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Cocktail Trend: Rum Is All the Rage

A premium version of the classic spirit, 1888 Rum, is taking center stage in these local cocktails



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Rum is on the rise in the craft cocktail world. And we’ve come a long way since the rum and Cokes of our college days. Drinks are becoming smoother, more sophisticated, meant to be savored. At San Diego Magazine’s recent World Eats Party, we had a chance to try an ’88 Derby cocktail, made with 1888 Rum, a double-aged spirit with hints of vanilla, coffee, and dates, fresh squeezed lime juice, maple syrup, and a lemon twist. We’re obsessed; so much so that we’ve listed where you can find these rum drinks around town for yourself.

 

The spot: Havana 1920

The man: Ryan Andrews, bar manager for Havana 1920, Prohibition, El Chingon, and Meze Greek Fusion.

The drink: “The best mojito you’ve ever had.” 1888 Rum, sugarcane juice made using the only sugarcane press in Southern California, fresh lime juice, mint, a splash of soda water, and house-made cane Demerara cane syrup, made from Guyanese sugarcane, all over shaved ice.

 

The spot: Prohibition

The man: Ryan Andrews (again, see above)

The drink: The 1888 Old Fashioned. 1888 Rum, aromatic and cherry apple bitters made by Andrews’ company R&D, Demerara cane syrup, hints of orange oil and espresso, and orange peel over large-format ice cubes. Andrews says 1888 has a lot of the same characteristic you’d find in an aged spirit like whiskey because of the barreling process. Fun fact: Some rums are aged in used oak whiskey barrels, which under US law can’t be used for whiskey more than once.

 

The spot: Kettner Exchange

The man: Steven Tuttle, beverage director at KEX, The Grass Skirt, Analog Bar, Firehouse, and Vin de Syrah.

The drink: Corn and Oil. 1888 or another high-quality Brugal family rum, Falernum, orange bitters, and a squeeze of lime. 1888 is a type of rum that usually appeals to bourbon drinkers. “Rum is definitely the up-and-coming spirit, and I think a lot of bourbon drinkers would be surprised at how much they’ll enjoy rum and how much complexity there is,” Tuttle says.

 

The spot: The Grass Skirt

The man: Steven Tuttle

The drink: Painkiller. A blend of seven rums, fresh lime, pineapple, passionfruit, and coconut. Or, Tuttle says Asian fusion dishes pair well with tropical drinks, so ask for 1888 in what Tuttle says would be “one of the best piña coladas you’ve ever had.”

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