Rum, rum, rum.  Aren’t we just a teensy bit tired of reading about its resurgence by now?  Well, no.  We couldn’t be happier that our favorite dram is finally getting its due.  And not just in the press, but in cocktails too.  Here are three new rum drinks from three of our favorite European mixologists.

We take you first to London’s swellegant Connaught Bar, where Erik Lorincz has come up with something truly new:  a cocktail paired with its own newspaper.  “I have read that the essence of what it means to be Cuban is to accept the inevitabilities of human existence,” says Erik, “that we are born and must die, and to make the very best of the life in between and have as good a time as possible.”  With this Hemingway-esque attitude in mind, Erik set about creating a drink that “would be equally at home in the most elegant London cocktail bar or at the Malecon in Havana with music, laughter and tobacco smoke in the air.”  In the process, he couldn’t help wondering “what Hemingway would be doing while sipping my drink — reading his email or listening to his iPod?  No, most probably he’d be reading his newspaper.  So I created a paper called ‘Malecon’ named after my drink, where you can find little stories about each ingredient.”

Those ingredients are:  50ml (1 2/3 ounces) Bacardi Superior rum, 15ml (1/2 ounce) Smithwood 10-year port wine, 10ml (1/3 ounce) Don Jose Oloroso sherry, 30ml (1 ounce) lime juice, 2 barspoons caster sugar, and 3 drops Peychaud’s Bitters.   Shake with ice, then fine-strain into a crystal coupette with one large ice cube.  (Drink pictured above, with newspaper chaser.)

Across the Channel, bartender Piotr “P.J.” Kuzmicki is bringing Tiki to Belgium at Antwerp’s Cocktails At Nine.  “It’s a classic cocktail bar,” P.J. tells us, “but I’m also very interested in Tiki cocktails and I would like to learn more about them.”  After sampling his Piotr’s Punch, we can safely say that P.J. is a quick study.  Recipe: Into your shaker pour 5 cl (1 2/3 ounces) Appleton Extra 12-year rum, 3 cl (1 ounce) each fresh lime juice and fresh grapefruit juice, 2 cl (2/3 ounce) each passion fruit syrup and Velvet falernum, and 1 barspoon each cinnamon syrup and Fee Brothers peach bitters.  (That’s right, a whole barspoon of bitters — trust us, it works!)  Shake with ice, then strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice.

Spain’s foremost Tiki evangelist, Ivan Castro, concocted his latest drink not by the numbers, but by the letters:  “I happen to be a member of a typographical secret society called Lletraferits — which means ‘hurt by the letters.’ Once a year, we meet for a weekend to talk about typography, show off vintage print specimens we’ve collected, and compare new fonts we’ve designed. Other things we do are ‘what’s this type’ quizzes and getting drunk.”  The members come from all over Spain to “a rural house in a very small village in the interior of Catalonia called La Pobla de Cèrvoles, surrounded by vineyards and olive trees.  Tiki is somewhat familiar to graphic designers, so last year the organizers asked me to throw a Tiki party.”   While creating a new drink for the party, the Cèrvoles Grog, Ivan hit on the notion of using a rustic Catalonian liqueur called ratafia.

Here’s the result:  Into a shaker filled with crushed ice, pour 1 ounce each gold Puerto Rican rum and ratafia (we used Russet brand), 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon syrup.  Shake, then pour unstrained into a highball glass and garnish with a mint sprig.  Says Ivan (pictured above at the party, in mid-shake), “It’s a sweet spicy drink OK for the cold weather in that place.”  We’ll take one over a sweater any day.



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