top of page
  • Writer's pictureDane

Drinks with Dane | Week 10

I hope we’ve had a fun and festive week. The cold fall nights are making me want something rich and yummy, so this week I got a riff on a riff for ya!


Hello Friends! 

To go along with our drink of the week I've got a handy rum guide for you, but if you know me at all, you’ll know there's no way I can fit all my love for rum in one guide - so this is going to be a multi-parter. Enjoy!

Thank you for your support and please tag me @drinkswithdane on Instagram or #DrinksWithDane so I can raise a glass with you!


Rum Guide Pt. 1

So I have to confess that rum is by and large, my favorite spirit. I know we talked about it before with the fun stuff happening in label transparency with rum and I wanted to really represent that in this guide. This buying guide is going to be broken down by islands, regions or groupings - and in them I hope to give you a short introduction and a small list of rums that are representative of the whole category.

Jamaican Rum

Rums of Jamaica are known for their distinctive funk and full-bodied flavor. They are molasses based rums that are pot distilled. The use of "muck" is unique in Jamaica. Muck is a constantly fermenting vat of carboxylic acids comprised of the remnants of the materials at the bottom of the wash (pre distilled fermented beer), the dunder (material left in the still after distillation), refuse after harvesting cane stock, and lees (dead yeast after fermentation) that gives Jamaican rums a supercharged head start in producing esters (flavor compounds) that give the rums their characteristic aromas and flavors of ripened fruit and pineapple.

Wray & Nephew: White Overproof Rum - Is the rum that local Jamaicans drink. Wray and Tangs (grapefruit soda) are the drink of choice for the locals with this rum. This high proof and funky rum is being used in many modern-day tiki cocktails. $22

Appleton Estate: Extra 12 yr Rum - One of the go-to rums for many tiki cocktails or on its own. This is an extra aged expression from one of the oldest distilleries in Jamaica. A nose of roasted nuts and orange peel, soft vanilla tones with a finish of buttery rich sugar. $40

Hamilton: Jamaican Pot Still Black Rum - This has become the standard for many tiki cocktails that call for a black Jamaican rum. This is a blend of extra light, light, and heavy pot still rums from Worthy Park Estate that have been aged for up to 5 years and then colored dark. Notes of overripe fruit and baking spice. $25

Haitian Rhum

Rhums of Haiti have been dominated by one distillery: Barbancourt, however, that is changing. Barbancourt is an excellent rhum that is a steal at its price point, but there is an emerging cottage industry in Haiti with growing popularity of its unaged, locally produced rhums called Clairin. Haiti is one of the few countries to have a non-hybridised cane sugar. These rhums feature spontaneous fermentation and are bottled un-aged at still strength and are a direct expression of the island itself. If you are a fan of Mezcals or Raicillas, then you gotta check out Clairins.

  • Barbancourt: 5 Star 8 Yr - A Superior Rhum produced in the style of a cognac. Fresh pressed cane juice is spontaneously fermented and distilled in a column then pot still before being filled into French Limousin oak vats. A full bodied and rich rhum - notes of vanilla and oak smoke, perfect for mixing or sipping neat. $23

  • Saint Benevolence: Haitain Clairin Rhum - A blend of two distillates; one from fresh cane juice, and the other from sugarcane syrup. Both distilled in a small copper pot still, heated by direct fire of dried sugar cane fiber. Bottled at 100 proof. Water white and clear, notes of unripened banana and ginger root. Rich and velvety on the palate with notes of olive and spice. $33


Cocktail of the Week: Carolina Killa

Did you know that North Carolina produces about half the sweet potatoes in the US? I surely didn't.

We give a nod to them with this cocktail. This is a riff on a painkiller, which in itself is a riff on a Piña Colada. The richness of the sweet potato blends with the cream of coconut to give a velvety mouthfeel to this winterized painkiller.

The addition of spice to the sweet potato syrup along with the dash of Pimento Dram (allspice) and richly aged rum only adds to the festive feel of the cocktail.


What You’ll Need:


Sweet Potato Syrup

Place two medium sweet potatoes on a baking tray, prick the skin with a fork. Place them in an oven at 375 degrees for about an hour, or until they are very soft and oozing juices. Let them cool and scoop out 1 cup of sweet potato flesh into a blender. Add one cup of water and blitz in the blender until smooth. Pour into the saucepan and bring up to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat and add 1 cup demerara sugar, one cinnamon stick, and a generous grating of fresh nutmeg. Stir to combine and until sugar is dissolved. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool and bottle. Keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.


Carolina Killa Cocktail

1 ½ oz Aged Rum (I used Pusser’s)

1 ½ oz Pineapple Juice

1oz Sweet Potato syrup

½ oz Orange juice

½ oz Cream of Coconut

¼ oz Pimento Dram (I used St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram)

Pour all ingredients into a shaker tin and fill with ice, shake until tins are frosty cold. Pour into a tiki mug or glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a slice of orange and pineapple fronds. Grate nutmeg over top and enjoy. Salute!

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page