Among the few regrets I have over my trip to Nevis last year was that I didn’t come home with a bottle of CSR, aka: Cane Spirit Rothschild Rum, from St. Kitts. I had actually never even heard of the stuff ’til we checked in at Nisbet Plantation, where a bottle of CSR was waiting for me, along with some Ting soda so I could make a Ting ‘n Sting, the property’s signature welcome drink.
The CSR, itself, was unspectacular to me. It’s a fresh and pure white rum, produced from cane harvested by hand, with a bit of a sweet finish. I liked it well enough, but I wouldn’t say that I love it.
So, why do I regret not picking up a bottle to take home?
#1: I love history, and the rum-making tradition in St. Kitts bears one of the more interesting backstories in all of the rum world. As far as I know, rums produced in St. Kitts are the only ones that employed sea water in their production! These were some of the island’s earliest rums, of course, produced during the slave-era, so you won’t find sea water used in rum distillation on the island today. In fact, you won’t even find any real, or better said, legal rum distilled in St. Kitts & Nevis these days.
Locals produce a wicked illegal bush rum called Hammond in St. Kitts & Nevis that we hope to check out in the near future. The last of the legal rum production went out when Hurricane Hugo blew in back in 1989, destroying the island’s few remaining distilleries. The base rum used in producing today’s CSR, as well as several other Kittitian rums, comes from our friends at Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) in Guyana. Aging and the addition of special touches take place in St. Kitts, though I doubt that sea water gets worked into the mix.
- 2 oz CSR Rum
- 4 oz Pineapple Juice
- 1/2 oz and Passion Fruit Puree
- 1/2 Lime
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 oz brandy
Reason #2: The Midnight Creeper, one of the signature drinks at Nisbet Plantation that I got to enjoy before my super-fancy dinner at the property’s historic Great House. It’s the creation of Kaddy and Dan, two popular bartenders at Nisbet, who are as adept at making you feel welcome and comfortable as they are at mixing up a fine cocktail with true island flavor.
Since returning from Nevis, I’ve tried to mix a Midnight Creeper or two of my own, with little success. With no CSR available near my SoFla home, I just couldn’t replicate the flavor completely with other white rum substitutes.
Maybe it has something to do with the type of special handling master blenders like Kaddy and Dan employ in mixing these up at Nisbet.
Or maybe I need to add a dash of sea water?
Either way, I hope to make a return visit to Nisbet soon to be sure. ‘Til then, here’s how you can join me in trying to make a Midnight Creeper of your very own…
Shake all ingredients together and pour over ice. Garnish with cherry, nutmeg and a slice of pineapple.