Friday Happy Hour: Honey-Sweetened Cayrum from Cabarete, Dominican Republic
You’re not likely to find unique and/or inspired rum options in Midtown Manhattan. The mostly touristy watering holes here tend to follow a pedestrian playlist composed almost entirely Captain Morgan, Bacardi, and Malibu, with the odd Gosling’s occasionally thrown in to appease stray Dark ‘n Stormy lovers.
So, imagine my surprise upon settling down for lunch at The Three Monkeys Bar on West 54th earlier this week and spying the bright-orange label pictured above. She was impossible to miss, standing out conspicuously as she was among a long line of dour-looking whiskeys.
Cayrum. Hmmm. Never heard of it. Could it actually be a Caribbean rum, or was it just some dressed-up liqueur?
Vinnie, the friendly barkeep at Three Monkeys, who despite sporting a typically NY-Italian first name is very much from Dublin, was nice enough to let me survey the bottle, which revealed quite a lot of positives.
“HECHO A MANO en la REPÚBLICA DOMINICANA”
“AN AGED GOLDEN RUM INFUSED with NATURAL HONEY AND GINGER”
My interest and excitement grew as I read both lines. I’m not a huge fan of honey, but ginger just makes everything better in my book. On top of that, I LOVE DomRep rums – how had I never heard of this stuff before?!
The Cayrum website reveals even more big pluses. A family recipe backstory with roots in Cabarete, hands-on production methods, aging in used Kentucky bourbon barrels, the unique combo of natural honey, and hand-sliced ginger sourced in the towering peaks that define the DomRep’s interior – what’s not to like?
Well, for me, how about the rum itself?
Cayrum is certainly distinctive and could serve as a nice change of pace if you really, really like super-sweet honey. Personally, I was hoping for a bit more of a ginger kick, but the honey simply overwhelmed my palate such to the point that even the rum flavor was lost.
Now, this was Cayrum as sampled neat, mind you. I could see this stuff possibly pairing well with dry champagne in a sort of modified Kir Royale. It’d probably also make a mean Hot Toddy, all that honey flavor no doubt working wonders when fully warmed with your favorite green or black tea.
Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to play with this one when next I’m in the D.R., or back in Midtown with Vinnie at The Three Monkeys.