My love affair with rum takes me on a wonderful journey, from the comfort of a leather armchair on a rainy day. It erases the greyness, draws sugar canes and palm trees in my living room, brings the temperature up by a few degrees instantly. Rum, you see, is cheerful drink. I had already discovered wonderful notes from the Caribbean (Cuba, Barbados) but today’s adventure would take me to Jamaica: I had just poured myself a glass of Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Rare Blend.
It looked darker than expected but swirling it brought beautiful hints of red and copper. Appleton is one of the oldest rum brands on the market, one of the few ones claiming its right to a terroir too: the Cockpit Country in Nassau Valley giving this mysterious spirit its rich complexity. I breathe it in: a little oak and toastiness, caramelized oranges, the memory of traditional almond macarons taken out of the oven. I wish I could reverse the process and make a cake version of this… A sip. The spices hit me first – the Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Rare Blend is aged 12 years in an oak barrel, after all. Coconut sugar then comes to mind. Candied citrus peels lingers a little longer. It’s smooth, bold, sophisticated.
Being a cocktail lover, I could not resist experimenting. A drizzle of tangerine juice, a little lime too. A spoonful of homemade rhubarb jam, both adding a little sweetness and playing with the rum’s spices. A generous dash of Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Rare Blend. Perfect: you could easily drink this all night. I wonder how this would fare as hot Christmassy drink. After all, winter is around the corner and we will soon be in need of liquid sunshine. Make it this one, my friends!