Beer will, no doubt, work best for most Americans celebrating their independence by reaching for an adult beverage this weekend, but we (surprise!) are making a case for rum. It makes sense, really, when you consider that the 13 colonies were basically founded on the stuff.
In the pre-Revolutionary War era, every American man, woman, and child judged to consume an average of nearly four gallons of the sweet stuff each year, the excessive boozing in line with old British fears about water, which was deemed unhealthy, and prevailing sentiments over the healing powers of all types of alcohol.
(More on colonial-era drinking habits here.)
One of the most preferred ways of enjoying rum in those days was in a drink called a Stonewall. Essentially a hot toddy, a Stonewall consists primarily of rum and warm apple cider, the perfect elixir for a cold winter’s night.
While visiting my wife’s family in Pennsylvania last week, though, I discovered a new Stonewall Rum that works perfect for me just on its own.
A product of Boyd & Blair Distillers of Glenshaw, PA, Stonewall Rum has only been around for a few months and likely is not too easy to find outside of its home state. (I was lucky enough to score a bottle at the tremendous Lighthouse Liquors in Baltimore.) Like the celebrated vodka that put Boyd & Blair on the map, Stonewall is produced in small batches and not really promoted anywhere.
I couldn’t even find a website for this stuff!
Trust me, though, Stonewall is well-worth seeking out.
Bold without being overbearing, Stonewall carries nice, light hints of oak, honey, and ginger. The finish is warm, though doesn’t really burn all that much when enjoyed neat. Truly, I wouldn’t mix it with anything, though I imagine it’d sing nicely with ginger beer.
Who would’ve thunk it – beautiful, artisanal rum made in Pennsylvania, of all places. If that’s not worth setting off a few fireworks this weekend, then I don’t know what is.