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Recommended liquor: This month's box calls for spiced rum. So that you can start mixing your cocktails as soon as your box arrives, why not go get your bottle of spiced rum now? Each of this month's featured bartenders has a recommendation for you! Any of them will work for all three recipes found in this box, depending on your preference:
A few years ago Orlando McCray had the opportunity to visit the folks at Boukman Rhum in Haiti, where he was introduced to a beautiful country and a beautiful spirit, clairin. Boukman Rhum—his recommendation for this box—is a "clairin trempe," which means it is a distillate of sugar cane that is then macerated (steeped like tea leaves) with herbs. It is often used for medicinal purposes. This rum is dry and spicy with an elegant finish.
Chairman's Reserve Spiced Rum comes from St. Lucia, which is essentially ground zero for spiced rum, says Dan Watson. “Every bar on that island has a ubiquitous bottle of homemade spiced rum, the preferred way for locals to consume their island's spirit.” Chairman's Reserve, which Dan recommends for this box, is made to the locals’ taste—not overly sweet, with just the right blend of spices native to the island—and finishes with a lovely and faint bitter note from the bois bande tree, the bark of which has a colorful prescription among locals as an aphrodisiac.
Don Q Oak Barrel Spiced Rum has a profile that hits the perfect middle ground, according to Brad Smith. A striking blend of rums aged at least three years, Don Q Spiced Rum is warm with notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and caramel, and it holds up to the fattiness of rich and heavy rum cocktails without being too spicy.
Recommended amount: To make all 12 drinks, you'll need 21 oz of spiced rum; a medium (750 ml) bottle will be your best bet.
Recommended barware: A few different jiggers that measure 1/2, 3/4, 1 1/2, and 2 oz, as well as a strainer, shaker, mixing glass, barspoon, citrus juicer or reamer, and fine strainer. These are not all strictly necessary, but will improve your mixology experience.
Recommended glassware: Rocks glass and 10 oz Irish coffee mug
Recommended ice: To make all 12 cocktails in one go, you'll need about 4 pounds of ice (4 ice trays’ worth).
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