The Scarlet Ibis Rum

The Scarlet Ibis – Trini Rum By Way of New York

I celebrated an odd milestone in 2011. That’s the year when I totaled more years living outside of the Caribbean than in it. As sad as that sounds, it hasn’t been too bad. I mean, I live in New York City. Here you can get anything from any culture at almost any time of day. (In fact, one of my favorite Trini roti shops is here in Brooklyn.) Case in point: The Scarlet Ibis Rum, a light, copper colored 98-proof beauty tied directly to NYC’s recent speakeasy boom.

Early-2000’s NYC Speakeasy Bars

The first of these “secret” bars that I remember frequenting was called Milk and Honey. Located in the (at the time) no man’s land of the early-2000’s Lower East Side, M&H was a beautiful little candlelit space. Special touches here reminded patrons lucky enough to know of its existence of a time when a night on the town was a bit more civilized. Among the posted rules: “Do not approach women without being properly introduced.” Also: “No name-dropping.”

My favorite thing about the place, though, was owner/mixologist Sasha’s immaculately crafted cocktails.

The tremendous success of M&H’s speakeasy model lead to many more bars with unpublished addresses. A new appreciation among night owls for finer libations also grew.

Anyway, fast-forward several years to 2007. A new East Village hot spot debuted with a similarly cool speakeasy style. This time, though, there was a published address. The bar’s name: Death & Co.

On nights I used to swing by in ’07, the place was positively poppin’. People routinely waited an hour or more for a chance to sink into Death & Co.’s suede banquets and sample masterfully crafted cocktails. It was often so busy that unlucky patrons were turned away! 

The main thing that kept me coming back…

The Scarlet Ibis Rum.

For a time, Death & Co. was the only place in the world where you could actually drink Scarlet Ibis. The rum was crafted exclusively for Death & Co by a Trinidadian bulk rum production company called Caroni. And what an excellent drink this 98-proof rum makes!

Personally, I love to simply savor most premium rums without any mixing. To get the full Death & Co experience in your own home lounge, though, check out some of the drink descriptions on their menu. The Drunken Dodo is one of my favorites. It combines Scarlet Ibis with Carpano Antica Vermouth, Allspice Dram, Angostura Bitters, and an Orange Twist. Delicious!

Back in the day, Scarlet Ibis Rum was only bottled when the limited Caroni blend was available. It’s a bit easier to find now, though no less as special.


Last updated by Patrick Bennett on .

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