After blending Hamilton Navy Strength Rum
, a New York bar group asked me to blend a rum to be mixed in their daiquiris. Sounds simple, right? Believe me if it was that simple someone would have already done it.
The starting point was the 60/40 blend of Guyana and Jamaican rums that are the keys to Hamilton Navy Strength. The goal was a bottled rum at a lower proof that would be more consumer friendly. As much as bartenders and many consumers love higher proof spirits, when you're dealing with blends higher than 100 proof it can be difficult to maintain consistency in the glass as dilution is critical.
After diluting my Navy Strength Blend down to 84 proof I found that 60/40 was a bit heavy with the Jamaican rum on the palate. After more tests at varying proportions and at 80 , 82 and 84 proof the blend was finalized. High proof Jamaican and Guyana aged rums are blended together and slowly stirred for 48 hours before dilution to 84 proof with filtered well water at the Five & 20 Distillery in Westfield, NY.
The lower proof lets the aromas in the rum come through. Look for honeyed stone fruit in the nose followed by smoky hints of caramelized fruit. The first taste reveals smoky cedar, dark fruit, spice and more smoky fruit flavors leading into a long finish with a brine note underlying the smoky wood finish.
There are a lot of daiquiri recipes and after much experimentation, tasting and drinking, here's my best shot at a recipe. I'm not a bartender and I don't play one on the internet but here's what I drink at home.
One part lime juice - I use a graduated cylinder as limes don't all yield the same amount of juice
One half part Petite Canne Sugar Cane Syrup - I like the flavor and it's already dissolved so there's no sugar left in the glass or shaker
Two parts Hamilton New York Blend
Shake with ice until you're happy
Strain into a coupe and enjoy
Shelf talkers to come, soon.