THE AUTUMN IS A RIPE MOMENT TO DRINK SPICED RUM
BUT WHAT IS SPICED RUM AND HOW DO WE DRINK IT?
Rosemullion Distillery’s Spiced Rum
Here on the Helford estuary in Cornwall, spiced rum is as synonymous with Cornish autumns as afternoon walks, muddy wellies by the door and lighting the fire as the nights draw in. We pay a lot of care and attention to ensuring our spiced rum is something really special, which is why the World Rum Awards 2020 declared Rosemullion Spiced Rum a World Rum Awards 2020 Style Winner. They said:
“Nose of heavy citrus zest and oils, cloves, ginger and subtle spice. Complex start on the palate, with the orange chocolate finish dominant. Warming, spicy, interesting, and balanced.”
Recently we were asked by a friend what exactly is in spiced rum? So we thought we’d write this month’s blog to explain, because in our experience the more our customers know about the small-batch products we make, the more they can enjoy them when they drink Rosemullion Distillery products.
So What Is Spiced Rum?
When sugar cane is turned into white sugar of the one main waste-streams from the process is molasses – and as molasses contains enough sugar to attract yeast it can be fermented and distilled into rum, which is then aged in oak barrels. It is only after the aging process that you add the spice. (N.B: Rum should only be made from waste by-products from sugar production…. molasses or cane syrup).
The term ‘spiced rum’ can be a bit misleading as any rum that a distiller has added natural flavouring to – like herbs and spices – is a spiced rum. But spiced rum doesn’t necessarily have to be ‘spicey’: additions can come from a variety of roots and bark, seeds, roots, leaves and fruits. Examples include orange peel, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, cassia, nutmeg, cardamom, pepper and – a common favourite – star anise.
There are no specific groupings or specific amounts of spices and fruits that make up recognised spiced rum recipes: no matter whether you’re making it in the West Indies, Britain, America, Australia or your own Cornish back yard like us, it’s up to the distiller’s discerning palette to make the taste appeal to their drinking audience. Needless to say, that achieving the delicate balance that wins world-wide awards, together with a loyal customer base, is one of the favourite parts of any distiller’s process, including all of us here at Rosemullion Distillery.
Why Are Spices Associated With Autumn?
Spices were first brought to Europe during the Middle Ages when winters were so cold that even London’s mighty River Thames iced over, and although it would have been mainly the wealthy who enjoyed a majority of the spices, the warming properties of all these exotic new flavours meant that they were also incorporated into foods and drinks for the working man. As they discovered back then spices like cloves, ginger, pepper, cardamom and cinnamon go beautifully with autumn produce – such as apple, pumpkin and rhubarb – and with preserved fruits – like figs, apricots and raisins – and also with hazelnuts, almonds, chestnuts and walnuts. Spices also boost our immunity and energy levels and so, given how expensive they were, many of them were only used during times of celebration and thanks to traditions it means we can’t help but associate them with feasting and Christmas.
So How Do We Achieve Those Autumnal Flavours?
At Rosemullion we make three of the autumnal colour rums to sip neat, or drink with mixers. For those with a sweeter palate comes our honey rum gently flavoured with local honey and botanicals. Then the spiced rumfor that warmth that emanates from spices culminating in that warming orange finish. And for the more tropically inclined who enjoy a fruity, citrusy rum with floral top notes, we make a gold rum. It’s lighter than the dark rums, and more complex but delicate than the spiced. The gold rum makes a perfect sipping rum that could perhaps be regarded as the ‘beginner rum-drinker’s choice’.
What to Mix With Them?
Which mixer you use is up to each drinker’s personal taste, but we recommend experimenting with the best quality mixers you can find (which can also be homemade of course) including, in order of our preferences:
Serve Your Spiced Rum Beautifully
There’s something wonderful and ritualistic about the preparation of drinks, and for us presentation goes a long way to helping make something taste fantastic… so just as you might put thought and care into preparing the drink itself, do also think about the glasses you choose to drink it from. Are they good to hold, squeaky clean and ideally a little chilled?
And consider the quality of the ice that you put in there. If you have enjoyed beautifully made cocktails in a cocktail bar, then you will already know how distinctly more pleasurable it is to have clear ice in your glass than the cloudy ice-cubes we all tend to have at home. Also don’t forget that garnish – like a piece of Cinnamon stick, or curled orange peel – adds that extra dash of class.
So wherever you are in the country, don’t let your heart sink that the nights are drawing in… see it as a guilt-free opportunity to experiment with making the very best Rosemullion Spiced Rum cocktail in the world…
COMPETITION ANNOUNCEMENT: please do write in with your suggestions and findings – and a photograph of the results. We want to know what beautiful drinks and cocktails you clever and creative drinkers have produced. Our team will review entries by 1st December 2022 and the winner will receive a bottle of Rosemullion Distillery Spiced Rum. If you want to enter please:
1) title the email ‘Spiced Rum Competition
2) send a list of ingredients
3) a brief description of the drink
4) a photograph. PLEASE NOTE CAREFULLY: that by sending in a photograph of their drink entrants automatically give their consent for the photograph of their drink to be used on our Rosemullion Distillery social media feeds and website.
Thanks all and we look forward to seeing the results.
The Rosemullion Distillery Team
If you would like to stock any of our products, please give us a call on 01326 702202.
© 2020 Rosemullion Distillery | Site by: Ashley Hayward Studio
Photography courtesy of Magda Jakubik & Lizzie Melvin