Rum is a category that has often been tarnished in one’s earlier drinking experiences (think Bacardi Razz). While white rum is often the common association for people who occasionally drink this cane spirit, the darker rums are where it’s at in terms of flavor.
Plantation Rum, which is currently my favorite rum brand, have just released their latest expression: Xaymaca Jamaican Rum, a 100% pot still rum. Jamaican rum is famous for its “rum funk”, or “hogo”, which is often derived from the inclusion of muck from dunder pits in the fermenting mix. The flavors, and aromas, of this rum funk that define Jamaican rums are typically black banana and flambéed pineapple - you’ll recall these flavors if you’ve ever come across Wray & Nephew Jamaican rum.
"With Xaymaca Special Dry, I wanted to dive into the iconic culture that is unique to Jamaican rum,” explains Alexandre Gabriel, founder of Plantation Rum. “I wanted to work with these complex flavors of overripe exotic fruits with an almost ‘animal intensity.’ We can still find certain white rums with this famous “rum funk.” I think, however, that this great terroir expresses itself perfectly in an aged rum. That is why we are launching Xaymaca Special Dry, which is attribute to this ancestral culture of rum."
This expression is nothing less than excellent - a characteristic that is consistent across the brand’s award-winning portfolio. It is as if Cognac and Jamaican rum had a love child - this is Xaymaca. It has aromas of banana, pineapple and smoke, paired with flavors of dried and tropical fruit, with a floral accent. With delicious rum sitting around the house, it didn’t take me long to mix-up a flavorful libation that perfectly complimented this noteworthy Jamaican rum.
It’s a Rasta Ting
1.5 oz Fatalli pepper - infused Plantation Xaymaca Jamaican Rum
.5 oz Cane Syrup
.5 oz Lemon Juice
.5 oz Bitter Orange Liqueur (I used Tattersall Distilling)
1 Dash Aromatic Bitters
1 Dash Chocolate Bitters
Garnish: torched sage
Method: combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice; shake until chilled and diluted, then strain into rocks glass over large cube and garnish with a torched sage leaf.
Notes on Fatalli pepper infusion: this pepper has the same heat level as a habanero, but it’s flavor profile is a bit different as it’s a bit fruitier with notes of berry and banana. To infuse, 1 pint of rum, cut up half the pepper and let it sit for 7mins, then strain pepper from rum for serving.