When you think of Rum, the Caribbean has got to be your next thought…..unless you are thinking of your rum days back in college! And if you think all rums are created equal, then think again! Caribbean rums range from crisp and complex found in Martinique style rums to the subtly sweet blends of the Bahamas, to the bold, whiskey-like Haitian distillations. Thank you Spain for bringing sugarcane to the West Indies!
Believe it or not, there is a very serious side to the rum industry, particularly in Martinique. This French Caribbean island produces only Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) rums. What’s that you say? Martinican rum standards are so high that the French government monitors its products using the same type of strict guidelines it has for Burgundy wine or Roquefort cheese.
Now there’s also the British role in all this rum business. The British tax on liquor, caused pirates to run rum illegally into the heavily taxed Colonies. But the most famous era of rum-running began in the United States with the passage of the 18th Amendment (Prohibition 1920-1933) and the start of the Bimini-Bahamas rum trade into Miami, Florida. Just a mere 50 miles from port to port!
Enter William McCoy, a captain and boat builder. The rum-running business was very good to Bill McCoy. It didn’t take long for the US Coast Guard to realize he was smuggling liquor. He would meet smaller boats about 3 miles off the shoreline of Miami, along the boundary of U.S. and international waters, in order to transfer the rum. This 3 mile limit was based on the US jurisdiction over foreign waters and soon became known as the “Rum Line”. Smaller boats would line up to take the product from McCoy and this line of boats was called “Rum Row.” All this shenanigans resulted in a change in U.S. law, pushing territorial waters out to 12 miles. Did that stop them? I think not!
In the days of rum running, it was common for captains to add water to the bottles to stretch their profits but McCoy had a reputation for never watering down his liquor. As folklore goes, when people spoke of the quality of his booze, they always referred to it as “The Real McCoy”.
Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum! Be a part of history and cool down with a taste of the smugglers gold. Frozen or on the rocks, a Rum Runner will have you conjuring up some wild escapades of your own!
Bimini Rum Runners
2 ounces gold rum
1 ounce blackberry brandy
1 ounce creme de banana liqueur
4 ounces orange juice
Splash of grenadine
Fill a glass with ice and add gold rum, blackberry brandy, creme de banana liqueur, orange juice, grenadine and stir. Garnish with a orange twist and orange wheel. The smell of orange when you sip the drink is part of the deliciousness!
Makes one cocktail, so make another one for your mate!
- 2 ounces gold rum
- 1 ounce blackberry brandy
- 1 ounce creme de banana liqueur
- 4 ounces orange juice
- Splash of grenadine
- Fill a glass with ice and add gold rum, blackberry brandy, creme de banana liqueur, orange juice, grenadine and stir. Garnish with a orange twist and orange wheel. The smell of orange when you sip the drink is part of the deliciousness!
- Makes one cocktail, so make another one for your mate!