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Stogie Spirits: Five Classic Summer Rum Drinks

27 Aug 2009

Summer may be coming to an end, but it isn’t too late to whip up a summer cocktail. And while I’m usually partial to whiskey, nothing says summer like a drink with rum. Something about the result of distilled molasses has just the right combination of sweetness and bite. I find the occasional over-the-top umbrella rum cocktail—like a mai tai, piña colada, rum punch, or Daiquirí—to have too much sweetness to pair well with a smoke. So here are five classic rum drinks that work  fantastically with a cigar:

rums5) Mount Gay Tonic — Want a fresh drink that’s perfect for a warm afternoon? Mount Gay Tonic is the answer. Mix rum and tonic water in nearly equal parts, serve over ice with a lime, and you’ll end up with a versatile and invigorating drink that’s a suitable pairing for most medium-bodied smokes.

4) Dark ‘n Stormy — Made with Goslings rum and tangy ginger beer, this concoction mixes one part dark rum with two parts ginger beer, ideally Barritts. Known as the official drink of Burmuda, you’ll need a full-flavored cigar to stand up to its spice.

3) Cuba Libre — You can just call it a rum and Coke, but when you’re pairing it with a cigar “cuba libre” seems so much more fitting.  (The pairing is so fitting that Nestor Plasencia named a cigar Cuba Libre.) I recommend a spiced rum and pairing it with a spicy Cameroon-wrapped cigar.

2) Mojito — For my money it’s hard to beat a mojito: mint, rum, lime, sugar, and a splash of soda water blended perfectly into a refreshing beverage. Enjoy it with a mild- to medium-bodied smoke, preferably a creamy stick with a Connecticut wrapper.

1) Straight Up or On the Rocks — As well as rums blend with other beverages, it’s easy to forget that the best way to taste a fine rum is straight up or on the rocks. Fine rums offer as much intensity as a fine scotch or bourbon, and only unaccompanied will you be able to discern all the complexity of a well-aged spirit. Each will require it’s own cigar pairing, but with such flavors as honey, banana peel, oak, cedar, and pepper, there are more than enough flavors to pair with a fine smoke.

So there you have it, my favorite rum drinks to accompany a fine cigar. Think I missed one? Let us know in the comments.

Patrick S

photo credit: Wikimedia

5 Responses to “Stogie Spirits: Five Classic Summer Rum Drinks”

  1. Tim Dennis Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 5:06 am #

    I love rum, thanks for the article. For some great sipping rums I can recommend Zacapa and Zaya as 2 excellent choices!

  2. Ben Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 5:09 am #

    Big fan of Oronoco rum, especially straight up.

  3. Franklin D Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 5:10 am #

    Because of rum's natural sweetness, use Diet Coke instead of regular Coke. Add a lime wedge and call it a "Skinny Pirate" instead of a "Cuba Libre."

  4. Padronnie Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 5:23 am #

    While it may fall into the umbrella drink category, I like a good Zombie

  5. Jacob Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 8:18 am #

    I'll second the Ron Zacapa neat. Great sipping rum.

    Also, the Hemingway Daiquiri's gotta be included! For the tastiness of the drink and its namesake.