Calabash Coast: Top 5 Classic Rums
With the sale of rum in the UK now outstripping those of gin and vodka, we select five of our family's favourites.
Back in the day as a child, I remember my parents' house parties, Saturday night was da night! The house was cleaned from top to bottom. My parents were all dressed up. Huge speaker boxes arriving in the evening lined up against wall. Wires sprawled across the floor in all directions and over an hour of screeching amplifiers being tested while the bass boomed around the house, and the entire street. Then came the smell of seasoned meats piled high arriving in large shiny silver pots covered over with foil, followed by saucepans of steaming coconut rice and peas and warnings from my Mother “Move, don’t touch anyting', it's hot nah man.”
On a make shift fold up table there was an array or spirits from around the world alongside lots of fizzy drinks. As I child, I curled up under this table beneath the floral plastic cover, admiring the variety of preservative-coloured fizzy drinks above me, curiously smelling and occasionally sipping the abandoned plastic cups above me.
Looking back now, I know this probably influenced my love today of socialising with friends enjoying a cocktail or two with rums from around the world. A great rum is an undeniable pleasure that transports you to memories of good times.
Take a look at Calabash Coast Top 5 classics rums. Tried and tested and how I discovered them.
1.Wray & Nephew Overproof White Rum – The Original Don Dadda!! (Jamaican)
Image Source: @WrayandnephewUK
I still have the bottle of Wray & Nephew that I brought at Kingston airport, on which I didn’t know at the time was to be my last trip to Jamaica with my father who passed away some years later. Packaged up in a cardboard branded box, I headed home feeling that I was carrying a piece of Jamaica with me, like gold in my hand. The real McCoy as the say.
This rum is the original liquor of the Jamaican people. More than just a rum, it is an intrinsic part of Jamaican culture, tradition and everyday living, and in the UK it represents the proud, bold spirit of the people and their heritage. With notes of citrus, pear pineapple and a long and spicy finish. Enjoy mixed with coconut water, a can of Ting or use as the essential base spirit for a Rum Punch.
2.Appleton Estate Signature Blend Rum (Jamaican)
This is one of my Mums’ favourite rums. It’s small curvaceous bottle with dark brown liquid, to me it looks like a West Indian women’s hips. extremely desirable.
The signature spirit combines the best rare golden rums. The constituent parts are carefully blended before being aged in the tropics for a minimum of twelve years. It is this process which lends the drink It is rich, mahogany colour, and It is excellent, robust flavour profile.
This is a rum which offers an ever-shifting taste experience. There are notes of deep oak and fruit mingled alongside molasses, vanilla and coffee and is used in high quality cocktails.
3.EL Dorado Dark Rum - (A Guyanese staple)
Image source @eldoradorums
I recall this particular rum having pride of place in my parent's cabinet still in the presentation box. This rum was typically gifted to them as a present and reserved only for the very special guests.
El Dorado 12 years is a blend of traditional rums, distilled in the famous Enmore, Diamond and Port Mourant stills by the company Demerara Distillers Limited. The rum is aged in barrels that previously stored Bourbon. With notes of spices, honey, tropical fruit and brown sugar. In the mouth it is rich and marked by a light tannin, fruit and spices.
4.Mount Gay Eclipse - (Bajan Rum)
Image Source @mountgay rum
This classic Rum always reminds me of great times spent in Barbados drinking cocktails with a piece of spicy fry fish in hand.
It distilled from molasses using both column and pot still rums. These two different distillates are blended and then aged in ex-bourbon barrels. A fruity, floral rum with aromas of banana, apricot, vanilla and honeysuckle on the nose. The palate offers notes of toasted oak, juicy fruit and soft smoke that linger into the finish.
5.Chairman’s Reserved Spiced Rum - (St Lucia)
I tried this rum for the first time at a beach party on holiday in St Lucia. As the sunset and the cool evening breeze from the tide came in, I felt cosy and warm with my rum cocktail in hand.
Chairman's Reserve Spiced begins with a handcrafted blend of aged rums.This rum is used to steep Caribbean fruits, bark and spices and contains cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, clove, bitter orange and other natural ingredients to give a glorious and authentic Saint Lucian Spiced Rum experience. Whether it’s sipping any of these rums neat or mixed in your favourite cocktail. These rums are sure to spice up any evening whether alone or shared with friends.
How many have you tried? What’s your favourite?