RUM: The taste of summer
This delicious, versatile beverage defines the season.
BY BARRY KAUFMAN • PHOTOS BY ROB KAUFMAN
In the history of happy accidents, there can be no greater happy accident than that which led to the discovery of rum. Accounts vary, as tends to happen when rum is involved, but some put the first Caribbean distillation of rum on the island of Barbados, when some enterprising soul realized the molasses formed from sugar production could be fermented and turned into a robust spirit they called “kill devil.” From there, rum exploded in popularity among the theninfant colonies of the United States, with every man, woman and child consuming an average of 3 imperial gallons per year. At one point, Rhode Island rum was even accepted as currency in Europe, as valuable as gold. A barrel of Barbados rum was the center of the party during George Washington’s inauguration. It’s safe to say the drink’s popularity has not waned in the centuries since. Today, that first delicious rum drink serves as the official introduction of summer. Blended in a daquiri or enjoyed straight; light or dark; infused with fruit or enjoyed as it was distilled; that one drink rings in the season and instantly whisks you away to a warm tropical island. “For us it’s just so traditional. That’s what reminds you of the islands. That’s what gets you into that vibe, ready for the summer, having that daquiri filled with rum,” said Rusty Jaquiss of Frosty Frog. He knows better than most. The blenders and machines run overtime during the summer at Frosty Frog, whipping up more than 23 varieties of frosty beverages. And while they run the gamut from 190-proof grain mood enhancers to vodkainfused White Russians, it’s the rum drinks that have come to define a summer at Frosty Frog. In fact, Jaquiss will be the first to tell you the whole thing started with rum: their unique “Miami Vice” drink which blends a 28
strawberry daquiri and a pina colada. “We have so many different flavors and options, but we keep some traditional like that one. If somebody says I want a strawberry daquiri, they want it with rum.” Of course, you’ll find plenty of rum at Pool Bar Jim’s, where the island’s iconic mixologist Jim Lisenby has raised the simple act of blending spirits into an artform over more than 30 years behind the bar. In fact, Lisenby was told by one sales rep that he sells more Pusser’s Rum than any other bar in the state of South Carolina. To put how much rum that is into perspective, consider Pool Bar Jim’s popular drink the Lava Flow. Based on a recipe he came across in Hawaii in 1997, the Lava Flow mixes a banana pina colada with two ounces of pureed strawberries. “For Memorial Day Weekend or Fourth of July weekend, I have to have 35 gallons of just the puree already made up.” And the Lava Flow is just one of the many rum drinks you’ll find on the menu at Pool Bar Jim’s. Other favorites include the Painkiller, made famous by the Soggy Dollar Bar, and the Daufuskie Freeze (see recipe).
Want to get yourself on island time? Kick off summer with this drink from Pool Bar Jim, the Daufuskie Freeze.
4-5 Fresh Strawberries, pureed 1.5 oz Pusser’s Rum 2 oz Orange Juice 1.5 oz Coco Lopez coconut cream
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