In March, we’ll have our big cocktail feature in SD Mag. You might be surprised at what the biggest trend in cocktails is. Or you’re not surprised. Maybe you’re the kind of jet-setter who owns wood carvings. Related to this trend, the biggest spirit trend of 2016 is looking to be rum. Yes, one of the original liquors that helped build America, according to A History of the World in 6 Glasses.
And, sure, it’ll be poured into a myriad of fruity fruit juices, fresh squeezed with falernum and all kinds of tropical spices, as per mandated by rum lore. But it’s also going to become the new bourbon—sipped neat, or at least in a spirit-forward cocktail in the style of Manhattans or Old Fashioneds.
Can’t wait to see our feature? Start now with the Rum Old Fashioned at Kettner Exchange.
“We aged mezcal in one of our barrels behind the bar, just to coat the barrel,” says bar manager Steven Tuttle. “After it’s coated, we put a Chet Baker rum drink in there. Most people have never had anything like it. Most people aren’t drinking too much rum in general right now. But bourbon drinkers want to explore rums to try something different.”
This Rum Old Fashioned is Hamilton’s 86 rum, Demerara Rum (produced in Guyana near the Demerara River with top-notch sugarcane), Hamilton’s sweet vermouth, mole bitters and then finished with honey. The mole bitters gives it a Hawaiian Punch-red hue, and a garnish of grapefruit peel gives it a nice acidity on the nose.
“Most rum drinks are going to have that sweet flavor profile,” says Tuttle. “But a little bit of the smoke from the mezcal helps balance it out.”
Rum is coming. Prepare for it.