Researching the rums of the world is a tough job! And when I dream up a better job, I’m going to take it.
After more than a decade spent sailing the Caribbean in search of the finest examples of the distiller’s art, the time has come to share some of my favorite spirits with friends back in the US.
Unfortunately, sharing some of my favorite rums and cocktails with friends meant trading time aboard my boat to flying and driving around the country. It’s been years since I last spent more than a couple of months at a time in the US, so there is a lot to see and do – and a lot has changed. And some of that change has been for the better.
Most of my travels involve promoting Caribbean rum around the country, but there are other rums which deserve your attention. Phil Prichard, down in Tennessee, makes some pretty tasty rum in his own small still. There are a few other small distillers around the country who also make rum and I take every opportunity to visit them.
A few years ago I was frustrated that I couldn’t enjoy one of my favorite cocktails in the US. This simple cocktial, called a ti punch, is made with a little sugar cane syrup, a slice of lime – from the side of the lime and rhum agricole from the French West Indies. After failing to successfully encourage other importers to bring rhum agricole to the US, I ended up working with Caribbean Spirits to bring AOC rhum agricole from the last two-family owned distilleries to the US.
The good news is that as I travel the country I can get one of my favorite drinks in a number of US cities, New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Chicago and San Francisco.
Next week I’ll be in Florida and after another hot day on the road, I’ll be sharing a ti punch with a few friends I’ve met on the Ministry of Rum forum on egullet.org.