Marriage is never easy.
But with the right motivation, a little hard work and copious amounts of booze anything is possible.
Here on the Rock we have been inundated with feelings of hope and fear as Diageo has broken ground on the south shore with their Captain Morgan Rum operation, the newest distillery in the Caribbean. Just down the road the Cruzan Rum distillery continues to put out the same delicious product it has for nearly 200 years. It seems to be an almost cautious alliance, these two mega producers of rum, a mere two miles from each other. Lord knows it’s rankled our neighbor to the north, enough to get them to wildly bestow suspicious titles upon themselves and attempt to crush the Diageo deal. Alas, I feel the Puerto Rican fight has lost momentum today, so we crucians can get back to wondering just how Cruzan and the Captain will keep a cool balance here on St. Croix. I was thinking about that while listening to an interesting interview of Gary Nelthropp, master distiller for Cruzan Rum, with Ed Hamilton at Ministry of Rum. It just so happened that I was unpacking some Fee Bros. Aztec Chocolate Bitters that had just shown up, (a mere 5 weeks after ordering them, thanks VI Postal Service!). So, my goal here was to marry the different flavors of Cruzan and Captain, but try and mellow them out and create the sort of harmony I hoped they would find together here on St. Croix. Also, I’ve been guzzling drinking a lot of Green Chartruese lately and I thought that the staunch herbal flavors would lend itself well with the chocolate bitters. After a couple unsuccessful tries I noticed that my base note was solid, Cruzan Dark and Capt. Morgan Private Stock, and the nose was spot on with the Chartruese and bitters blending nicely, but something was missing to bring them together. I needed a good counselor, something to help bring familiarity to the opposing sides. Lately I have been trying to create drinks that have no juice or mixer in them, just unadulterated booze. I needed something with citrus notes so I grabbed a bottle of my trusty Hanschells Falernum, which has saved me on more than one occasion. (quick side note, read this blog entry from Kaiser Penguin for more cocktail saving tricks)
Low and behold it worked. I give you..
Quetzacoatl’s Island Bungalow
1 oz Cruzan Dark Rum
1 1/2 oz Captain Morgan Private Stock Rum
1/2 oz Falernum
1/4 oz Green Chartruese
3 dashes Fee Bros. Aztec Chocolate Bitters
Combine over ice, stir for thirty seconds, then strain into a cocktail coupe.
I love the way the vanilla and nutmeg from the Capt. mingles with the rich oak sweetness supplied by Cruzan. The Falernum acts well, providing a velvety citrus feel that brings all the herbaciousness of the Chartruese to the front, but the real star of the show is when you exhale and the whisper of spiced chocolate dances across your mouth. So far, this cocktail has replaced Amaro Montenegro as my “end of a hard night go-to” drink. It’s easy and makes me happy, like any good marriage should.