Fall twist on hit summer drink: rum
It’s almost time to bid summer a bittersweet goodbye, but luckily the season’s most festive spirit will live on. The arrival of several rum-centric bars (see sidebar, below) assures that this summery tipple isn’t going into hibernation.
“Rum can either be light and crisp — or something hearty and full that you want to drink on a cold winter’s night,” said Jane Danger, head bartender at Cienfuegos in the East Village.
One of the most basic rum concoctions is the daiquiri, consisting of four major ingredients: rum, sugar, lime and ice (or water). A rum punch simply includes a fifth element, such as spice or tea.
While daiquiris and punches hit refreshing notes, rum can also serve as a versatile base for warming fall drinks, such as hot toddies, flips and eggnog-style drinks — heck, the Austrians even dump it right into their hot tea.
Danger walked us through the essentials of taking this spirit from summer to fall, with some food pairing suggestions.
The Hemingway DaiquiriThe Port of Mischief Punch
When to drink: Now
Ernest Hemingway gave the classic daiquiri recipe his own spin, subbing in grapefruit juice and a dash of maraschino liquor for lime and sugar because he was diabetic. “Apparently Hemingway also liked his double the rum,” Danger said.
Pairs well with: Seafood with Caribbean, Latin or even Thai spices. Try a red snapper ceviche and chunky, spiced-up guacamole.
When to drink: Soon
When asked for a rum and Coke, Danger tends to steer patrons toward this drink, “because the balance and effervescence are similar,” as is the look. “It’s essentially rum, port, velvet falernum liqueur, grapefruit juice and a splash of soda.”
Pairs well with: Middle Eastern or Indian dishes such as spiced meat, curries and masalas. The Simple Rum Flip
When to drink: Later
The flip began as a heated cocktail of beer, rum and sugar in the late 1600s, and over the centuries it evolved into a drink served hot or cold incorporating add-ins, such as eggs, cream and port. “For a hearty stick-to-your-bones drink,” Danger said, “I’d take an aged rum, a tawny port, simple syrup, cream, whole egg and top it with nutmeg. It’s a very aromatic, chilled fall drink.”
Pairs well with: Classic autumn dishes such as beef stew and roasted potatoes.
Where to Drink
The cocktail offerings are always evolving at these rum-centric bars.
49 Essex St., 212-777-8454
Channeling a 1960s beach party, this LES tiki bar specializes in retro rum drinks, such as zombies and daiquiris — and, of course, the Painkiller, a concoction of fruit juices, cream of coconut and several types of rum.
425 West St., 212-645-5668
Milk & Honey vet Toby Maloney created the tiki cocktails at this nautical-inspired bar in the Far West Village. When that late summer heat wave hits, we’re going for the bar’s eponymous drink, a frozen concoction of rum, ice and mint.
443 E. Sixth St., 212-614-6818
Decked in pastel tiles and island-style wrought iron, this hidden-away upstairs rum bar will transport you to the Caribbean, no matter what the thermometer registers. (Enter through Carteles, the ground-level Cuban sandwich shop.)
Coming soon ...
Cocktail maven Julie Reiner (Flatiron Lounge, Clover Club) is opening Lani Kai (525 Broome St., no phone yet), a tropical-themed lounge. The AvroKO-designed Hurricane Club (360 Park Ave. S., no phone yet) is also nearly ready to open.