As much as we love tiki, we don't limit ourselves…
The When Rome Burns cocktail is one that you want to love simply because it has such a fantastic name. The original When Rome Burns was made with Medford Rum, a rum distilled in the town of Medford, just outside of Boston. The label of this spirit proudly proclaimed that it was New England rum and the drink is often referred to as New England’s answer to the daiquiri. But when it comes down to it, it really is a daiquri and the choice of rum is what made it remarkable. Unfortunately, Medford Rum was discontinued for many years and the craft Boston distillery that is bringing it back doesn’t have a wide distribution (meaning we haven’t seen it on the West Coast so far!), so we work around that with other rums – namely Cuban rums like Havana Club – that are said to have a similar flavor profile to the original recipe.
Havana Club Anjeo 7 is a fantastic rum for this cocktail. The smokey, honey notes of the rum are brought out by the maple syrup, giving the drink a surprisingly complex sweetness that doesn’t make it taste anything like breakfast food. It is rich and creamy, with just the right citrus twist at the end. We’ve seen recipe that call for lemon and lime, but after a little bit of experimentation we highly recommend sticking with lime for this one. Lemon doesn’t contrast with the maple quite as much, and lime makes the drink a whole lot more interesting as far as we’re concerned. Of course we’re going to recommend the Havana Club since that is what we used, but there are plenty of other great rums out there that will make a great version of this cocktail. Choose something with some age that isn’t overly fruity for the best results.
The original drink is served ungarnished, but we wanted to bring in a burning element to ours just to celebrate the name. We floated a small, hollow lime cup on the surface of the drink and filled it with 151. You can skip the theatrics because this cocktail doesn’t need anything to be delicious.
When Rome Burns
1 3/4 oz Havana Club Anjeo 7 (or Medford Rum, if you can find it)
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz pure maple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a shaker and fill with ice. Shake and double strain into a coupe.