When most of us think rum, we think of our student days, mixing the watered down spirit with coke and knocking it back with abandon.
But rum has grown up since then (okay, maybe I’ve just grown up) – of course, you still get the rough stuff, but there are some truly sophisticated versions out there that are to rum-and-coke what Nicole Kidman is to Lindsay Lohan, ie a class act.
Take Ron Zacapa Centenario: Slowly barrel-aged in the highlands of Guatemala, above the clouds, for up to 23 years, the spirit takes on a seductively full, rich flavour. Banana-butterscotch was my first impression.
Sip it on the rocks (it’s that good) or use it to take your cocktails to the next level. Why not try a zingy Planter’s Punch, perfect for summer? (See recipe below.)
Ron Zacapa Centenario also incorporates a theme of self-empowerment and purpose into its craft – each bottle comes with a hand-woven petate band, created by women of the local community in rural Guatemala. Zacapa currently works with over 900 Guatemalan women, enabling them to support their families and communities through this craft, resulting in the conscience and evocative luxury of the brand, making it all the more enriching to its receiver.
A 750ml bottle retails for R499 – pricey, but a little goes a long way.
90ml Ron Zacapa rum
30ml simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, dissolved)
20ml fresh lime juice
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
Combine all ingredients in a tall glass and fill with crushed ice. Swizzle with a long spoon until drink is sufficiently chilled. Top with more ice if desired.
Text: Robyn Maclarty, Fairlady magazine