A Mai Tai is a tiki cocktail that was invented…
Summer is strawberry season and we like to take those fresh berries and turn them into something that we can use in our bar. Strawberry syrup is a part of the ever-popular Lava Flow (which tastes much more delicious when fresh berries are employed) and cocktails like our Strawberry Shrunken Skull and this Strawberry Rum Runner.
The classic Rum Runner is made with lime juice, blackberry brandy, creme de banana, grenadine and 151 rum. It’s already a very fruity drink, so that makes it a good choice for featuring our strawberry syrup while still making the cocktail recognizable as a nod to the original Rum Runner. We replaced a lot of the blackberry liqueur with homemade strawberry syrup and up the amount of 151 to balance out all that sweetness and make sure the cocktail has some substance to it. It’s still quite a sweet drink, of course, but that fruitiness will really hit the spot on a hot summer afternoon.
As far as the rum is concerned, use a top-notch overproof rum in this cocktail for best results. We used Hamilton 151, but something like Lemon Hart (if you’ve got it) or Lost Spirits 151. Goslings and El Dorado might be interesting in here, too. Let us know what you’re using when you give it a try.
We finished this off with a garnish we dubbed the “hula berry,” a strawberry wearing a lime grass skirt garnish, just for fun. It’s easy to make – you can make the skirts in advance and store them in the refrigerator, if you need a lot – and eye-catching.
Strawberry Rum Runner
1 1/2 oz your favorite 151 rum
1 oz Banana Liqueur
1/4 oz Blackberry Liqueur
1 1/4 oz lime juice
1 oz strawberry syrup
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass, fill with ice and shake vigorously until very cold. Strain into a tall, thin glass or large rocks glass filled with crushed ice.
Garnish with a hula berry and serve.
Strawberry Syrup: Combine approx 5-oz fresh, hulled strawberries with 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, and stir until sugar dissolves and strawberries are tender. Remove from heat and allow berries to sit for 10 minutes. Strain liquid to remove strawberries and allow mixture to cool. You’ll have about 1 cup of syrup – plenty for more than one round of cocktails.