Rum is a spirit with serious legs. From Colonial-era flips to whimsical tiki fantasies, the molasses-based spirit has been an important part of drinking life over the last two-plus centuries. These days, industrious bars across the U.S. have taken classic rum cocktails and yanked them headlong into the 21st century. Drink up: This is history, alive and in drinking color.
1. The Flip
The Backstory: Made with rum, beer and molasses in a tankard and served hot, the flip was a tavern staple in the 1700s. Rum historian Wayne Curtis, author of And a Bottle of Rum, pegs this drink, heated with a poker from the fireplace, as “the most famous early American rum drink,” with references appearing as early as 1690. The drink took shape as the colonial taste for home-brewed beer and hard cider began to fade, displaced by an abiding thirst for stronger liquors—namely, rum.
Bring History to Life: Root Beer Flizzip (Sugar House, Detroit, MI)
No hot poker needed for this foamy cocktail with attitude, built from molasses-rich Cruzan Black Strap Rum, Art in the Age Root Liqueur and a whole egg and garnished with grated nutmeg.
* Tattooed Mom (530 South Street) – Sip on the Pumpkin Bumpkin, a specially created craft cocktail featuring pumpkin, Art in the Age Root, Guiness Stout, Fireball Whiskey, milk and nutmeg.
The Philadelphia Horticultural Society’s PHeaSt brings farm-to-table dining to the extreme and the simply delicious. New additions to the festival this year include discounted tickets for PHS members and cocktails from Art in the Age and Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey. Proceeds benefit PHS’ City Harvest Program, which provides produce to more than 1,200 families each year. 7-10pm. $135-$300. PHS Warehouse at The Navy Yard, 5201 S. 13th St. 215.988.8800. phsonline.org
If you’re dying for something that gives you the warm fuzzies like freshly baked cookies does, check out Short Order’s Snap Krackle Cold Brew made with Art in the Age Snap, Lemon Hart 151 rum, Strauss half and half, 24-hour Verve cold brew, and cinnamon. “It’s a boozy version of the spiced latte phenomenon that seems to sweep the country this time of year,” said Bar Program Director Courtney White.
From Juniper & Dash… The weather in the Northeast has been simply amazing, and the evening of the Twilight Peach Dinner was no exception! We were able to sit outside under the lanterns and enjoy the nice breeze along with great conversation and delicious food. All the talented creatives that came together to put on this dinner were spot on. We wanted to subtly tie in our peach theme throughout the event and that’s just what happened. From the lush florals, with accents of peach and blue, to the mismatched gold flatware, every detail was accounted for and together it created a lovely evening.
FAMILY STYLE PLATES: Grilled Local Peach, Prosciutto, and Burrata on Crostini Salsa of Fresh Peaches and English Cucumbers with Homemade Kettle Chips Brioche French Toast with Warm Peach Compote and Balsamic Glacé
SOUP: Velvet Peach Purée with Bailey’s Irish Cream and Pancetta Lardoons
SALAD: Watercress Greens, Panko Peaches, and Seven Sisters Cheese from Farm at Doe Run with Rosemary Shallot Vinaigrette
MAIN: Beef Short Rib Rubbed with Grains of Paradise Peach BBQ Glaze, and Foie Gras Butter Grilled Haricoverts and Creamy Farro with Peaches
DESSERT: Warm Peach Cobbler with Crème Fraiche
SPECIALTY COCKTAIL: Peach Ginger Kombucha with Rhubarb Tea, and fresh peaches and lemons
This morning there was a snap in the air that I hadn’t felt since the springtime. Not cold, but just another quickness to the day that it made me yen for a warming drink. Before you go hemming and hawing over what time it is, 8:28- please keep in mind that I’m a professional. This is what I am called to do. Not drink, but sip. Oh, I can see that is lost on you. Day drinking is what it is called. The morning often calls for a large mug of tea with raw honey added for fortitude. If I’m out on a yacht the mug of fortitude contains a healthy portion of rum. Since I’m land-locked so to speak, I’m forced by my good nature to use some bourbon whiskey, distilled down in Kentucky named Barrell Bourbon. You could say that I’m attracted to the good stuff because I like the very best. Barrell Bourbon is the very best because each bottling is different. It’s right up my alley because it is not chill filtered, nor pad filtered. It’s got stuff in there, like the natural fats and oils. The sediment is not taken out giving this bourbon a gorgeous appearance. It’s alive with possibilities!
Barrell bourbon is just like my wines that I enjoy. Unfined and unfiltered is what I seek in the wine world. Handcrafted with passion.
Seek and ye shall find.
Root tea from Art in the Age is a pre-Colonial ingredient that is featured in a number of body warming elixirs. I love to take exuberant doses of it and weave it into a mug of both hot chocolate and Barrell Bourbon whiskey. Just so you know, Root is eighty proof, so everything has its place in this drink.
What is a strong drink? Take it from your friendly cocktail whisperer. When you mix the salubrious root tea with a portion of potent whiskey and your favorite spicy hot chocolate, sweetened to your taste all good things can turn bad, very quickly.
Remember the orange bitters. In this case I’ve chosen Gary Regan’s Orange bitters. They are, quite simply my only choice for a day drink.
Let’s just say it’s just too easy to enjoy this concoction. I don’t want to be a bad influence but if you cannot set a good example, at least serve as a terrible warning to all who follow! This drink is not going to hurt you in the very least, unless you have more than three. Then the world will be memorable indeed! Calling Fernet Branca! Fernet Branca!
From Whiskey Cocktails, a new book by Warren Bobrow
Professor Meiklejohn’s Pinky
Named for a professor made famous for his relationship with the writer Robert Louis Stevenson, this bourbon whiskey–based cold-weather cocktail is sure to restore and inspire. And the best part: It’s really easy to prepare. Whip up a batch of the hot chocolate so it can play host to organic root tea liqueur, bourbon, and—since this drink really has a flair for the dramatic—a pinch of cayenne pepper. It’s a very grown-up version of every kid’s favorite wintertime treat. Serve after dinner alongside a plateful of simple, buttery cookies, like homemade madeleines. Or, mix yourself a sneaky Pinky on Christmas morning—no one but you will know that there’s a little something extra in your cup of joy. Oh, and be sure to preheat your mug with boiling water beforehand to ensure that your Pinky stays toasty warm.
Professor Meiklejohn's Pinky
- 1 ounce (30 ml) high quality whiskey *like Barrell
- 1⁄2 ounce (15 ml) organic root tea liqueur (Art in the Age)
- 3 ounces (90 ml) Hot Chocolate
- Tiny pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 ounce (30 ml) Simple Syrup
- 1 dash Regan’s orange bitters
- Preheat your favorite ceramic mug by filling it with boiling water, and then pour the water out.
- Add the bourbon whiskey,the Root tea liqueur, and then top them with Hot Chocolate.
- Now add the Simple Syrup—about 1 ounce (30 ml), or to taste—and the cayenne pepper.
- Finish with a dash or two of orange bitters.
Lift your mug in a toast to the Professor.
And keep the Fernet handy should you enjoy the good Professor’s company a bit too much!