Rum Cocktails with a SA Twist

by Jared

I’m quite comfortable ordering a daiquiri or mojito – especially when sitting in a Cape Town restaurant with a fine sunset view. I not however, comfortable with making them! When the postman arrived with some bottles of Mount Gay Rum and the challenge to make some cocktails I just couldn’t resist. I decided to make two classics, but with a little bit of a South African spin!

Rum is an alcoholic beverage, made from sugarcane, and then aged in oak barrels. It has sweet and spicy notes, and for me it’s synonymous with a Friday evening, served with coke and shared with my father. I was about to get creative, and invited some friends over to partake in the liquid alchemy.

  1. The Cape of Storms

A play on the usual ‘Dark and Stormy’, I decided to add a little Ratafia to the mix. Ratafia is a desert wine produced by Haute Cabrierre, and I decided it would give the cocktail it’s distinct South African edge. Here’s how I made it:

  1. I added mint and lime wheels to a glass, and a layer of ice.
  2. Next I added a spoon of Ratafia to the glass.
  3. Next came 45ml or Rum and 125ml of ginger ale
  4. Gave it a stir and a little more garnishing and that’s it!

2. The Naughty Naartjie

This fruity cocktail gets it’s distinct taste from the combination of the spicy rum, and the caramelised sugars of the naartjie (the south African version of a clementine/satsuma). Here’s how to make it, serving 4 people.

  1. Cut a naartjie in half, and after placing a spoon on sugar on a plate, dip the cut sides in the sugar. Heat a pan, and add four sprigs of rosemary for a minute. Then add the naartjie pieces to the pan with the sugary-cut sides facing down. Allow them to caramelise for about 2-3 minutes, stirring. Remove from heat to cool and discard the rosemary.
  2. Place a spoon of sugar into an empty jug. Quarter the pieces of naartjie and place them in the jug. Add two cups of ice, 180 ml rum, and 120ml tonic water. Give it all a very good stir.
  3. Place 4 fresh rosemary sprigs, each in one glass. Top the glasses up from the jug, also placing one piece of naartjie from the jug per glass.

Cheers, and thanks to Mount Gay Rum, we had a little Barbados in Cape Town!

*Pictures courtesy Jay Badenhorst

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