AlcoHOLidays | Independence Day | Cruzan Independence Sparkler



In honor of those founding fathers’ stand for freedoms from tyranny, we’re going to feature Constitutional cocktails for 2 weeks instead of 1.

We’re going short and sweet without any preamble this week! Courtesy of our friends at Cruzan, today’s cocktail features two of their rums because, hey, twice the rum, twice the fun, right?

Cruzan® Independence Sparkler

1 half of a Lime, cut into quarters
6 Basil leaves
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 oz Cruzan® Strawberry Rum
1 oz Cruzan® Aged Light Rum
Soda Water

Method: Muddle lime and basil with sugar in a tumbler. Add rums and ice, then shake 2 times to mix. Pour into a rocks glass and top with soda. Garnish with 1 basil top and a fanned strawberry slice.

I’m actually on the road this week, so I appreciate Cruzan’s timely recipe suggestion. And I’ll be bringing you a review of the Aged and Strawberry rums next week once I get back to my home bar.


Give it a Shot: Denizen Aged White Rum


Denizen Aged White Rum

You may recall I mentioned an aged white rum (back in the Bluebird of Happiness celebration) a few months back. The time is way passed that I give you a better picture of this particular spirit and share a couple of season-appropriate cocktails courtesy of Denizen Aged White Rum.

While many base spirits (whisk(e)y, tequila, etc.) have pretty specific standards to meet x, y, or z classifications, rum standards vary from among countries of origin and local custom. Still, we do generally know that a white rum tends to be younger, and distinctly brighter in flavor, than a deeper aged rum. And while pretty much all distilled spirits are aged for a given length of time, white rum generally has a short aging period (sometimes as few as 8 months, like in Mexico) and uses uncharred barrels to prevent color from developing (and what color there might be is often filtered out).

Denizen combines the qualities of a 5-year aged rum from Trinidad that is then blended with 15 types of Jamaican rum (these latter rums benefit from the more varied flavors–cogeners–that come from pot-distillation) to get to their final state: a white rum with a broader, richer flavor of an aged one.

When I tasted the rum I was impressed with the breadth of flavor but still noticed that particular rum bite at the back corners of my mouth. In cocktails it adds a certain depth of flavor without muddying up the color of the drink (as sometimes that can be a bit of an aesthetic downer).

Denizen was kind enough to share these recipes which you might consider if you’ve got a party coming up.

Hot Apple Rum Cider

4 oz Denizen Rum
16 oz Apple Cider
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Tbsp Cane Sugar
3 Cinnamon Sticks
5 Green Cardamom Pods
2 Star Anise Pods
1/2 tsp Grated Fresh Ginger
1/4 Vanilla Bean
1/4 tsp Angostura Bitters

Add all ingredients except Denizen to a saucepan or slow cooker and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes or until hot. Remove from heat and stir in Denizen. Strain into an insulated container or serve from pot. Garnish each much with a cinnamon stick.

Carnivale Hot Chocolate

8 oz Denizen Rum
12 oz Whole Milk
3 oz Water
6 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 Tbsp Cane Sugar
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1/4 tsp Angostura Bitters

In a small saucepan, stir together the cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and water until they form a paste. Add the milk and place over medium heat, stirring constantly until it simmers. Remove from heat, stir in Denizen and bitters, and pour into an insulated vessel. Serve warm in a mug. Marshmallows optional.

I’m guessing these would serve 4-6, depending on serving size (they, unfortunately, didn’t give a yield either of them).

However you choose to celebrate the season, please celebrate responsibly.



I was provided a sample of Denizen Aged White Rum for purposes of review. All opinions expressed are my own.