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Refreshing Rum Recipes for Summer
By Leslie Rosenberg

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Summer is the season for backyard barbecues, beach blanket bingo, and cool pool parties—which means it's also a time for frosty cocktails to help beat the heat! Frozen rum drinks like daquiris, piña coladas and mai tais are traditional summer standbys that can turn even a boring afternoon on the front porch into a festive occasion.

A couple weeks ago, the good folks at sent us a promotional sample of their Sailor Jerry Spiced Navy Rum. (One of the perqs of being a magazine editor is that you sometimes get stuff for free!) The pirate-style packaging and accompanying shot glasses were nifty added extras, but I was most interested in sampling the rum itself. With the mercury rising here in the Northeast, the bottle seemed like a perfect excuse to have a few friends over for cocktails.

I gathered the gang this past weekend, when temperatures were in the low 80s under sunny skies. After a hearty meal of burgers and dogs on the back deck, it was time to crack open the Sailor Jerry and see what was in store. The first sip went to ATOMIC contributor Kevin Brown, who writes our "Another Round" cocktail column. "It's excellent," he said, taking a second taste of the rum straight up.

"It's smooth and a little sweet, but that's a good thing." ATOMIC regular Frank Dellario, who built a home tiki bar for our second issue, concurred.

"Do you have any pineapple juice?" he asked, devising a recipe in his mind. "Coconut milk? Fresh limes?" Er…no, no and no. I promptly handed him a twenty and sent him to the grocery store for supplies.

Frank's impromptu cocktail creation was delicious indeed, but too complicated to recreate here. Instead, we offer a few suggestions for classic rum drinks that can help keep you cool when the thermometer starts to soar!

The Tiki
(courtesy of

  • 1½ oz. Sailor Jerry Spiced Navy Rum
  • 1 oz. Curacao*
  • 2 oz. Cranberry Juice
  • 2 oz. Pineapple Juice
  • 1 oz. Orange Juice Splash of Sour Milk

Mix all ingredients except Curacao with ice and shake well. Pour into a Collins glass and float the Curacao on top. Garnish with a pineapple wedge, orange slice and a cherry!

*Curaçao is an orange-flavored liqueur made from the dried peel of bitter oranges found on the Caribbean island of Curaçao. It may be based on any white spirit, though molasses (cane) or grape are the most likely, and it comes in a range of colours, including blue.

Mai Tai
Originally invented by the infamous Trader Vic, there are now countless variations to the classic Mai Tai, many made with both dark and light rum. This is a basic dark rum recipe that's easy to make.

  • 1½ oz. Dark Rum
  • ½ oz. Orange Curacao
  • ½ oz. Creme de Noyaux
  • ½ oz. Lime juice
  • ½ oz. Grenadine (if desired)
  • 3-4 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve with a cherry. For a frozen variation, add a splash of pineapple juice and blend with crushed ice, then serve in a hurricane glass. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.

Piña Colada

  • 2 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 oz. cream of coconut
  • 1½ oz. light or dark rum
  • ½ cup ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve in a hurricane glass and garnished with a pineapple spear. Add a colorful umbrella for a touch of tropical fun!

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