Coconut rum

To the limited extent anyone cares, coconut rum seems to be a problem.

The problem is that most of the commercially bottled coconut rums are disgusting. And if they’re not disgusting, they’re usually lame (e.g., Cruzan).

Frankly, I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about this matter, but it did just arise in correspondence with Beachbum Berry about a recipe.

For years, I’ve had a bottle of Brinley Gold Coconut Rum that I bought because someone—I forget whom—said it wasn’t bad. And I agree. I find nothing offensive about it. It’s a sweetened, clear blender rum (Brinley blends in St. Kitts, but does not distill) that also tastes significantly like coconut. I rarely need coconut rum, so I have used it sparingly over the years, and this bottle will continue to serve for many more years (although the original cork just disintegrated on me, so I’ll have to solve that problem).

I believe the packaging has been updated since I got this bottle.

Meanwhile, if anyone has any other leads, it’d be useful for the record.

Jeff Berry has also pointed out that—at least in some situations—a coconut liqueur is going to get the job done better than a coconut rum. He suggests Clement Mahina Coco.

The new hypothesis on the table is that coconut-flavored rum is useless.

  1. It’s nothing you actually want to drink on its own
  2. It’s neither fish nor fowl: not quite a rum, not quite a liqueur
  3. For mixological purposes, a decent coconut liqueur will get the job done better

I’ve been back and forth with Beachbum Berry and Adam Kolesar about a new tiki recipe (it will bow soon in Beachbum Berry’s Total Tiki) that is intended to bring rum, coconut and pineapple together with an overlooked ingredient. The recipe began a couple years ago with the Brinley product, but revisiting that today has been underwhelming and frustrating. (Setting aside the fact the product is hard to obtain.) Switching out to a coconut liqueur—the aforementioned Clement Mahina Coco—made it much easier to control the amount of coconut flavor in the drink relative to the other ingredients, and freed up the rum to be rum.

I have similar feelings about spiced rum. Beachbum Berry mentions Old New Orleans Cajun Spice as being drinkable, but I’ve yet to come across a commercial bottling that isn’t complete crap.

Always willing to be convinced otherwise, of course.

1 Like

I have virtually no experience with spiced rum. I suppose that when I think of spiced rum, I think of rum + bitters, or rum + falernum, or rum + pimento dram.

Hmm… now I want some rum. :slight_smile:

At least in the end it led to a good place.

1 Like

I hate coconut rum. But, then, I hate coconut.

1 Like

(I love coconut.)

Anyway, this just dropped, and I’m intrigued:

Have you tried the Siesta Key coconut rum? It’s pretty good, as coconut rums go.

I haven’t heard of it until now. If it’s good, what is it good for?

When I had a craft cocktail business, one of my partners had a couple of recipes that called for coconut rum. I was never a big fan of them myself, but I’ll see if I can dig back through the old menus and find a couple.

So Plantation—cough, PLANTERAY has just released their “Cut and Dry” coconut rum to general distribution. I went to a Plantation tasting a couple years ago, and among the offerings was a special coconut rum that was previously bestowed only on visitors to the distillery. It was pretty disappointing, and I imagine it’s the same one.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll drink coconut rum and not complain. It’s rum like sloe gin is gin, sure. But they certainly didn’t transcend the category here.