I remember it clearly. I was in the salon, or the living area for those of you who don’t speak boat, of an 80-foot Merritt sport fisher named the Badonkadonk, when the Captain asked me this question: “Florida can ya?”
Puzzled by his question, I asked him to repeat what he said.
“Florida can ya?” he repeated.
Now, this was in Grand Isle, in very southern Louisiana, so I know there is a language barrier, but, from what I heard, he wanted to go to Florida.
“Do I want to go to Florida?” I questioned.
“No, you said you wanted a rum drink… Do you want Flor de Caña…?”
From that point I was hooked.
Flor de Caña is born at the base of the San Cristobal volcano in Nicaragua, one of the most active volcanoes in Latin America, in a highly fertile and mineral-rich soil that produces rich molasses and smooth and balanced rum. It is naturally aged in small white oak bourbon barrels sealed with plantain leaves, producing distinguished and elegant rum with tropical notes.
In Nicaragua’s tropical climate, Flor de Caña matures at a higher temperature and humidity level than is usually experienced by other spirits, such as whiskey and cognac. The barrelhouses in which it is aged have natural ventilation, allowing for exposure to the surrounding high volcanic temperatures and Nicaragua’s tropical humidity, resulting in a complex rum with a bold character beyond its age.
Flor de Caña Gran Reserva, a 7-Year rum, is super premium and full-bodied. It distinguishes itself with its rich mahogany color and smooth flavor, which lingers pleasantly on your palate. It is excellent when mixed with water or soda. Also here is one of our favorite “umbrella drink” recipes:
- 1½ parts Flor de Caña 7
- 1 part fresh lime juice
- ½ part simple syrup
- ½ part banana liqueur
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 pinch sea salt
Method: Combine ingredients and shake well. Strain, garnish with a lime wheel on the side of the glass, and serve.
Flor de Caña Single Estate 12 Year is an ultra-premium rum, full bodied and with a reddish amber color and aromas of honey and toasted nuts. It has a flavor that evokes vanilla and baked apples. We prefer it neat, but if you want to try something unique, give this distinguished recipe a try:
- 1 part Flor de Caña 12
- ¾ part Campari
- ¾ part Sweet Vermouth
Method: Combine ingredients and stir well. Strain over a large block of ice in a rocks glass. Spritz and garnish with a large orange peel
Did you know?
Rum was born in the Caribbean in the 1650s on sugarcane plantations, however the exact island of origin is unknown. The first reference to rum though is from the island of Barbados. Plantation slaves discovered that molasses, a byproduct of the sugar refining process, could be fermented into alcohol. In those times, illness was believed to be Satan’s work, and the consumption of alcohol was believed to take illness away, thus its first moniker, “Kill Devil.” Sailors at that time mixed “Kill Devil” with the ship’s water in order to keep from becoming ill. Needless to say, many ships carried rum. So how did it become “rum”? The most probable origin is a shortened slang version of the words “rumbullion” or “rumbustion,” English terms for an “uproar.” This makes sense and brings to life visions of pirate bar fights in far-flung island hide-a-ways.
After rum’s development in the Caribbean, the drink’s popularity spread to the Colonies. The manufacture of rum became early Colonial New England’s largest and most prosperous industry. In some areas, rum even joined gold as an accepted currency in Europe for a period of time. Rum’s association with piracy began with British privateers trading the valuable commodity. As some of the privateers became pirates, their fondness for rum remained.
One last fun fact… George Washington insisted on having a barrel of rum at his inauguration in 1789.
So there it is… cheers to America.