Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum
Come 7pm, and the last echoes of the soundsystems are ringing around Westbourne Park Road. How apt the final mix of the night to get you home should be Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum. The owner of Lost Spirits studied sculpture before teaching himself chemistry. Through a series of hacks, he discovered he could cheat nature and make a twenty-year-old rum in six days. The results are pure reggae fire. Brave souls might want to sip this straight up, but for me it’s best taken mixed as below.
£76.33 for 75cl, from masterofmalt.com
Drink while listening to: ‘Ring Of Fire’, This Kid Named Miles (listen here)
Soundsystem: Mastermind Roadshow on Ladbroke Grove
Cocktail: The Navy Daiquiri
– 2oz Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum – ¾oz fresh lime juice – ½oz sugar cane syrup
Shake with ice then strain into a chilled cocktail coupe.
As posted by Helena Tiare Olsen, Rum XP expert and critically acclaimed expert tiki drink blogger of A Mountain of Crushed Ice.
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The Wild Geese Premium Rum
Any rum associated with a film that starred hardened drinkers Richard Burton and Richard Harris must be a serious, capable, grown-up rum indeed. Initial fruit notes give way to a butterscotch finish. Has a bourbon touch to it – handle with care and mix well.
£34.99 for 70cl, from irishpremiumspirits.com
Drink while listening to: ‘Rock the Casbah’, The Clash (listen here)
Soundsystem: Gaz’s Rockin’ Blues
Cocktail: The Classic Rum Negroni. Watch how to make the recipe from Simone Caporale of Artesian at The Langham hotel.
If I could suggest a drink that reminds me of hazy days in the sunshine with good friends, jumping up and down next to a huge soundsystem (with excessive amounts of bass) it would have to be Jerry. It is good times in a glass.
£18.94 for 70cl, from masterofmalt.com
Drink while listening to: ‘Jump N Shout’, Basement Jaxx (listen here)
Soundsystem: Mark Ross Soundsystem
– ⅓ cup Sailor Jerry – ⅔ cup Fever-Tree ginger ale – Fresh lime and ice
Simply mix and drink.
Diplomatico Blanco Rum
Most people know all about the Venezuelan über-rum that is Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva (and if you don’t, you really should), but sneaking up behind it is the velvety Blanco, a six-year-old white rum which is incredibly smooth, and slightly fruity with notes of buttered toast on the nose, and a wonderful mocha finish. Great in a classic daiquiri, or bring a little Venezuelan sunshine into your life with the Carnvale de Venezuela cocktail.
£27.19 for 70cl, from masterofmalt.com
Drink while listening to: ‘Electric Avenue’, Eddy Grant (listen here)
Soundsystem: Another one for Mastermind Roadshow on Ladbroke Grove
Cocktail: Carnvale de Venezuela
– 37.5ml Diplomatico Blanco – 20ml fig shrub – 25ml lime juice – 10ml Orange Columbo – 2 bar spoons of banana sherbet – 2 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
Shake and garnish with a banana sherbet rim.
Courtesy of Martyn Nicol from Hutchesons.
Havana Club 3 Year
The Don. The one that makes it all right again. Hits the spot when your Carnival energy needs a boost. Havana Club Tres Años is the go to rum for an authentic Cuban Mojito. The trick is to not complicate it, use fresh produce and mix, muddle, mix.
£18.85 for 70cl, from thewhiskyexchange.com
Drink while listening to: ‘Fernanda Porto’, Sambassim – DJ Patife Remix (listen here)
Soundsystem: Latin Rave Street Jam
Cocktail: Classic Cuban Mojito
– ½ lime, juiced – 2 teaspoons white sugar – 2 fresh mint sprigs – 4 capfuls Havana Club Tres Años – Ice – Sparkling water
Squeeze the lime juice into a glass and add the white sugar, stirring with a spoon or swirling the glass around until the sugar is dissolved. Tap the mint sprigs on the back of your hand to release the fragrant aromas, then fold and place in your glass. Gently muddle (press) the mint a few times with the end of a wooden spoon. Fill your glass with ice and use your Havana Club Tres Años bottle cap to pour four caps of rum over the ice, then top up with sparkling water.
Elements Eight Criollo Cacao Rum
A long day at Carnival will mean you need to take time for a breather and sustenance. The perfect rum chaser following a goat curry would be Elements Eight Barrel infused Criollo Cacao Rum. It is sweet, with an almost coffee-like hit through the chocolate, and ends with a hint of pepper. Mix it up as below with coffee for a pick me up when you need an energy boost. Rewind and come again!
£30.45 for 70cl, from thewhiskyexchange.com
Drink while listening to: ‘Ring the Alarm’, Tenor Saw (listen here)
Soundsystem: King Tubby’s
Cocktail: Minty Coffee Tini
– 50ml Elements Eight Criollo Cacao Rum – 25ml Espresso – 15ml Mozart Black Chocolate Liqueur – 5ml gomme – 4 mint leaves
Place all ingredients into a Boston glass and shake hard over ice. Double strain into a chilled cocktail martini glass. Garnish with a mint leaf.
Old Monk 7-Year-Old Rum
A seven-year-old vatted dark rum imported from India, Old Monk is a versatile blend indeed. Great sipped over ice (I sampled it in Berlin infused with smoke which was rather wonderful) but I think you harmonise with its vanilla melody best when you add a cola, either in a boss Cuba Libre, or in the gorgeous Triple X Mix below.
£19.45 for 70cl, from thewhiskyexchange.com
Drink while listening to: ‘One Thing’, Roots Manuva (listen here)
Soundsystem: Rough But Sweet
Cocktail: Triple X
– 30ml Old Monk 7-Year-Old Rum – 15ml amaretto – Cola
Simply mix and serve.
Red Leg Spiced Rum
Named after the red leg crab found in the Caribbean, this rum is infused with ginger giving it a seductive spicy finish like the nip of a claw. This is a straight-up party mixer for being in the thick of the crowd. Booyakasha!
£20.45 for 70cl, from thewhiskyexchange.com
Drink while listening to: Uptown Top Rankin’, Anthea and Donna (listen here)
Soundsystem: Channel One or High Grade
Cocktail: Beach Daze
– 10ml Triple Sec – 25ml pineapple juice – 25ml orange juice – 50ml Red Leg Spiced Rum
Mix and serve with a squeeze of fresh lime.
The Duppy Share
A beautifully packaged bottle of sunshine from farms in Jamaica and Barbados. It’s a beautiful ‘gift’ rum to take to a Carnival house party. Bold and gold it mixes better than Sancho Panza (Notting Hill in-joke).
£29.45 for 70cl, from masterofmalt.com
Drink while listening to: ‘Days Like This’ (Spinna & Tickla Mix), Shaun Esscoffery (listen here)
Soundsystem: KCC Soundsystem
Cocktail: The Duppy Conqueror Punch
– 50ml The Duppy Share – 25ml sugar syrup – 25ml fresh lime juice – Angostura bitters – Wedge of lime (to garnish) – Nutmeg (to garnish)
Mix the first three ingredients and serve over lots of ice. Top with a dash of Angostura bitters, a wedge of lime and a grate of nutmeg.
It is like a visit from the spirit of Christmas each time you pour a shot of this stuff. Cloves, spiced oranges and vanilla… BOOM! Sipped slowly over fresh lime and ice it’s criminally smooth, and will bring you to the same conclusion as us: its maker Professor Cornelius Ampleforth is obviously a genius. Sippa irie!
£33.95 for 70cl, from amazon.co.uk
Drink while listening to: ‘Everybody Loves the Sunshine’, Roy Ayers (listen here)
Soundsystem: The Fun Bunch
Cocktail: Best served simply with ice and fresh squeezed lime.
A favourite of everyone in the test team. Some liken it to the old recipe of another well known brand I’m told (there’s a clue in its name), but this vanilla powerhouse stands on its own two feet and is the one to drink when your favourite tune is dropped by your favourite DJ on your favourite soundsystem. Mix it up or drink neat with ice for instant Carnival vibes.
£18.70 for 70cl, from masterofmalt.com
Drink while listening to: ‘I Hear Music in the Street’, Unlimited Touch (listen here)
Soundsystem: In the absence of Norman Jay’s Good Times this year, it would have to be Disco Hustlers
Cocktail: Spiced Mai Tai
– 35ml Old J Rum – 10ml Old J Tiki Fire – 10ml amaretto – 20ml lime juice – 20ml orgeat syrup (almond syrup) – 25ml orange juice – 50ml pineapple juice – 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Shake with ice, serve in a hurricane glass with ice, then garnish with a pineapple chunk and a pineapple leaf on the side.