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Mumbai mixologists share their favourite rum-based cocktails

Updated on: 20 February,2024 07:10 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Shriram Iyengar |

On this day in 1703, Barbados witnessed the beginning of the world’s oldest rum distillery. Since then, the beverage has gone from the drink of rebellions to a classic tipple. City mixologists reveal their favourite rum-based tipples and a few heady hacks

Mumbai mixologists share their favourite rum-based cocktails

Last of You cocktail

Flavour and complexity

Rum is different from other spirits because of its texture and flavours that range from fruity to rich to complex. It stands as a bartender’s faithful companion — accessible, flavourful and as a base spirit for cocktails. It is also one of my preferred spirits when it comes to making cocktails. I enjoy experimenting with twists on classic rum cocktails from daiquiris to dark and stormy concoctions.

Painkiller cocktail
Painkiller cocktail

Favourite rum cocktail: The Painkiller originates from the Soggy Dollar Bar in the British Virgin Islands in the 1970s. It has dark rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, cream of coconut, and a hint of nutmeg over crushed ice.

Renzil Barrow, head mixologist, PCO Bombay, Lower Parel

A varied spirit

Rum is definitely on the rise again worldwide, and that includes in the Indian market too. Guests are enjoying discovering this fun spirit, and how well it works in different styles of cocktails. It is multi-faceted (white, dark, spiced and sweet). Favourite rum cocktail: With the right rum, it’s difficult to have just one rum sour; one of my favourites if I’m in the mood for something tangy. There are many other memorable classics I love such as the holiday spirit pina coladas or the powerful mai tais.

Louness Ducos, beverage manager, Cirqa, Lower Parel

An island favourite

Rum is part of the culture across most Caribbean islands. Rum is a smooth blend and goes along with most tropical juices. I choose to bring out the true flavour of rum using raspberries and making it a tropical drink that suits our Boho theme.

Favourite rum cocktail: One of my favourites is the classical piña colada with a twist of fresh strawberry blend in it. The drink consists of pineapple juice, fresh coconut milk, blended with strawberries and would use a mix of white and dark rum in it.
Alex Fernandes, GM Operations, Koa, Juhu West

An easy-to-use base

Rum offers different styles and flavours, ranging from light to dark spiced, allowing multiple ranges of cocktails, each with its unique charm and appeal. It also mixes well with a wide range of ingredients including fruit juices, syrups, herbs and spices. This versatility allows you to experiment and get innovative with cocktails.

Favourite rum-based cocktail: It is delicia tropical, a refreshing and vibrant drink with the crispness of rum, and the characteristic sweetness and freshness of fresh coconut water, coconut meat and pineapple juice. It pays homage to the old love affair of rum, pineapple and coconut.

Quick-fix recipe:

Delicia tropical
>> 45 ml white rum
>> 25 ml coconut water
>> 1 bar spoon coconut meat
>> 45 ml pineapple juice
>> 10 ml fresh cream
Served together, topped up with fresh cream.

Vaibhav Chaware, head mixologist, Poco Loco tapas and bar, Khar West

The industry’s choice

Rum has always been the best mixing spirit for the bar industry creating some of the legendary cocktails from mojito to piña colada to the daiquiri. As a Goan restaurant, we tend to incorporate rum in our cocktails, and often as a star ingredient.

Quick-fix recipe:

Beach please!
>> Coffee rested dark rum
>> Charred pineapple juice
>> Curry leaf cordial
>> Passion fruit
>> Lime
Served in a glass, garnished with charred pineapple cube and maraschino cherry.

Akash Singh, mixologist, Coconut Boy, Bandra West

Easy to use

Rum has a lighter taste, hence is usually used in cocktails rather than being drunk neat. Over-proofed rums are the most popular in on the Caribbean Islands market with a higher alcohol content than the typical 37 to 40 per cent alcohol by volume (ABV).

Favourite rum cocktail: My favourite rum-based cocktail is the mai tai. It is an eternal classic.
Rohit Uthla, head mixologist, Therapy Cocktail and Bar, Khar

Quick-fix recipe:

Classic Cuba Libre
>> 60 ml white rum
>> 1 lime wedge squeezed
>> Top up with coke

A quick and effective rum-based cocktail is the Cuba Libre which is rum and coke with lots of ice. Squeeze a lime into the mix, and you are ready. It is quick, and tastes amazing.

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