The East India Trading Co: Polished, smooth, and potent.

The East India Trading Co: Polished, smooth, and potent.

westindies1It’s hard to believe that the Mojito from Monday’s post contains the same base spirit as the East India Trading Co. (a cocktail from Death & Co in NYC), pictured above. I specifically chose this drink for today because I wanted to illustrate just how versatile rum can be. And let’s be honest, I was dying to try it! The combination of ingredients intrigued me: Appleton Estate Reserve Rum, Lustau East India Solera Sherry, Ramazzotti (an Italian Amaro), and Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters. The Appleton is a Jamaican rum that has a gorgeous aroma of sweet molasses, orange, cocoa, and vanilla. When you taste it, you’ll also find all those flavors, but it’s powerful so you have to be careful to take small sips. Its beautiful color comes from the fact that it’s been aged at least 12 years in oak barrels. I had to substitute Osborne Oloroso Cream Sherry for the Lustau because it just wasn’t available anywhere. To me it’s all raisins and vanilla, sweet and easy to drink. The Ramazzotti is something I’ve had before and happen to like very much. It smells and tastes like bitter oranges and sweet spices, and it has that elusive element that all the Amari have. Who knows what’s in them? The Italians aren’t saying! I also had to substitute Bittered Sling Malagasy Chocolate Bitters for the Bittermens Xocolatl simply because that’s what I had here at home.

So let’s look at how this drink is composed. There are 2 ounces of the Appleton in this cocktail, so it clearly provides the main flavor profile, as well as the backbone and the punch. The Sherry draws out the sweetness in the rum, and the Ramazzotti echoes the oranges. The Chocolate Bitters act as a bridge, pulling out the cocoa from the Appleton and the spices from the Ramazzotti, while keeping the sweetness of the drink under control. It’s perfect harmony! This stirred cocktail is meant to be served in a chilled cocktail glass with no garnish. My husband loved it that way but, for me, it was just a little bit too strong. I preferred it in an Old-fashioned glass with one large ice cube.¬†westindies2

East India Trading Co. from Death & Co. in NYC

2 oz Appleton Estate Reserve Rum
3/4 oz Lustau East India Solera Sherry
1/2 oz Ramazzotti
2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters

Add all the ingredients to a mixing class and add ice. Stir with a long handled bar spoon for 15-20 seconds or longer until the drink is well chilled. Strain (using a julep strainer) into a chilled cocktail glass. Enjoy!

Check back tomorrow when I’ll be featuring the Art in the Age store in the Old City area of Philadelphia on the Thursday Barlogue!

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