Summer is strawberry season and we like to take those…
We love demerara rums and often use them in cocktails, both alone and with other spirits. This particular cocktail uses a blend of both white and demerara rums, and is sweetened with demerara syrup. Demerara rums are known for having bold, complex flavors that add a lot of complexity to cocktails. The flavor of the rum will vary from brand to brand, as exch product is blended to meet a specific flavor profile, but the category tends to consistently contain high quality, delicious rums. In this particular drink, we started with a base of El Dorado 3 yr white rum and Skipper Dark Rum, which added background notes of molasses and caramel.
Demerara sugar has its origins in Guyana, which is where demerara rums are produced, though it primarily refers to a style of light brown “raw” cane sugar and is also produced in other places. Demerara sugar has a hint of molases flavor to it and a syrup made from it will have a light amber color, though it can be made and used in much the same way as regular simple syrup.
The most unusual element in this drink is the grapefruit, where we opted for a grapefruit liqueur instead of fresh grapefruit juice. Grapefruit liqueur has a more intense grapefruit flavor with less bitterness than the juice. It’s easy to work with because you don’t need to add additional sugar to counter the bitter citrus. There are a few brands of grapefruit liqueur out there to choose from – Giffard’s has an excellent flavor. If you can’t find the liqueur, Captain Morgan’s new Grapefruit Rum, which has such an intense grapefruit flavor and is less sweet than most liqueurs, is also a good choice, though we recommend using the rum with a lighter touch so that it doesn’t dominate the drink.
The finished Demerara Detour is juicy and rich, with many layers of flavor that all seem to work nicely together without becoming muddled. The drink is rich and is best served over crushed ice, so savor each one of those layers as you sip it slowly.
1 1/2 oz white demerara rum
1/2 oz dark dememera rum
1/2 oz velvet falernum
1/4 oz apricot brandy
1/2 oz grapefruit liqueur or 1/4 oz grapefruit rum
3/4 oz lime juice
1/2 oz demerara sugar syrup
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass or cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into a large rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a grapefruit twist (if available) and a few cherries to add a pop of color.