Tuesday, August 16, 2016

On National Rum Day, "All Roads Lead To Rum"

St. Croix Sugar Mill                                             Pre-20th century, artist unknown
My first serious encounter with rum didn't involve a bottle or a drink. It was 1966 and I was hiking across St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands with the intent of documenting the remains of its many sugar mills. Over the next forty years, my career returned me to St. Thomas and St. John  many times where I became more familiar with a bottle of rum, that most famous byproduct of sugar production.

Though not really a staple in our household, we've come to enjoy rum occasionally. Today, we pour it in the summer to make classic mojitos when there's fresh mint in the garden.  When it's time to entertain on the porch or patio, it's time for some Pusser's Painkiller. Makes for a fine dessert all by itself - try it with a scoop of premium vanilla ice cream - and doesn't need to be powerful to be enjoyed.

And who would think rum could make for a refreshing read? It's true. In 2007, Wayne Curtis, author and contributing editor of The Atlantic, used the subject to write a history book.  My wife and I both found And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails one of the most enjoyable informal histories we'd read in years.

Could there be a  better way to celebrate National Rum Day than sinking into a comfortable lounger with drink in hand and a good book. I doubt it. And with Atlanta's high temperatures pushing to 90 degrees and above in the next two weeks it's perfect  weather for that icy Mojito or Painkiller on the porch. Time to check the liquor cabinet and fridge!

Happy National Rum Day, y'all!




Title quote, W.C. Fields, caribbeantradingco.com
Wayne Curtis, And A Bottle Of Rum: A History Of The New World In Ten Cocktails, Broadway Books, 2007
David Wondrich, Imbibe!, revised edition, Penguin Group, 2015

No comments: