a Crosswinds Cooler. This liquid refreshment is a blend of tropical fruit juices and the creamy, smooth Cruzan coconut rum, which hails from St. Croix, in the US Virgin Islands. Cruzan Rum claims the distinction of “the most honored rum distillery in the world” and has been in operation for more than 250 years.
No matter where your island hopping and rum sampling adventures take you, keep in mind this is just a beginning collection of favorite rum-based drinks. Stay tuned to for learning more about a selection of rums that are too good to be mixed and perfect for sipping on their own.