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Go Back   Rum Lovers @ the Ministry of Rum > Cocktails and Food > Flavored - Rums, Rhums and Cachaзas
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Flavored - Rums, Rhums and Cachaзas

From real fruit to the worst synthetic flavors what do you like and how do you drink it?


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Old 03-31-2007, 07:42 PM   #1
Edward Hamilton
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Default Natural flavors?

In the islands, traditionally fresh fruit is added to rum and let sit from a few days to a few weeks before it is served. Although fresh fruit gives a spirit the best flavor, after a few weeks few fresh fruits maintain their visual appeal. Bananas turn brown after a month or so and are impractical to bottle, ship and display on store shelves. In the islands, fresh banana rums are consumed before they loose their visual appeal. One of my favorite places to sample fruit-flavored rums was Miller's in St Martin. The small bar had a selection of glass and plastic containers which held every fruit you could name, and a few which defied description. Mass-produced flavored rums rarely come close to the flavor of real fruit though many distillers try to match the commercial success of Bacardi's Limуn, even though it doesn't remind me of real lime that label continues to be the most successful flavored rum ever. Distillers and blenders most commonly use what are called 'natural fruit flavors,' which while natural are rarely made from the actual fruit which they are trying to emulate. A common example of a natural substitue flavor is canned pumpkin pie filling. On the ingredient panel of most of these cans are the words, 'sweet potatoes' and 'spice.' These are natural flavors but they certainly aren't pumpkin. A few enterprising bartenders are experimenting with flavoring and spicing their own rums, more on that in another post.
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Old 04-01-2007, 10:23 PM   #2
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how do they make these rum fruit mixes. do they just soak fruit in rum for a few days-weeks? can this be duplicated at home and does anyone have good recipies?
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Old 04-01-2007, 10:50 PM   #3
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I'm curious for any infusion recipes, too. I've got a small collection of rum here that could be improved with some infused tastes. I may just have to pick up a dozen Bell jars and start experimenting...
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Old 04-02-2007, 12:30 AM   #4
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i really enjoy infusing, but have primarly used vodka.
The one rum infusion i have done was to use coffee beans, i would have to look over my notes, but i think it was medium roast, 1/2 cup used for a bottle. I let them sit for 1 and 1/2 weeks, other tries with longer steeping seemed to produce a bitterness i was not happy with. I believe at the time i was trying to get some use out of a bottom shelf gold rum, I can imagine a better rum would produce an even better flavor.
I then served the rum on ice with Santa Maria Rompope, which gave it nice hints of vaniila and a creamier body.
In the future i would like to try this same infusion with a few cracked hazelnuts.
I am interested to hear about other people's experiments, the fruits seemed tricky. Some bittered out faster than others; so potentially you can blow through some spirits rather quickly.
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Old 04-02-2007, 10:53 AM   #5
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The chemistry of infusing is very complex but there are a few simple rules that will make your infusions better.

Take a lot of notes, you'll be glad you did. I tape a paper label on the bottle and record amount of spice/fruit added, date, etc.

Taste regularly and note how the flavor changes. Consider removing some of the fruit/spice when you're getting close to the flavor you're looking for. You can add more fruit/spice later if you want to.

Almost any fruit/spice can become bitter if left too long in the alcohol.

I like to make several infusions then blend them for balance. It is extremely hard to blend spices and get a good balance as from one bottle.

Alcohol is a solvent, the higher the proof, the faster the ingredient is going to be infused into the spirit. I like to use 100 proof spirits for spicing.

You can't make good spirits out of poor spirits by just adding spice.

I usually have a few bottles of spice on my boat at any one time. It's always interesting to meet other boats and compare their spice with my own. * In the islands, any rum infused with fruit or spice is called spice.

One of the best spiced rums I've seen in the states is being served at the Gramercy Tavern in NY. Their spiced rum swizzle is made with 100 proof white rhum agricole, ginger, clove, sugar cane syrup and a few secret ingredients.
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:03 PM   #6
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Default Bili

Here on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico a homemade infused rum is known throughout the Commonwealth. It's called Bili (pronounced Bee-LEE) and is made by macerating the fruit of the quenepa tree, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar in white rum, then burying the container underground for a month. Each home has their own variation, but the quenepa fruit is always the base. It's very different and very good. Truly a "local" drink!
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Old 04-24-2007, 05:21 PM   #7
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Mr. Hamilton speaks the truth. My wife and I bought a bottle of local infused rum from some shop in St. Lucia during our honeymoon, figuring we'd try it out when we got home.

The bottle ended up in the back of our liquor cabinet, and we didn't find it until a year and a half later. When we finally opened it and strained out all of the particulate that had accumulated, we had something that tasted strongly of cinnamon and liquorice...the rum flavor all but gone.

A friend of mine tried it and said it reminded him more of Jaegermeister than anything else.
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Old 04-24-2007, 07:53 PM   #8
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Don't despair, you can add a little of that spiced rum to another bottle of rum and make something that will be quite drinkable. I wouldn't, however, use the cheapest bottle of rum you can find to make this blend. You simply can't make good a good blend from poor ingredients.
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Old 04-26-2007, 03:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Hamilton View Post
Don't despair, you can add a little of that spiced rum to another bottle of rum and make something that will be quite drinkable. I wouldn't, however, use the cheapest bottle of rum you can find to make this blend. You simply can't make good a good blend from poor ingredients.
Interesting. I'll have to give that a try. Are there any good guidelines I should follow for selecting a base-rum? Any recommendations?
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Old 04-26-2007, 07:08 PM   #10
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The choice of base rum depends on your taste. I would suggest using something like Cruzan Light-Dry or Dark-Dry if you prefer a lighter bodied spiced rum. Or use Appleton White for a fuller bodied spice rum. I wouldn't necessarily go with an expensive aged rum, as the result could lack the balance of flavors which would let the rum and spice come through in your glass.
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