An ode to sailors and their affection for rum. Photo by my iPhone.

An ode to sailors and their affection for rum. Photo by my iPhone.

As Key West race week winds down, and the pork is slow cooking in the oven for my favorite East Carolina barbecue as the centerpiece for the last of our nine nights here, I’m suggesting a good sipping rum in honor of the sailors I cook for, rum being the ubiquitous choice amongst the crew.

And also because we, or I anyway, rarely think of drinking a good rum with ice. Jeff Haase, above, a carpenter and project manager not far from me in Ohio, who crewed on the lovely little J70, insisted I try his favorite rum, Pyrat. He’s something of a pirate spirit, always good company, and I agreed and found it to be a great pleasure. This rum has more complexity and depth than I rarely think of rum having. Rum is easily varied with mixers—with tonic, with Coke, with ginger beer—but this one sipped is deeply caramel-tasting with lighter vanilla notes.

I was sent a bottle of Brugal 1888, an aged rum with equal and different complexities and spice notes.

So today, in honor of sailors, and with a busy cooking afternoon to get to, I suggest a good rum cocktail.

The problem here of course is the just-one part.

Why do I believe them, after dinner with the kitchen magically cleaned? “Come on, Michael. Duval Street. Just one.”

Race results just in! Huge congratulations to the J111 Spaceman Spiff!!! They won it! Going be a happy night!


Rum on the Rocks

  • 2 ounces Pyrat, Brugal 1888, or other good rum
  • Ice
    1. Combine in a lowball. If you’re able, enjoy balmy breezes. If you’re in the frigid Midwest, it warms the insides just as well.


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© 2014 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2014 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.


9 Wonderful responses to “Friday Cocktail Hour: Rum on the Rocks”

  • Jan

    We were just having a neat rum a bit earlier this evening…I’ve been a sailor for over 20 years and sampled many from up and down the Caribbean islands. The most remarkable sipping rum I’ve found is a bit hard to come by, but if you come across Venezuela’s Pampero Aniversario rum, don’t miss it! By the way, race week here in Grenada starts in a week!

  • Allen

    I concur, the Venezuela Ron Pampero and Diplomatico are my favorites too, unless you can find Guatemalan Zyan – now it’s from Trinidad and too much vanilla.
    Pyrat was my first taste of good rum too, it’s so much better than the carburetor cleaner that you mix with coke, nasty rum = headache.
    Cheers, happy Friday all.

  • Allen

    For next Fridays cocktail, pre Super Bowl, might I suggest a big fat doobie, in honor of the two states that legalized pot.
    Go hawks!

  • Nick

    I keep coming back to Ron Zacapa. Smooth with just the right amount of sweetness and not overly spicy. Rum,ice,repeat.

  • Ewan Deane

    I see two spaceman spiffs. One in the J111 class (congrats) and the other J70 class. The Rhulman’s like their J boats I see. The J70 is a killer class and mid fleet is a good result too.
    I too sail and cook. I am competing in the Victoria to Maui race this summer. If you wanted to do a post on foods that freeze and pack well for a long distance race I would be very appreciative.

  • mike

    there is that point in time when the ice has melted just exactly enough…..