Tuesday Reviews-Day | Cruzan Velvet Cinn



***This is a sponsored post. I was provided a sample of Cruzan Velvet Cinn for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own and no additional compensation has been received. Now that we’ve got that out of the way…***

And now for something completely different!

Yes, I’ve got another rum to review but, oh, dear friends, this isn’t just any rum, this is Cruzan’s Velvet Cinn, a rum horchata flavored with cinnamon. Horchata is a Mexican drink often made from rice or other grains, and milky in appearance and texture. This horchata uses dairy milk and their premium rum and evokes memories of rice rice puddings, cinnamon buns, and all manner of delectable treats.

In fact, while Cruzan was kind enough to send some recipes along with their newly-launched rum, I took it upon myself to go in a slightly different direction:

French Velvet Toast

2 large Eggs
1/2 cup Cruzan Velvet Cinn
1/8 tsp ground Cardamom
6-8 slices Bread
Coconut oil for the griddle

Whisk together eggs, horchata, and cardamom. Heat an electric skillet to 350 degrees F and brush with a bit of coconut oil (or butter, if you prefer). Dip the bread into the egg and rum mixture, making sure to coat both sides thoroughly, and place on the griddle. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden and lacey and any eggy bits are firm.

Serve with powdered sugar or maple syrup.

French Velvet Toast

French Velvet Toast

While I’m certainly not against sipping Velvet Cinn neat or using it in cocktails–in fact, I know both of those options are definitely in our future–I though it would be fun to see if it’s amazing flavor would translate on the plate as well as the palate. Because Velvet Cinn contains milk, replacing the milk in the standard French Toast recipe was a no-brainer, and I’m really starting to crave some rice pudding now.

In case you would prefer a cocktail over breakfast foods, try out these recipes courtesy of Jesse Card, Cruzan’s Master Mixologist.

Cruzan® Cinnful Cherry

3/4 parts Cruzan Velvet Cinn Horchata with Rum
1/2 parts Cruzan Black Cherry Rum

Method: Combine all over ice, stir, pour into shot glass.

Cruzan® Cinnful Martini

1 1/2 parts Cruzan Velvet Cinn Horchata with Rum
1 parts Cruzan Aged Dark Rum
1/2 parts DeKuyper® Blood Orange Liqueur
Float DeKuyper® Hot Damn!® Liqueur
Flamed Orange zest

Method: Combine Cruzan Velvet Cinn, Cruzan Aged Dark Rum & Blood Orange Liqueur in a tumbler over ice & stir for 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Float a small amount of DeKuyper® Hot Damn!® Liqueur on top & finish with a flamed orange zest.


Tuesday Reviews-Day: Cruzan Strawberry Rum



***This is a sponsored post. I was provided a sample of Cruzan’s Strawberry Rum for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own. Now that we’ve got that out of the way…***

They had me at strawberry.

Growing up a farmer’s granddaughter, a farmer who grew prize-winning strawberries year after year in a town known for it’s annual Strawberry Festival, pretty much strawberry anything gets my interest up. But back when I started fooling around with cocktails I had a terrible time finding anything strawberry that wasn’t either strawberry wine or the pucker-variety of liqueurs. And while the wine variety can be good, it tends to be regional and the pucker-style liquids are syrupy and shockingly pink.

So, yes, when I heard Cruzan had a strawberry rum in their flavored line-up, I was drooling faster than you can say ‘send me a sample.’

Does Cruzan Strawberry Rum live up to my expectations? Yes, yes it does.

As soon as you open the bottle the smell is undeniably strawberry. Todd was reminded of fresh strawberries with a kick whereas I was reminded of my grandmother’s strawberry freezer jam–plenty of fruit plus a touch more sugar. Flavor-wise I can taste hints of my grandfather’s strawberry wine as well as the frosty, slushy goodness of a good strawberry daiquiri. And it’s so smooth, no harsh edges or burn at the back of your throat, I’m really amazed at how wonderful this flavored rum is.

And while you could drink this rum straight and have a truly enjoyable experience, the thought of this in the aforementioned daiquiri is both delicious and dangerous. Delicious for obvious reasons but dangerous as I think it’d be oh-so-easy to over-imbibe and not realize it until you go to stand up!

Of course, if you don’t have a hankering for a daiquiri, maybe you want something a touch more exotic, why not try this recipe (courtesy of Cruzan’s website)



1 1/2 parts Cruzan® Strawberry
1/2 part DeKuyper® Orange Curacao
1 1/2 parts fresh lime juice
3/4 parts Simple Syrup
1/2 Finest Call Orgeat Syrup


Fill mixing glass full of crushed ice. [Combine all ingredients and shake until well-chilled.] Garnish with a pineapple cube and cherry speared and a mint sprig.


Plenty of Rum to Go Around–Happy National Rum Day!


When I posted the recipe for last month’s Chocolate Cherry Frozen Cocktail I mentioned that I hadn’t tried Cruzan’s vanilla or black cherry rums and, well, the good folks at Cruzan couldn’t let that slide and generously sent me a bottle of the vanilla rum to try out.

Oh, man, am I glad they did!

And it just happened to be in time for National Rum Day, August 16!

Since beginning this blog I’ve been making a concentrated effort to taste more spirits neat–after all, if I’m going to use them as building blocks for the cocktails I design, I need to really understand the properties of each alone before combining them with others. This is not always a pleasant endeavor, as some spirits can have a very hard edge and can be bracing on their own.

That was not the case with the Cruzan Vanilla.

Ho-lee cats, folks, that’s some good rum!

I believe I described it as nirvana in a bottle at dinner with friends the next night (and then invited them all over to give it a try, themselves). No one disagreed, I might add.

First of all, it’s sweet. No big surprise, here, as rum is distilled from sugar cane, but the vanilla addition seems to add to the usual rum-sweet that you’d expect.

Second, it’s smooth. Hard edges? More like puffy clouds of silk–and we’re not talking the slubby dupioni, either!

Third, it mixes well. Almost too well, in fact.

Rum and Coke is an easy mixed drink to order and hard to get wrong, but many times (due to the plethora of hard-edged call-brands at the average ladies’ night) you can tell just how much the bartender liked you by how much bite the drink had. Every now and then I like to enjoy a throw-back drink like the R&C (not really a Cuba Libre since I don’t add the lime), and I thought a Vanilla Rum & Coke might be a nice place to start.

If you like Vanilla Coke, you will adore Cruzan Vanilla Rum and Coke. The combination of the two is sweet, sweet goodness, and this is where the danger comes in: you could go through quite a few of these in an evening and not realize how much you’ve imbibed until you go to stand up and miss the floor.

So, as always, drink responsibly.

After the R&C success, I decided to go with another basic rum drink: the Dark & Stormy. I’m renaming the combination of Ginger Beer and Cruzan Vanilla the White Storm–a light-colored drink that is both sweet and tangy, the vanilla and the ginger balancing each other out so nicely, it’s refreshing and perfect for a hot summer night hanging out with friends.

White Storm

2-2 .5oz Cruzan Vanilla Rum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
6 oz Ginger Beer (or as needed)

Fill a tall glass 3/4 full with ice and pour each ingredient over the ice, topping it off with the ginger beer (measurement was based on my glass, your glass may very). Stir leisurely until cool. Sip and enjoy.

Feel free to skip the lime juice if you’d prefer an even sweeter experience–the tart from the lime is interesting, true, but I could really take it or leave it.

Todd also suggested Cruzan Vanilla would be amazing in a Hurricane, something we’ll keep in mind for Mardi Gras, and I’m salivating over the thought of it in my Christmas-time Rum Balls this holiday.



FTC Disclaimer: I was provided a sample of the Cruzan Vanilla Rum for purposes of review. All opinions are entirely my own.