Art historians may forgive me my comparison, but today’s drink can be virtually considered as something like Magritte’s pipe among the cocktails. At first glance we see a typical Julep: silver cup, mint, finely crushed ice and of course a definite name: “Rum Julep”. Too bad this is not a Julep at all.
Looking at the list of ingredients, you will certainly notice that there are significantly more ingredients than you would find in an ordinary Julep. Juleps normally enrich a certain base spirit (for example bourbon whiskey) only subtly with fresh herbs and usually a sweetening agent. The Julep we’re dealing with here is without any doubt more of a punch than a classic Julep. It comes with a whole armada of flavors which masterfully blend in the overall result. So the Rum Julep is finally a Tiki-wolf in sheep’s clothing. Tiki or not, this cocktail has certainly a lot to offer! (If you’re looking for a rum based cocktail in the style of a classic Julep, try the Pirate’s Julep!)
The recipe is based on the information provided by Jeff Berry’s Tiki-almanac “Beachbum Berry’s Sippin’ Safari”, where new and classic cocktails in the style of Polynesian pop art are presented. While you may find numerous cocktails called “Rum Julep” throughout the internet and in countless recipe books, this one is for sure the best! Berry’s recipe draws on the Rum Julep from the godfather of Tiki, Ernest Gantt aka Don the Beachcomber, who already created this drink in the 1940s and from 1958 on served it in his Cabaret Restaurant in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The rums indicated correspond to the specifications of the original recipe. Whether to substitute them or not everyone should decide for her or his own. Depending on the time of mixing the ingredients in the electronic blender (see below) you will obtain different results. In the photo you can see a variant that is made in the style of a slushie, which I liked very much for this cocktail. The more common version nonetheless works with coarser crushed ice.
Recipe (in US-typical ounces):
½ oz lime juice
½ oz orange juice
½ oz honey mix (see below)
½ oz Appleton Estate Extra Jamaican Rum
1 ½ oz Demerara Rum (I have the 5-year-old El Dorado used)
¼ teaspoon grenadine
¼ teaspoon Falernum
¼ teaspoon Pimentlikör (as The Bitter Truth Pimento Dram)
1 Dash Angostura Bitters
Honey mix: combine water and honey in the ratio 1:1 in a pan over medium while stirring and let it cool afterwards.
Preparation: Mix all ingredients with half a cup of crushed ice (about 120 ml or a hand full) in the electronic blender. The longer you blend, the “slushier” it gets. Finally pour everything in your silver cup.
Glass: silver cup
Garnish: fresh mint
Buying sources: Appleton Rum, Demerara Rum (El Dorado), Pimento dram and Falernum will certainly make it necessary to visit a specialized trader. Alternatively, as always – simply order it online.