View Full Version : Rum: The Exotic Story of the Drink That Changed the World by Charles A. Couluombe
01-06-2008, 07:07 PM
Received this book for Christmas. One of the chapter headings is "Rum and Coca-Cola: A Symbol of Exotic Sophistication." It is interesting that this drink was once considered exotic and sophisticated. It seems most consider it quite plebeian these days.
I will confess my first introduction to rum was via the glorified rum and Coke, i.e. the Cuba Libre. The lime does make a big difference and I do use Coke made with cane syrup, but it's still just rum and Coke. It's not a bad drink, but it also isn't one that you would make if you want to taste your rum.
All that said, it is interesting to observe how much tastes change as well as how things are perceived. Regardless, there is one constant: rum. Three cheers for this wonderful spirit.
01-07-2008, 01:26 AM
The book makes an interesting read; lots of history and context. Perhaps the most interesting premise is that the lowly British Navy once stocked beer on their ships while the powerful Spaniards and French stocked wine. The beer would only last three weeks, the wine six months. When the Brits switched to rum, they ruled the high seas. Nelson beat the French and the Spanish at Trafalgar, losing zero ships to their combined loss of 22.
Rum and Coke makes me sick.
11-11-2008, 06:11 AM
I read this a while ago. Thought it was really good. It's an interesting mix of historic events. If you're interested in the stories of rum, you will find a lot of them in this book.
I especially enjoyed to learn the story behind the expression "the real McCoy".
11-11-2008, 07:33 AM
Rum and coke is not all bad. Without the humble cuba libre I would never have gotten into rum.
I still sometimes order a rum and coke when I'm out in bars or clubs, but usually only when the options are limited (which is often the case in late-night establishments in the UK).
I usually drink my rum straight these days, or more recently in cocktails and mixed drinks, especially when drinking with my girlfriend. I've recently discovered ginger beer, which I find impossibly delicious on its own, and even more so when mixed with a good rum!
I'll have to try and get hold of that book!
01-07-2009, 02:01 AM
I don't know why I'm tantalyzing you all with this, 'cause I don't know where you could get the fixings, but the ULTIMATE Cuba Libre I ever had was with Ron Matusalem Black--which was very dark and had a STRONG molasses flavor, and RC DRAFT Cola, about which precisely the same thing could be said. Man, that had the flavor of sugar cane in it, and it didn't fade over the rocks. Something like that transcended itself. For RC Draft Cola--you lucky Kiwis! See:
The best use for a Cuba Libre is to GET RID OF BAD RUM. Although you can get a pretty good one with that Whaler's Vanilla. Then you get a Rum Vanilla Coke, and that's a pretty good flavor!
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