Who says rum can‚Äôt be romantic? Cuba seems like it must have been a pretty sexy place to be during the first half of the 20th century and it was swimming in rum and rum cocktails. It’s bartenders, and a handful of American ex-pats who got to continue their craft on the island during Prohibition, invented a long list of now famous cocktails that we‚Äôve discussed at length in previous posts. This time last year we told you all about the Flamingo in honor of Valentine‚Äôs Day.
This time around we‚Äôve chosen a drink that calls for a good portion of sparkling wine. Champagne and it’s many similar and not-so familiar cousins are synonymous with Valentine‚Äôs Day. These days many of us on a budget opt out of the expensive stuff for a dry Prosecco or Cava. Fine. The Airmail is a cocktail that makes rum shine through the use of bubbles, so no need to break the bank for this one. Let‚Äôs call it a ‚Äúballer-on-a-budget‚ÄĚ drink. The ingredients are simple and easy to find and it is as sophisiticated as they come.
The drink, like so many classic rum cocktails, is one that seems to trace its origins back to that fateful time in Cuba. 1919 is the first known published recipe for it and it is said to have been named for the first drop of, well, mail by air. Now this, like most cocktail legends, is probably just that with little real evidence to back it up. But if we can indulge for a moment it‚Äôs nice to imagine that this may have been the first time that a wordy and sentimental hand written letter made its way from one faraway lover to the other. Cute.
The bottom line with the Airmail is that it packs a punch with the standard 1 1/2 oz pour of rum at the base being amped up with the addition of the sparkling wine that will probably come in anywhere between 11-16% alcohol by volume filling the glass.
Of course, we also love the way that Denizen Rum’s¬†tropical fruit and barrel aged notes show up with the use of honey in this one. For the honey syrup, aka runny honey, make a little extra.¬† You and your date may want another round.¬†¬†
1 1/2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz honey syrup *
1 1/2-2 ozs Sparkling Wine
Pour all ingredients, except sparkling wine, into mixing tin. Add ice and shake. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice.¬†Top with¬†sparkling wine.¬†Garnish with a lime peel expressed over the glass.
*Combine 2 Tbsp. honey with 1 Tbsp. hot water and stir or shake until consistent.