Rum cocktails are difficult for me. The bent toward fruity extravaganzas loses me a little. Especially when there are so many great aged rums that have so much flavor and complexity out there. This cocktail however didn’t start with rum. It’s where we ended up.
There was a rarely touched intriguing black bottle sitting on the back bar for the longest time. A British Columbia port style wine called Black Sage Pipe. Occasionally someone would order it out of curiosity, but usually it would be passed over for the stuff that could actually call itself port.
Not that there is anything wrong with this drink. It is a decent example of a late vintage fortified desert wine. It’s got all the stuff you’re looking for. Aromas of dark cherry, dried fruits and chocolate ganache. It it is flavorful and complex. Unfortunately, among the clientele at this particular establishment port drinkers are rare and adventurous port drinkers rarer still.
When it came time to redo the cocktail list I knew this was something I was going to have to work with. Mostly because of the challenge. Partly to move a couple of bottle that were gathering dust. I knew that I’d either have to hard sell the bottles a drink at a time or develop a cocktail around it. A cocktail it was.
After several rounds of experiments with a number of base spirits we landed on rum. I am partial to the El Dorado 15 year old demerara for this drink. The chipotle orange syrup is the same one used in the Chipotle Watermelon Margarita and the Fall Spice Cordial.
This is a great sipper for those dark grey days when you just want to sit back and watch the clouds lift over the marina.