This week’s Monday Booktails post is once again from the book Smuggler’s Cove by Martin and Rebecca Cate. I have to admit that I’m truly enjoying reading through this treasure trove of tiki information and cocktails, especially at this incredibly cold and dreary time of the year. I chose today’s recipe because I thought that it would give me the opportunity to try a rhum agricole (agricultural rum) from Martinique, made from sugar cane instead of molasses. Because the sugar cane begins fermenting fairly quickly, it cannot be shipped far distances and is usually grown close to the distillery where it will be processed. Rainfall conditions and soil composition make a considerable difference in the taste of the sugarcane. Since this varies so much from location to location, we’re able to get a real sense of place, or terroir, when sampling rhum agricole, as opposed to tasting traditional rum, which is made from molasses blended from several different sources. Where molasses based rums tend to have rounder, sweeter flavors, rhum agricoles are sharper and more savory, with lots of vegetal aromas and a funkier taste. The other thing that really drew me towards this particular cocktail was the fact that it also contained the Spanish liqueur Licor 43, an intoxicating blend of 43 secret ingredients that includes flavors of citrus, vanilla, cinnamon, and other more exotic spices. It’s fairly sweet, as was the guava soda, and both created a sharp contrast with the savoriness of the rhum agricole. The lime juice added just enough acidity, and the Angostura bitters just the right amount of (you guessed it) bitterness. What I ended up loving so much about this drink is that it defied my expectations of what a typical tiki drink should taste like, and leaned more towards the type of cocktail that is satisfyingly refreshing in a tangy sort of way, as opposed to a sugar bomb. I can be served in either a Collins or a highball glass, which gave me the opportunity to use this hand painted glass that we received as a Christmas gift many years ago. Cheers everyone. Happy Monday!
Agricole Guava Cooler
Add the guava soda to a Collins or highball glass. then add the remaining ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into the glass over fresh ice and add more carefully on top. Garnish with a lime wheel, cinnamon stick, and a mint sprig. Enjoy!