In the mid-to-late 1700’s, New England had more than 150 rum distilleries, supplying sailors and stevedores with what was then America’s favorite tipple. By the early 1900’s, they had all but disappeared, whiskey having replaced rum as the most popular spirit.
Over the last decade, distilling has experienced a renaissance in the Northeast, sparked by the interest in all things local and (I can’t write this word without thinking of the Lewis Black rant on The Daily Show) artisanal. Many of these new distilleries are making rum, including South Hollow Spirits in Truro, Mass, who generously sent us a bottle of their Twenty Boat Spiced Rum to try.
Named for the number of police and Coast Guard boats who tried in vain to capture a gang of Cape Cod rum runners in 1930, Twenty Boat is spiced with cardamom, cinnamon, anise and black pepper.
Our tasting notes: Sampled neat, it had a strong alcohol kick reminiscent of good whiskey. Not at all unpleasant, but more powerful than we expected in a rum. The spicy flavors were softened by a mellow vanilla note. We can see sipping this by the fire – an alternative to our usual bourbon.
Since it’s not yet fireside season, Twenty Boat’s complex flavors work especially well in this simple, summery, not-too-sweet cocktail. As long as the fresh mint is growing outside our barn door, it will make the perfect drink to transition to fall.
- 4 fresh mint leaves
- 1 /2 ounces Twenty Boat Spiced Rum
- Splash of soda
- Strip of orange zest,
- Strip of lemon zest
- Sprig of mint for garnish
Recipe from Old Colony Tap in Provincetown, Mass., courtesy of South Hollow Spirits