Cruzan Black Strap Rum
Cruzan Black Strap is not what most people think of when they hear rum. Unfortunately, in this age of grapel-berry-marshmallow -brownie batter vodka and cherry (yes, I said cherry) flavored bourbon, the average citizen would imagine a spice cabinet infused spirit more like vanilla extract than rum. I’m not saying that these fine spirits don’t have their place. If your in high school, trying to score on prom night, that stuff is like liquid panty remover. If you run out of Axe body spray or mouthwash, these drinks might prove useful.
If you want something to mix, try a white or light amber rum. If you want something to sip, a dark aged rum can be every bit as enjoyable as a fine cognac.
And then, there is Cruzan Black Strap. I’m intrigued by this Navy style rum. Nearly black, practically opaque, reeking of molasses, I am drawn to it’s darkness. Then I become confused. The flavor is busy; Huge molasses, intense vanilla, espresso, lemon peel, bittersweet dark chocolate and all of these, bold and lingering.
First, I tried the obvious and mixed it with good old fashioned Coke. This was a mistake. That poor little Coke didn’t stand a chance. The rum completely overtook it. It was the first of many failed attempts to combine it with nearly everything I could think of. That’s when I remembered stealing sips out of my Mom and Dad’s Mai Tais when I was a kid in Hawaii. The good ones always had a splash of dark rum on top of all that wonderful fresh fruit juice.
I was trying too hard to turn Cruzan Black Strap Rum into a mixing rum when it is clearly best used as a condiment. Fruit brings out the best in this rum, transporting you to a paradise of white sand beaches and bikini-clad natives, fine cigars and palm trees. I don’t think I can imagine a time when my bar will ever be without it in the future!