Archives for category: Rum


We’ve been known to have large parties a few times a year.  The sound of dozens of liquor bottles hitting the recycling is our way of letting the neighbors know what they missed.  In other words, we go through a lot of booze when we entertain, and yep, it does get expensive.

We know that buying liquor for our house can be a bit intimidating, so if you’d like to bring a bottle next time you visit, here’s a quick guide to stuff we’ll always appreciate a bunch.  It’s also a pretty good cheat sheet for reliably good booze to bring anywhere.  Most of these should be too difficult to find locally.

Around $20:

In the $20-40 Range:

In the $40-60 Range:

Impractically Expensive Shit:

We’re grateful for anything you want to bring, of course!  If you want to be creative and pick up something not on this list, here are some types of liquor we generally avoid – they just don’t get used, and we don’t mix with them:

  • Vodka
  • Flavored vodka
  • Flavored anything, really
  • Canadian whiskey
  • Irish whiskey

Now back to your regularly scheduled booze news.


There’s nothing that says New Year’s Eve like conspicuous consumption.  You can assume I mean booze, because tuberculosis is generally not an invited guest to most holiday celebrations.  Pro tip: if I walk into your bar and ask you to serve me whatever you’ve been working on, there’s a fair chance I will rip it off pay homage to it months later on this page.  Oh hi, Connor from Rumba!

(Ok, this is actually a riff on what he served, but still.)

Hard Day’s Night

Hard Day's Night

3 oz rhum agricole (I used La Favorite Coeur de Rhum – oh, you fancy)
.5 oz agave syrup
Four dashes peach bitters (I used Bitters, Old Men Peach Basil bitters, because yeah, I fancy)
Absinthe wash

For the agave syrup, grab a bottle of light agave from your local hippie mart and dilute it with two parts syrup and one part water.  Or just use simple syrup if you want to live dangerously.  Won’t be as good, but hey. Booze.

Combine the rum, agave, and bitters in a Yarai mixing glass, or a pint glass if you forgot where you left your fancypants.  Add ice and stir, then strain into a rocks glass with an absinthe wash.  Cut a circle of orange peel, heat it, and flame it over the glass.  Throw the peel into the drink with abandon, as if it were a New Year’s resolution on January 3rd.  Or January 2nd, if we’re going to be real here.

Did you notice that this is basically a rum Sazerac?  You did?  Then why aren’t you reading a better blog?

Worth noting:  rum != rhum agricole.  You can’t substitute regular rum for this.  (Well, ok, you can, because hey, booze – but it is nowhere near the same drink.)  Rhum agricole is kind of the mezcal of rum.

Happy new year, everyone!  Baby Got Sauce shall return in earnest in 2014.

Best wrestling valet name EVAR.  Too bad she never teamed up with Edge when he was Sexton Hardcastle.  Maybe they could have gone up against Hugh G. Rection.  So to speak.  Or perhaps he would have been too busy with the West Hollywood Blondes.

Oh, we were talking about booze, weren’t we?


We went to Canlis a few weeks ago for a celebration.  Their cocktails made me feel like the rank amateur that I am.  One of them employed Coco Lopez, an ingredient I hadn’t heard mentioned in probably 20  years.  It’s a sickly sweet coconut cream mixture that I always associated with froofy cocktails enjoyed by middle-aged people in the 1970s.  But if Canlis can use it, fuck it, I’m getting out the disco boots.

Vigorously shake the top rope.  Watch your opponent fall, scissor the rope, and crotch-shot himself.  Snap your latex bra in his face and sip on this.

Kimona Wanaleia

2 oz aged rum (I used Palmera, which we got in Aruba)
.75 oz New Deal ginger liqueur
.5 oz lime
.25 oz Coco Lopez cream of coconut

Open all the bottles with your teeth.  Grab a water bottle, slurp a big mouthful, then lurch backwards and spray it into the air to clean your palate.  Or don’t.  Throw everything in a shaker with ice, hard shake, then strain into a coupe.  Or a DD cup.  Whatever the moment calls for.  Garnish with a shiso leaf, because you have one.

You could probably use Canton ginger liqueur with this, but check out the New Deal if you can.  It’s got a FAR stronger ginger bite to it.

I don’t think I could outdo Kimona Wanaleia for excellence in ring names.  But if I’m ever dumb enough to walk into a wrestling ring or skate into a derby match, just call me Tequila Mockingbird.

Privatization of liquor in Washington state has so far meant driving all around town looking for the crap you could once find at the evil gub’mint liquor store in Sodo.  I’m sooooo glad the government is out of the liquor business in the state now.  It’s totally worth paying 20%+ more per in state tax per bottle, watching my fave cocktail bars jack up their prices accordingly, and having to go to Portland to find a decent selection in one place.  Because, you know.  Gub’mint bad.

Hmm, maybe I should hold off on putting the bitters in my next drink.  I’m apparently bitter enough.

Anyway, my standards of what’s worth blogging about are getting higher, so the posts are getting less frequent.  But I have a few decent ones in the queue.  The latest favorite:

Gregory’s Ruin

2 oz Cruzan white rum
.5 oz Dolin dry vermouth
.5 oz Cocchi di Torino
.5 oz Amaro del Capo

Think about where you might be able to get del Capo Amaro in Washington.  Snort derisively.  Pull out that bottle that magically appeared at your doorstep, or figure out something to sub.  Torani Amer wouldn’t be bad, or maybe a quarter-ounce of Maria al Monte.  Maybe Nardini?  Hell, it doesn’t matter.  You have the good stuff.  (Insert evil laugh.)

Stir everything with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.  Garnish with a ridiculously long orange twist, making sure to zest the orange over the drink a bit for some nice oil on the top.  Serve several to Gregory, who proclaims that these will be his ruin.

Make a note of what to get Gregory for Christmas.

…goes down the drain.

A friend graciously donated some fine hooch from Sierra Leone to the cause of Baby Got Sauce, because, y’know, science demands.  You can tell that it’s quality stuff, because the plastic blister packs are scored for easy tearing.

I’m pretty sure Sonja from Mortal Kombat did not plan on being the spokesmodel for Sierra Leone pineapple spirit liquor.  Well, I guess she did have a really cool move involving punching guys in the nuts.   Fuck, I played the hell out of her.  That was the best way to piss off guys who thought they could beat me and take over the machine with no sweat.  Wait, does that mean I’m old?  Shit.

So what does one do with this crap?  For fuck’s sake, don’t drink it.

Unpalatable Swill

One packet Double Punch pineapple spirit
1 oz Cruzan white rum
1 oz orange juice

Survey your liquor cabinet and look for the cheapest shit you have.  Decide that the bottle of Cruzan white rum that you’ve had for ages and that ran about $18 is, although perfectly respectable, the sluttiest liquor you have that will do the job.  Look at the five pound bag of oranges you got for $5 from Cash and Carry.  Come to the conclusion that one orange is worth sacrificing for science.  Pour all this crap into a shaker.  Think about icing it.  Don’t even bother.  Sample it.  Wait.  Don’t do that.  I did it for you.  Trust me.  Don’t do it.  Pour it all into a really pretty glass and add a Luxardo cherry with some syrup, because that may fool your enemies into consuming it.  Plus, Luxardo cherries are crap.  Mmm mmm mmm.  Doesn’t that look good?  Give it to your husband, with the disclaimer of “Ew, this is foul, taste it.”  Watch him verify your conclusion.  Think about removing your nail polish with it.  Take a picture of it for posterity, toss it down the drain, and make yourself something – anything – else.

For what it’s worth, anything else was:

2 oz Sazerac rye
.25 oz amaretto
.5 oz Amaro Meletti
.5 oz Cocchi di Torino sweet vermouth

So remember, kids – go to Sierra Leone for the… well, I don’t know.  But not for the booze.  And say hi to Sonja for me.


If Tom Jones and Jack White can cover Howlin’ Wolf, why can’t I mix gin and rum?  I’m GONNA.  You can’t stop me.

White Lily

1 oz white rum
1 oz Hendrick’s gin
1 oz Cointreau

Stir the gin, rum, and Cointreau with ice.  Wash a cocktail glass with absinthe, and strain.  Think about how Tom Jones makes Wayne Newton look like the front man for a cheap bar mitzvah band.  Belt out some “What’s New Pussycat”.  Leave your hat on.  Think about what would happen if Tom Jones got together with Tom Waits.  Hear yourself saying “Whoa.”

This isn’t my creation.  I don’t remember where we got it – it goes back a ways.  It was one of our first cocktail adventures.  If you have a scantily stocked bar, it’s a fine one to start with, if you’re fond of the herbal notes of Hendrick’s.  The absinthe really ties it together, but you could leave it out in a pinch.  Wait until you can afford a decent bottle of the stuff – cheap absinthe will make you sad in the pants.  And the stomach.

Ok.  I’m in a better mood now.

Rum Huzzah

1.75 oz Diplomatico rum
.75 oz Calvados
.5 oz Bonal
.25 oz Pimento Dram

Stir it all with ice and strain it into a cute little glass.  Garnish with a starfruit slice if you happened to buy a starfruit at lunch at Whole Foods for no apparent reason.  Otherwise, a brandied cherry would do nicely.  Wonder what the fuck Bonal is.  Make up a story about it being distilled from rare camel sweat and disgust your friends.  All the more Rum Huzzah for you.

Huzzah for Wednesdays!

This past week has been crappier than a single outhouse at a statewide chili cookout.  At least I got to make a new drink.  The name describes how I’ve been feeling for a few days, if you subtract the ‘charmingly’.

Charmingly Offensive

2 oz Appleton Estate rum
.5 oz Aquavit
.5 oz Campari
.5 oz St Germain

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe.  Or a cocktail glass.  Or whatever the really pretty thing in the picture is.  Fuck it.  Whatever gets it into your mouth faster.  Carve out an orange twist over the drink to get some of the oil in there.  Spiral it around like you care and drop it in.  Kick a puppy.

It’s bitter.  It’s weird.  It’s sitting on top of a bear.  Two of these are describe me at the moment.  And I don’t  have a bear, or it would be three.

Happy national margarita day.

Hello, holiday spirit.  Hello, finding innovative ways to get fat.  Let’s just get right down to it and start with the most efficient blubber generator known to humankind.

Egg Nog with Rum Caviar

What wacky new recipe did I invent for this?  Um.  I’m not even going to pretend I can do better than this one from Alton Brown.  It’s quick to make, too.  If you’re going to drink any of it, have someone else make it.  You don’t want to know what goes into it.

Now about this rum caviar.  A friend pointed me at this site, which introduced me to the concept.  And bless the person who thought of this.  It’s like boozy, succulent bubble tea.  Unfortunately, following the instructions on the site explicitly will render you some sugary, alcoholic goo floating in the bottom of a tumbler-full of vegetable oil.  So if you’re going to try this, here are a few suggested modifications:

  • Add a lot more agar agar than they call for.  Like ten times more.  Seriously.  I’m still working on exactly how much – overshot it a little this time – but too much is better than not enough in this case.
  • Put the tall glass of vegetable oil in an ice bath while you eyedropper the rum into it.  Otherwise, the oil is going to heat up too quickly, and, well… goo.
  • Get someone else to do this for you.  Bribe them.  Whatever it takes.  This is a serious pain in the ass.  But hey.  Thanksgiving.

The little glass of eggnog with rum caviar pictured here was almost worth all the effort.  But then again, I got someone else to do most of the caviar work.  Thanks, honey!  And happy Thanksgiving, all.


Floating near the top of our priority list whenever we’re out of state is a pilgrimage to the local booze shop.  Yes, we’re those people.  Cut  us a little slack.  Until recently, the liquor selection in Washington State was about as good as the condom selection at the Quickie Mart kitty-corner from the Vatican.  Balashi beer was the big drink among the Aruba locals.  But you can’t make piña coladas with that, can you?

Behold, the rum of Aruba:  Rum Palmera.

The price on it is in Aruban florins.  It translated to maybe $14.  We stocked up.  It’s a helluva good rum.  Only 70 proof, so it has lots of flavor, with not so much heat.  Vanilla nose, sweet spice notes, and a long sugar cane finish.  I think the only way you can get it is to go to Aruba, so we’ll be conserving this stuff.

We stayed at the Divi Phoenix, which I highly recommend.  Among the many things to love about the place are the full kitchens in each suite.  Kitchens.  With blenders.  Oh yeah.  Every day was a two-piña colada minimum.  We went through about a fifth of Palmera.

Ever since we got back, I’ve been trying to re-create the yum of those vacation-soaked tropical waist-wideners.  But the Palmera, alas, is now just for sipping, and the pineapple juice and coconut available here are just not the same.  After many fails, I submit to you this variation:

Perfect Piña Colada

3 oz amber rum (I used Rhum JM, but any good medium-bodied amber should do)
1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
three tablespoons coconut cream
.75 oz simple syrup
three dashes orgeat (I like Trader Tiki’s)

Combine everything in a blender.  Scoop in about two and a half times as much ice as liquid.  Frappe the hell out of it.  Pour it in a frosty rocks glass.  Garnish with two brandied cherries and a pineapple leaf, if you like the look in the picture.  Realize that this makes enough for two people.  Hide the remainder in the fridge.  Hope no one finds it before you’re finished with your first one.

The quality of the ingredients is very important here.  Don’t make the mistake of buying coconut milk.  You need coconut cream.  Decent Asian grocery stores will have it.  And be sure to find unsweetened pineapple juice.  Knudsen’s does a decent one.  That Dole crap will just have you drinking syrup.  You can leave out the orgeat if you like, but I’m finding that it really brings everything together.

The first person to make a comment that alludes to the Piña Colada Song gets it in the face.