We do rum rum rum

A few weeks ago the lovely ladies at Prohibition Bristol invited me to join them and some other Bristol bloggers to help them choose the welcome and signature cocktail for their next event, Escape to Cuba. After a hugely successful first event back in February, the darlings, Meg and Frankie are doing it all over again with another cracking idea. This time the theme is… rum.

Why? Because back in prohibition days the clever folks at Bacardi refused to admit defeat and instead used their rum and its origins in a clever campaign to entice Americans over to Cuba, where there were no restrictions on booze.

We met on a Monday night in the Milk Thistle’s middle room and gathered round on vintage leather chairs to get down to business. Obviously rum was the order of the day, so we started with a Rum Rickey, inspired by Gatsby’s drink, the Gin Rickey. Rum, lime juice, sugar and soda water made for a fresh, sharp drink, but not something special enough to be ‘signature’.

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Next up was the El Presidente, dry vermouth, curacao, crème de mure and, glistening at the bottom of the glass, a sun dried maraschino cherry that I wanted to last forever. Named after president Gerrado Machado who offered one to former US president Calvin Coolidge who turned it down due to it being prohibition era. How anybody could turn down one of these is beyond me!

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The Hemingway Daiquari (Papa Doble) was next, created specially for him because he found the normal daiquiri a bit sweet for his diabetic self. This one has no added sugar, just rum, lime juice, grapefruit juice and maraschino liquer, but the legend still managed to sink 16 doubles in one sitting.

It was about now that I was affectionately recalling my favourite cocktail at Hyde & Co; the Clover Club, and our hostess with the mostess’s ears pricked up. Game for a challenge, Ash decided to make one with a rum twist, using rum and pineapple instead of gin and raspberry. It was an instant hit and will be on the menu as signature cocktail at Escape to Cuba.

The final cocktail of the evening (it was a Monday night after all…), was Planters Punch. A pleasingly sweet combination of rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, curacao, bitters and grenadine served with plenty of fruit in the glass, this one was lip-smackingly good. Being a punch made it a no-brainer that this should be the welcome drink really and for those of you lucky enough to have an Escape to Cuba booked, this is what you will be greeted with.

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If you haven’t booked yet, I believe there are a handful of tickets left, but don’t hang about. Escape to Cuba is taking place on Friday 13th June at the Milk Thistle and costs just £25, which includes your welcome drink and all entertainment.

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