Gin is the flavor of bars nationwide when it comes to mixing cocktails while vodka has held on among its loyal audience. All of this has come at the expense of rum cocktails at most bars and restaurants. Which is why we jumped at the opportunity of trying some unique rum cocktails curated by Rahul Bajaj, director of Out Of The Blue in Bandra, Mumbai. We sampled all the six cocktails on offer that was introduced on the occasion of World Rum Day on August 16 and ended on August 31. While it might be too late to taste these rum cocktails, it’s still worth discovering them and hoping at least one of them makes it to the restaurant’s bar menu.
Add Bacardi white rum, some Captain Morgan, lime juice, khus syrup and lots of fresh kiwi topped with a few kaffir lime leaves will hand you a Mary Jane in a glass. While the individual ingredients promised a lot, when the drink came together, there was an overwhelming kiwi taste. Unfortunately, that killed the taste of the other ingredients and we were left mulling what Mary Jane would’ve tasted like without the additional kiwis.
We were sold on this the minute we heard Absinth Green would be used to freshen up this rum cocktail. With Bacardi Gold, pineapple juice and lime juice being the other ingredients, we tried this one with a lot of expectations. It even came with a wedge of pineapple slice to munch on. We’re not sure what exactly went amiss but the Caribbean-flavoured drink with an Eastern European name somehow felt a bit empty on the palate. We convinced ourselves that we had set very high expectations from this one.
Now this one had to be a ripper. After all, it had everyone’s favourite rum Old Monk with raspberry puree and a bit of sweet and sour mix and egg white and orange slice. The slight froth and the tartness of the raspberry went pretty well with Old Monk. The Scarlet lived up to its expectations and got our spirits high (punny, we know!) for the other three rum cocktails.
Jasmine tea gave the cocktail its Oriental name. Bacardi white, ginger ale and a sweet and sour mix rounded off this interesting cocktail that also had pomegranate seeds at the base and some chunks of dragon fruit and a slice of orange added to it. The result was a drink that changed its flavours as the liquid interacted with the different fruits sending us on a journey of our own with it. We’d recommend it to those with a sense of adventure as this was quite an unusual rum cocktail. Almost like a sangria version of rum.
Did someone say rum and honey? Sign us up captain! This minimalist cocktail with two star ingredients, some ruby peach puree and lime juice was just on point. Really, we could have had more than one glass of this delicious martini-esque cocktail simply for that divine combination of rum and honey. We’re hoping this one makes it to the restaurant’s menu with a permanent spot soon.
Pop Lickel should actually be considered the spiritual successor to rum sangria since it actually mixes Martini Bianco and Reveilo Chardonnay with rum along with other ingredients like Teichenne Peach Schnapps Liqueur and tonic water with a garnish of rosemary. This was one of the smoothest rum cocktails we had and it’s easy to imagine washing down greasy Indian food with this robust cocktail.
All in all, Out Of The Blue’s run festival, humorously named ‘All Rum, No Ghum’ lived up to its name and put us with a smile on our faces. It was also good to see a mainstream restaurant bar taking up cudgels for rum with their short but memorable rum festival.
Here’s a short video that captures all the cocktails being made.
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We’re hoping the festival had a good response and it prompts a few other bars to revive rum cocktails in the months ahead.
Hardly anyone does rum cocktails these days so kudos for trying it out
We loved Oooh Captain so much we're hoping to see it on the menu permanently
Some of the cocktails could have been better executed
The cocktail festival could have been kept open for a longer duration
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Priyanko Sarkar is the Founder Editor of Gurgl.in. He has been a writer for over 15 years and this site is his attempt to document India's growing beverage sector with impactful and interesting stories. His favourite drink is Vietnamese Coffee and his favourite spirit is Turkish Raki.