Frozen Rum Drinks – Chill out, cool down, drink up.  It’s the patriotic thing to do.

Consider it your patriotic duty, a salute to the Founding Fathers of our nation, to sip a little rum on the Fourth of July. Rum, after all, was this country’s most popular distilled spirit in the 1700s. It’s virtually the spirit upon which this country was founded.

Although our 18th-century forefathers downed lots of rum, they didn’t have the luxury of a steady supply of ice or a sturdy blender, the two essentials for making frozen drinks. It took the introduction of the commercial electric blender in the 1930s to popularize the concept. No less a rum enthusiast than Ernest Hemingway—the personification of macho and independence of mind—loved his frozen daiquiris at El Floridita, a bar in Havana. So what better way to celebrate the birth of the nation than by making fabulous frozen rum drinks?

Matching and Making
When making frozen rum drinks, look for white rums with enough character to cut through the tart flavors of a daiquiri, without the peppery hotness found in lesser brands. White rums such as Appleton White, Rhum Barbancourt Traditional and Brugal White Label are good choices. Lush amber rums also have a place in the blender, but it’s imperative to pick brands that retain their wood-aged character. Bacardi 8-year-old, Appleton Estate VX, Mount Gay Eclipse, Rhum Barbancourt 8-year-old and Flor de Caña Centenario 12-year-old rums all work very well in frozen drinks, and both the two- and three-star Ron del Barrilito rums from Puerto Rico fit this category, too.

As for dark rums, Myers’s Original and Gosling’s Black Seal both have the guts to stand up to ice in a blender. If you want to add a little spice to your drinks, try the Captain Morgan Original bottling, but save their Private Stock for regular cocktails and mixed drinks—its depth and subtlety can get lost amid the fruit juices and liqueurs.

The many flavored rums available today make it easy to create frozen rum drinks to suit your taste buds—make a daiquiri with banana-flavored rum, for instance, and you have a banana daiquiri. Bacardi offers coconut, vanilla and raspberry rums; Cruzan has pineapple, coconut, orange, banana, vanilla and citrus; and Whaler’s, fairly new to the scene and catching on fast, offers vanilla, banana, coconut, pineapple and spiced rums.

Following are recipes that fully exploit the flavors of various rums and the fruit juices and liqueurs that complement them. Some of these recipes are classics—the rum runner and the piña colada certainly, and we also present a frozen version of Papa Hemingway’s preferred daiquiri. Others are what we call new classics, created by bartenders, and even chefs, who have taken a classic concept to new heights by freezing it. Daniel Boulud’s frozen mojito and the Rumarita—a rum-based frozen variation of the margarita—fit this bill.
Now’s the time to make some frozen delights to cool your fevered brow, and to celebrate America’s independence as well.

Happy Fourth.

The Hemingway Daiquiri
The potent daiquiris that Ernest Hemingway sipped at La Floridita bar in Havana differ from the original daiquiri in a couple of ways. La Floridita’s recipe calls for grapefruit juice and Maraschino liqueur, as well as the traditional lime juice. Since he liked his drinks to be on the strong side, this version contains a double shot of rum. The bartenders at La Floridita soon took to calling Hemingway “Papa Dobles” (Father Doubles), because of his fondness for these strong potions.

3 ounces Appleton White Rum
1½ ounces fresh lime juice
1½ ounces fresh grapefruit juice
1 ounce Maraschino liqueur
Blend with ice until smooth and serve in a tall Collins glass.

Daniel’s Mojito
The mojito, a serious mix of rum, mint and limes, is one of today’s most popular and most refreshing drinks, so why not serve it frozen? Chef Daniel Boulud, owner of Daniel, one of Manhattan’s most highly acclaimed French restaurants, certainly agrees. As you might expect from such a master of French cuisine, Boulud’s recipe isn’t as simple as pouring ingredients into a blender and pushing a button, but the result is worth it. This drink, created for his upcoming book, Daniel’s Dish (Filipacchi, 2004), is refreshingly tart and teases the palate with a variety of textures and flavors.

½ cup sugar
½ cup water
½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 bunch mint, leaves only
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon light rum
1½ two-gram gelatin sheets

In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil, while stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool.Stir together ½ cup of the sugar syrup and lime juice. Pour the liquid into a loaf pan and place in the freezer. Stir occasionally with a fork, until the liquid is frozen and granular.In a small pot of boiling water, blanch the mint leaves until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the leaves and cool them in ice water. Drain again and squeeze the leaves to remove excess water.Place the blanched mint leaves, rum and remaining sugar syrup in the blender and purée until smooth.

Soften the gelatin sheets in a small bowl of cold water. Lift the gelatin out of the water and squeeze it gently to remove the excess moisture. In a small saucepan, warm together the gelatin and ¼ cup rum-mint mixture just until the gelatin is dissolved. Stir in the remaining rum-mint mixture. Fill each glass one-third full and refrigerate until just barely set. Top off with the lime granité and add light rum to taste. Stir before drinking. Serves 4.

The Spiced Vanilla Mojito
This variation of the frozen variation of the mojito was created at the bar at the Claridge Hotel in London.

6-8 fresh mint leaves
1½ ounces Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
1½ ounces fresh lime juice
¾ ounce simple syrup
½ ounce Bacardi Vaníla rum
1 mint sprig, for garnish

Blend all the ingredients, except for the vanilla rum, with ice. Pour into a highball glass, float the vanilla rum on top of the drink and add the garnish.

Latin Love
Boston, a city that supported more than its share of rum distilleries in the 1700s, seems to have retained a fondness for the spirit. This exotic variation of the piña colada, invented by mixologists at Boston’s Naked Fish restaurant, won a prize at the recent “World’s Most Sensual Cocktail” competition.

1½ ounces Cruzan Coconut Rum
1½ ounces Cruzan Banana Rum
3 ounces pineapple juice
1½ ounces cream of coconut
1½ ounces raspberry purée
Blend with ice until smooth and serve in a hurricane glass rimmed with grenadine and coconut shavings.

The Pennie Colada
The Rack is a hip billiards club in Boston’s Faneuil Hall, where bartender Pennie Fuller plies her trade. Fuller created her own version of the piña colada using a mango liqueur and named it after herself.

1½ ounces Bacardi O
¾ ounce Fruja mango liqueur
3 ounces pineapple juice
1½ ounces cream of coconut
Blend with ice until smooth, and serve in a hurricane glass.

Frozen Rumarita
Waikiki Wally’s is a downtown Manhattan Polynesian restaurant serving “new Hawaiian cuisine.” To accompany the fare is this frozen rumarita—a
variation on the margarita that calls
for rum, rather than Tequila.
1½ ounces Whaler’s Great White Rum
½ ounce Alizé Gold liqueur
½ ounce triple sec
Splash of fresh lime juice
1 lime wheel, for garnish
1 orchid, for garnish
Blend first four ingredients with ice
and serve in a hurricane glass. Add garnishes.

For more great rum-based recipes, pick up the July issue of Wine Enthusiast at your local newsstand.

Published on July 1, 2003

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