Tonight's drink is one that features a spirit I haven't used in far too long; rum. Rum was one of the first liquors I actually picked out as being something I liked. Before I really started to branch out into the world of spirits, rum was my old standby. I think it was, in no small part, an extension of my interest in Tiki drinks that made me gravitate towards rum, but I can now tell you, that rum is by no means the exclusive spirit of faux Polynesia.
That being said, rum's really an interesting spirit, one that's far too often taken for granted. Tonight, though, I've got a great showpiece for it.
The White Lion CocktailSpicy, sweet, fruity, sour...this drink really hits all the notes you want a drink to hit. There's the acidity of the lemon, and the spice and lime notes of the falernum, the subtle tropical fruit notes from the rum (banana seems to be a popular note detected in the Mount Gay Eclipse Silver), all of these combine to make for a really interesting drink. I have no idea of the provenance of this drink, especially since one old drink book, 1888's "New & Improved Illustrated Bartender's Manual" by Harry Johnson (no laughing, please), has the White Lion as four ounces of rum mixed with raspberry syrup, curaçao, lime juice and seltzer, and served in a pint glass...quite a different beast altogether. All that being said, this would be a different drink entirely just by swapping the falernum with grenadine. Not a bad one, but very very different. If you feel up to making some falernum (and I highly recommend you do), try using it in this drink. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
1 1/2 oz white/silver rum (I used Mount Gay Eclipse Silver)
1 oz lemon juice
1 tsp sugar (I used raw sugar, but that's just me. Bar sugar would dissolve a lot more readily)
1/4 oz grenadine or falernum (I had falernum in the fridge, so I used that)
2 dashes bitters
Shake all with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.